Question: If the Nephilim existed, where are the giant remains?

By the measurements in Scripture, the original Nephilim offspring were quite larger than the average human.jpg

To the subject question posted on Quora, a certain Ben Smith, who has a degree in “Studied Religious Studies & Biblical Research; Interfaith Relations (Graduated 2019),” replied, “…there are no giant remains which archaeologists can discover because there are none to be discovered; i.e., there were never any Nephilim.”
This is rather odd since anyone can consult Genesis 6:4 in Hebrew or an English transliteration and see the term right there.


To the subject question posted on Quora, a certain Ben Smith, who has a degree in “Studied Religious Studies & Biblical Research; Interfaith Relations (Graduated 2019),” replied, “…there are no giant remains which archaeologists can discover because there are none to be discovered; i.e., there were never any Nephilim.”
This is rather odd since anyone can consult Genesis 6:4 in Hebrew or an English transliteration and see the term right there.

Yet, he seems to deny this based on a certain understanding of what that would mean since he continues with:
“This very ancient passage of Scripture betrays the original polytheistic theology of the oldest parts of the Old Testament. These ‘sons of God’ were understood, at the time, as members of a heavenly council of gods who ‘reported to’, or were subservient to, a chief god, who was in charge of the council (think Zeus or Jupiter and the gods of Olympus.) These were referred to in ancient Hebrew writings as ‘gods’, ‘sons of God’, ‘angels’, ‘the angel of the Lord’, etc.”

This is a basic level miscomprehension of “polytheistic theology” likely based on a myopic view of what generic terms such as “God”/“god” means. There are various elohim but one Almighty Elohim, just like there are many lords but one Almighty Lord, many kings but one Almighty King, etc.
Some may want to term this henotheism but the point is that the Almighty is ontologically different from any others who may share similar terms, titles, etc.

He continues thusly:
“I know of no academic or scholar, of ANY Christian denomination or Jewish branch who accepts that there ever was such an event as divine beings mating with humans. That is not a concept that any monotheist could reasonably accept. And divine/human offspring (ala Hercules or Achilles or Pollux and Castor or Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great) are pagan innovations and concepts. This Scripture (Genesis 6:1–6) cannot be assumed to be a literal account of a historical event. It is impossible…if Judeo-Christian theology has any basis or validity at all” (ellipses in original).

If he does not know of any 1) “academic or scholar” of 2) “ANY Christian denomination, “3) “or Jewish branch” who accepts that then it may be that he travels in very, very small circles.
I do wonder to whom he is referring as an “academic or scholar” since it could mean as per modern systems of qualifications since there have been academics and scholars, and academic scholars, for millennia.

In any case, among other research, I wrote books titled On the Genesis 6 Affair’s Sons of God: Angels or Not?: A survey of early Jewish and Christian commentaries including noted on giants and the Nephilim and The Scholarly Academic Nephilim and Giants: What do Scholarly Academics Say About Nephilim Giants? and The Paranormal in Early Jewish and Christian Commentaries: Over a Millennia’s Worth of Comments on Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Satan, the Devil, Demons, the Serpent and the Dragon which amounts to millennia’s worth of evidence of academics and scholars of various Christian denomination and Jewish branches who have accepted just that—in case, the Angel view of the Genesis 6 affair is the original, traditional, and majority view among the earliest Jews and Christians from BC days to centuries later.

Thus, plenty of monotheists reasonably accepted it because they understood that monotheism means there is only one Almighty who is ontologically without equal (beyond the Godhead).

Now, he likens to “Zeus or Jupiter and the gods of Olympus” and “Hercules or Achilles or Pollux and Castor or Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great” and notes that those are “pagan innovations and concepts” but they came about millennia after the Torah was written.
It seems that taking Genesis 6, as well as earlier and latter chapters “to be a literal account of a historical event” (with “literal” meaning: as it is intended) then there is a reason why Greek, et al., ended up with similar tales.
After the Tower of Babel event, humanity was dispersed through the Earth after having lived in relative proximity and took with them what was then commonly known and shared history which, as it was augmented on this or that point, came to be called myth and legend.

He then debunks supposed “archaeological ‘proofs’” such as photos, as being the hoaxes that they are.

He closes with:
“Regardless of ‘what the Bible says’ (I hate that phrase), gods do not mate with humans. In fact, no one actually believes that there are gods AVAILABLE to do that! This is just straining to excess to validate, an argument of ‘inerrancy and infallibility’ of the Bible’s words. It is a literal-historical reading of a text that perhaps once upon a time ‘explained’ to ancient minds how there could be 1) very large people in the world (they must have been gods!) or, 2) How to explain, metaphorically, excellent warriors who seemed to win all their battles and had become legendary and “man of renown” (they must have been gods!).”

Did you catch this “no one actually believes that there are gods AVAILABLE to do that!”? Is he denying that any “gods” exist or that they exist but do not do that—and how would he know? Well, apparently because he subjectively and myopically does not “know of no academic or scholar,” etc.

We will find out that when it comes to Nephilim 101 issues, he is as misinformed as pop-researchers.

I wrote this to him:
Ben, “that there are no giant remains which archaeologists can discover because there are none to be discovered; i.e., there were never any Nephilim” is a faulty conclusion based on reading only those English versions that render (no, not even “translate”) the Hebrew term “Nephilim” as “giants” and then inventing what that vague, generic, subjective and undefined English word may mean (I can think for 5–6 definitions).

There are three instances of the term Nephilim in the Bible, one in Gen 6:4 and two in Num 13:33: the former provides no physical description and the latter is a tall tale which was part of an “evil report” for which they speakers were rebuked.

Thus, the only reason to think that Nephilim were even one inch taller than average (the Hebrew male average of those days being 5.0–5.3 ft) would be if one actually believed rebuked spies who embellished their original report, contradicted themselves, made three statements (including the one about Nephilim height) about which the whole entire rest of the Bible knows nothing, etc.

The English word “giants” comes from the Greek “gigantes” which merely means “earth-born” and implies nothing about height.

So the answer to the question “If the Nephilim existed, where are the giant remains?” is that since we have no idea what they looked like (I actually think they looked just like regular good ol’ fashioned human beings) then we could not identify their remains even if we found them: we have nothing to go on.

Ben Smith replied:
Ken, You make some interesting, and valid, points. Thank you. I intended for the real point of my answer to the original question to rest more on the divine/human nature of the offspring of the reported angelic (or “sons of God”) relationships with human women than on the physical size of those offspring.

The Old Testament makes a good bit of noise about “giants” and even describes their height. Case in point might be the David and Goliath stories in 1 & 2 Samuel, as well as the “correction attempt in Chronicles. Goliath (and others) are described as being quite tall and large, carrying spears “like a weaver’s beam” in an attempt to portray these men as somehow larger than life, or at least larger than most.

For Goliath specifically, he is said to have been either 4cubits tall or 6 cubits tall (depending upon the source.) So, while I did not intend to get into a height discussion, you have rightly called me out for pandering to the assumption that the Nephilim were “giant” just because Genesis reports them to have been “great.”

In Hebrew, “great” is most often referring to size, as in The Great Salt Lake or the human great toe. But, of course, that is not the case 100% of the time. Thank you for your excellent catch. (And, for the record, I do not contend that there were EVER any sexual relations between divine beings and humans that could have resulted in ANY offspring, large or small. That may be normal Greek and Roman mythology, but it is not a theologically sound doctrine, an observed or observable historical report, nor is it a reasonable, scientific conclusion.)

I replied:
Indeed, “noise” is what it is—or rather, what has been made of it.

Note that we do not have any reliable physical description of the result of “the reported angelic (or ‘sons of God’) relationships with human women,” the Nephilim thus, we cannot biblically speak of “the physical size of those offspring.”

Now, when you say “The Old Testament makes a good bit of noise about ‘giants’ and even describes their height” note a few things: 1. there are only two specific heights (of anyone at all) provided in the Bible and 2. English version that refer to “giants” are following the misleading lead of the LXX which renders (no, not translates) “Nephilim” and also “Rephaim” and also “gibborim” all as “gigantes”—and it is generally a terrible idea to render more than one word with just one word.

The issues are that Nephilim are strictly pre-flood hybrids, Rephaim are strictly post-flood full humans, there is no relation between them, and gibborim is merely a descriptive term that means might/mighty.

Thus, Goliath was a Repha, not a Nephil. Greek manuscripts have him at just shy of 10 ft. but Hebrew ones, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and even Josephus, have him at just shy of 7 ft. But again, since we have no reliable physical description of Nephilim, unusual height is a non-issue, it is just that: unusual height—and, BTW, unusual height being a subjective term which in this case is within the context of Israelites, males of whom averaged 5.0-5.3 ft. As for heavy weaponry well, you can view any weightlifting competition and see guys who are right around 6 ft. lifting 1,000 lbs.

As to “sexual relations between divine beings and humans” not being “theologically sound doctrine” well, it is a simple demonstrable fact that the “Angel view” of Gen 6 is the original, traditional, and majority view among the earliest Jews and Christians alike for centuries.

FYI: I have written 4-6 books (depending on how you count them) about these issues (including one proving what I just noted about the Angel view) and can cut you a deal on the price, if you are so inclined: “No End Books” publications.

He replied:
Ken, Thanks for the offer of a deal on your books. You make a number of assertions that seem to be faith-based and doctrinally driven; i.e., that the Nephilim were pre-flood and the Rephaim were post-flood.

Those two statements seem apologetic and not based in textual, Scriptural research. Numbers 13:32–33 states that Joshua’s spies reported having seen “Nephilim”, “…And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

So, size appears to have been at least some consideration. Further, Joshua’s spies were certainly post-flood. So, the Nephilim appear, at least n this mythological account, to have survived the flood. But, that is a different discussion for a different day.

Thanks for your engagement on this topic. Perhaps we can discuss some other subject on some different Quora post in the future. Be well, and God bless, Ben

I replied:
You will find that that the Nephilim were pre-flood and the Rephaim were post-flood is a simple and verifiable factoid—as we shall see ;o)

Ponder why, when arguing for post-flood Nephilim, you appeal exclusively to one text, actually to two verses (and what about pre-flood Rephaim?).

It is because there are not other texts that reference these beings: we are told of the people of the land, and of the people around land, and of battles, even of hand-to-hand combat, and much more and the Nephilim are 100% missing from all of it.

But how could it be 100% given Numbers 13:32–33? Well, read the whole narrative and you will find that those two verses are quoting:

1. An “evil report”

2. Stated by unfaithful and disloyal spies

3. Who contradict their original report

4. Who embellish their original report

5. Who contradict Moses, Caleb, Joshua, God, and the rest of the whole Bible

6. Who make three claims about which the rest of the whole Bible knows nothing at all (1. That there were post-flood Nephilim, 2. That Anakim are related to them, and 3. That Nephilim are very tall)

7. For which they were rebuked.

8. When Moses relates this, he simply ignores the reference to Nephilim (see Deut 1:28).

9. The LXX version does not include the reference to Anakim.

10. It does not make common sense that they saw the most odd, unique, and frightening beings on Earth and yet, when they get back to camp they first talk about fruit.

In short, they just made up a “Don’t go in the woods” type of fear mongering scare tactic tall tale.

Well, that was the end of it since he no longer replied.

By the measurements in Scripture, the original Nephilim offspring were quite larger than the average human.jpg
This is one of those utterly
useless theo-sci-fi charts

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