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Anakim (Hebrew: עֲנָקִים ‘Ǎnāqîm ) were described as a race of giants, descended from Anak,[1] according to the Old Testament. They were said to have lived in the southern part of the land of Canaan, near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). According to Genesis 14:5-6 they inhabited the region later known as Edom and Moab in the days of Abraham. Their name may come from a Hebrew root meaning "necklace" or "neck-chain".[2]

Their formidable appearance, as described by the Twelve Spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. The 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 the Philistine giants (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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b eastons-bible-dictionary
  2. ^ "Anakim" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 397.
  3. ^ Streane, A. W., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Jeremiah 47, accessed 13 April 2019

 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.