Of all of the Bible’s Nephilim texts—all of two verses, not even texts actually—Num 13:32-33 is the mother of them all since without it, no one would even imagine concluding post-flood Nephilim from the Bible.
The common tactic of post-flood Nephilim believers is to pick up one single un-contextual verse, 13:33, run with it and turn it into a worldview-philosophy-hermeneutic.
The narrative in Num 13 relates two post-reconnoitering of the land of Canaan reports: the first (the original one) is accepted as is and the second is specified to have been an evil report, the speakers of which were rebuked by God Himself.
Every indication—from the narrative as well as the rest of the whole entire Bible—is that the original report was reliable and the evil one was not.
Here is the original report bullet-pointed so as to emphasize its points:
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.
Good land, “It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.”
The report notes “strong” “people” in general.
Who live in “fortified and very large” “cities.”
A list of the various people groups they saw, “the descendants of Anak…Amalekites…Hittites…Jebusites…Amorites…Canaanites.”
A list of where the various people groups lived, “the Negeb…the hill country…by the sea…along the Jordan” with where the Anakim lived being specified earlier in the chap. “Hebron.”
Since the verse next verse has it that, “Caleb quieted the people” he discerned concern: likely because they were itinerant wilderness tent dwellers who would be confronting, “strong” “people” who live in “fortified and very large” “cities.”
We end up finding out that Joshua sided with him when Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
Yet, the ten other reconnoiterers dissuaded the Israelites from obeying God, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”
After they showed themselves to be unfaithful and disloyal, we’re told that they then, “brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out” and the report is related, here are the bullet-points:
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.
Here are the points:
The land is bad, “devours its inhabitants.”
“all the people…are of great height.”
They “saw the Nephilim” who were very, very tall.
The ESV, et al., read as if “Nephilim” refers to the Anakim but more standard renderings are that they were claiming they saw Nephilim and that Anakim are related to them.
Did you discern some problems?
The original report was of a good land but the unfaithful, disloyal spies contradict that, asserting a bad land.
The original report noted “strong” peoples, plural, and even the unfaithful, disloyal spies repeated this, “stronger,” but they suddenly embellish that by asserting that they are all “of great height.”
The original report listed the various people groups they saw but the unfaithful, disloyal spies suddenly assert they also saw Nephilim.
The original report specified where each people group they saw lived (again, with the location of the Anakim being stated earlier) but the unfaithful, disloyal spies are missing this sort of data point: they can’t seem to pinpoint where they saw Nephilim.
We may not have a full genealogy of Anakim but we know they were named after Anak who was Arba’s son (Joshua 14:15).
Genesis 6 is the other Nephilim verse and doesn’t provide a physical description of them so all we have to go on is the assertion of unfaithful, disloyal, contradictory, embellishers whom God rebuked: let’s just say no one should believe them.
In short, they proposed five assertions about which the whole entire rest of the Bible knows nothing at all.
They also contradicted Moses, Caleb, Joshua, God, and the rest of the Bible since those affirm, for instance, that Anakim, et al., were in the land but never say a single word about Nephilim whatsoever—ever.
In Num 14:6, “Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb…said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land…that flows with milk and honey.”
In Num 14:36 it’s noted that, “the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land—the men who brought up a bad report of the land—died by plague before the Lord.”
A lot more could be said about 13:32-33 including it’s textual issues (no reference to Anakim in the LXX version of it) but let us get to how post-flood Nephilim believers call evil good and good evil.
They take the narrative of Num 13 and the aftermath of it (such as the people being made to wander the wilderness for almost half a century) and turn it inside out, upside down, and backward.
By demanding that we actually take the evil/bad report as not only literally true but infallibly so, they imply that the original report is the faulty one.
Since the second contradicts the first then the first must be mistaken.
Since the second embellishes the first then the first must lack data—as if after seeing the most awe-inspiring beings on the planet, the first thing one would report would be, hey, check out this fruit!
They take the reliable and make it unreliable and take the unreliable and make it reliable.
Some of them care not that the survival of Nephilim though the flood contradicts Genesis 7:7, 23; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5. Yet, some do care, so they just invent tall tales about how to get them to return thereafter: which also implies that God failed and the flood was a waste.
As my new buddy Eric Rolon told me, “we’re required to have that Nephilim connection” in Num 13:33, “absolutely required” since without that one single (utterly unreliable) verse, no one would have ever imagined post-flood Nephilim—at least not consistent with the entire Bible.
The entire post-flood Nephilim cottage industry—a very lucrative one, BTW—is literally based on demanding that accepting one verse as being infallible is required and that, actually, is part of what utterly discredits that industry—upon which many have established entire ministries, to boot.
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