The Amorites may also have been giants. The spies were to scout out the land and assess “whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak” (Numbers 13:18). Deuteronomy 2 provides some interesting information about the Rephaim. This is not something the text ever claims. David killed Goliath with a stone to the head, and then he cut off Goliath’s head (1 Samuel 17:48-51). There are no more Nephilim, Anakim, or Rephaim on the earth. Goliath’s connection to the Nephilim is strengthened by his description as a gibbor, a “mighty” one (1 Samuel 17:51; cf. 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. Then the “bad report” got even worse: 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. If so, how big were they? Goliath had cursed David “by his gods,” but in the end it was Goliath who was cursed (1 Samuel 17:43). Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. It is of note that the region of Bashan was in the land of the Rephaim. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown (Genesis 6:4). Joshua had to be strong and courageous, but with Yahweh fighting for them, he was able to drive out the Canaanites, including the giants (Deuteronomy 1:30-31). First, the word Nephilites or Nephilim, which some Bible scholars translate as "giants." While 2 Samuel 21:15-22 uses the singular Rapha four times, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 uses Rapha once and the plural Rephaim twice (1 Chronicles 20:6, 8). Numbers 13 is the key passage on giants in the land of Canaan. Hebron was the land of the three sons of Anak (Numbers 13:22). These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. By defeating Goliath and his relatives, David completed the conquest that Joshua began. It says the Rephaim were as “tall as the Anakim,” but were mostly wiped out by Yahweh (Deuteronomy 2:21). Goliath also receives the most explicit description of a giant in all of Scripture: And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. When Moses sent his spies to scout the Promised Land so the children of Israel could enter it, the spies reported seeing beings there who were giants. Most text critical scholars seem to favor the Septuagint and Hebrew DSS reading, but this position is not certain (and still has to explain why the MT has a different number). Israel’s first king, Saul, fought a serpent in his first battle against Nahash (Hebrew “serpent”), king of the Ammonites, and here David faced his own serpent. Whether descendants of the Nephilim were actually in the land of Canaan is uncertain, as the Israelite spies may have been exaggerating their account. Advocates of redemptive-historical preaching often criticize this example of how preachers cover the Goliath story.
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