Giants in the Bible – A Biblical Anomaly?
An anomaly is an irregular or unusual event, occurrence, or characteristic. In the Bible, many apparent anomalies exist. For example, the term “Giant” or “Nephilim” appears throughout the Old Testament. This has caused much debate among theologians due to it being a seemingly anomalous concept within Biblical texts. Today I am going to focus specifically on use of the word “Giants” in the Bible.
Does the Bible really mention Giants?
Yes, it does! At least 20 different times in the King James Version of the Bible, the words “giant” or “giants” are named. Genesis 6 is the most well-known verse that discusses the Giants. But there are many references as well. Below are the references I found doing a quick search in the online Strongs Concordance for the KJV.*
- Genesis 6:4
- Numbers 13:33
- Deuteronomy 2:11, 2:20, 3:11, 3:13
- Joshua 12:4, 13:12, 15:8, 17:15, 18:16
- 2 Samuel 21:16,18,20,22
- 1 Chronicles 20:4,6,8
- Job 16:14
*I am not a “King James Version” only person. But I chose to use this version today because of the fact that it uses “giant” when describing these Biblical anomalies despite that the words in the Hebrew Lexicon are “nphyl” or “rapha.'”
Where did the Giants in the Bible come from?
The Bible doesn't specifically mention where they came from. However, according to Genesis 6:4 they existed before the Great Flood:
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (KJV – Public Domain)
Numbers 13:33 refers to the report of the leaders of Israel whom Moses sent to spy out the land of Canaan:
“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (KJV – Public Domain)
2 Samuel 21:16-17a
“And Ishbi-benob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succored him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him.” (KJV – Public Domain)
1 Samuel 17:4-5, 49-51
“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. * And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.” (KJV – Public Domain)
“And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So, David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore, David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” (KJV – Public Domain)
*9 feet 6 inches
“Yet I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.”
Are there other places Giants are mentioned besides the Bible?
Absolutely! Myths and legends abound throughout the entire world:
- United States
- Iraq (Babylon)
- United Kingdom
In fact, even a cursory search of the internet will lead to so many references to giants that it's hard to know where to start. For example, on National Geographic's website, there is an article discussing Stonehenge, it's apparent age as well as some of the “myths and folklore” surrounding how it was built:
“According to folklore, Stonehenge was created by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, who magically transported the massive stones from Ireland, where giants had assembled them.” Stonehenge | National Geographic
Giant Building Stonehenge
Native Americans have SO MANY stories that a serious truth-seeker would be hard-pressed to not take them seriously. Legend, myth, or “fairy tale,” if these stories go back thousands of years, ALL OVER THE WORLD, in my opinion, there is a strong indication of their validity.
Examples of Native American stories can be seen at this Ancient Origins website.
Choctaw – According to HB Cushman, in his book, “History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez Indians,”
“The tradition of the Choctaws . . . told of a race of giants that once inhabited the now State of Tennessee, and with whom their ancestors fought when they arrived in Mississippi in their migration from the west. … Their tradition states the Nahullo (race of giants) was of wonderful stature.”
- And many more
Want a fun activity for your kids to do that is related to the subject of giants, but is kid-friendly?
This post also reminds me of the dragon myths and legends, which I have previously discussed.
Next in the Series…
- What happened to the Giants?
- Is there evidence for giants living in the world today?
- Are the Nephilim the same as Giants?
- Is Enoch 1 a valid historical reference?
- What about commentaries? Are we trusting them too much?
In the meantime, check out the following two YouTube channels.