There Be Giants in the Earth

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Excerpt "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" (Gen. 6:4, KJV). With this verse in Genesis the Bible introduces to us the existence of giants... Continue reading

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This article was first published in the ABR Electronic Newsletter, January 2004.

With this verse in Genesis the Bible introduces to us the existence of giants. The Hebrew term Nephilim used here fundamentally means "fallen ones" rather than giants per se, though the trait of huge size seems inextricably linked to the term. Present in the days of the antediluvians -- "in those days" hearkens back to Gen. 6:1, "when men began to multiply on the face of the earth" -- at first glance the expression "and also after that" may lead one to think they reappeared after the Flood. This is by no means clear, however; the phrase may simply mean they continued to coexist with "normal" humans for an indeterminate period of time. The additional phrase that further describes them as "mighty men which were of old" implies they were no longer extant at the time Moses penned these words. The identity of the Nephilim is much debated by theologians and Bible students, with a key issue being the identification of the "sons of God" -- but that is a topic for another day! Let us press on...

Continuing through the Old Testament, one finds numerous further verses touching on the subject of giants. Other passages dealing with them include Num. 13; Deut. 1, 3, 9; Josh. 11, 12; I Sam. 17; 2 Sam. 21; and I Chr. 20. As they undertook the conquest of the Promised Land under Joshua and continued to extend their dominion over it into the time of David, the Israelites reported a number of encounters with the enormous men known as the Rephaim and Anakim. It should be noted that Numbers 13:33 reports the spies saying that "the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim," but this is likely nothing more than their personal opinion which Moses simply reports, rather than a statement of fact. Most Bible translations include this phrase as part of the spies' quoted words, not as a separate parenthetical observation by Moses; and further, the phrase is textually suspect, being absent from the Septuagint, and scholars such as Eryl Davies (commentary on Numbers in the New Century Bible Commentary) regard it as an explanatory scribal gloss rather than part of the original text. For these reasons, it is safest to understand Numbers 13:33 as simply expressing the opinion of some that the size of the sons of Anak brought the Nephilim to mind.

Regardless of whether the Anakim were actually related to the Nephilim, it is obvious that the Israelites were dealing with giants. If our understanding is correct that a cubit was approximately 18 inches, then Goliath, at "six cubits and a span," was somewhat over 9 feet tall. Og, the King of Bashan whose bed is described in Deut. 3:11 as being about 14 feet long by 6 feet wide, was thought to be 10 to 12 feet tall. As difficult as it may be for us to imagine such huge people today -- Shaquille O'Neal is a mere stripling compared to them! -- the clear impression one receives from these reports is that they record factual information, not mere legend. If we consider for a moment that from dogs we can breed not only toy poodles but also mastiffs, we ought to keep an open mind to the size possibilities incorporated by the Creator into the genes of the earliest humans.

But the skeptic has a right to ask: If the Bible is true, where is the EVIDENCE for these huge beings? Where are the displays in the museums? Where are the archaeological reports that record the discovery of their remains? This is a fair question. If one goes to any of the major museums, you will not find any exhibits of giant human beings. Search the Smithsonian galleries, for example, and you will see not a single giant bone or footprint cast on display. The clear impression given is that evidence of giants has never been found, and, intentionally or not, this tends to cast the Biblical record in an unfavorable light.

Yet concluding such evidence does not exist at all would be quite wrong! Reputable reports, found in the pages of older newspapers and magazines and given by credible witnesses, of the discovery of such remains HAVE come to light from time to time. The problem is, there is a reigning paradigm within the enclave of professional anthropologists which spills over into our museums, and which allows no place for such "anomalous artifacts." The gatekeepers of our major museums adhere to an orthodoxy which mandates that such oddities as giant skulls be kept under wraps, reserved for the eyes of insiders only, presumably lest the unsophisticated begin to doubt the officially-sanctioned history of humanity. As Joseph R. Jochmans has written (Strange Relics from the Depths of the Earth, online:

It is becoming increasingly apparent that not all facts from the past find their "proper" place. Other discoveries have been made that [compellingly] contradict the accepted model. Yet these discoveries are largely ignored, since it is far easier for the majority of scientists and historians to uphold what is "established," than to try to build a new model based on the "exceptions."

It is not unlike the end of the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Having recovered the Ark of the Covenant from the clutches of the Nazis, Indy finds himself compelled in the end to leave it in the hands of the authorities, who promise to "take care of it." And what is the outcome? We find the Ark packed up in a nondescript crate and spirited away to disappear into the bowels of an endless warehouse, conveniently taking along with it all of the uncomfortable questions it might raise. Many feel that this is exactly what has happened to most of the giant artifacts dug up by past generations, and why newer discoveries receive no notice.

Contrary to the impression given by the museums, however, we HAVE discovered evidence that "there were giants in the earth." Space precludes listing more than a few mentioned in Jochmans' article:

- Eureka, NV, 1877: "...the prospector was surprised to find a human leg bone and knee cap sticking out of solid rock....When the surrounding stone was carefully chipped away, the specimen was found to be composed of a leg bone broken off four inches above the knee, the knee cap and joint, the lower leg bones, and the complete bones of the foot. Several medical doctors examined the remains, and were convinced that anatomically they had indeed once belonged to a human being, and a very modern-looking one. But an intriguing aspect of the bones was their size: from knee to heel they measured 39 inches. Their owner in life had thus stood over 12 feet tall" (Jochmans, p. 4).

- Carson City, NV, 1882: "...several human tracks were found. The tracks were in six series, each with alternate right and left tracks. The stride was from two and a half to over three feet, and the individual prints were from 18 to 20 inches in length - that of a giant. The straddle - the distance between the left and right prints - was 18 to 19 inches" (Jochmans, p. 5).

- Carrizo Valley, OK, 1970's: "The shoe prints...reveal their wearers to have been above normal size with the imprints averaging 20 inches long and 8 inches across the ball of the foot [suggesting a height of roughly 12 feet] (Jochmans, p 7).

I recently received a copy of an e-mail about a living missionary who, prior to becoming a Christian, was an anthropologist. It includes the following fascinating information, which I have not yet been able to verify firsthand, but has the ring of truth about it. (Not having been able to confirm the details, I am leaving out the missionary's name.)

... She was privy to things that they don't let the public readily see. They display anomalies for study. They don't prohibit people from seeing them, but they do keep it real quiet and pretty much among themselves. ...The thing I remember most out of the dozens of examples she gave, was that she professed to have seen and held in her hands, a DOZEN human skulls that were TWICE the size of a normal human skull. That would make a 12' tall man, who might weigh over 1000 pounds.

She testified that when she was being witnessed to by the person who eventually led her to Christ, she was encouraged to read the Bible. She finally started to do just that, and opened a Bible to the beginning and started reading. She didn't get six chapters into the book when she came across Gen 6:4 -- "There were giants in the earth in those days ..."

She said a chill went down her spine, because she knew she had handled evidence that this verse was true. She knew that this was exactly the kind of thing the Bible is mocked for, except in this case, she knew the Bible was right. This gave her confidence that she could trust the Bible and doubt the skeptics, instead of the other way around. Shortly afterward she got saved, and the rest is history.

I think it would be an enormous help in setting the record straight if archaeological work could be done at Biblical sites mentioned in Scripture as being the home of giants. If remains of some of the Anakim or Rephaim were freshly unearthed by professionals who are not married to the reigning paradigm, this could go a long way toward getting the other skeletons out of the closet! Possible locations for such work include the sites mentioned in the Biblical passages alluded to earlier - Hebron, Debir, Gaza, Gath, Ashdod, Ashtaroth and Edrei, among others. Unfortunately, the continuing unrest in most of these areas makes formal research infeasible right now. But one way or another, hopefully the day will soon come when the wraps will be removed from this hidden facet of human history, and our museums will pull out of mothballs the "anomalous" remains that have long been kept hidden.

In summary, there are giants in the earth... and some have been excavated, but not put on display for the public to see. I, for one, want to see them with my own eyes, for they are part of the ancient history of this world which the Bible so faithfully records, as it does all the matters of our fact-based faith in the Living God.

Comments Comment RSS

9/17/2008 12:14 PM #

I get very tired of reading stories about things with a living person- it's always a missionary- telling of a miracle or here- that they have seen the giant bones.. but it's unverifiable.  IF these bones are really there- all it would take is for the witness to come forward publically and get the word out and the populace and the media would demand to see them.

WHY aren't these stories verifiable? It's disappointing.  I tend to not believe them.  I am a Christian and I would appreciate verification.  What museum?

Jaqueline - 9/17/2008 12:14:06 PM

1/23/2009 5:54 AM #

i am with the above poster, it would be nice to know where these bones are instead of being subjected to more hearsay evidence. i am alsonot impressed with footprints as shaquille o'neill and other basketball stars are reported to have very large feet and stand less than 7 1/2 ft.

as for 'giants' there are two explanations--1. genetics & 2. metaphors.  have you ever heard the term 'giants in their field'? so these men were men of renown so they were 'giants because of their influence and impact.

take your choice as equating 'the sons of God' with angels does not fit with what the Bible teaches us about angels and their lack of ability to mate.

then for archaeological finds, read Dr. Charles Hapgood's book 'Path of the Poles' about chapter 10 or 11 and you will find record of many such discoveries.

dr. david t. - 1/23/2009 5:54:05 AM

12/27/2010 4:00 PM #

I tend to agree with that the giants might not have been extremely tall physically speaking and that they may have been referred to as "giants" because of the names they made for themselves. In any case the heights mentioned in the apocryphical book of "Enoch" are simply ridiculous.

Additionally the word "nephilim" does not necessarily mean "fallen ones" but could mean "those who cause others to fall". Whether this is in reference to a "moral fall" (incitement to sin) or physical fall is not so clear, however. In the latter case an alternative meaning could be "murderer".

The Bible tells us that an amount of spirit creatures in the past left their original dwelling place in the spirit realm (or what we humans call "heavens") to commit some immoral act. We know about this from following Bible scriptures:

Jude verses 6,7 ties that what the angels did with the immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah:
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home-these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

1 Peter 3:18-20 ties the angels sin with the time period of Noah:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

2 Peter 2:4-6 also talks about the angels sin:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

The sin that the angels committed is described in Genesis chapter 6, verses 1-4:
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The angels materialized into a human body in order to be able to be able to enjoy sexual relations with women, the "nephilim" being the hybrid offspring that resulted from these relations. The flood destroyed all humans outside of the ark together with the hybrid nephilim, and forced their fathers back to the spirit world, where they were no longer allowed to be part of Gods organization. Although seemingly no longer able to materialize, they do like to take over human and animal bodies, possibly because of some enjoyment they infer from this.

jjoensuu - 12/27/2010 4:00:23 PM

4/5/2011 2:28 AM #

I am not ignoring all else that was posted above, merely giving a quick answer. To the second poster, you said, and I quote, "take your choice as equating 'the sons of God' with angels does not fit with what the Bible teaches us about angels and their lack of ability to mate." See Job 38:4-7, most commentators agree that the "sons of God" in that passage are angels.

Also, yes, Jesus says in Mark 12:25, "When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." (TNIV) The KJV conveys, "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."

It is important to note that Jesus is referring to the angels "in heaven." The fallen angels are not "in heaven." Chuck Missler does a nice job of examining these things:

Troy Hillman - 4/5/2011 2:28:51 AM

1/6/2012 11:12 AM #

I have been researching this whole issue for some time.  If the Nephilim were a hybrid race produced by fallen angels, it would make a lot more sense of the ethnic cleansing God demanded of the Israelites when they took possession of the Promised Land.

As for Angels and Men marrying in Heaven.  There was no need for Angels to breed and fill the heavens.  God created all the angels he needed/wanted.  Humans will not need to reproduce either when they get to Heaven.  Human inhabitants for heaven are being procured by salvation... adoption as joint heirs with Christ.  

Kay - 1/6/2012 11:12:29 AM

1/6/2012 2:47 PM #

Although the Nephilim were a hybrid race, they all died in the flood. None of them were thus around at the time of the Israelite conquest of the promised land, even though that seems to have been claimed by the spies Israelites sent to the country. The truth about the report provided by the spies is that it was intentionally sensationalist, meant to evoke emotions of awe and fear. It accomplished its purpose when the Israelites started moaning about the entire operation and eventually rebelled against Moses leadership (Numbers ch. 14).

Besides that the 'ethnic cleansing' in the promised land was controlled as we can see from how God treated the Gibeonites. Although they had tricked Joshua to accept an agreement with them, God still defended the Gibeonites when a coalition from other Cananite tribes attacked them (Joshua ch. 10).

The persons that are selected to be joint heirs with Christ will be joint heirs of the Kingdom (the Kingdom that Jesus told his followers to pray for and preach about). They will inherit the Kingdom in the sense that, as stated in Revelation 20:4, they will rule as kings, together with Christ, for the 1000 years. This is the same 1000-year period during which Satan will be inactive in the 'abyss', as stated in Revelation 20:2,3.

If there will be kings ruling for a 1000 years, there will be subjects that those kings will rule over. Therefore, not all humans will go to heaven. Gods original purpose was to populate the earth with humankind, and the Kingdom is the 'agency' through which that purpose will be accomplished. It will also accomplish the fulfillment of the first recorded prophecy (spoken to the spirit creature that used the snake as a mouthpiece in Eden, in Genesis 3:14,15), according to which the head of Satan will eventually be crushed. This means that Satan will not be around forever but will eventually be destroyed (in fact at the end of the 1000-year reign, as stated in Revelation 20:9,10).

Since there is a time-period during which Satan will be inactive, and another time period after which he will be destroyed, this means he was never meant not precide over some fiery hell. This should not surprise us because the entire belief about God torturing people in some fiery place is not from the Bible any more than the idea of the immortality of the soul (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).

jjoensuu - 1/6/2012 2:47:57 PM

2/13/2012 3:45 PM #

Some of you have lost your ever loving minds.  Attention people: Angels don't come equipped with genitals and sperm.  They were not created to make more human beings.  They were created to be sent forth from God to be of service to the redeemed, not to have sex with them.  Ye gods.  Angels are spirits, not flesh and blood.  Yes, they can appear visible at times, but not always.

"Sons of God" can refer to angels, yes, but can also refer to those who are saved.  In any case, the "sons of God" who "came into the daughters of men" had genitals.  So they were not angels.  Please.  Let's get back to reality here.

Jack - 2/13/2012 3:45:54 PM

3/27/2012 6:49 AM #

The Book of Enoch describes those whom from heaven to earth came.........they were not angels.

Darren - 3/27/2012 6:49:09 AM

12/15/2012 9:22 PM #

Angels do not come equipped with genitals and sperm in their natural state, as they are spirit creatures. They are however able to take a human form as can be seen (if you would read your Bible instead of some external ideas) from e.g. the experience with Abraham and Lot.

The angels that visited Abraham and Lot were first fed by Abraham (Genesis 18), after which two of them turned to visit Sodom (Genesis 19:1-3). Paul stated also that we should "not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2).

Pauls reference would seem to apply to Lot who did not seem to know (initially at least, but perhaps he figured it out later) that the visitors, whom he took to his home, were angels. One can infer from that that there was nothing external in the angels that indicated that they were not actually human.

jjoensuu - 12/15/2012 9:22:19 PM

8/15/2013 7:16 PM #

Interesting stuff.

A few thoughts from me.

If you've a mind to look for it there is plenty of info out there on giant humans remains being found - some is completely bogus and some is factual.

Regarding the fallen angels and their mating with women: it is clear from the Bible that the higher spirits can take human and animal form.  The most famous example of course being God himself who fully became human in Jesus.  Also remember the 3 men who visited Abraham - 2 angels and the Lord himself.

Regarding giants AFTER the flood - they are generally referenced as "the remnant of the giants".  Genesis notes that Noah was "perfect in his generations" ie from an uncontaminated genetic line.  The offspring of the fallen angels had corrupted the antediluvian world and its inhabitants and it was therefore destroyed for a new start.  Noah was genetically pure and we can thus infer that his 3 children and his wife perhaps were as well.  However they had wives who may indeed have been related to the giants or had genetic "contamination" of some sort.  This would explain later races or families of giants.  Having said that it could have been a perfectly natural phenomenon - many very big people today have medical reasons for their outstanding growth.  Who is to say that some families or tribal groups weren't afflicted as a corporate body by some permutation?  Even today we have wide genetic variation within the human species and groups of people who have extraordinary height or lack of it.

It should be also noted that many pagan religions old and new have an influence on spiritual sexual practice which in many instances involves mating with the "gods" or "spirits".  It would seem that the fallen angels who rule the spiritual darkness of this world have still not controlled their lust whether it extends to actual practice or is merely symbolical.


l gould - 8/15/2013 7:16:32 PM

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