the descendants of Anak ( Joshua 11:21 ; Numbers 13:33 ; Deuteronomy 9:2 ). They dwelt in the south of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Hebron ( Genesis 23:2 ; Joshua 15:13 ). In the days of Abraham ( Genesis 14:5 Genesis 14:6 ) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the original inhabitants of Palestine before the Canaanites, a Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. Their formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants" ( Genesis 6:4 ; Numbers 13:33 ) of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of Anakim ( Joshua 15:14 ). Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod ( Joshua 11:22 ). The Philistine giants whom David encountered ( 2 Samuel 21:15-22 ) were descendants of the Anakim. (See GIANTS .)
(long-necked ), a race of giants, descendants of Arba, ( Joshua 15:13 ; 21:11 ) dwelling in the southern part of Canaan, and particularly at Hebron, which from their progenitor received the name of "city of Arba." Anak was the name of the race rather than that of an individual. ( Joshua 14:15 ) The race appears to have been divided into three tribes or families, bearing the names Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai. Though the war-like appearance of the Anakim had struck the Israelites with terror in the time of Moses, ( Numbers 13:28 ; 9:2 ) they were nevertheless dispossessed by Joshua, ( Joshua 11:21 Joshua 11:22 ) and their chief city, Hebron, became the possession of Caleb. ( Joshua 15:14 ; Judges 1:20 ) After this time they vanish from history.
The spies (Numbers 13:33) compared them to the Nephilim or "giants" of Genesis 6:4, and according to Deuteronomy 2:11 they were reckoned among the REPHAIM (which see). In Numbers 13:22 the chiefs of Hebron are said to be descendants of Anak, while "the father of Anak" is stated in Jos (15:13; 21:11) to be Arba after whom Hebron was called "the city of Arba." Jos "cut off the Anakim .... from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, .... and from all the hill-country of Israel," remnants of them being left in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Gath and Ashdod (Joshua 11:21,22). As compared with the Israelites, they were tall like giants (Numbers 13:33), and it would therefore seem that the "giant" Goliath and his family were of their race.
At Hebron, at the time of the Israelite conquest, we may gather that they formed the body-guard of the Amorite king (see Joshua 10:5) under their three leaders Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai (Numbers 13:22; Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:20). Tell el-Amarna Letters show that the Canaanite princes were accustomed to surround themselves with bodyguards of foreign mercenaries. It appears probable that the Anakim came from the Aegean like the Philistines, to whom they may have been related. The name Anak is a masculine corresponding with a feminine which we meet with in the name of the goddess Onka, who according to the Greek writers, Stephanus of Byzantium and Hesychius, was the "Phoen," i.e. Syrian equivalent of Athena. Anket or Anukit was also the name of the goddess worshipped by the Egyptians at the First Cataract. In the name Ahi-man it is possible that "-man" denotes a non-Semitic deity.
A. H. Sayce
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