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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb., Anakim', עֲנָקִים, Deuteronomy 2:10-11; Deuteronomy 2:21; Joshua 11:21-22; Joshua 14:12; Joshua 14:15; also called sons of Anak, בְּנֵי עֲנָק, Numbers 13:33; בְּנֵי הָעֲנָק, Joshua 15:14; children of Anak, ילִידֵי הָעֲנָק, Numbers 13:22; Joshua 15:14; sons of the Analkim, בְּנֵי עֲנָקִים, Deuteronomy 9:2; Sept, Ε᾿νακὶμ υἱοὶ Ε᾿νάκ, γενεαὶ Ε᾿νάκ, γενεὰ Ε᾿νάκ, γίγαντες; Vulg. Enacim, filii Enakim, flii Enac, stirps Enac; Auth. Vers. "Anakims," "sons of Anak," "children of Anak," "sons of the Anakims"), a nomadic tribe of giants (Numbers 13:34; Deuteronomy 9:2) (See NEPHILIM) descended from a certain Arba (Joshua 14:15; Joshua 15:13; Joshua 21:11), and bearing the name of their immediate progenitor, Anak (Joshua 11:21), dwelling in the southern part of Palestine, particularly in the vicinity of Hebron (q.v.), which was called Kirjath-Arba (city of Arba) from their ancestor (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 15:13). These designations serve to show that we must regard Anak as the name of the race as well as that of an individual, and this is confirmed by what is said of Arba, their progenitor, that he "was a great man among the Anakim" (Joshua 14:15). The Anakim appear (see Bochart, Chanaan, 1, 1) to have been a tribe of Cushite wanderers from Babel, and of the same race as the Philistines, the Phoenicians, the Philistim, and the Egyptian shepherd- kings (see Jour. Sac. Lit. July, 1852, p. 303 sq.; Jan. 1853, p. 293 sq.). The supposition of Michaelis (Syntag. Comment. 1, 196; also Lowth, p. 133) that they were a fragment of the aboriginal Troglodytes is opposed to Joshua 11:21 (see Faber, Archkeol. p. 44 sq.). They consisted of three tribes, descended from and named after the three sons of Anak-Ahiman, Sesai, and Talmai (Joshua 15:14). When the Israelites invaded Canaan, the Anakim were in possession of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and other towns in the country of the south (Joshua 11:21). Their formidable stature and warlike appearance struck the Israelites with terror in the time of Moses (Numbers 13:28; Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 9:2); but they were nevertheless dispossessed by Joshua, and utterly driven from the land, except a small remnant that found refuge in the Philistine cities, Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). Their chief city, Hebron, became the possession of Caleb, who is said to have driven out from it the three sons of Anak mentioned above that is, the three families or tribes of the Anakim (Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:20). The Philistine giants, (See GOLIATH) that David on several occasions encountered (2 Samuel 21:15-22) seem to have sprung from the remnant of this stock. Josephus says (Ant. 5,2, 3) that their bones were still shown at Hebron, and Benjamin of Tudela tells a story respecting similar relics at Damascus (Itin. p. 56). (See GIANT). According to Arabic tradition, Oa, king of Bashan, was of this race, and the same dubious authority states that the prophet Shoaib or Jethro was sent by the Lord to instruct the Anakim, having been born among them (D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 105). They are thought to be depicted on the Egyptian monuments. (See TALMAI).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Anakim'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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