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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nephilim and Other Giants like Og and Goliath in Canaan

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

"The Nephilim (Giants) were on the earth in those days---and also afterward when the sons of the rulers would consort with the daughters of man, who would bear to them.  They were the mighty who, from old, were men of devastation. (Genesis 6: 4)  This was before the flood and information about Noah.

During the Exodus led by Moses:  "There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of the giant from among the Nephilim;  we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes!"(Numbers  13:33)  In Num. xiii. 33 this name is used of the pre-Israelitish population of Palestine.  This is when the Children of Israel sent spies into Canaan and they had reported that the people there were powerful, the cities were fortified and very great and they saw the offspring of the giant."  The spies were a leader from each of the 12 tribes.  They gave a terrible report about the land saying that the people there were too strong for them and that the land through which we have passed to spy out is a land that devours its inhabitants!  All the people which we saw in it were huge!  Caleb argued with them and said,"We shall surely ascend and conquer it, for we can surely do it!  Joshua also spoke that the land that we passed through--is very good!  If G-d desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.  But they should not argue with G-d.  You should not fear the people of the land, for they are our bread.  Their protection has departed from them:  G-d is with us.  Do not fear them!"

12 sons of Jacob      Leader of tribe acting as spy
Reuben:                      Shammua, son of Zaccur
Simeon;                      Shaphat, son of Hori
Judah:                       Caleb, son of Jephunneh
Issachar:                     Yigal, son of Joseph
Ephraim:                   Hoshea, son of Nun  Hoshea was called Joshua by Moses
Benjamin:                    Palti, son of Raphu
Zebulun:                      Gaddiel, son of Sodi
Joseph for Manasseh:  Gaddi, son of Susi
Dan:                            Ammiel, son of Gemalli
Asher:                         Sethur, son of Michael
Naphtali:                     Nahbi, son of Vophsi
Gad:                           Geuel, son of Machi

So they went into Canaan and fought to be there.  "At that time, Joshua came and cut down the Anakim (a family of giants that lived in the Hebron area and terrified all their opponents)   from the mountain, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all of Mount Israel:  Joshua destroyed them with their cities.  No Anakim were left in the land of the Children of Israel;  however, in Gaza, Gatha and Ashdod they remained.  thus, Joshua took the entire land, according to all that G-d had spoken to Moses. Joshua gave it to Israel as a heritage, according to their divisions, to their tribes.  The land then rested from war.  (Joshua 11:21).  
Og, King of Bashan, was said to be a giant and the last of the Rephaim. (Deut 3:11). The Rephaim were an ancient people living in Transjordania in the time of Abraham (Gen. 14:5).  Some of them apparently settled near Jerusalem in the Valley of Rephaim.  Og was the Amorite king of the land of Rephaim in Bashan and Gilead, called the king of Bashan.  He was noted for his stature and physique.  He attempted to interrupt the march of the Israelites but was defeated (Num 21:33-35)  The Land of Og was a strongly fortified territory throughout the Middle and late Bronze Ages.
    "We turned and ascended by way of the Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, went out toward us, he and his entire people, for war at Edrei.
    G-d said, "Do not fear him, for in your hand have I given him and his entire people and his land, and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorite, who dwells in Heshbon.  ...and we smote him until no survivor was left of him.  .....
For only Og, king of the Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim---behold, his bed was an iron bed...9 cubits was its length and 4 cubits its width, by the cubit of that man....and the entire Bashan, the kingdom of Og, did I give to half the tribe of Manasseh, the entire region of the Argov of the entire Bashan, that is called the land of Rephaim.  The length could have been anywhere from 13 1/2 feet long to 15 3/4 feet long, twice the length of a normal man of today, and the width could have been  6 feet to 7 feet wide.  It must have been the first king sized bed!
   For we have heard how G-d dried up the waters of the Sea of Reeds for you.....and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were across the Jordan--to Sihon and to Og--whom you utterly destroyed.  we heard and our hearts melted---no spirit remained in any man because of you---(Joshua 2:10).
    These are the kings of the land whom the Children of Israel smote....and the boundary of Og, king of Bashan, who was a remnant of the giants who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei and who reigned in Mount Hermon and Salcah, and in all of Bashan up to the border of the  Geshurite and the Maacathite and half of the Gilead( up to) the border of Sihon, king of Heshbon.  (Joshua 12:4)
    A Hivvite came to Moses in peace, as they had heard of the Exodus.  "They had heard all that He did to the 2 Amorite kings that were on the (other) side of the Jordan, to Sihon, king of the Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, who was in Ashtaroth." (Joshua 9:10).

Goliath was a Philistine giant that young David killed with a slingshot to the forehead.  He was their champion.  Goliath of Gath was 6 cubits in height and one span, meaning that he was 12 to 13 feet tall.  Here, a cubit was said to be just under 2 feet and a span was a half a cubit.  (I Samuel 17-4).  "Goliath of Gath, the most famous of the ancient giants, was around 12 feet tall. To get some perspective on his size, try to imagine him standing in your living room. If he tried to stand up in an ordinary home, his bronze helmet would punch through your ceiling. From the chest up, he would be in your attic."     

He had a copper helmet on his head and was wearing armor of mail;  the weight of the armor was 5,000 copper shekels.  He had a copper shield on his legs and a copper neck-guard between his shoulders.  The shaft of his spear was like a  weavers' beam and the blade of his spear weighed 600 iron shekels.  The shield-bearer walked before him.  He stood and called out to the battalions of Israel and said to them,
     "Why are you going forth to wage war?  Am I not  the Philistine, while you are the servants of Saul?  Choose yourselves a man and let him come down to me!  If he can fight me and kill me, we will be slaves to you;  and if I defeat him and kill him, you will be slaves to us and serve us. (I Samuel 17-8)
 David was the son of a certain Ephrathite man from Bethlehem in Judah; his name was Jesse and he had 8 sons.  .....David was the youngest.  (I Samuel 17-12)  David stretched his hand into the sack.  He took a stone from there and slung it, and struck the Philistine in the forehead.  The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell upon his face, upon the ground.  Thus David overpowered the Philistine with the slingshot and stone, he smote the Philistine and killed him;  there was no sword in David's hand....and he cut off his head with it.  (I Samuel 17:49).  

A cubit is an ancient unit of length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.  In some ancient cultures it was 21 inches.  The average length today is 18 inches or 45.72 centimeters.  This tells me that in ancient days, it was not uncommon to find very tall people.  Being our Children of Israel (Israelites) had been held in bondage as slaves for at least 400 years, coming to Egypt from a lack of food in the first place, most likely they were very short in stature when they set out on the Exodus with Moses, who would have had his full natural height.  My great aunt and uncle were about 4'6" tall, so short I almost thought they were midgets, but they had come from Poland in the early 1900s and no doubt had not had the nourishment we had had in the USA.  Their 2 daughters were normally tall, being about 5'4" and 5'7".  Their sisters, my paternal grandmother among them, were all extremely short people, showing the problem was throughout the family.  They all produced normal people in height.  Therefore, normally tall people in Canaan would have seemed like giants to them.  The measurement of the bed is proof of actual height.

Gibborim are listed as some sort of giant.  Gibborim  are not listed in my Tanakh in the index.  Therefore they are giants in some other writings, but not the bible.  In the next paragraph, Nephilim are mentioned. in
Genesis 6: 4)  but not Gibborim.

Genesis 6:1–2 relates that the "sons of gods," i.e., divine or angelic beings, took mortal wives; verse 4 continues, "It was then, and later too, that the Nephilim appeared [lit., were] on earth–when the divine beings cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes [Heb. gibborim] of old, the men of renown." This could mean that the Nephilim were contemporaneous, but not identical, with the offspring of divine beings and earthly women, who were called gibborim (so, e.g., Morgenstern, in HUCA 14 (1939), 85ff.). The above translation, however, follows an ancient tradition in equating the Nephilim and the gibborim as offspring of the union of *angels and mortals.
In apocryphal writings of the Second Temple period this fragmentary narrative was elaborated and reinterpreted. The angels were then depicted as rebels against God: lured by the charms of women, they "fell" (Heb, nfl. נפל), defiled their heavenly purity, and introduced all manner of sinfulness to earth. Their giant offspring were wicked and violent; the Flood was occasioned by their sinfulness. (None of these ideas is in the biblical text.) Because of their evil nature, God decreed that the Nephilim should massacre one another, although according to another view most of them perished in the Flood." (Jewish Virtual Library). 

 Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. (II Samuel 21:16)  This was when the Philistines again made war with Israel.  David and his servanats went down and fought with the Philistines, and David became faints.  Ishbi Benob, who was one of the children of the giant, and whose spear weighed 3,00 copper weights and who was girded with a new sword, declared that he would strike down David.  Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to his aid and he struck the Philistine, killing him.  

Saph was one of the children of the giant.  It happened after this that there was another war with the Philistines in Gob.  It was then that Sibbecai, the Hushathite struck down Saph, .  

The brother of Goliath of Gath in another war with the Philistines in Gob and we see Elhanan, son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite, struck down the brother of Goliath of Gath who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's beam.  "Gath was also the home city of Goliath and his brothers, as well as of Itai and his 600 soldiers who aided David in his exile from Absalom. David, while running from Saul, escaped to Gath, and served under its king Achish."

Another son of the giant: and in another war in Gath, there was a man of huge dimensions,  whose fingers and toes were 6 each, 24 in number, he too, was born to the giant.  He ridiculed Israel, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shimea, struck him down.  

These 4 were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.  

(Isaiah 13: 1-8) tells about a prophecy about Babylonia and its downfall and he speaks of a sound in the mountains like that of an enormous people, the crescendo of the kingdoms of gathering nations....He is not talking about giants as some have misunderstood in their translation.  I wonder if IS has been hearing such things with the coalition of  Jordanian and American jets flying over them trying to stop their successes. The word translated as enormous must mean many.  

Update: 3:37pm We know Neanderthals lived in what is now Israel.  See reference below.  But if giants were here, they could not have been Neanderthals as they were not that tall.  

Do we have giants today?  "A Giant is Spotted At Kim Jong’s Funeral Procession in North Korea." "It could have been Ri "Michael" Myung Hun -- North Korea's national basketball star -"  No wonder he is interested in basketball.   " Players in the National Basketball Association since the 1985–86 season facts:  The NBA peaked in height during the 1986–87 season, when the average height was 6 feet 7.62 inches (2.0223 m)..  In 2002-03 the average height was 6' 7.40".   In 2012, Hasheem Thabeet played for the Blazers and he was 7'3" tall or 2.21 m.   In 1997-98 Priest Lauderdate  of the Denver Nuggets was 7'4" tall.  However, New Jersey Nets in 1998 to 2000 had 7'7" Gheorghe Muresan on their team who was the tallest listed.  
7 foot 7 inches Gheorghe Muresan 

The tallest man recorded was Robert Wadlow born in 1918 in Alton, Illinois who was 8'11.1" tall.  A woman, Ella Ewing, was 8'4" and was born in 1872 in Missouri, USA and died in 1913.  
I used to be 5'4".  With age, I have shrunk to barely 5'2".  It happens.  I got together with an old beau several years ago who had been the tallest I had dated who was at least 6'2" and when I saw him from my vantage height of 2 less inches, I wondered how in the heck he had grown so tall.  I had to tip my head back to see his face!  He had definitely not shrunk.  Yes, we Jews have managed to have our men grow to nice heights today.  No longer are we so short and think that the world is full of giants.

Tanakh (Old Testament) Stone Edition, ArtScroll Sseries from Mesorah Heritage Foundation,_weight,_age_and_playing_experience
Update: 8/16/15

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