Under consideration is Gary Wayne’s article, Origins of the Giant Lion-Like Men of Moab.
Wayne begins by quoting the apocryphal book Wisdom of Solomon 14:6, “This was how it was in ancient times, when a proud race of giants was dying away. The hope of the world escaped on such a boat under your guidance and left the world a new generation to carry on the human race.”
I could not find a Hebrew interlinear so as to check what the word is that is being rendered as giants here but in the LXX the Greek is γιγάντων/gigantes which the LXX actually uses to render Nephilim and also gibborim and also Rephaim which only causes problems since those are vastly different things:
Nephilim: strictly pre-flood hybrids.
Gibborim: a mere descriptive term meaning might/mighty.
Rephaim: strictly post-flood humans.
Gary Wayne informs us:
“Nephilim were prideful beasts filled with hubris. Hubris derives from a Greek word ‘hjubris’ meaning ‘pride, excessive behavior, dangerous overconfidence, and the refusal to stay within due bounds.’ Oddly, a group of lions forming a social unit is also called a ‘pride.’ One wonders as to the relationship between ‘pride of lions’ and Nephilim.”
Having featured Wayne in a few articles and my book Nephilim and Giants As Per Pop-Researchers I can tell you that this is typical Wayne:
He quote an apocryphal Hebrew text that references a “proud race of giants” in English, he assert that “Nephilim were prideful” and “beasts” who were “filled with hubris,” he inform us that the English term hubris derives the Greek for pride, then that in English “a group of lions” is “called a ‘pride’” and then preps us for his goal since “One wonders as to the relationship between ‘pride of lions’ and Nephilim.”
Well, I know not who wonders any such a thing but biblically there is literally (or symbolically for that matter) no “relationship between ‘pride of lions’ and Nephilim” in any way, shape, or form—in any language. Yet, note that this is the same Gary Wayne who has, sadly, taking his theo-sci-fi stylings to the point of claiming that there are “Nephilim dogs.”
And so, what do lions have to do with Nephilim at all?
Interestingly, he notes/admits symbolic usages of correlations to lions, “King Richard ‘Lionheart’ Plantagenet was so-called for his exploits as a brave warrior” so that he implication is not that within his human torso resides the generic heart of a feline-lion.
Yet, Gary Wayne still asks, “Is there a hidden connection between lions, Nephilim and kingship?” Note that reference to something “hidden” which he will expose—which makes this all the more exciting.
He inform us of “Urmahlullo of Sumerian legend…warriors of ancient Babylon and Akkad…sculptures found in Germany…associated with Nergal…King Hambada of the Cedar forest (‘Epic Of Gilgamesh’)…Greek Chimera…Mithra of the Zoroastrian cult of Persia and India…Ialdoboth/ Demiurge of Gnosticism…Apedemak [of] the Meroitic of Nubia…Egyptians” which depict animals that combine various features from various animals as well as human-animal hybrids, etc. in legends, paintings, hieroglyphs, sculptures, etc.
This is typical Gary Wayne as well: around the world and back in a few sentences. Now, while there is nothing wrong with this, it can serve as elephant hurling, is usually based on watering down concepts so as to make it seem as if they correlate, and we need to track his claims to see if his conclusion is sound.
Now, since he already noted the commonsense issue of symbolic language, does he think that the legends and sculptures were literal?
Closer to the home of the biblical context about which he is to be pointing his conclusion, he writes of “Biblical Cherubim are Sphinx-like” even though they are 99% not in the least bit Sphinx-like.
A Sphinx denotes the body of a lion with the head of a man (and some speculate that it was originally the head of a lion as well that was then reworked into the head of a man.
Cherubim denoted an apparently human-like body with calf-like hoofs, four wings, and four faces: human, ox/bull, eagle/vulture, and lion.
Having only exclusively appeals to selective non-biblical references, Gary Wayne tells us “So it seems, lion-men were likely warrior-king offspring of powerful gods/ angels just like Nephlim.”
He follows this directly with “These lion-like men surface at the time of David when he and his mighty men are killing giants – Rephaim, the descendants of Nephilim.”
Note the concoction of the vague, generic, subjective, and undefined English word “giants” with the claim that Rephaim are the descendants of Nephilim which is an assertion for which there is zero biblical evidence.
I noted to Wayne that there is no such biblical thing as post-flood Nephilim and he agreed which seems to be why he invented (or, just copied from other pop-researchers) that Rephaim are descended from Nephilim—which, let us face it, merely means they are Nephilim by any other name.
He quotes, 1 Chronicles 12:8 which states, “And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, [and] men of war [fit] for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces [were like] the faces of lions, and [were] as swift as the roes upon the mountains” (brackets in Wayne’s quote).
Just keep is in mind for now—stand by.
Gary Wayne then writes, “These Gadites were ‘wilderness men’ that derive from ‘gibborim’, which can mean giant as Nephilim were described as mighty ones, gibborim, in Genesis 6:4.”
There is no biblical indication whatsoever that Gadites “derive from ‘gibborim,’” in fact, they derive from Gad—as in the Israelite tribe. Also, biblically he is saying that Gadites derive from might/mighty—whatever that would mean.
But he is claiming that gibborim “can mean giant” but since he has not bothered defining “giant” then he is telling us in can mean some unknown thing.
But fine, he is telling us “‘gibborim’, which can mean giant as Nephilim” but what does that even mean? For example, let us go with “giant”: they derive from giants but meaning what? Nephilim 2.0 referring to Rephaim?
No, they do not derive from “giants” nor Rephaim, nor Nephilim.
But note that this is all based on an basic level misreading, the text had it that they were “wilderness men of might” as in that they lived in the wilderness and were mighty—period.
One cannot viably read more into gibborim than that—lest one would also want to spin tall tales about David’s soldiers, Boaz, Angels, and God Himself since they are also referred to as gibbor/gibborim.
This is typical Gary Wayne as well: turn a very clear and very simple text into a concoction of a (mis)interpretation based on basic yet fundamental level errors.
He then has another moment of clarity when noting, “Lion in 1 Chronicles derives from Hebrew #738 ‘ariy’ meaning lion or an image of a lion and deriving from #717 in the sense of violence.” So we have two instances of admission that it can be used symbolically.
Yet, just as quickly as he is lucid, he follows directly with another concoction:
“These Gadites were men of might, mighty warriors who were as fleet of foot as gazelles, and as Titans were renowned for. They certainly seem to be lion-like Nephilim, heroes of renown; a connection I missed until recently.”
This is a how-to lesson in theo-sci-fi: myopically assert that “might” has something exclusively to do with Nephilim, note that Gadites where mighty, selectively pick one feature that can be correlated to Titans, jump to the recommendation that they “seem to be” (an appreciated qualifier, actually) “lion-like Nephilim” which is an incoherent term and toss in the last words of Genesis 6:4 for a little more Nephilim flavor.
He then tells us that “Angelic names tend to end in ‘el’ as in Gabriel” which is biblical, “or Azaziel” which is not—he could have gone with the biblical Michael as well.
With that in place, he notes, “If one adds the suffix ‘el’ to ariy one arrives at Ariel as a possible connect-the-dots as to who spawned these lion-men beasts.” How so?
Gary Wayne then tells us “lion-men surface again”—let us keep track: these “lion-men” were said to have “faces of lions” in the text—“in 2nd Samuel, where Benaiah slays two lion-men of Moab: ‘And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lion-like men of Moab’ 2 Samuel 23:20.”
He then notes, “The ‘lionlike men’ in 2 Samuel derives from #739 ‘ariyel’” which is how he got from “ariy” to “ariyel” which he tells us gives the “meaning heroic [Nephilim mighty ones]; lionlike; and lion of God from #738 root for lion” (brackets by Wayne).
Again, note the manipulation—and I mean that in the literal sense of handling things and moving them around—ariyel, which is also a person’s name (Ezra 8:16) and an aka for Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:1-2, 7) means lion of God, but Wayne decides to tie it to Nephilim because these particular “lion-men” were “the son of a valiant man” so “meaning heroic” and that can only relate to “Nephilim mighty ones” for some odd reason.
Gary Wayne then appeals to generic “Hebrew Mysticism” which is an utterly generic pseudo-reference (that likely refers to the 1300s AD—millennia after the Old Testament was written) which “also notes an angel named Ariel meaning ‘lion of God’” as if that is relevant.
Gary Wayne then ponders, “One wonders whether a powerful angel named Ariel created a second race of ‘prideful beasts’ with lion characteristics that dwelled alongside the serpent like Nephilim created by Seraphim Watchers.”
Firstly, biblically there was only a one time fall of Angels and they were incarcerated for their troubles (Jude and 2 Peter 2) so that no, no Angel with any name created any such a thing.
Secondly, “serpent like Nephilim created by Seraphim Watchers” is a pure form of incoherence. There is zero indication that there was ever any such a thing as “serpent like Nephilim”—in fact, we have no reliable physical description of Nephilim whatsoever.
Thirdly, that Nephilim were “created by Seraphim Watchers” is biblically unknown. Now, technically that the “sons of God” of the Genesis 6 affair where “Angels” is a conclusion based on that in Job 38:7 “sons of God” can refer to non-human beings but they are not called “Angels” (Malakim, actually) there nor in Job chaps 1-2 where they come before God.
Yet, again, there is a one time fall of Angels in the Bible and Jude and 2 Peter 2 refer to “Angels” (Angelos, actually) who sinned, etc., which seals the deal.
Thus, since Angels are Angels and Seraphim are Seraphim—two different categories of being with different titles, job functions, and physical morphologies—then it was Angels and not Serpahim who created Nephilim. As for “Watchers” (the preferred hip pop-researcher term), he is picking that up from the pseudepigraphical text 1 Enoch/Ethiopic Enoch (and/or Daniel 4) which is a Second Temple Era manner whereby to refer to “Angels” thus, “Seraphim Watchers” is a concoction of two very different things: Seraphim and Angel but, again Seraphim are not Angels and Angels are not Seraphim.
He then “wonders if this why lions are called the ‘king of beasts;’ why lions are intimately connected with imagery for royalty, flags, coats of arms along with dragons and unicorns.”
No, that is not why: it is because lions tend to be the regional top of the predatory food chain.
I find it so utterly distaste full that I am not going to post the photo but he concludes with “Is the above skull [on display at the University of Bologna] that supposedly shows the effects of the disease known as ‘Leontiasis Ossea,’ really evidence of a nephilim-lion-like hybrid?”
No, and people who suffer from such terrible maladies need love—not some theo-sci-fi spinning pop-researcher to point at them then have his audience ponder if they are a non-human hybrid.
Now, every single article I have written by Gary Wayne, as well as his book, is much like this: appealing to any and every source regardless of language or chronology, ignoring context by watering things down, appealing to mis-defined terms and concepts, being vague about conclusions, and leaving it to his readers to spike their fertile imaginations with neo tall tales.
But in the end, what did we learn about what the Bible states about such men?
Well, note that Gary Wayne ignored: sure, they had “faces of lions” but were also “as swift as the roes” but he did not bother telling us of roe Nephilim, right? You see, that they are “as swift as” indicates that the description of them is symbolic: they are like this and like that, they have fierce faces and moved swiftly—period.
They are lion-like due to their abilities, their capabilities as warriors.
Note that in discussing the “burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see” in Isaiah 13, it is described that “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle” and something relevant about faces, “they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.”
Well, there you have it: now we can refer to flaming Nephilim—or, to another symbolic description of what someone’s face looks like in certain circumstances such as when they are flushed or eager for battle, in the case of the lion-like men.
I actually wrote a chapter about this issue titled, “Lion Faced Men” in my book What Does the Bible Say About Various Paranormal Entities? A Styled Paranormology.
See it and my various books specifically about Nephilim related issues.
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