Recently, I received a thought-provoking, and challenging comment from the post, Names and Roles of Angels (Part 2). Original post link – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-gA, to which I replied in the post, Female Angels?? Giants?? – Replying to a Reader’s Comment – ANGELS , http://wp.me/p5nZpi-h7.
Since that post a follow-up question was asked about the reappearance of the Pre-Flood Nephilim mentioned in Numbers 13:33. I was puzzled and intrigued by this question, and thought…
IF ALL THE NEPHILIM DIED DURING THE FLOOD, HOW IS IT THAT THEY SHOWED UP 1,000+ YEARS LATER IN CANAAN??
The Hebrew word used to describe the Nephilim occurs in only two verses of the Old Testament,
- Genesis 6:4 – The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
- Numbers 13:33 – “We even saw giants, Nephilim, there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
From the book of Numbers, we find that the descendants of Anak are part of the Nephilim. Ummm!!
What’s interesting is that there is no description of the Nephilim other than what the scouts, the men sent to explore the land of Canaan – Numbers 13:1-2, reported back to Moses in Numbers 13:30-32.
The scouts described the people they saw as strong and huge…
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
31 BUT the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.
SO WERE THESE THE SAME NEPHILIM WE READ ABOUT IN GENESIS 6?
The word Nephilim does not describe a race of people. In the Bible, races of people were classified by their founding male ancestor. So, the Anakim, not the Nephilim, were descendents of Anak.
Also the term Nephilim (giants) in Gen.6:4 has an interesting history. Nephil means fallen one, (im at the end of any Hebrew word changes it to a plural, nephillim-fallen ones.) This does not mean giant, or monstrous in size but someone who possesses super human ability in strength and intelligence, not stature. This word is taken from its root word of nephal and nephel which means to fall. In 250 BC. the Rabbis that wrote the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, changed the word Nephillim to giant. This is the word most translations currently have (giant in Greek gigentes implies earth born men of great stature Num.13:33 ). This was a significant change which has obscured the meaning even to today. While some contend the Nephilim were still around in the time of Numbers, the giants were not the same species of the Nephilim of Genesis 6. Since the Nephils recorded in Genesis were not Giant in size, but were “giant” in strength, intelligence and ability. – http://www.letusreason.org/Doct11.htm
A CONTRADICTION OF SCRIPTURE?
Since the Old Testament describes Nephilim both before and after the flood, if the Nephilim were a race, this would contradict the rest of Scripture. However, the Bible clearly says that there were only eight survivors of the flood. That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and their wives. With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along with birds of every kind. Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes. A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them. – Genesis 7:13-16
All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people. Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat. – Genesis 7:21-23
Also if you look at Genesis 10, which records the descendants of Japheth, Ham, and Shem – Noah’s sons, and there is no mention the Nephilim, post-Flood. – Genesis chapter 10 link – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2010
SO WHY DID THE SCOUTS REFER TO THE PEOPLE THEY SAW IN CANAAN AS NEPHILIM?
<Look for Part 2 – The Return of Nephilim – Dun, Dun, Dun, Dun… coming soon>
The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. – Deuteronomy 29:29
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