Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) Heb. nephilim, meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Gen.
6:4). These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who
fell upon others. The word may also be derived from a root
signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters" or "prodigies." In
Num. 13:33 this name is given to a Canaanite tribe, a race of
large stature, "the sons of Anak." The Revised Version, in these
passages, simply transliterates the original, and reads
(2.) Heb. rephaim, a race of giants (Deut. 3:11) who lived on
the east of Jordan, from whom Og was descended. They were
probably the original inhabitants of the land before the
immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by
Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:5), and their territories were promised as
a possession to Abraham (15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim
were branches of this stock.
In Job 26:5 (R.V., "they that are deceased;" marg., "the
shades," the "Rephaim") and Isa. 14:9 this Hebrew word is
rendered (A.V.) "dead." It means here "the shades," the departed
spirits in Sheol. In Sam. 21:16, 18, 20, 33, "the giant" is
(A.V.) the rendering of the singular form "ha raphah", which may
possibly be the name of the father of the four giants referred
to here, or of the founder of the Rephaim. The Vulgate here
reads "Arapha," whence Milton (in Samson Agonistes) has borrowed
the name "Harapha." (See also 1 Chron. 20:5, 6, 8; Deut. 2:11,
20; 3:13; Josh. 15:8, etc., where the word is similarly rendered
"giant.") It is rendered "dead" in (A.V.) Ps. 88:10; Prov. 2:18;
9:18; 21:16: in all these places the Revised Version marg. has
"the shades." (See also Isa. 26:14.)
(3.) Heb. 'Anakim (Deut. 2:10, 11, 21; Josh. 11:21, 22; 14:12,
15; called "sons of Anak," Num. 13:33; "children of Anak,"
13:22; Josh. 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba
(Josh. 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of
Israel near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). They were a
Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the
Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered
them (2 Sam. 21:15-22). From this race sprung Goliath (1 Sam.
(4.) Heb. 'emin, a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites.
They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Gen.
14:5; Deut. 2:10, 11).
(5.) Heb. Zamzummim (q.v.), Deut. 2:20 so called by the
(6.) Heb. gibbor (Job 16:14), a mighty one, i.e., a champion
or hero. In its plural form (gibborim) it is rendered "mighty
men" (2 Sam. 23:8-39; 1 Kings 1:8; 1 Chr. 11:9-47; 29:24.) The
band of six hundred whom David gathered around him when he was a
fugitive were so designated. They were divided into three
divisions of two hundred each, and thirty divisions of twenty
each. The captians of the thirty divisions were called "the
thirty," the captains of the two hundred "the three," and the
captain over the whole was called "chief among the captains" (2
Sam. 23:8). The sons born of the marriages mentioned in Gen. 6:4
are also called by this Hebrew name.
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Giants' Eastons Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Eastons
; 1897. Copyright Information
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