Who Are the Giants in Scripture?

(This article first appeared as a five-part blog by Dr. Stephen Pidgeon, March 5-11, 2015.)

It is time to crack the nut, so to speak.  We begin with a passage in Chanok:

Chanok (Enoch) 8:1-15

It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. 2 And when the Watchers, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamored of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves women from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.

This verse comports with an initial reference in Bere’shiyth:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 6:1-4

AND it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of ELOHIYM saw את eth-the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them women of all which they chose. 3 And YAHUAH said, My RUACH shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. 4 There were Nephiliym in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of ELOHIYM came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became warriors and tyrants which were of ancient times, men of infamy.

Returning to our reference in Chanok, we see a roster of those Watchers (whose names will go unmentioned here), and further details about what happens. 

Chanok (Enoch) 8:10-15

Then they took women, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees. 11 And the women conceiving brought forth giants, and they bore to them three races first, the great giantsThe giants brought forth the Nephiliym, and the Nephiliym brought forth the Elioud. And they existed, increasing in power according to their greatness. 12 Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all the labour of men; until it became impossible to feed them; 13 When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; 14 And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat one another’s flesh and to drink their blood. 15 Then the earth reproved the unrighteous.

Here, we see that the first generation of offspring from the cohabitation of the Watchers and women on earth, were the great giants.  These were the progenitors of the Nephiliym, who in turn were the progenitors of the Elioud.  Is there another reference within scripture as to the name of the great giants?  Actually, there are many.

Here are a few verses (although this first verse is going to be a challenge) to consider:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 14:1-7

AND it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shin`ar, Aryok king of Ellacar, Kedor-la`omer king of Eylam, and Tid`al king of Nations; 2 That these made war with את eth-Bera king of Cedom, and with את  eth-Birsha king of Amorah, Shin’av king of Admah, and Shem’eber king of Tsevo’iym, and the king of Bela, which is Tso`ar. 3 All these were joined together in the valley of Siddiym, which is the Salt Sea. 4 Twelve years they served את eth-Kedorla`omer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 And in the fourteenth year came Kedorla`omer, and the kings that were with him, and smote את eth-the Repha’iym in Ashteroth Qarnayim, and את eth-the Zuziym in Cham, and את eth-the Eymiym in Shaveh Qiryathayim, 6 And את eth-the Choriym in their Mount Se`iyr, unto Eyl Pa’ran,  which is by the wilderness. 7 And they returned, and came to Eyn Mishpat, which is Qadesh, and smote את eth-all the country of the Amaleqiym, and also את eth-the Emoriym, that dwelt in Chatstson Tamar. 

We have three groups to consider in this passage, which shall return again in later witness, and these are: the Repha’iym (Anaqiym), the Zuziym (Zamzummiym), and the Eymiym.  All of these were accounted as giants.

Devariym (Deuteronomy) 2:10-11

The Eymiym dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anaqiym; 11 Which also were accounted Repha’iym, as the Anaqiym; but the Mo’aviym call them Eymiym.


Devariym (Deuteronomy) 2:19-21

And when you come nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give you of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession. 20 (That also was accounted a land of Repha’iym: Repha’iym dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammoniym call them Zam-zummiym; 21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anaqiym; but YAHUAH destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:


Devariym (Deuteronomy) 3:11-13

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of Repha’iym; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. 12 And את eth-this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aro`er, which is by the river Arnon, and half Mount Gil`ad, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Re’uveniym and to the Gadiym. 13 And the rest of Gil`ad, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Menashsheh; all the region of Argov, with all Bashan, which was called the land of Repha’iym.

At this point, we should be able to determine that in the first instance, the children of the Watchers were called Repha’iym, and in their tribal regions, they were known as Anaqiym, Zamzummiym (Zuziym), and Eymiym.

The giants referred to in Bere’shiyth, and described with more particularity in Chanok, Yovheliym, and referenced in Kepha Sheniy and Yahudah, are those giants that were present before the flood, in the antediluvian period.

Yovheliym 7:20-25

And in the twenty eighth jubilee Noach began to enjoin upon his son’s sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and un-cleanness and all iniquity.

Here we see that the Torah was understood by Noach well before it was given to Mosheh.  This understanding, whether written or oral, was carried forward by the sons of Noach and their sons, or so it says in this passage.

Yovheliym 7:21-25

21 For owing to these three things came the flood upon the earth, namely, owing to the fornication wherein the Watchers against the Torah of their ordinances went a whoring after the daughters of men, and took themselves women of all which they chose: and they made the beginning of uncleanness. 22 And they begat sons the Nephiliym, and they were all unlike, and they devoured one another: and the Giants slew the Nephiyl, and the Nephiyl slew the Elyo, and the Elyo mankind, and one man another. 23 And everyone sold himself to work iniquity and to shed much blood, and the earth was filled with iniquity. 24 And after this they sinned against the beasts and birds, and all that moves and walks on the earth: and much blood was shed on the earth, and every imagination and desire of men imagined vanity and evil continually. 25 And YAHUAH destroyed everything from off the face of the earth; because of the wickedness of their deeds, and because of the blood which they had shed in the midst of the earth he destroyed everything.


Shemu’el Sheniy 21:15-22

Moreover the Pelishtiym had yet war again with תא eth-Yisra’el; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against תא eth-the Pelishtiym: and David waxed faint. 16 And Yishvu VeNov, which was of the sons of the Repha’iy, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred sheqels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain תא eth-David. 17 But Aviyshai the son of Tseruyah helped him, and smote תא eth-the Pelishtiy, and killed him. Then the men of David swore unto him, saying, You shall go no more out with us to battle, that you quench not תא eth-the light of Yisra’el. 18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Pelishtiym at Gov: then Cibbekay  the Chushathiy  slew תא eth-Caph,  which was of the sons of the Repha’iy. 19 And there was again a battle in Gov with the Pelishtiym, where Elchanan the son of Ya`arey Oregiym, a Beyt Hal-Lachmiy, slew תא eth the brother of Golyath the Gittiy, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the Repha’iy. 21 And when he defied תא eth-Yisra’el, Yahu-nathan the son of Shim`iy the brother of David slew him. 22 תא eth-These four were born to the Repha’iy in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

There were four Repha’iym found in this passage: Yishvu VeNov, Caph, the brother of Golyath, and the man with great stature.  Rather than discuss the size of these giants in terms of cubits, here we get descriptions.  Yishvu VeNov carried a spear that weighed 300 hundred sheqels of brass. The brother of Golyath carried a spear that was like a weaver’s beam.  In short, they are described as giants, and conspicuously, one of them had 12 fingers and 12 twos.

Ezra, in his first book of Chronicles, relates the same story:

Divrei Hayamiym Rishon 20:4-8

And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Pelishtiym; at which time Cibbekay the Chushathiy slew תא eth-Cippay, that was of the children of the Repha’iy: and they were subdued. 5 And there was war again with תא eth-the Pelishtiym; and Elchanan the son of Ya’iyr slew תא eth-Lachmiy  the brother of Golyath the Gittiy, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam. 6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the Repha’iy. 7 But when he defied תא eth-Yisra’el, Yahunathan the son of Shim`a David’s brother slew him. 8 These were born unto the Repha’iy in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

We discover that the brother of Golyath is named Lachmiy, and the man of great stature is again identified that he had six fingers on either hand, and six toes on either foot.  Here, therefore, is the second witness.

One of the things that has become more evident within the confines of the Cepher, is the discussion of the Nephiliym, a word which appears in the Hebrew many times in the early books of Moshe (Moses) and Yahusha (Joshua).

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 6:4

There were Nephiliym in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of ELOHIYM came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became warriors and tyrants which were of ancient times, men of infamy.

A reference to Nephiliym is also found in Bemidbar (Numbers) 13:33; Devariym (Deuteronomy) 2:11; Devariym 2:20; Devariym 3:11; Devariym 3:13; Yahusha (Joshua) 13:12; Yahusha 15:8; Yahusha 17:15; and Yahusha 18:16. In all of these instances, the discussion concerns giants.

One would have to conclude, having read these texts, that the scriptures – even within the confines of the 39 book Tanakh, or the redacted modern 66 book Bible – make it clear that there were giants on the earth in those days.

As we have discussed previously, the book of Chanok is illustrative that in fact there was a hierarchy of descent from the Watchers. The fallen watchers begat giants – or in the Hebrew, Rapha’iym, who begat Nepheliym, who begat Eliud.

Now let us consider this word Rapha’iym a bit more, because what is unveils is particularly onerous.

We begin with Chanok (Enoch) 10:6-15

Again YAHUAH said to Rapha’el, Bind Aza’zel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Duda’el, cast him in there. 7 Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness; 8 There shall he remain forever; cover his face, that he may not see the light. 9 And in the great Day of Judgment let him be cast into the fire. 10 Restore the earth, which the angels have corrupted; and announce life to it, that I may revive it. 11 All the sons of men shall not perish in consequence of every secret, by which the Watchers have destroyed, and which they have taught, their offspring. 12 All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Aza’zel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime. 13 To Gavriy’el also YAHUAH said, Go to the bastards, to the reprobates, to the children of fornication; and destroy the children of fornication, the offspring of the Watchers, from among men; bring them forth, and excite them one against another. Let them perish by mutual slaughter; for length of days shall not be theirs. 14 They shall all entreat you, but their fathers shall not obtain their wishes respecting them; for they shall hope for eternal life, and that they may live, each of them, five hundred years. 15 To Miyka’el likewise YAHUAH said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the Day of Judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last forever, be completed.

Remember now that the children of the fallen Watchers (Samyaza and the others) are in the first generation called Rapha’iym. According to this scripture, these souls (nefeshiym) shall be bound for seventy generations underneath the earth – until the Day of Judgment and of the consummation of things.

Are there other scriptural references to this concept? There sure are.

Iyov (Job) 26:5

Dead things (in the Hebrew - Rapha’iym) are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

Let’s begin here.  The English translators elected to construe the term Rapha’iym (Strong’s No. 7496) as dead things here (and in seven other places – see below) rather than as giants (Rapha’iym - Strong’s No. 7497) as found in 24 other places throughout the text: Bere’shiyth (Gen.) 14:5; Bere’shiyth (Gen.) 15:20; Devariym (Deut.) 2:11; Devariym (Deut.) 2:20; Devariym (Deut.) 3:11; Devariym (Deut.) 3:13; Yahusha (Joshua) 1812:4; Yahusha (Joshua) 1813:12; Yahusha (Joshua) 1815:8; Yahusha (Joshua) 1817:15; Yahusha (Joshua) 18:16; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 5:18; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 5:22; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 21:16; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 21:18; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 21:20; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 21:22; Shem.Shen (2Sa) 23:13; Dev.Hay.Rish. (1Ch) 11:15; Dev.Hay.Rish. (1Ch) 14:9; Dev.Hay.Rish. (1Ch) 20:4; Dev.Hay.Rish. (1Ch)  20:6; Dev.Hay.Rish. (1Ch) 20:8; Yesha’yahu (Isa) 17:5.  Yet, the words in 7496 and 7497 are identical in the Hebrew.

Consider this passage reading as follows: Rapha’iym are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

If we assume that the foundations for this use is established in the above-cited scriptural passages and that they reference to the same thing – that is, the first generation of offspring between the fallen Watchers and women on earth were the giants which in the Hebrew are Repha’iym, then we can conclude that what was is formed under the waters in the reference in Iyov (Job) are giants

Consider that is in in Iyov (Job) that we get the first reference to Leviathan (41:1) Can you draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which you let down?  And Leviathan is further defined in Tehilliym 74:14 and 104:26, and with a clear delineation in Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 27:1 In that day YAHUAH with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. Let us then conclude that Repha’iym is in fact the better choice for this description in Iyov.

As referenced previously, there are eight times when the word Repha’iym is not interpreted as giants in the preexisting English translations, Strong’s giving a second number to an identical Hebrew word to accommodate the difference. Let’s take a look at some of the other examples, beyond the use in Iyov (Job).

Tehilliym (Psalm) 88:10

Will you show wonders to the dead (here, the Hebrew word is moot)? Shall the dead (in the Hebrew, Rapha’iym) arise and praise you? Selah.

In the English, we have the word dead here twice, yet in the Hebrew, they are two different words.  How is this so? In the first instance, we have the Hebrew word moot.  We use this term quite often in the law, because mootness is a legal doctrine, which means that there is no possible remedy, and that the argument is, therefore, no longer viable.  Of course, this doctrine has at its root the Hebrew word moot, which means dead.

But David is asking a different question here.  He is not asking whether the dead shall rise and praise, but rather, shall the Rapha’iym rise and praise.  Remember, Chanok tells us that the Rapha’iym have been cast in She’ol to await the great Day of Judgment, and have no possibility of eternal life.  Will they ever praise YAH?  This is the point David is making, which, as you can see, has a different meaning that the meaning found by using the word dead twice. 

Mishlei (Proverbs) 2:10-19

10 When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul; 11 Discretion shall guard you, understanding shall keep you: 12 To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaks froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, and they are froward in their paths: 16 To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flatters with her words; 17 Which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets את eth-the covenant of her ELOHIYM. 18 For her house inclines unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

When we look a little closer at verse 18, we discover that her house inclines unto death (moot), and paths unto the dead (Repha’iym).

Again, we have reference to death expressed at the term moot, and Rapha’iym translated as the term dead.  But when this passage read that her house inclines unto death and paths unto the Rapah’iym, we find something a bit different. 

It seems we have a bit of a discussion on this from Sha’ul (Paul).  For those of you who adhere to Paul as your rabbi, this is a great writing worthy of all discussion:

Qorintiym Rishon (1 Corinthians) 11:1

BE ye followers of me, even as I also am of HAMASHIACH.

There you go.  The edict is clear.  Follow Paul.

Qorintiym Rishon (1 Corinthians) 11:2

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Wait a minute.  What ordinances is he talking about?  Didn’t all of those ordinances get nailed to the cross?  If you are not under the law, are you also not under the ordinances?  Or is there a distinction? 

Qorintiym Rishon (1 Corinthians) 11:3-9

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is HAMASHIACH; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of HAMASHIACH is YAHUAH. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonours his head. 5 But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of ELOHIYM: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

Is this the edict, or not?  Does this apply to the whole of the church, or can we dispose of it as out of context?  I have read the elaborate justifications from head to toe about this passage, trying to contextualize it completely away – but if you do so, then you contextualize all of Sha’ul in the same fashion; that is, his writings to the Galatians only applied to the Galatians, his writing to the Romans only applied to the Romans and so forth.  If Paul is your Messiah, then let the heads of the uncovered women be shorn.  I didn’t write it: that is what appears in explicit language above. 

It is funny that according to this text, man is the image of ELOHIYM, but woman is the image of the man.  How does this comport with the following?

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:27

So ELOHIYM created את eth-man in his own image, in the image of ELOHIYM created he him; male and female created he them.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 5:1-2

THIS is the cepher of the generations of Adam. In the day that ELOHIYM created man, in the likeness of ELOHIYM made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called את eth-their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Moshe tells us that both male and female are created in the image of ELOHIM, but Sha’ul (Paul) tells us something different, does he not?  But let us continue with our review of the Rapha’iym, shall we?  Reconsider the words of Shalomah (Solomon) using the word Rapha’iym where it appears, rather than the word dead:

. . . the strange woman, even from the stranger which flatters with her words; 17 Which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets את eth-the covenant of her ELOHIYM. 18 For her house inclines unto death, and her paths unto the Rapha’iym. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

Remember that the Rapha’iym have been cast into She’ol and, according to Iyov, the depths of the sea, where they await the Day of Judgment, and that the reason they were cast down was because they were the offspring of the fallen Watchers and the women who the watchers had found to be fair.  Paul’s admonition about covering the head makes a direct reference to this problem:

Qorintiym Rishon (1 Corinthians) 11:10-15

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in YAHUAH. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of YAHUAH. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto YAHUAH uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Again, we are talking about the last eight passages of scripture where the traditional translations have used the word dead in place of the Hebrew word Repha’iym.  A few passages have been discussed already, and a few remain:

Mishlei (Proverbs) 9:13-18

A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knows nothing. 14 For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wants understanding, she says to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knows not that the (dead) Rapha’iym are there; and that her guests are in the depths of She’ol.

As we have explored this subject now for several days, it becomes more and more apparent that this story of the fallen Watchers having relations with women to bring forth in the first generation Rapha’iym is both well-known among the writers of the Tanakh, and easily understood among the talmidiym of scripture. 

The understanding in this proverb is that the lure of the foolish woman advertising stolen waters and bread eaten in secret is the same as the lust which brought forth the Rapha’iym, who are declared to be residents of the depths of She’ol. 

We have, therefore, yet another over scriptural reference as a witness to this proposition.

Shalomah has even more to say on this subject, however:

Mishlei (Proverbs) 21:16

The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the (dead) Rapha’iym.

The discussion again makes reference that at the outset, understanding includes knowing this story about the fallen Watchers, their relations with women, their offspring which were the giants known as Rapha’iym, and their ultimate fate in She’ol.