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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