The Giant Clans of the Bible

The creation of the giant Nephilim in Genesis 6, right before the flood, is a story that surprises most people today no matter how long they’ve been a Christian. We just haven’t heard too many messages in church about the time that spiritual beings (the sons of God) had sex with human women and gave rise to a quasi-divine race of giants on the earth.

Likewise, we’re also surprised when our eyes are opened to see the giants present after the flood. This is clearly seen in Numbers 13 when Moses sends spies into the land of Canaan and they return with a report of having seen giants.

…”The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (Numbers 13:32-33)

What’s interesting to note here is that the Nephilim that these spies saw went by another name: the sons of Anak—known elsewhere in the Bible as the Anakim. This is important to note, because we typically have nothing in mind when we read the names of people groups in the Bible and so we don’t stop and imagine them in detail. But here we learn that whenever we see the word Nephilim or Anakim in the Bible, we should now be thinking of the descendants of the giants of Genesis 6.

Yes, the giants have now been around long enough to take on different names. In this case, a giant named Anak has gained enough attention that his giant descendants are now a people group known as the Anakim. But other names for the giants will come about as well, because different nations had different names for the Nephilim. For example, Deuteronomy 2 tells us that there are other groups of giants who are known by other nations as the Emim, the Rephaim, and the Zamzummim.

We also see the Amorites described by the prophet Amos as having the height of cedars, showing us that some of the Amorites were also known as giants. However, we know that not all the Amorites were giants because of the fuller picture the Bible paints of them. In a similar way, the Bible also seems to relate to us that a few giants were dispersed throughout the human clans of the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Canaanites, and Philistines.

And so now our list of giant clans has grown to the Nephilim, the Anakim, the Emim, the Rephaim, and the Zamzummim. We also expect to see a few of the giants living amidst the Amorites, the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Canaanites, and the Philistines. They are everywhere.

It’s strange that we should miss all of this, because these giants are standing right in Israel’s way; for they inhabit the land that God promised that His people would move into. And perhaps with this in mind, we might speculate that God specifically sent Israel to this land so that they would finish the job of what the flood was partially meant to do: Get rid of the giants. In fact, a very close reading of the Bible seems to relay that if there were no giants in specific parts of the promised land, then the inhabitants could be simply driven out and not necessarily killed in war. Yes, believe it or not, it seems possible that the the holy wars of the Old Testament were set in place to eradicate the rebellious giants.

There are a few giants mentioned by name throughout the Bible. Since we’ve already noted that the “sons of Anak” were giants, that means we can connect all the Anakim by name to the giants; including Anak’s father, Arba, and Anak’s descendants, Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.

Deuteronomy 3 also speaks of King Og, a Rephaim that slept in a bed that was about 13 and half feet long by 2 and half feet wide. And because this passage likens Og to another king named Sihon, who was an Amorite, we are left gathering that Sihon was one of the giants within the human clan of the Amorites.

All of the giants above are found closer to the time of war over the promised land. But if you know the story, then you know that Israel didn’t finish eradicating the giants. As Joshua 11:22 states, “There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.” And so it’s much later in the time of David in the land of Gath, that we meet the most well known giant of all: Goliath.

Based on various manuscripts of the Bible, Goliath was either 9 feet, 9 inches, or 6 feet, 6 inches. Scholars typically believe the 6 feet, 6 inches reading to be correct and so this is the only real measurement of a giant that we have recorded in the Bible. This may not sound like that much of a giant to us, but perhaps there were other discerning factors to recognizing a giant since Goliath was strong enough to wear a coat of armor that weight 126 pounds and wield a spear that had a tip that weighed 15 pounds alone. He was certainly a fearsome sight to behold.

For many, Goliath is an odd story about an unusually tall man who came out of nowhere. But the Bible has been setting us up to see him in the light of the Nephilim. He is a descendant of the giants, still present on the earth well after the flood.

And believe it or not, even he is not the last of the giants. In the time of David, Israel went on to fight more giants in the land of the Philistines. A giant named Ishbi-benob, with a spear that weighed about half the amount of Goliath’s, set out to kill David during a war. However, one of David’s soldiers killed him first. In other wars the Israelites struck down a giant named Saph/ Sippai and Goliath’s brother, Lahmi. And finally, a 12-fingered, 12-toed giant was also struck down in one of these wars.


This is an excerpt from my book, Fantasy IRL: Glimpses of a Hidden World.

22 comments

  1. It is a best practice to utterly ignore the vague, generic, subjective and un-biblical English term “giants” since it is used to pseudo-translate both the strictly pre-flood hybrid Nephilim and the strictly post-flood human Repahim–some end up correlating things that the Hebrew text never does by chasing that English term around the Bible. For example, there is no such thing as “Giant Clans” but “Clans of Repahim.”

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    1. I’d suggest reading “The Unseen Realm” by Bible scholar Dr. Michael Heiser if you’re interested in an incredibly dense study that would say otherwise. And I’m not saying the Bible uses the phrase, “Giant Clans”—I’m using that expression to explain the lines I’m tracing in a way any audience could track with.

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      1. Appreciate the tip about Heiser: while I will not take the time to read novels I have read his peer reviewed academic articles, etc. But just because he is very knowledgeable in this area, qualified in it and also a cool guys does not mean that he is infallible. For example, on his website he stated that Genesis 6:4 says that there were Nephiilm on the Earth before and after the flood and I had to point out to him that such is simply not the case.
        Pre-flood Nephilim, post-flood Rephaim and no relation between them period. Also, I do agree with him that no one in the Bible is taller than say roughly 8 ft. at most. I wonder if you would be willing to review a brand new book I just published precisely on this issue (I have not even announced it yet).

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      2. The idea of the Nephilim before and after the flood comes not just from Genesis 6:4, but Numbers 13:33 as well. I imagine you have a way of settling that so I won’t turn this into a debate, but rather just gather we’re on different pages of interpretation. Good luck with your book though!

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  2. I am curious, you state that the giants found in later portions of the Bible are descendants of the Giants in Gen 6, but according to Gen 7:21-23 every living thing on the face of the earth died, only the life on the ark survived. If this is the case, Where do the descendants come from?

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    1. Great question. Here are a few thoughts to consider, though they’ll get weirder and weirder as I propose them:

      1. Perhaps the flood was local instead of global and some were able to escape its effects. There does seem to be some over-embellishment in the flood story for the sake of making theological points and perhaps the world in its entirety wasn’t actually flooded. You can go deeper into this conversation with Bible Scholar John Walton in his book, “The Lost World of the Flood: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B5RDXT9/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1j

      Or you can watch me and my friends discuss the same topic deeper in our JXN Cloud episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxukF2B4KmY

      2. If the angels could commit the sin of raising up giants through human women, perhaps they were able to do it again. I think that’s a long shot, but it seems like even Paul left space for that possibility when he more or less told women to make sure angels knew they were already taken when they gathered together for worship (1 Corinthians 11:10).

      3. Since the giants were created in Genesis 6 by angels and humans procreating together, maybe they had some kind of strange features that allowed them to survive the conditions. I doubt this, but because they’re not exactly human, I’ll throw the idea out there.

      4. If you were a giant and your angel-parents saw that God was telling Noah to build a boat, you would assume that you need to do something to protect yourselves too, because apparently a flood is coming. Given how long it took to build that boat, who knows if they built their own boats or tried to get out of the area (if the flood was more local) or what they might have done.

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      1. When it comes to Nephilim related issues, whether the flood was global or local is not relevant since regardless, they did not survive it (nor did they return).
        No, Angels could not do it again since the only ones that fell were incarcerated (Jude and 2 Peter 2).
        We are told multiple times that 8 people and some animals survive so I am unsure why we need to argue against such clear teachings just to–for some odd reason–demand that Nephilim survived or returned.
        In short, we are often told about the people who lived in the land of Canaan without reference to Nephilim.
        We are told of people who lived around the land without reference to Nephilim.
        We are told of battles without reference to Nephilim.
        We are even told of hand-to-hand combat without reference to Nephilim.
        The one and only post-flood reference we have to Nephilim comes from unfaithful, disloyal, contradictory, embellishing spies who presented an “evil report” wherein they made five claims about which the whole entire rest of the Bible knows nothing and whom God rebuked (just to point out a few of the problems with that one single verse): why would anyone believe them?

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      2. Based on your other comments, I know you’re already committed to this view, so I’m not going to push back too much. This “bad report” view doesn’t carry much coherence for me in light of all the giant connections in the Bible, post-flood. Even if we came to agree that the “bad report” was actually a false one, it doesn’t stop giant clans from popping up all over the place, as I’ve mentioned in this post.

        Should you be interested, Bible scholar Michael Heiser has covered your argument in a rather lengthy post. https://drmsh.com/want-christmas-another-flawed-nephilim-rebuttal/

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      3. Sorry but butting in but when you think of “the highest mountain” do not think of what you see on Earth today since such mountains are the result of continental drift, tectonic plates moving and colliding, etc. which would have happened as a result of the flood–the fountains of the deep breaking up the Earth into continents, etc.
        Pre-flood the Earth’s surface would have been smoother and the highest mountain we more like a hill.

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  3. I think 2. makes the most sense to me. I have read Walton’s book on The lost world of Genesis 1, but not his flood material. I’ve read Heiser’s stuff, 3 and 4 are hard for me to affirm because the language states everything died…only Noah was left. And I think the local flood theory, takes into account a much smaller population, that would have also been localized? meaning it was a local flood but it still was able to destroy all flesh.

    My sticking point is not that there were giants later in the Bible, but somehow that they were descendants of the Gen 6 line, at least on the human side (which is where my mind went first.) Maybe from the spirit side it’s possible, although we don’t have much if any information about how or if spirits can reproduce. With each other I mean.

    This is a rabbit hole I have not gone all the way down yet, I need to do a lot more reading and thinking, but it’s always a good time to try to connect the dots, and then fill in some conjecture for fun.

    Thanks for your thoughts

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    1. It’s certainly a puzzle. A localized flood could have totally wiped out a local population, you’re right. But I wouldn’t understand how a localized flood (or even a globalized flood) could scientifically rise to the top of the highest mountain. I can’t put that past God, of course, but that statement feels more theologically-pointed than actual.

      In my opinion, a massive flood did happen, but there seems to be some possible over-embellishment trying to get us to understand the theology of starting over with a new attempt at eden and mission in a cleansed/baptized world.

      So could some clever giants who deduced a flood was coming have possibly escaped? Unlikely, but it remains one possibility to consider when following the thread of giants both pre and post flood and tends to be the theory I’m most open to.

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      1. Note that I have referred to the specific Hebrew word “Nephilim” but you are referring to the vague, generic, multi-usage, and undefined English word “giant” which makes me wonder if you are aware when your English Bible is rendering “Nephilim” versus rendering “Rephaim.”
        If you believe that all of the various peoples in Canaan were of great stature, that the land devours its inhabitants, that there were post-flood Nephilim, that they were very tall, and that Anakim were related to them then you are forced to base all of those view upon one single verse that is within an evil report stated by men whom God rebuked (and those are just some of the problems with their assertions).
        Now, when you speak of “all the giant connections in the Bible, post-flood” please understand that it has nothing to do with Nephilim, that is about Rephaim and their clans.
        Should you be interested, I wrote a rebuttal to Heiser article: https://www.academia.edu/44935973/Rebuttal_to_Dr_Michael_Heiser_s_All_I_Want_for_Christmas_is_Another_Flawed_Nephilim_Rebuttal_

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  4. While this study is interesting as a primer, their is so much more to learn about as it pertains to this subject (namely the study of giants). Not only is there many documented proofs of giant bones being found throughout the world and especially in the U.S.. Author L.A. Marzulli has written several very interesting and historically accurate details of giant bones being found right here in North America. He points out that many of the bones found were of enormous proportion (hence the bones found were not 6’3 or even 6’6 inch tall men and women, but rather 7, 8, 9 and even 14 feet tall actual real human bones found in various states in the early part of the 17-19th centuries. Sadly many of these bones were destroyed by the Smithsonian Institute ( a fact which the Smithsonian would later admit to) because it is proposed that the theories at the time and still very much today, did not fit with the generally accepted view of the time, ie Darwinism and the “theory” of evolution. The study of such historical facts, and yes they are facts not just theories (the finding of the bones) along with diligent study of the bible and other non traditional books of Enoch really begin to paint a picture of a universe really untapped fully by humans. I mean the whole study of extraterrestial beings (which has been described as evil in several places in the Bible, Books of Enoch, and other places) coming from another dimension and then impregnating women to form Giant beings sounds so surreal, but indeed it is real! The historical veracity of such Biblical and non Biblical texts with descriptions of Giants (it is important to note when we state Giants that were are talking about men and women of enourmous stature..with documented proof across the world of their bones being found and stories and accounts of their actions and demeanor) it really brings to light other texts such as the books of Enoch. These books which describe how these Giant beings came into existence and their evil intentions definitely are evident in the times of Jesus as determined by the Qumran finds, showing the Bibles age as a historical written document and oral tradition about such beings (GIANTS) and their origins and place within our world, the purpose of the flood and the plan of Satan and his minions to reak havoc again on the world. The title nephilim or fallen ones means (descended on to our realm of existence from their habitation).

    If you research the books below

    Various Tribes of Giants:
    Emim – The fearful ones
    Rephaim – The dead ones
    Anakim – The long necked ones
    Zamzumim-

    Fortson, Dante. Taboo Topics In The Bible: Nephilim Giants
    Marzulli, L.A.. Nefilim Hybrids
    Marzulli, L.A.. On the trail of the Nephilim Vol. 1, 2
    Zimmerman, Fritz. The Encyclopedia of Ancient Giants in North America
    The Books of Enoch

    Bible Verses: A few

    Duet. 2:20, Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20;Numbers 13:32–33;Ezekiel 32:17–32

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    1. Friend, I would recommend not speaking of “giants” since that is a vague, generic, subjective, multi-usage, and undefined term. One of the problems is that it can lead to referring to Nephilim and to Rephaim and to something unspecific about subjectively unusual height—and to referring to all of these without telling us what you mean by “giants” at any given time.

      See, when you cite “Duet. 2:20, Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20;Numbers 13:32–33;Ezekiel 32:17–32” you are mixing these up and are also directing us to an “evil report” by men whom God rebukes (Num 13:32-33) so why would you believe them and then try to get us to believe them? And I can only imagine that you cited Ezekiel 32:17–32 because you are reading something into a word’s root or something.

      So, if your focus is “proofs of giant bones” then you are not discussing Nephilim or Rephaim but are referring to unusual height. Now, “giant bones” of what, of whom? I noticed you specified, “14 feet tall actual real human bones” so how do you know, where are they, etc.? FYI: just saying “many of these bones were destroyed by the Smithsonian Institute” is claiming that lack of evidence is evidence. Also, what makes you think that it is “a fact which the Smithsonian would later admit to”?

      Marzulli and Fortson are among the least reliable people out there making a living off of weaving tall tales so be careful as they, like you, go on and on and on about “giants” whilst being very vague and committing category errors.

      1 Enoch/Ethiopic Enoch was written MILLENNIA after the Torah, contradicts the Bible, and has Nephilim being MILES tall which makes for a great folkloric tall tale but not good reality.

      As for “Biblical…descriptions of Giants…of enourmous stature” you will have to provide me citations, please.

      When you list “Various Tribes of Giants” you seem to not realize that Emim, Anakim, and Zamzumim are all subgroups of Rephaim and the only contextual thing we are told about them is that some of them were subjectively “tall” compared to the average Israelite male who was 5.0-5.3 ft. in those days.

      I recommend by book “Nephilim and Giants
      as per Pop-Researchers” which is subtitled, “A Comprehensive Consideration of the claims of I.D.E. Thomas, Chuck Missler, Dante Fortson, Derek Gilbert, Brian Godawa, Patrick Heron, Thomas Horn, Ken Johnson, L.A. Marzulli, Josh Peck, CK Quarterman, Steve Quayle, Rob Skiba, Gary Wayne, Jim Wilhelmsen, et al.”

      I realize that you are reading very exciting stuff but if you research it, you will find it is mostly sci-fi.

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      1. See, when you cite “Duet. 2:20, Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20;Numbers 13:32–33;Ezekiel 32:17–32” you are mixing these up and are also directing us to an “evil report” by men whom God rebukes (Num 13:32-33) so why would you believe them and then try to get us to believe them? And I can only imagine that you cited Ezekiel 32:17–32 because you are reading something into a word’s root or something.

        To begin. Im not sure what you state when you say: “mixing them up and directing you to a evil report by men whom God rebukes” ? ….. Why would I believe them? I read and write Hebrew fluently both modern and Biblical so I assure I am not mixing anything up Brother. I never read anything into anyone else’s words. The citation of references that I listed all show pictures and numerous newspaper articles of Giant bone finds all across America, all of which the Smithsonian admitted to destroying. These are facts brother, not supposition or theories (something the Smithsonian admitted to). In regards to your comments on the Biblical verses quoted I only go as far as to use outside resources to show a point, namely that in regards to the nefilim and their program the Bible doesnt state what happened to them fully so one is left to look at external resources of the time or other accounts (something a real scholar would recognize and not discount as suppossed theory). We are talking historical documented facts of the Giant bone finds and cross breeded species but since I know you havent read my references before you made your comment I wont respond to it,
        It is interesting to note that the Bible does not go very much in depth as the total picture of who these beings were or are but outside scriptural resources do. Hence when coupled with the Biblical report we gain a more complete view of their role in creation. There is really no need to try and discount my point because I did not attempt to prove anything outside of the obvious, namely that Giant human bones have been found in various places throughout the world, and also that numerous beings of genetic cross fertilization have been shown to be found all over the world as is proven in the books I named as my resources. That these things have been discussed in the Bible and in the books of Enoch and other sources, sources which are creditable and historically proven. Sci-Fi not really, what is Sci-Fi, have you read them? Have you researched this subject diligently? It does not sound like it and I look forward to our continued discussion to show you the error of your ways. I would not take your recommendation as not speaking on something which I have researched diligently.

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      2. I see. Then since you read Hebrew fluently both modern and Biblical then ignore the English word “giants” and note that in Duet. 2:20, Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20 you are reading about Rephaim but in Numbers 13:32–33 you are reading about Nephilim (and Anakim).

        Thus, you are “mixing them” by calling all of them “giants” and are directing us to an evil report by men whom God rebukes.

        I don’t doubt that there are “newspaper articles of Giant bone” but 1) fakenews is not new, 2) newspaper reports are what they are: so and so said so and so (usually with no follow up), 3) saying “Giant bones” does not answer what I asked which was how you know what they are (dinosaur, whale, pachyderm, human, etc.). I published an entire chapter of such newspaper reports in my book “Nephilim and Giants: Believe It or Not! Ancient and Neo-Theo-Sci-Fi Tall Tales.”
        So, when you refer to “the obvious, namely that Giant human bones” my questions are which ones and how do you know they are “human”?

        You previously wrote, “MANY of these bones were destroyed by the Smithsonian Institute,” now you say “ALL of which the Smithsonian admitted to destroying…something the Smithsonian admitted to” but I had asked, “what makes you think that it is ‘a fact which the Smithsonian would later admit to’? so just repeating it and being more emphatic does not answer that question.

        You say “the Bible doesnt state what happened to” Nephilim but they lived pre-flood and eight people and some animals survived the flood so, they did not (not is there any indication that they returned).

        The only external resource you have for that is Jubilees (which dates to MILLENNIA after the Torah) and only have then living to the time of Noah’s grandsons).

        You say you know I have not read your references but you have no idea so you are just playing mind reader: you should have noticed Marzulli’s and Forton’s names in the subtitle of my book and I have read all of the biblical citations.

        I have written 7-9 books (depends how you count them) about Nephilim and “giants” so am very, very well aware of what everyone is saying: from scholars to popularizers to bloggers to people posting comments on websites.

        The problem with “outside scriptural resources do” is that you are directing us to folkloric tall tales that contradict the Bible.
        Thus, when you refer to “the books of Enoch” among those that “are creditable and historically proven” you seem to have bought into the neo-theo-sci-fi.

        As for whether I have read them, please see my book “The Apocryphal Nephilim and Giants” and “I Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch.”

        I know it would be convenient to just pretend that I am not as well informed as you when I ask you questions you cannot answer but such is not the case.

        For me, this is just about getting at the truth and being careful about how we do so.

        So when you ask “Have you researched this subject diligently? It does not sound like it” that is no way to attempt to get away from the fact that you are now realizing that just accepting what those guys tell you is not working and there are questions you cannot answer.

        Shalom!!!

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      3. Ken, you have made your interpretation clear on my post many times. I’m unsure why you feel the need to comment on every new person who drops by my blog, but I’d appreciate it if you gave them some space.

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      4. You’re welcome to keep chatting, but I don’t think you need to target every comment you disagree with that comes in on this post. I’d like to keep conversations respectful in that way.

        I know you disagree with my view and that’s totally fine. What you believe based on the research you’ve done is completely up to your discretion—just as it is for those of us who have come to find a different interpretation through our own research.

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      5. Appreciate the elucidation. Yet, this is not just about subjectivism, “different interpretation” since when someone is posting to the WORLD WIDE web, via your site, half baked conspiracy theories and recommending people who demonstrably turn God’s word into sci-fi then some, at some time, somewhere, somehow needs to say enough is enough. There are reasons why Nephilology is a cesspool of misinformation and disinformation and people are willing to take non-paranormal views of, say Gen 6, just to not be associated with the guys who literally make a living by spinning wild tall tales.

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