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The Rephaim, and Anak were really the same group. Deut 2:9-22 solves this. They were actually not a race, but an elite faction whose imposing height, distinguished them from lesser men. and they would have intermarried (like egyptians) to continue their physical dominance, which has a scriptual indication of 6 1/2 to 8 ft tall, contrasting the 5'5 average male of the day.

The bible mentions several individual 'giants':

  • Arba--renames Hebron,"Kiryat-Arba"c. 1700 bc
  • Sheshai--ruler of Hebron c. 1250 bc
  • Ahiman--ruler of Hebron c. 1250
  • Talmai--ruler of Hebron c. 1250
  • Og--Amorite Ruler of Bashen, at Ashtarot & Edrei, has bed 9 cubits long (13 1/2 ft). c. 1200 bc
  • Goliath--Philistine champion from Gath. stood 4 1/2 cubits tall (6 ft 7)according to DSS. c. 1010 bc
  • Ishbibenob--Philistine from Gath c. 975 bc
  • Sippai--Philistine from Gath c. 975
  • Unknown Philistine from Gezer, has 24 digits. c. 975 bc
  • Unknown Egyptian slain by Benaiah son of Jehoiada, stood 5 cubits tall(7 1/2 ft). c. 1000 bc.

-- 21:28, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Rephaim and the Titans[edit]

The Greeks had their Heroes, Giants, and Titans, born from the union of heaven and earth, Gaia and Uranus. Thus, the Hebrew had their traditions of mighty men (Rapa'm, and Napyl'm), descended from the union of gods and earthly women. That such an ancient tradition was part of the collective Hebrew literature should come as no surprise.

The Hebrew authors used the term "Rapa" loosely to describe famous ancient warriors of antiquity, such as the tribe of Anaq, (Anaq probably a cultic name) known for men of strength and size--that is to say, the tribe of Anaq had "mighty men" (Rapa) among them, and were even associated with the gods, as an explanation for their strength and stature (Numbers 13:33)

King Og of Bashan, (Deut. 3) and Goliath of Gath (I Sam 17) and his four Philistine kinsmen (I Chron 20) were all considered Rephaim. That there were pockets of gigantic men and their clans in Bronze and Iron age Palestine is likely based on a certain degree of historical fact.

Other inspirations for giant legends could also be based on ancient Dolmens and Megalithic tombs scattered around Trans-Jordan and Hebron.

Yet, at the same time, historical giants within the vicinity of Philistia are attested to as late as c. 600 BC, as we find mention in the writings of one, Alcaeus the Lesbian, for he writes of his brother (Antimenidas) fighting as a mercenary under Babylonia, and to much admiration of the Babylonians, he slew a warrior "lacking a handspan of 5 Royal cubits in stature." Antimenidas, probably faught in the seige of Ashkelon, 604 BC, or in some other conflict within Philistia-Judah. Yet Alcaeus himself mentions Ashkelon atleast once in his poems.

For the record, the Babylonian Royal cubit was 20.8 inches, and a span half of that. This indicates that the Giant Philistine slain by Antimenidas, stood about 8-feet tall, (with or without helmet). Such stature correlates with Goliath of Gath, who stood 4 cubits and a span (According to DSS and earliest Lxx), or about 7-feet. -- 23:31, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Rapha'im רפאימ cannot mean dead ones[edit]

רפאימ cannot mean dead ones. at least not in hebrew. for that matter the root for dead/death-mwt is the same in just about all semitic languages: amharic/tigrigna mot-ሞት (with the 2nd literal being absorbed by the "o" sound attached to the "m") arabic مات-mat/موت-mawt aramaic maut/mout-ܡܘܬ hebrew mowt-מות. The dead ones would be מותימ see: also the רפא this root in hebrew is associated with healing the world to heal is לרפא. if anything רפאימ would mean the healers. cf. the angel Raphael רפאל —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

This comment above is frankly incorrect, and misunderstands the evidence in the Hebrew Bible and in the Ugaritic texts. Yes, the Heb. root mwt does in fact mean die/death, but obviously this is not the only term that can be used to speak of the dead or the inhabitants of the world of the dead. See Isa. 14:9, 26:14,19; Ps. 88:11; Prov. 2:18, 9:18, 21:16; Job. 26:5; possibly 2Chron. 16:12, where we may read “Repha'im,” i.e. "dead ancestors," as opposed to Rophe’im, “doctors”). All of these texts clearly indicate that the term rp'm is being used to indicate the spirits of the deceased, or inhabitants of Sheol. The idea behind the use of the root rp' (heal) here is the notion that these deceased "spirits" (or whatever you want to call them) were thought to possess beneficent powers for living humans, hence the broadly ancient Near Eastern practice (which is amply attested archaeologically and in texts such as the Heb. Bible) of making libations and food offerings at the burial sites of ancestors. This is my first shot at editing a Wikipedia page, and I did not actually intend to just flat out delete the previous entry--it was an accident due only to my inexperience, for which I am somewhat sorry--but the previous entry contained wrong information, was unorganized, and did not touch on any of the important points which are, I think, now listed in the entry! -rapi'uma —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rapi'uma (talkcontribs) 00:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


I am sure that Ammonites is supposed to read Amorites!!!Michaelwild (talk) 18:35, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I presume the same. It certainly shouldn't link to the extinct sea creature! I've changed the link, pending correction by someone more knowledgeable. MikeEagling (talk) 22:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Wrong. See Ammon.-- (talk) 16:54, 12 April 2011 (UTC)