This post is the fifth in a series. First we talked about Atlantis. Then we talked about Phaethon. Then we talked about Noah. Then we talked about Titan Gods, and the key passage we concentrated on was this one:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. . . . The Nephilim [footnote: Giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
In the last post, we talked about the “Sons of God,” and showed how they had strange similarities to Titan Gods. Now, we are going to talk about “Nephilim” and how they have a strange similarity to another set of characters in mythology: Giants.
Giants? Yes. Giants. This post is about Giants.
So fee fi foe fum, let’s dive right in. This post is another long one, so I’ve divided up into five sections:
- A Review of the Characteristics of the “Sons of God”
- The Nephilim in Non-Biblical MYTHOLOGY
- The Nephilim Non-Mythological HISTORY
- Biblical Wars Against Giants
- The Last God-King
What you may be surprised to learn is that these “Giants” are mentioned all over the place. We’re going to talk about the places they appear after reviewing what we’re looking for.
The Characteristics of the “Sons of God”
As we covered in the last post, we explained that the “sons of God” are divine beings who occupy the heavenly space. It also seems they visit the Earthly space, too. In the last post, we showed their similarities to the Titan gods of Greek mythology, however, they aren’t restricted to the “Titan gods” of Greek mythology. But we learned a rather strange coherence of strange biblical and mythological characters:
- Son of God + Human = Nephilim
- Titan God + Human = Giant
From this rule and the genealogies of past beings, we can see that these divine beings have a surprisingly ambiguous relationship to the physical world. It’s worth reviewing their characteristics, as well as some new information not previously covered.
Review of Characteristics of the “Sons of God” in Scripture
Go back to the last post on “Titan Gods” if you want the full treatment.
1. Sons of God Have Reproductive Capacity
Hopefully, you know this is a thing, because that’s the entire point of this and the previous post:
“the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them.” (Genesis 6:4)
2. Sons of God Have Physical Bodies When They Are On Earth
We get this idea from what we read about them when they appear to people. Regardless of what they look like, they eat and drink:
“The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.“(Genesis 19:1-3)
3. Sons of God Have Wildly Different Appearances
I am not going to cover all of the aspects of the Sons of God in scripture, but we see that there are many different manifestations. Sometimes they are super-shiny:
And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. (Matthew 28:2-3)
Sometimes they are freakishly wild and inhuman:
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning. (Ezekiel 1:4-14)
Sometimes they are dragons:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. (Revelation 12:7-8)
Sometimes, you can’t tell them apart from ordinary people:
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:1-2)
4. The Moral Status of Sons of God Can Go Both Ways
We obviously think of angels as good, and they are. But we see that the Sons of God are not merely “good” heavenly beings:
God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:1-4)
And that’s about all that we covered before that will be important in this post. However, that is not all there is to the Sons of God that is relevant.
Extra Things to Notice about the Sons of God
However, there are LOTS of things to notice about the Sons of God, which will be important for this post. These include the following:
1. The Sons of God Seem To Have Super-Human Powers
“Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” (Genesis 19:9-13)
2. The Sons of God Are Absolutely Lethal When They Need to Be
Here is one of the first places where we see a lethal heavenly being. It is in the famous passage about the talking donkey of Balaam:
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” (Numbers 22:31-33)
And we also see
“Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’ . . . Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David. And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.” (2 Kings 19:6-7, 32-37)
I don’t know exactly what this scene looked like, but let me ask a question. What does it look like when a spiritual being kills people on earth? We should also note that at least certain parts of this story (Sennacherib not capturing Jerusalem and being murdered by his sons) are things in history that LITERALLY happened, and you can read about it here at his Wikipedia page.
So if part of a story is true, why not the whole thing? Along those lines, take note of this summary of the Wikipedia page of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem that uses non-Biblical accounts:
Herodotus wrote that the Assyrian army was overrun by mice when attacking Egypt. Some Biblical scholars take this to an allusion that the Assyrian army was decimated by a mouse or rat borne disease such as bubonic plague. Even without relying on that explanation, John Bright suggested it was an epidemic of some kind that saved Jerusalem.
So, did an “angel of the Lord” save Jerusalem, or not? You tell me.
3. The Sons of God Actually RULE and Have AUTHORITY, Despite Being Unnoticed
Something to notice about this old order is that the Sons of God in the Bible seem to have had various zones of authority on Earth. Note what Paul says about this layout:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
Wait… really? Yes, really. But there’s something else to notice. These cosmic powers seem to have various zones of authority on the Earth that correlate to ACTUAL TERRITORY and even THE LITERAL DIRT ITSELF:
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders [footnote: or “territories”] of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (Deuteronomy 32:7-9)
Note this other strange passage about an angel coming to visit the prophet Daniel:
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.
. . .
And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” (Daniel 10:2-6, 10-13)
What’s weird here is that Daniel was mourning for three weeks, which is twenty-one days, and he is really sad. But an angel who is absolutely in super-human form comes to him and says that he was resisted by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” who withstood that super-human angel for twenty-one days, which just happens to be three weeks. Does that sound like a regular “prince” of flesh and blood to you?
Then this super-human angel tells Daniel that the thing that allowed him to break through and share this super-important message is that Michael, “of of the chief princes” (who in verse 21 is called “your prince” to Daniel). And with the help of this more powerful and more authoritative Son of God, this super-human angel is allowed to break through and deliver the message.
4. The Rule of the Sons of God Actually Corresponds to TERRITORY and ACTUAL DIRT
This next part is even weirder, because unlike our elementary understandings of Greek Myths, where Gods rule certain “things” like “the sky” or “the ocean” or “Hades,” we see that the organization is different in the Old Testament. The gods rule ACTUALY TERRITORY.
To see what I’m talking about, look at the following passage after the Syrian General Naaman was cured of leprosy after coming to Israel and bathing seven times in the Jordan.
Then he [Naaman] returned to the man of God [Elijah], he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord. In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.” He said to him, “Go in peace.” (2 Kings 5:15-19)
Why did he ask for this? Because Naaman wanted to offer sacrifices only to the God of Israel, but to do that, he needed to do it on THAT GOD’S TERRITORY. The territory of Syria was given to a different heavenly being.
You can see this at work in the fun story of the Ark of the Covenant beheading a pagan idol in 1 Samuel, too. Because after the idol is laid face down, beheaded, and has its hands cut off, look what we see the priests of this pagan god do in response:
When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. (1 Samuel 5:1-5)
Why don’t the priests of Dagon tread on the threshold of Dagon? Because the God of Israel literally CONQUERED that spot, and it is now HIS territory, and no the territory of Dagon.
5. The Sons of God Do Not Normally Die
This is important, because I am saying that they do not NORMALLY die. In an intuitive sense, we can see this at work because we see that the Sons of God were on the earth before the flood, AND ALSO AFTERWARDS. How did the Sons of God survive the flood if God said this:
For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. (Genesis 6:17)
The answer is quite simple. The Sons of God are not “under heaven.” Though they are technically “on the Earth,” they are not merely “on the earth.”
Additionally, we have some direct biblical support for this idea, too. In the argument about Jesus being the Son of God in Hebrews, the author of Hebrews compares him to Melchizedek (who was one of these Sons of God), and he brings out this point about Melchizedek (who is one of the Sons of God) to point out a characteristic of Jesus Christ (the Son of God):
This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. (Hebrews 7:15-16)
The Divine Caveat to the Indestructible Life of the Sons of God
However, don’t take this idea too far. When these Sons of God do stuff really, REALLY bad, we see that the Most High God can change that characteristic about them:
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!
The Nephilim in Non-Biblical MYTHOLOGY
We read the following about the Nephilim in Genesis:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. . . . The Nephilim [footnote: Giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
So that’s what we read in the Bible. So, now let’s go outside of the Bible. Can we find anything like this? We don’t need the NAME “Nephilim,” but we do have some specific characteristics.
We want a Divine Parent and a Human Parent. It would also help if they are “mighty men of old.” Though the last post concentrated on the “Titan gods,” we can expand this category to ANYONE with divine parentage in mythology.
Mighty Man of Old No. 1: Hercules
You don’t have to look far. Take a look at what we read about in this random internet webpage for Hercules:
Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek hero Herakles, the most popular figure from ancient Greek mythology. Hercules was the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and the mortal woman Alcmene.
Here is what we read about Hercules in a much more ancient source, which would be Hesiod, in his long work “Shield of Heracles.”
But the father of men and gods was forming another scheme in his heart, to beget one to defend against destruction gods and men who eat bread. So he arose from Olympus by night pondering guile in the deep of his heart, and yearned for the love of the well-girded woman. Quickly he came to Typhaonium, and from there again wise Zeus went on and trod the highest peak of Phicium1: there he sat and planned marvellous things in his heart. So in one night Zeus shared the bed and love of the neat-ankled daughter of Electyron and fulfilled his desire; and in the same night Amphitryon, gatherer of the people, the glorious hero, came to his house when he had ended his great task. He hastened not to go to his bondmen and shepherds afield, but first went in unto his wife: such desire took hold on the shepherd of the people. And as a man who has escaped joyfully from misery, whether of sore disease or cruel bondage, so then did Amphitryon, when he had wound up all his heavy task, come glad and welcome to his home. And all night long he lay with his modest wife, delighting in the gifts of golden Aphrodite. And she, being subject in love to a god and to a man exceeding goodly, brought forth twin sons in seven-gated Thebe. Though they were brothers, these were not of one spirit; for one was weaker but the other a far better man, one terrible and strong, the mighty Heracles. Him she bare through the embrace of the son of Cronos lord of dark clouds and the other, Iphicles, of Amphitryon the spear-wielder — offspring distinct, this one of union with a mortal man, but that other of union with Zeus, leader of all the gods.
So… that looks about right. We have a divine parent. Zeus. We have a human parent. Alcmene. We have a “mighty” man. And yes, Hercules is a man of “great renown.”
So, strangely, this concept exists outside of the Bible.
Mighty Man of Old No. 2: Orion
We read the following bit of parentage about the constellation Orion, the Great Hunter, from a fragment that describes a opem of Hesiod, which is lost:
[Orion.] — Hesiod says that he was the son of Euryale, the daughter of Minos, and of Poseidon, and that there was given him as a gift the power of walking upon the waves as though upon land. When he was come to Chios, be outraged Merope, the daughter of Oenopion, being drunken; but Oenopion when he learned of it was greatly vexed at the outrage and blinded him and cast him out of the country. Then he came to Lemnos as a beggar and there met Hephaestus who took pity on him and gave him Cedalion his own servant to guide him. So Orion took Cedalion upon his shoulders and used to carry him about while he pointed out the roads. Then he came to the east and appears to have met Helius (the Sun) and to have been healed, and so returned back again to Oenopion to punish him; but Oenopion was hidden away by his people underground. Being disappointed, then, in his search for the king, Orion went away to Crete and spent his time hunting in company with Artemis and Leto. It seems that he threatened to kill every beast there was on earth; whereupon, in her anger, Earth sent up against him a scorpion of very great size by which he was stung and so perished. After this Zeus, at one prayer of Artemis and Leto, put him among the stars, because of his manliness, and the scorpion also as a memorial of him and of what had occurred.
(Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catast. fr. xxxii:)
So there you go. Son of Poseidon, a god, and Eurayle, a human. He was a mighty hunter. And I bet you’ve heard of Orion.
Mighty Man of Old No. 3: Achilles
In the Illiad, we see something about the mighty hero Achilles. Here is what his Wikipedia page says about him:
Achilles was the son of the Thetis, a nereid, and Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons.
Peleus was just a man, the king of Phthia in Thessaly. But what is a nereid? That’s a “sea-nymph,” which is a daughter of a sea-god named Nereus. So he is the grandson of a god on one side. However, that’s not the end of the story. Look at his family tree:
Those are some seriously good genes.
Might Man of Old 3: Ajax
A similar set of genes also exist for another hero of the Illiad: Ajax.
Lots of Other Mighty Men of Old
But look up at that Greek-mythological family tree. There are lots of other mighty men of old. We see that Perseus of “Clash of the Titans” fame is on this list, being a man and a “mighty man of old,” who has the ancestry of a god.
Also, I want to just explore some of the simple TEXT of what we find in the Iliad, told by Homer. This is in book II, which lists all of the people who came to fight against Troy.
Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Mars, led the people that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenus the realm of Minyas. Astyoche a noble maiden bore them in the house of Actor son of Azeus; for she had gone with Mars secretly into an upper chamber, and he had lain with her. With these there came thirty ships.
The fierce Abantes held Euboea with its cities, Chalcis, Eretria, Histiaea rich in vines, Cerinthus upon the sea, and the rock-perched town of Dium; with them were also the men of Carystus and Styra; Elephenor of the race of Mars was in command of these; he was son of Chalcodon, and chief over all the Abantes. With him they came, fleet of foot and wearing their hair long behind, brave warriors, who would ever strive to tear open the corslets of their foes with their long ashen spears. Of these there came fifty ships.
So apparently, this characteristic wasn’t just for the “heroes” of the ancient myths, it was a COMMON IDEA for less-than legendary, but still “special” people to be descended from the gods. Interesting, indeed.
Nephilim in Non-Mythological HISTORY
Next, I want to share something that I am very astonished to find. It is one thing to show that gods and men intermingle in MYTHOLOGY, because that’s where they belong. In mythology. What is shocking to find is that this division between mythology and history is not so fixed as we would like.
Source 1: Josephus the Jew in 100 A.D.
The most explicit reference to “Giants” and “Nephilim that we have, and the most explicit connection of Jewish scriptures and Greek myths that we have (other than this blog series) comes from the historian Josephus. Josephus wrote a rather immense history of the Jews, called “The Antiquities of the Jews,” and look what he says about the passage that comes right before the flood:
Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers; and did neither pay those honors to God which were appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made God to be their enemy. For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.
But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.3.1)
Did you catch that? The Nephilim aren’t merely “Giants,” which they are. Instead, their actions are connected with those WHOM THE GREEKS CALL GIANTS. There is a direct connection by Josephus between this passage in the Bible and Greek Myths about giants.
Josephus’s Defense of the Old Age of Adam, Seth, and the Patriarchs
But that’s not the end of what we read in Josephus about the connection between the Bible and non-Biblical sources. After going through his history about the ages of the first men of Genesis, he runs into the controversial point of their EXTREMELY long ages. This was controversial in the 1st Century A.D. just as it is controversial today. But look at his defense of the accuracy of Genesis:
Now when Noah had lived three hundred and fifty years after the Flood, and that all that time happily, he died, having lived the number of nine hundred and fifty years. But let no one, upon comparing the lives of the ancients with our lives, and with the few years which we now live, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the shortness of our lives at present an argument, that neither did they attain to so long a duration of life, for those ancients were beloved of God, and [lately] made by God himself; and because their food was then fitter for the prolongation of life, might well live so great a number of years: and besides, God afforded them a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded the time of foretelling [the periods of the stars] unless they had lived six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval. Now I have for witnesses to what I have said, all those that have written Antiquities, both among the Greeks and barbarians; for even Manetho, who wrote the Egyptian History, and Berosus, who collected the Chaldean Monuments, and Mochus, and Hestieus, and, besides these, Hieronymus the Egyptian, and those who composed the Phoenician History, agree to what I here say: Hesiod also, and Hecatseus, Hellanicus, and Acusilaus; and, besides these, Ephorus and Nicolaus relate that the ancients lived a thousand years. But as to these matters, let every one look upon them as he thinks fit.
When defending the position that Adam, Seth, Methuselah, Lamach, and Noah lived for centuries, Josephus makes a very startling claim. He says that EVERYBODY ELSE IS SAYING THE SAME THING.
Source 2: Manetho of Egypt
In our main Greek Text for this series, we see that there is an Egyptian priest who is talking to Solon and giving him the history of very ancient things, like Atlantis and other stuff that an Egyptian priest in 600 BC has no business knowing. However, now we’re going to switch to a different writer named Manetho. This is the same guy that Josephus mentioned above.
Manetho was an Egyptian who served the Greek kings of the Egyptian Ptolemaic kingdom. He wrote in the third century (200s) BC. But we don’t have a huge singular volume of his works. That’s the downside. But the upside is that we have a good bit of it quoted by others, including Josephus in the first century AD (who uses Egyptian records to defend the ancient origin of the Jews) and Eusebius in the fourth century AD (who was writing a general history of everything).
The following quoted portion comes from Eusebius. Look what Manetho says about the first rulers of the territory we call “Egypt”:
From the Egyptian History of Manetho, who composed his account in three books. These deal with the Gods, the Demigods, the Spirits of the Dead, and the mortal kings who ruled Egypt down to Darius, king of the Persians.
1. The first man (or god) in Egypt is Hephaestus, who is also renowned among the Egyptians as the discoverer of fire. His son, Helios (the Sun), was succeeded by Sôsis; then follow, in turn, Cronos, Osiris, Typhon, brother of Osiris, and lastly Orus, son of Osiris and Isis. These were the first to hold sway in Egypt. Thereafter, the kingship passed from one to another in unbroken succession down to Bydis (Bites) through 13,900 years. The year I take, however, to be a lunar one, consisting, that is, of 30 days: what we now call a month the Egyptians used formerly to style a year.
2. After the Gods, Demigods reigned for 1255 years, and again another line of kings held sway for 1817 years: then came thirty more kings of Memphis, reigning for 1790 years; and then again ten kings of This, reigning for 350 years.
3. There followed the rule of Spirits of the Dead and Demigods, for 5813 years.
4. The total [of the last five groups] amounts to 11,000 years, these however being lunar periods, or months. But, in truth, the whole rule of which the Egyptians tell — the rule of Gods, Demigods, and Spirits of the Dead — is reckoned to have comprised in all 24,900 lunar years, which make 2206 solar years. (Manetho, Fragment 1, Dynasties of Gods, Demigods, and Spirits of the Dead)
Something to note, however, is this commentary of “they year I take, however, to be a lunar one” is the commentary of Eusebius, who was trying to make everything “fit” in his history of everything. The important part to notice is that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE THAT THE EGYPTIANS THOUGHT THIS WAS A MONTH INSTEAD OF A YEAR.
So according to Manetho, “the gods” ruled Egypt for thousands and thousands of years.
Source 3: Herodotus in 450 BC
The following passage comes from Herodotus who literally wrote the book “Histories,” and he is called “the father of History.” He wrote the tale of the Persian Invasions of Greece, giving the COMPLETE back-story, going back hundreds and hundreds of years. I am going to quote a long portion of text, because it is so remarkable about what Herodotus just thinks is “normal.” Look what he says:
So far in the story the Egyptians and the priests were they who made the report, declaring that from the first king down to this priest of Hephaistos who reigned last, there had been three hundred and forty-one generations of men, and that in them there had been the same number of chief-priests and of kings: but three hundred generations of men are equal to ten thousand years, for a hundred years is three generations of men; and in one-and-forty generations which remain, those I mean which were added to the three hundred, there are one thousand three hundred and forty years. Thus in the period of eleven thousand three hundred and forty years they said that there had arisen no god in human form; nor even before that time or afterwards among the remaining kings who arose in Egypt, did they report that anything of that kind had come to pass. In this time they said that the sun had moved four times from his accustomed place of rising, and where he now sets he had thence twice had his rising, and in the place from whence he now rises he had twice had his setting; and in the meantime nothing in Egypt had been changed from its usual state, neither that which comes from the earth nor that which comes to them from the river nor that which concerns diseases or deaths.
And formerly when Hecataios the historian was in Thebes, and had traced his descent and connected his family with a god in the sixteenth generation before, the priests of Zeus did for him much the same as they did for me (though I had not traced my descent). They led me into the sanctuary of the temple, which is of great size, and they counted up the number, showing colossal wooden statues in number the same as they said; for each chief-priest there sets up in his lifetime an image of himself: accordingly the priests, counting and showing me these, declared to me that each one of them was a son succeeding his own father, and they went up through the series of images from the image of the one who had died last, until they had declared this of the whole number. And when Hecataios had traced his descent and connected his family with a god in the sixteenth generation, they traced a descent in opposition to this, besides their numbering, not accepting it from him that a man had been born from a god; and they traced their counter-descent thus, saying that each one of the statutes had been piromis son of piromis, until they had declared this of the whole three hundred and forty-five statues, each one being surnamed piromis; and neither with a god nor a hero did they connect their descent. Now piromis means in the tongue of Hellas “honourable and good man.”
From their declaration then it followed, that they of whom the images were had been of form like this, and far removed from being gods: but in the time before these men they said that gods were the rulers in Egypt, not mingling with men, and that of these always one had power at a time; and the last of them who was king over Egypt was Oros the son of Osiris, whom the Hellenes call Apollo: he was king over Egypt last, having deposed Typhon. Now Osiris in the tongue of Hellas is Dionysos.
Among the Hellenes Heracles and Dionysos and Pan are accounted the latest-born of the gods; but with the Egyptians Pan is a very ancient god, and he is one of those which are called the eight gods, while Heracles is of the second rank, who are called the twelve gods, and Dionysos is of the third rank, namely of those who were born of the twelve gods. Now as to Heracles I have shown already how many years old he is according to the Egyptians themselves, reckoning down to the reign of Amasis, and Pan is said to have existed for yet more years than these, and Dionysos for the smallest number of years as compared with the others; and even for this last they reckon down to the reign of Amasis fifteen thousand years. This the Egyptians say that they know for a certainty, since they always kept a reckoning and wrote down the years as they came. Now the Dionysos who is said to have been born of Semele the daughter of Admos, was born about sixteen hundred years before my time, and Heracles who was the son of Alcmene, about nine hundred years, and that Pan who was born of Penelope, for of her and of Hermes Pan is said by the Hellens to have been born, came into being later than the wars of Troy, about eight hundred years before my time.
Of these two accounts every man may adopt that one which he shall find the more credible when he hears it. I however, for my part, have already declared my opinion about them. For if these also, like Heracles the son of Amphitryon, had appeared before all men’s eyes and had lived their lives to old age in Hellas, I mean Dionysos the son of Semele and Pan the son of Penelope, then one would have said that these also had been born mere men, having the names of those gods who had come into being long before: but as it is, with regard to Dionysos the Hellenes say that as soon as he was born Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried him to Nysa, which above Egypt in the land of Ethipia; and as to Pan, they cannot say whither he went after he was born. Hence it has become clear to me that the Hellenes learnt the name of these gods later than those of the other gods, and trace their descent as if their birth occurred at the time when they first learnt their names.
Thus far then the history is told by the Egyptians themselves. (Herodotus, Histories, 2:141-146)
In this account (which is the same account that we get the biggest story of the Persian Invasion of Greece, so SOLID history), we learn some rather strange things.
Strange Thing 1
What is strange is that there is a long period of time listed in which there was never A GOD who ruled in human form. Interesting. Remember Manetho’s account? This seems to match what we read where there were 11,000 years of people ruling after Osiris, Orus, and Isis. Meanwhile, Herodotus gives a different version of the kings in Egypt and the priests’ way of keeping time. He says this:
So far in the story the Egyptians . . . from the first king down to this priest of Hephaistos who reigned last, there had been three hundred and forty-one generations of men . . . but three hundred generations of men are equal to ten thousand years, for a hundred years is three generations of men; and in one-and-forty generations which remain, those I mean which were added to the three hundred, there are one thousand three hundred and forty years.
Therefore, he gives 11,340 years lasting up until the pharaoh who was king of Egypt when Sennacharib invaded around 700 BC. This is more or less a ballpark figure of the even 11,000 year total that we get from the list that Manetho gives in the copy from Eusebius.
Strange Thing 2
We read a story when a man tried to claim that sixteen generations before, he was descended from a god. However, the Egyptians do not claim “that is impossible.” Instead, they take him into the temple and show him how it is NOT TRUE because they know the real genealogies themselves.
Regardless of their beliefs about the man’s genealogical claim, they are But what is clear from Herodotus’s investigations of the Egyptians is this: THERE USED TO BE GODS IN HUMAN FORM.
Herodotus notes quite plainly that the last god-king of Egypt was Osiris. He also notes that in the Greek tongue, his name is Apollo.
Strange Thing 3
Herodotus also treats the gods Heracles and Dionysos and Pan as the last gods born. And this one is a little weird, but I’m going to make the claim that Herodotus is referring to a Biblical character.
Herodotus gives a date of the birth of “Heracles.” He says it was about nine hundred years before his time. As we read above in Hesiod’s version of the story, Hercules was the supposed son of Alcmene and Amphitryon, and Herodotus calls him the son of Amphitryon. This Amphitryon was the king of Tyre. But notice that Tyre is very close to Israel, on the coast.
Another thing to notice. We read about Samson in Judges 13-16. He is of the tribe of Dan, which is on the coast. His birth is announced by an angel. He is really, really strong. Also, while the dates of the judges are really, really difficult (there was no central government to keep central records of the passage of time), we can make some approximations. For instance, look what it says in 1 Kings regarding some major milestones in the history of Israel:
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. (1 Kings 6:1)
According to Solomon’s Wikipedia page, which dates him from King Hiriam I of Tyre, who is mentioned in the same story in 1 Kings, “The conventional dates of Solomon’s reign are about 970 BC to 931 BC. This means the Exodus was in 1446 BC. After this is 40 years in the wilderness, then the conquest. Then we get this little time-frame help for Joshua:
- I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land. (Joshua 14:7)
- After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old. (Joshua 24:29)
That puts us at 1,376 BC for the start of the time of the judges. Now, the timeframe of the book of judges is ridiculously complex, because it seems there is huge overlap. it is not a consistent chronology. We get stories of judges who are in different tribes, and so we get lots of small an non-unified stories of rulers who Israel from foreign kings and oppressors.
And here’s the funny thing. It is possible to put Samson into the early part of the judges in 1,376 BC, because his tribe (Dan) and his location are not really the same as all of the other events listed in Judes before then. Therefore, it is entirely possible that Samson was born around 1,376 BC.
But here’s where it gets weird. Herodotus says that Heracles was born 900 years before his time in Tyre. But Herodotus was born in 484 BC and died in 425 BC. He says that Hercules was born nine hundred years before his time. Nine hundred years before his birthday is 1384 BC.
I’m sure to a Greek, being near Joppa (the tribe of Dan) in 1,376 and being near Tyre in Herodotus’s days was essentially the same thing. Therefore, it seems that Herodotus’s assertion that Heracles had been born strangely matches up to a very plausible date for the birth of Samson.
Anyway…. ….moving on.
Source 4: The Oriental Institute for the University of Chicago in 2007 A.D.
But enough of “super old” sources of men and gods having sexual relations to produce super-humans. Let’s look at something more recent that has at least the filter of “acceptable” historical research, not some random good looking and eloquent man on the internet.
So what follows is a link to a symposium given in 2007. It was called “Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond” and was put on by the Oriental Institute for the University of Chicago. Note what they say about some ancient Mesopotamian kings, who saw themselves and their children as divine:
The first Mesopotamian ruler who declared himself divine was Naram-Sin of Akkad. Naram-Sin reigned sometime during the 23rd century BCE but the exact dates and duration of his reign are still subject to research. According to his own inscription the people of the city of Akkad wished him to be the god of their city. This first instance of self-deification also coincides with the first world empire of the rulers of Akkad, the first time that a dynasty established a territorial ruler over large parts of Mesopotamia. It was also accompanied by certain changes in religion, in which the king proliferated the cult of the Ishtar, the goddess of war and love. Naram-Sin seems to have emphasized Ishtar in her war-like aspect (‘ashtar annunitum) and began to refer to himself as the husband/warrior of Ishtar.
After Naram-Sin no ruler declared himself divine until about 200 years had passed, when Shulgi (2095–2049 BCE), the second king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, took up the custom of self-deification once more. His self-deification may have been viewed in attempts to consolidate the empire he had inherited from his father. The cult of the divine ruler seems to have culminated under Shu-Sin, who was probably Shulgi’s son or grandson and began an extensive program of self-worship (Brisch in press). After Shu-Sin the divinization kings was abandoned once more.
Whether the kings of the Old Babylonian period (c. 2000–1595 BCE) can be considered divine is still subject to debate. Some consider the kings Rim-Sin of Larsa (1822–1763 BCE) and the famous Hammurabi of Babylon (1792–1750 BCE) to have been divine. Both kings struggled to expand their area of influence, and therefore their self-deification may have been part of a strategy to consolidate and legitimize their powers.
Well, that’s weird. But it gets weirder. Let’s notice that the city is Akkad. Akkad is a real place that was near the site of Babylon. And here, we have a very strange relationship. In this spot, we have a FEMALE goddess who is sleeping with a male human king. And as a result of this relationship, it seems we get a new religious cult of worshipping this war-like goddess of Ishtar.
Source 5: Dr. Steve Tinney, Penn Museum
Here’s another person who I found to be a giant and quite a mighty man. His name is Eannatum (𒂍𒀭𒈾𒁺). He is Summerian. In this lecture by Dr. Steve Tinney, Associate Curator of the Babylonian Section of the Penn Museum at the 0:12:00 mark, he says that when you read the inscription of the Vulture Steele, pictured below, Eannatum is given a particular height. He is nine feet two inches tall.
This Vulture Stele commemorates a victory of Eannatum, King of Lagash over several other cities. As you can see, the soldiers with their shields and spears in front of him in a tight pack are standing on top of the bodies of their enemies, and only then are they on the same level as the king.
Yeah, but that’s just a really tall guy who was king. What does he have to do with being a “Nephilim” or the product of a human and a god? I’m so glad you asked.
The grandfather of Eannatum was a man named Ur-Nanshe. His reign was sometime between 2550 and 2500 BC. In other words, this is just before the time when the source above claimed the Mesopotamian kings started to call themselves “divine.” He was probably not in any sort of royal position at this time. He is also known to have built a temple called “the the Ibgal of Inanna.” And Inanna was a goddess of love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. Another name of hers was “Ishtar,” as was discussed above.
But here is why this is important. The word “house” in English is a building. But in ancient contexts, the word is ambiguous. Yes, it sometimes means a building where you live (like a temple for a god), but it also means FAMILY.
In other words, Ur-Nanshe, the grandfather of the nine foot Eannatum, BUILT THE FAMILY OF A GODDESS in Mesopotamia.
We found a god-human giant king in non-biblical HISTORY. That’s a Nephilim. That’s a giant.
The Biblical Parallel to these Ancient Divine Beings
So now let’s go to a Bible pop-quiz. Do we have any biblical reference of a female divine creature who gives sexual relations in exchange for being worshipped? Associated with royalty? Goddess of war and love? Anyone? Anyone? Bueler? Babylon? Wait! Babylon! That’s right:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit [footnote: or “the abyss”] and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Revelation 17:1-8)
Well… prostitute. Sexual relations in exchange for something. Check. Warlike? Babylon was a great empire. Check. Royal and associated with kingliness? Check. But I also want you to notice something. She WAS. That’s past tense. She IS NOT. That is present tense. And she IS ABOUT TO RISE (that’s future tense). And she is about to rise from the ABYSS.
Remember what we discovered about the “Sons of God” before. They don’t die like normal people. We also learned that they were imprisoned in TARTARUS, which is a place in the earth, much like “the abyss.”
Now here in Revelation, we have the description of the great prostitute of Babylon in a vision of the spiritual realm by the apostle John written around 100 AD:
- This divine being WAS.
- She currently (in 100 AD) “is not,” because she is in the abyss.
- But she “is to come.”
That’s because she — like all “Sons of God” doesn’t normally die like an ordinary person. Also: notice that when John marvels at her, the angel rebukes him, and basically says “Bro. Don’t be fooled. She is bad news.” This matches to another thing we discovered about being a “Son (or daughter) of God.” It doesn’t make you a good person. It may make you powerful, but “powerful” isn’t the same thing as “good.”
Source 6: The Emperor of Japan in 2018
Now, the title of “king” or “emperor” is not really a modern category, but believe it or not, such individuals still exist. The emperor of Japan, for instance, still exists, and he exists in a similar position to the queen of England, except he does not have any Christian baggage to his throne. Here is what we learn from the Wikipedia page of the Emperor of Japan:
He is also the Head of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō (天皇, pronounced [tennoꜜː]), literally “Heavenly Sovereign” or “Emperor of God”. The Japanese Shinto religion holds him to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu.
“Heavenly Sovereign”? The “Emperor of God”? Surely this is an ancient belief that has no real connection to the modern-day, right? It’s not like we would have any sort of religious practice where the emperor of a modern nation would spend the night with the sun goddess to produce divine offspring, right?
Guys…. that literally happened IN NOVEMBER OF 2019. Google it yourself. The Emperor of Japan spends a night with a goddess as a ritual practice to seal his accession to the throne.
Now, do I believe the emperor of Japan ACTUALLY had sexual relations with the sun goddess in November of 2019? No. No I don’t. I think there was a lot of symbolism, a ton of tradition, and a little bit of cultural politics involved. But no divine sexcapades. That was just a ceremony.
But ancient ceremonies with religious importance don’t come from nowhere. This isn’t a ceremony about NOTHING. This is a ceremony about SOMETHING, and it happened as recently as two years ago.
Now that we see multiple different sources — often sources with contradictory theological and social motivations — all telling THE SAME STORY about “might men of old” and ancient warriors and kings, we should remember something that was brought up before.
When everybody everywhere is telling the SAME STORY, that is not evidence that there is a “collective false story.” Instead, lots of very different people spread all over the globe telling the same story about the past is really good evidence that they are saying something that corresponds to real life.
So here is what this teaches us about this weird part of scripture. Are these images of divine beings and “Nephilim” and visions of “the great prostitute of Babylon” metaphors? Well, yes, I’m sure there are certainly metaphorical aspects to them
But are they MERELY metaphors? Seems not. We even get similar stories in the Americas. We even have the same story being told in Japan TODAY. Is this a weird part of scripture? Maybe so. But it’s a weird part of the world that is not limited to scripture.
Biblical Wars Against Giants
At this point, I think you can see that things are MUCH WEIRDER than you probably thought they were before. So now, let’s talk about something that is a little bit more believable and realistic: the Weird Parts of Scripture where Israel goes into Canaan and fights Giants with the help of the LORD God. (Isn’t it nuts that this sentence can be written? Anyway, moving on…)
At this point, I would once again like to cite to the work of Michael Hesier. His book the Unseen Realm is very big on the larger theological and interpretive concept of talking about the Nephilim in this way. Though he doesn’t cite to the specific examples I have cited to, he does do a lot of the theological leg work for thinking about things in this manner.
Context of the Giants
In Genesis 6, we read:
The Nephilim [footnote: Giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
We’re about to talk about the “afterward.” These same characters (the same characters that we’ve been covering above) are mentioned in the Scripture even after Genesis. Look what it says in the book of Numbers:
So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. They went up into the Negeb and came to Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there.
. . .
At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.”
But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
So guys, this is usually something that preachers struggle to preach on, because it is so weird. Let me make it simple for you. Who is “Anak”? Anak is either one of these divine beings or the descendant of one of these divine beings. What does it mean that the land “devours its inhabitants”? It means DEVOURS ITS INHABITANTS. For instance, it is widely noticed that human sacrifice was a part of Canaanite worship. But here’s something that most people miss. A sacrifice isn’t just “killing something.”
A sacrifice is a MEAL. (See 1 Corinthians 8, Leviticus 6:26, Deuteronomy 18:1, etc.) These people had human sacrifice. That’s why this was a land that “devours its inhabitants.” THEY ATE THEIR INHABITANTS.
And we also read here that the individuals were PHYSICALLY MASSIVE, which is why they seemed “like grasshoppers.” And remember the Mesopotamian kings mentioned above. Remember the Giants mentioned in Greek mythology. They were huge. That’s quite literal. These are the people that Israel doesn’t want to fight before they wander in the Wilderness for forty years.
These are the people that the people of Israel DO FIGHT when it comes to Joshua.
Wars Against Giants
Notice what happens when the Israelites conquer the land of Canaan in the book of Joshua. People claim this is a genocide. This is a rather awkward point for many Christians, because it looks like one.
I’m here to tell you that it was a genocide “or sorts,” but not one you should feet too bad about. We keep getting this phrase “devoted to destruction” in Joshua. For instance, when Rahab hides the spies of Jericho, this is what she says:
“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction.” (Joshua 2:8-10)
Let’s rewind to that spot where “Sihon” and “Og” are mentioned in Numbers 21, but we get more details about them in Deuteronomy. Notice what we notice about how big this guy “Og” was:
For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit. (Deuteronomy 3:11)
The bed of Og was thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide. If you want to know how big this guy was, we can’t make an EXACT measurement from his bed, but we can learn one thing: He was absolutely ENROMOUS. He is called a “Rephaim.” That’s a descriptive word that signals “Giant.”
And look at what we read soon afterwards:
You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once,[b] lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24 And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction[c] like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction. (Deuteronomy 7:21-26)
What nation is “devoted to destruction”? It is the “kings” whose name the Lord wishes to “perish from under heaven.” He wants the “carved images of their gods” to be burned. He wants all of the practices and relics of these people to die.
Remember the name “Anak” from Numbers 13. These are the giants who live in Canaan. Are ALL of the Canaanites giants? No, but some of them definitely are. Look at the other giants we see described among this population:
And the Lord said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the people of Lot for a possession.’ (The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. Like the Anakim they are also counted as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. The Horites also lived in Seir formerly, but the people of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the Lord gave to them. . . . It is also counted as a land of Rephaim. Rephaim formerly lived there—but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim— 21 a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; but the Lord destroyed them before the Ammonites,[a] and they dispossessed them and settled in their place, (Deuteronomy 2:9-12, 20)
So we have more names of these Nephilim. We have the sons of Anak, the Anakim. We also have the Rephaim. We also have the Emim. We also have Zamzummim. These are names of many “nations,” but they are all giant clans.
And notice the VERY CLEAR INSTRUCTION that the Lord gives to the people of Israel about exactly what “nations” they are destroying:
“Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. So you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
“Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
So, is the Lord telling the Isrealites to go kill entire nations? Yes. But only a specific set of nations: These are nations that are LITERALLY GIANTS who are the CROSS-BRED DESCENDANTS of evil demon-spawn who LITERALLY ATE PEOPLE as human sacrifices.
Yes. God told the Israelites to literally exterminate THESE “nations.” But for us today, a “nation” is a piece of territory on a map, along with EVERY PERSON inside of it. But that is not what this word used to mean. Back in the time of Joshua, the word “nation” had a definition that as connected to the descendants of a particular person. For instance, the nation of Israel was literally the DESCENDANTS of Jacob (whose name was “Israel”).
So this is what it means that God said that certain nations should be “devoted for destruction”:
KILL THE DEMON GIANTS.
This is why we should take note of what is happening in Joshua 12. Notice that it does not take pride in the large numbers of people who are killed by the army of Israel. Instead, it is memorializing the KINGS that are killed by both Moses and Joshua. Why? Because those are the Demon Giants.
After all, look at what we read about these battles Joshua:
And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war. (Joshua 11:21-23)
According to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. (Joshua 15:13-14)
The book of Joshua is NOT about one group of random people (the Israelites) being called to exterminate a bunch of other random groups of people (the Canaanites). Because look at what we read at the end of the book of Joshua:
Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. (Joshua 23:4)
Instead, the book of Joshua is literally God calling out to all the Demon Giants, who are the descendants of the evil Sons of God, calling them and their followers out to do battle.
Are you a giant descendant of a rebellious Son of God who eats human beings as a part of your dominion over the Earth?
Do you follow and fight for one of these characters?
Okay cool. Come down to the battlefield, where your god and all of your people can fight it out with our God and his people. Let’s see who wins.
And that’s the fight Joshua wins. He’s literally fighting god-king demon giants. The book of Joshua is a book about literally hunting down GIANTS and those who follow them, and then taking their idols and their practices and “devoting them to destruction.”
If you don’t believe this “interpretation” of mine, then I’ll just quote the Jewish historian Josephus regarding what he says about this incident:
For which reason they removed their camp to Hebron; and when they had taken it, they slew all the inhabitants. There were till then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing. The bones of these men are still shown to this very day, unlike to any credible relations of other men. Now they gave this city to the Levites as an extraordinary reward, with the suburbs of two thousand cities; but the land thereto belonging they gave as a free gift to Caleb, according to the injunctions of Moses. This Caleb was one of the spies which Moses sent into the land of Canaan. They also gave land for habitation to the posterity of Jethro, the Midianite, who was the father-in-law to Moses; for they had left their own country, and followed them, and accompanied them in the wilderness. (Josephus, Antiquities, 5.2.3)
Wars Against the Giants, Part 2
But notice the places where the Giants aren’t exterminated. It is described here:
And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain. (Joshua 11:22-23)
Wait…. Gath? Do we ever read anything about this city and giant champions of war later in the Bible? In fact, we do:
Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. . . . And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. (1 Samuel 17:1, 3-7)
Now, that was the famous one, but he was not the only one. The following story comes after David becomes king:
There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”
After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. These four were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. (2 Samuel 21:15-22)
To put the final point on this claim about Joshua not fighting against the Canaanites in general, and instead fighting against the descendants of Giants who literally ate people, I’d like to show you the beginning of the next book of the Bible:
Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.
And Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.
Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them, but became subject to forced labor.
Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob, so the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out.
Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, so they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.
The Amorites pressed the people of Dan back into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the plain. The Amorites persisted in dwelling in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim, but the hand of the house of Joseph rested heavily on them, and they became subject to forced labor. And the border of the Amorites ran from the ascent of Akrabbim, from Sela and upward.
So there’s an interesting thing to notice. In Joshua, they are hunting for SPECIFIC GROUPS OF PEOPLE called “Anakim” and “Rephaim” and other crazy names like Zamzummim and Emim. They are extremely bad set of ruling people. But they are a limited sub-set of these inhabitants. That is why “spies” were sent out into the land to find them.
The regular Canaanite people who live in villages? For the most part, they are still around.
Here’s the crazy part of this story in the Bible. Giants were EVERYWHERE, and they were descended from a particular line of people. Amazingly, they are not only common in the Bible, they are common EVERYWHERE in ancient texts.
The only people who don’t really believe in giants are us in the modern day.
The Last God-King
There is a final point I’d like to make about this history of people of both human and divine origin who are said to be “kings” or “mighty men of old” and “men of great renown.” These people ruled. They had divine right to rule. They accomplished great things in the physical world, which is why they inspired “fear.” However, they also made headway in the supernatural world, which is why they could also inspire “dread.”
I’m going to make a rather strange claim, but one that I think is both historically and theologically acurate, too. The fact of the matter is, we still have one of these kings who still “rules” (and no, I’m not talking about the emperor of Japan).
To make my point, I’d like you to notice the date. The year is 2021 A.D. Now that “A.D.” is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi.” We often translate it into English as “the year of our Lord Jesus Christ.” However, that’s not so accurate. Thinking of our date as “the year of our Lord” leads to confusion. We wonder why Jesus wasn’t born in 1 A.D. or whatever. We think that the difference between the actual date of Jesus’s birth and the start of our calendar is a “mistake.” But that misses the point.
If we wanted to make a calendar that counted from the beginning of the Life of Jesus Christ, then we could do that with a different Latin phrase. That phrase would be “Anno Vitae Jesu Christi,” which means “the year of the life of Jesus Christ.”
But we don’t have that. What we have is “Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi.” The year OF THE DOMINION of Jesus Christ. The date is a REGNAL DATE.
What is a regnal date? Well, it is the same way that people ALWAYS counted time before the current calendar that we have adopted. Look at all of these dates, both in the Bible and out of the Bible:
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. (Daniel 1:1)
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia. . . (Ezra 1:1)
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo. . . (Zechariah 1:1)
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2)
Detained, however, by bad weather and the increasing violence of his illness, he died a little later in the villa of Lucullus, in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the twenty-third of his reign, on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of April, in the consulship of Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus and Gaius Pontius Nigrinus. (Suetonius, Life of Tiberius, 73.1)
In a regnal date, you start counting when the king BEGINS TO REIGN. King Cyrus was not one year old in Ezra 1, nor was Darius two years and eight months old in Zechariah 1. Tiberius Caesar wasn’t fifteen years old when John began to preach in Luke 2. Not at all. these all count from when they begin to REIGN. So if the date is a Regnal Date for Jesus Christ, we need to ask, “When did Jesus begin to reign?” The answer is quite simple, and don’t let Christian doctrines like Jesus being “before Abraham” and “eternal” and all that trip you up.
When the last king dies, that year (no matter when the death actually takes place) is the last year of King X. The next year is the first year of King Y.
The last king of the Jews was Herod the Great. He was made king by Caesar in Rome:
But when the senate was dissolved, Antony and Cæsar went out of the senate house with Herod between them, and with the consuls and other magistrates before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay up their decrees in the capitol. Antony also feasted Herod the first day of his reign. And thus did this man receive the kingdom, having obtained it on the hundred and eighty-fourth olympiad, when Caius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second time, and Caius Asinius Pollio [the first time]. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.14.5)
When he died, we read in Josephus that none of his sons became king afterwards:
When Cæsar had heard these pleadings, he dissolved the assembly; but a few days afterwards he appointed Archelaus, not indeed to be king of the whole country, but ethnarch of the one half of that which had been subject to Herod, and promised to give him the royal dignity hereafter, if he governed his part virtuously. But as for the other half, he divided it into two parts, and gave it to two other of Herod’s sons, to Philip and to Antipas, that Antipas who disputed with Archelaus for the whole kingdom. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.11.4)
The next king of the Jews at the death of Herod the Great was NOT his son Archelaus, who was banished soon afterwards.
As a historical fact, the next person to be named king of the Jews by a Roman was Jesus Christ himself:
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” (John 19:12-22)
THAT is the next king of the Jews. He began to reign not at his birth, but when the last king died. Herod the Great died — by definition — in 1 B.C., and the entire world now bases their calendar on the regnal date of the God-Man Jesus Christ. He quite literally REIGNS, whether we realized it or not.
And of course, some people may object that Jesus never instituted such a reform of the calendar. Jesus never counted the years of his reign, and he never even ordered people to do this. In fact, Jesus never even called himself king, really. After all, when questioned by Caesar on this subject, look how nonchalant he is about the whole thing:
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:33-37)
And here is where we should remember a very important lesson from Game of Thrones about authority. Any may who must say “I am the king” is no true king.
Jesus never does, because he doesn’t need to. And yet now, everyone, everywhere, all around the world recognizes his reign. It is quite a LITERAL enactment of what the Angel told the human mother of Jesus:
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
This Jesus guy is the last of the God-Kings. And we are told what he is like. He is of the order of “Melchizedek.” Remember him from our last post? He was a “Son of God.” We get explicit mention of Jesus being precisely like this other Son of God:
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7-10)
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him . . .He [Melchizedek] is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. (Hebrews 7:1-3)
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. (Hebrews 4:14)
Conclusion and Next Post
I hope you enjoyed this post on Nephilim and Giants, but we’ve still got more coming up. I think the next post is going to be the final one that is roughly on the subject of Noah. We’re going to talk about the Ark, which is probably not what you were told it was.
I hope you enjoyed this post on Giants, and we’ve still got more coming up. I think the next post is going to be the final one that is roughly on the subject of Noah. We’re going to talk about the Ark, which is probably not what you were told it was.