The Nephilim And The Rephaim

Why are we hearing so much about giants in the church these days? I’m suspicious. I smell a doctrinal trap. (NKJV) “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Confusion introduces false teachings in the Church and causes division and strife — the playground of the Devil.

A little innocent misguided doctrine can go “haywire”, and become a source of great deceit or pain. With the modern—angels had sex with women—nephilim doctrine, hybrid-human science may be accepted in the church. Will the Antichrist be able to use that? Probably. Satan is the master of perversion and deceit.

The time will come when we will have a clear view of human history, such as who were the nephilim, and we should keep that in mind. The wrong will be made right. So obeying the commandment to love one another as Jesus loves us should be our highest priority. Nonetheless, a solid foundation on the word of God will help us to overcome false doctrines and the cares of this life.

In an earlier study, we looked more closely at the nephilim and discovered what they were not and narrowed down to what they were ( ). I want to expand on that study and find out more of what the scriptures have to say about the “giants”.


“Nephilim” is the first word we see in the scriptures used for the word giant. It is used three times: first in Genesis 6:4, second and third in Numbers 13:33. Here are the references:

(ESV) “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown” (Genesis 6:4).

(ESV) “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 13:33.

Sons of Anak

Anak was the son of Arba (the founder of the city of Arba). The city of Arba was also called Hebron ( Joshua 15:13; 21:11).

Abraham had been in Hebron. Were there nephilim in Hebron at that time? Nephilim isn’t mentioned in Abraham’s travels. If they were in Hebron, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal with anyone.

Anak had three sons who were giants (nephilim). Anak’s father, Arba, is not said to be a giant, nor is Anak explicitly said to be a giant. But we know that Anak’s three sons were giants:

  • (ESV) “Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there” (Numbers 13:22),
  • (ESV) “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).

Take note that these nephilim were from a man and not born from a woman who had intercourse with a spirit.

Neither Arba nor Anak are explicitly said to be nephilim. We don’t know, but it seems to me that if Arba was a giant, then the scriptures would call the nephilim the descendants of Arba and not Anak.

Post-Flood Carryover

So what happened that the giants in Joshua’s day were called nephilim? Well, the giants in Noah’s day were called nephilim, so it stands to reason that they would still be called nephilim after the flood. It’s probably a carry over from pre-flood days. I will be so bold to say that, prior to Noah’s flood, humans were probably taller do to the earth being in an ideal state. Some even being much taller. I can see no reason that after the Flood human genetics changed so drastically and suddenly that there would be no more giants.

As I said before, we only find the the word nephilim used for giant three times in the scriptures. It’s only used twice after the Flood. From that point on “rephaim” is use for giant. Why is this? I don’t know, but if it’s significant, I’ve not found why in scripture. It’s also only used up to the time of Moses. It drops off during the time of Joshua’s conquests.


Rephaim means giant. We read of giants in the Bible. Goliath, whom David killed, was a giant. So were his brother’s. David fought with a giant (Rapha; plural rephaim) in 2 Samuel 21:16.

We also see that the Ammonites had giants in their land before them, and called them “Zamzummim.” The Zamzummim were a “people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim” (Deuteronomy 2:20–21). The Anakim were previously referred too as nephilim (Numbers 13:32–33).

We see that the Moabites regarded the Emim as giants (rephaim) as the Hebrews regarded the nephilim as giants. In-other -words, the words rephaim and nephilim were interchangeable by this time: (ESV) “(The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. Like the Anakim they are also counted as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim” (Deuteronomy 2:10–11).

Og King of Bashan was a rephaim, and his kingdom was call “the land of the giants” (Deuteronomy 3:11–13). They were defeated by Israel. I think it’s worth noting that all the giants, both the nephilim and the rephaim, were defeated — they weren’t superhuman, invincible creatures.

To reiterate, nephilim and rephaim became interchangeable words. The Bible records nephilim first and then transitioned over to rephaim. Why this is I don’t know. Perhaps further study will make it more clear, or maybe we’ll have to wait until we are “on the other side” to find out. But at this point, they seem to be the same thing.


This is pure speculation, and I’m just thinking out loud, doing this for fun, and I am not saying I believe this, so don’t take this as Biblical doctrine: We know in modern times much experimenting has been done with genetics. There have been experiments with human/animal hybrids called Chimera. The Devil has used human hybrids for “gods” from ancient times. We see it in ancient Egypt forward: animals with human heads or human bodies with animal heads. Satan is a pervert and does all he can to get humans, who are created in God’s image, to belittle themselves and worship or become like animals. We’re at a place technologically where we are actually able to grow human cells within pig embryos.

What will become of that I wonder?

Possibly Satan will use Chimera to desensitize people to the grotesqueness and perversion of hybrid humans, and causing many to turn from the faith because, “We can create life too”, or, “The ancient gods are real” or some such thing. There may be a variety of possibilities. But know that if Satan is behind something, it only kills, steals, and destroys.

Is it possible that there was human genetic experiments pre-flood that caused some type of mutation that became known as nephilim? And that the genetics or the technology crossed over into the post-flood world?

Possibly but probably not. That would certainly raise many more questions.

These are recent thoughts for me, and I’m not convinced that there were pre-flood genetic experiments, or even the possibility of such experiments. I’m certainly not inclined to let these ideas take me away from the important doctrines of the Bible. As I said before, all questions will be answered in time. We have eternity, so let’s concentrate on what’s important Biblically and stay faithful to God.

Stay vigilant and prepared!

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