What does the Bible say about Giants?

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Did GIANTS exist not only before but also AFTER Noah's flood? If they did exist, who were they? How big was their stature? Where can we find them in the Bible? The ones who lived before the deluge were known as the Nephilim "In those days, and even later, there were giants on the earth . . ." (Genesis 6:4)

Some believe these gigantic people were the product of fallen angels marrying human women. This cannot be true, however, as Jesus said angelic beings (whether righteous or not) do not marry (Matthew 22:29-30, Luke 20:34-36). Additionally, angels are composed of spirit, which is a completely different type of existence than man who was made from the ground (Genesis 3:19). Please see our article "Who are the Nephilim in the Bible?" for more information about this fasinating subject. Suffice to say, these giants perished in the flood along with the rest of humanity.

AFTER the flood

Where can we find giants in the Bible after the destruction of the world through water? The first mention of such people is in the book of Numbers. Ten of the twelve men sent to spy out the promised land for the children of Israel reported the following.

"And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had scouted out to the children of Israel, saying, 'The land through which we have gone to scout it out, is a land that eats up those who live in it. And all the people whom we saw in it were men of great stature. And there we saw the GIANTS, the children of Anak of the giants (Anakim). And we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.'" (Numbers 13:32-33, Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version (HBFV) throughout unless stated))

Only the spies Joshua and Caleb had the faith that God would help them win in battle no matter who they came up against (Numbers 13:30, 14:6). It was Israel's lack of faith and fear of the giant people who inhabited the land of milk and honey that caused them to wander the wilderness for forty years (see Numbers 14).

 
 
 
 
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A giant king

The Israelites, while wandering the wilderness 40 years, encountered a second group or race of people known to produce large, powerful humans. In reminding the Israelites of the battle they fought and won against Og, king of Bashan, Moses said the following.

11 King Og was the last of the Rephaim. His coffin (most other translations have 'bedstead' and not 'coffin'), made of stone . . .

The NKJV and other translations state that Og slept in a bed 9 cubits long and 4 cubits wide. Various Bible commentaries place the length of a Biblical cubit anywhere from 17 inches (43.2 centimeters) to 21 inches (53.3 centimeters). If we use a conservative value of 18 inches in a cubit, Og's bed was 13 1/2 feet long and 6 feet wide! For comparison purposes, the most common large mattress in the U.S., the "king size" mattress, is 6.6 feet long and 6.3 feet wide.

David and Goliath

The third mention of very large people in the Bible is within the well-known story of a young king David and Goliath.

4 A man named Goliath, from the city of Gath, came out from the Philistine camp to challenge the Israelites. (1Samuel 17:4)

The length of a span is likely to have been around 9 inches (22.9 centimeters). If we also use the conservative length of a cubit mentioned above, Goliath the giant was at least 9 feet 3 inches tall (2.82 meters) - and likely bigger! He was a big enough man to wear a protective battle coat weighing more than 80 pounds U.S. and to carry a 26 foot spear whose head alone was an amazing 17 pounds U.S. (7.7 kilograms)!

Goliath the Philistine, however, was not a unique giant. The Bible seems to indicate he had a few brothers, each of which died in battle either at the hand of David or one of his fighters! The first giant brother is Ishbibenob, who David killed with the help Abishai (2Samuel 21:16). The second was Saph, who was killed by Sibbecai during a battle between the Israelites and Philistines at Gob (verse 18). The third, at another battle that occurred at Gob, was named Goliath from Gath (verse 19). The fourth brother (who apparently liked to fight) was killed by Jonathan, a son of one of David's brothers, at a battle in Gath (verse 20). All these, according to scripture, were likely the descendants of Goliath whom David fought when he was young.

The Bible records for us at least three groups or races of people who produced giants after the flood. They are the Anakim (children of Anak), the people of Bashan, and the Philistines (Rephaim).

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