From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anakim (Hebrew: עֲנָקִים ʿĂnāqīm) are mentioned in the Bible as a possible race of giant humanoids descended from Anak.[1]

According to the Old Testament, the Anakim lived in the southern part of the land of Canaan, near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). Genesis 14:5–6 states that they inhabited the region later known as Edom and Moab in the days of Abraham. The name may come from a Hebrew root meaning "necklace" or "neck-chain".[2]

Their formidable appearance, as described by ten of the twelve spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. However, the two faithful spies Caleb and Joshua do not verify this report, leading some scholars to believe that the fearful reports from the other ten are hyperbolic and should not be taken literally.[3] The other Israelites seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the giants (Genesis 6:4, Numbers 13:33) of the antediluvian age. Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except for some who found a refuge in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). Thus, some scholars conclude that the Philistine giants such as Goliath whom David encountered (2 Samuel 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim.[1]

The Septuagint translation of Jeremiah 47:5 refers to the descendants of the Anakim mourning after the destruction of Gaza.[4]

The Egyptian Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom[5] (2055-1650 BC) mention a list of political enemies in Canaan, and among this list are a group called the "ly Anaq" or people of Anaq. The three rulers of ly Anaq were Erum, Abiyamimu, and Akirum.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b eastons-bible-dictionary
  2. ^ "Anakim" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 397.
  3. ^ "How did the ten spies see Nephilim after the Flood? | Verse By Verse Ministry International". Retrieved 2023-05-03.
  4. ^ Streane, A. W., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Jeremiah 47, accessed 13 April 2019
  5. ^ Wyatt, Nicolas (2001). Space and Time in the Religious Life of the Near East. A&C Black. ISBN 978-0-567-04942-1.
  6. ^ Wyatt 2001.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Anakim". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.