ji'-ants The word appears in the King James Version as the translation of the Hebrew words nephilim (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33); repha'im (Deuteronomy 2:11,20; 3:11,13; Joshua 12:4, etc.); rapha' (1 Chronicles 20:4,6,8), or raphah (2 Samuel 21:16,18,20,22); in one instance of gibbor, literally, "mighty one" (Job 16:14).

In the first two cases the Revised Version (British and American) changes "giants" into the Hebrew words "Nephilim," nephilim, and "Rephaim," repha'im, respectively (see these words). The "Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 are not to be confounded with the "mighty men" subsequently described as the offspring of the unlawful marriages, of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men." It is told that they overspread the earth prior to these unhallowed unions. That the word, whatever its etymology, bears the sense of men of immense stature is evident from the later passages; Numbers 13:33. The same is true of the "Rephaim," as shown by the instance of Og (Deuteronomy 3:11; Joshua 12:4). There is no doubt about the meaning of the word in the ease of the giants mentioned in 2 Samuel 21 and 1 Chronicles 20.


James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'GIANTS'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.