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This page was last updated on 30 August, 2015.

Nephlim

Ancient Hebrew had no vowels, only consonants.

The suffix "im" is how Hebrew writes plural. In the most ancient spelling that suffix was "m"  (no i/vowel)


Singular of ne-ph-l-m is ne-ph-l

The most ancient spelling of ne-ph-l   is  n-ph-l

The most ancient spelling of naphal     is n-ph-l

So sometimes it's argued nephlim is a 'modern' plural of the most ancient form of the word napal which means to fall.

That's the reason nephilim is quite often translated as "fallen ones", "the fallen", and similar.



Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants

First giants:     ne-phy-l-m ==> Cannot mean fallen because it means the ancient root word is n-phy-l  and not n-ph-l  ==> "Giant"

Second giants: ne-ph  -l-m  ===> "To fall" or "giant"



So it can be reasoned the above verse can be translated in two ways:

a] Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants

b] Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the fallen ones


There is a grammatical problem with translation b].

While "to fall" is a possible translation for  ne-ph-l, "fallen" is not because of other Hebrew grammar rules.



Let's take "to pray" as an example.


- I pray

- He prays

- They are praying

- They prayed

- to pray

- The praying ones


The word "pray" morphs according to English grammar rules.

The last two examples are important for this discussion.

According to English grammar rules "The pray ones" is not correct and should be "The praying ones"

Similar rules apply to Hebrew. "Fallen ones" would be spelled as "nephulim"

Note the "u" instead of the "i".


So both occurrences of giant in Numbers 13:33 comply with the above grammar rule.




The first occurrence of giants complies with another grammar rule.


Only nephilim would be an adjective form of n-ph-l / naphal "fallen ones" can be a correct translation; but that causes problems elsewhere.

Let's look at the complete verse.

Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.


A regular human looks like a tiny grasshopper in the sight of a giant. But what would that comparison mean if the verse was translated as "fallen ones"?

That we are less or more fallen? That makes no sense...



Adding a little more context. The spies report the Nephlim are huge and (therefore) too strong to defeat. Just taking a look at regular sized humans doesn't show their fallen (spiritual) state. Great stature also is about size.

Num 13

30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched to the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.



1 Enoch 15:1-12 Explains when a Nephlim dies his spirit leaves the body and becomes an “evil spirit” or “demon” that can’t leave earth.



2Sam 5:18 The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.


H7497

Rephaim

רפה  /  רפא

râphâ'  /  râphâh

BDB Definition:

1) giants, Rephaim

1a) old tribe of giants

Part of Speech: noun proper, of tribe, gentilic

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H7495 in the sense of invigorating

Same Word by TWOT Number: 2198d



Job 26

5 The shades/dead/spirits in the underworld are shaking; the waters and those living in them.

6 The underworld is uncovered before him, and Destruction has no veil.


Psalm 8:10 10 Will thou show wonders to the shades/dead/spirits? Shall those who are deceased arise and praise thee? Selah. (Did Jesus preach to the Rephaim?)


Isa 14:9 Sheol from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the shades/dead/spirits for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.




H7496





We also learn that these beings came down ―in the days of Jared and descended to Mount Hermon. The name Hermon (pronounced khermon in Hebrew), is formed from the Hebrew term kherem, which is a word that means ―destruction and is the Hebrew equivalent for Islam‘s jihad—―holy war.



these sites were all predominantly populated by descendants of the nephilim, the offspring of the unions of Genesis 6:1-4


Leviticus 27:28-29 But no devoted thing (kherem) that a man devotes (kharam, the verbal root) to the LORD, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing (kherem) is most holy to the LORD. No one devoted (kherem), who is to be devoted for destruction (kharam) from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death



The idea of kherem was that everything designated as put under kherem was to be treated as a sacrifice to Yahweh—to be utterly destroyed and burned.


The most ancient non consonant spelling of kherem is kh-r-m.

Geographical names usually have a "n" prefix.

kh-r-m-n is the non consonant spelling of Mount Hermon




Dead

רפא

râphâ'

BDB Definition:

1) ghosts of the dead, shades, spirits

Part of Speech: noun masculine plural

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H7495 in the sense of H7503

Same Word by TWOT Number: 2198c



- Og = Rephaim (Deut 3:11)

- Emim = Anakim sized Rephaim. Zamzummins are giants.  (Deut 2:8-30)

- Deut 2:10 Rephaim are Nephlim

- Anakim are Nephlim decendants  (Number 13:25:33)

- --> Enim=Rephaim=Anakim=Nephlim

- There is a link between Mt Hermon and the Rephaim (Joshua 12:1-5)

- Amorites were very tall  (Amos 2:9-10)

- Shades/dead/spirits are deceased Rephaim





Rephaim lived in Ashtaroh and Edrei. Those cities are located in the Bashan region which in Ugaritic is called Bathan. Bathan in Ugaratic and Hebrew means “serpent”.

Bashan was commonly known as place of the serpent. In Ugaric literature that Raphaim are called kings and gods. The most ancient Hebrew had only constonants and spelled kings as mlkm. In Ugarit mlkm had the meaning of Milkom=Molech.

The mlkm were considered gods of the underworld. (Hades is the Greek god of the underworld. Hivites in the most old spelling also has a meaning similar to snake.


Gehenna=Ge-Hinnom=Valley of Hinnom = Valley of wailing (baby sacrifices)

Joshua 15:8 shows the land of the Rephaim overlaps Gehenna.
The Valley of the Rephaim lies between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Its northern end opens into the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), which is immediately south of Jerusalem.


Isaiah 47

1 Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.

5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms.

8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children.

No one besides God simply means no one is as great as God. Just like the cities in the verses claim to be the only ones while they most certainly knew there were many cities. They just claimed to be the most glorious cities.

Zephaniah 2:15 This is the exultant city that lived securely, that said in her heart, "I am, and there is no one else." What a desolation she has become, a lair for wild beasts! Everyone who passes by her hisses and shakes his fist.