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Holman Bible Dictionary
Old Testament The earliest biblical reference to giants is to the nephilim born to the “daughters of men” and the “sons of God” ( Genesis 6:1-4 ). Interpreters differ on the origin of these giants. Some understand the “sons of God” to be angelic beings who intermarried with human women (see Jude 1:6 ). Others view them as descendants of Seth who intermarried with the ungodly. Later descendants of the nephilim were called “the sons of Anak” ( Numbers 13:33 ) or Anakim ( Deuteronomy 2:11; Deuteronomy 9:2 ). They inhabited the land of Canaan prior to Israel's conquest. Egyptian records testify to their presence as early as 2000 B.C. Similar races of giants had also inhabited Moab (Deuteronomy 2:9-10 ) and Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:19-20 ).
A second class of giants who inhabited pre-Israelite Palestine was the rephaim. Their last survivor was Og, king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:11 ,Deuteronomy 3:11,3:13 ). A valley near Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16 ) and part of the wooded country in the tribal territory of Ephraim (Joshua 17:15 ) retained their name.
The Old Testament also records cases of individual giants. The well-known Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1 ) was a Philistine champion. A family of giants from Gath were among the Philistine enemies slain by David and his followers (2 Samuel 21:16-22; 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 ).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Giants'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/g/giants.html. 1991.