TJ Steadman on Apkallu as “big man from before (or out of) the waters”

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You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.

In his book Answers to Giant Questions, he tells us “Where the Mesopotamians used the symbol of the fish to indicate the survival of the Apkallu spirits through the Deluge, the Biblical account is mysteriously silent.” Yet, it is not mysterious since there are no Apkallu in the Bible—and we must first determine to what/whom he is referring by Apkallu.

Since my book What Does the Bible Say About Giants and Nephilim? A Styled Giantology and Nephilology contains, “Appendix: On the Apkallu as per Amar Annus,” I know that it is not as simple as going cross cultural with a Nephilim mindset, picking up Apkallu, and brining them back over and putting them into the Bible.
Much like Greek mythology about Titans, there are various mythologies, plural, which weave various tall tales which do not necessarily form a cogent tale.

Estonia’s University of Tartu’s Amar Annus thinks, Apkallu were “very probable predecessors and a source of origin for the Jewish Watchers” so the “sons of God,” not the Nephilim.

As per his reckoning Apkallu were “primordial sages” whose images could “avert evil from the house” and so were “protective spirits” who could “perform purifying and exorcising functions” and “had strong ties to…demonology” and were “occasionally counted as evil beings, capable of witchcraft” and “sometimes viewed negatively as malicious creatures” also “occasionally depicted as malevolent beings” who “practiced witchcraft…wicked acts” and reference to them “occur at least twice in the anti-witchcraft series Maqlu as witches” so that they “were punished by a flood” yet, “were able to survive the flood by assuming a different form” and also “post-flood apkallus were ‘of human descent’” so there are various tall tales and since there were also “fish-apkallu,” there were also tall tails.

Thus, just like when the vague, generic, subjective and undefined English term “giants” is used, one cannot simply refer to “Apkallu” and move on without being specific about what one is referring: pre-flood Apkallu, post-flood Apkallu, spirit Apkallu, fish Apkallu, sage Apkallu, protective Apkallu, malevolent Apkallu, etc., etc., etc.

Thus, when TJ Steadman refers to Apkallu and tells us “Their children (the Biblical Nephilim) were also called Apkallu but were considered only partly divine, as they were also part human. Thus, the Nephilim were thought of as lesser Apkallu” we get another example of vagaries.

He also tells us “the connection to the giants in even seen in the name – ‘Apkallu’ comes from Sumerian ‘ab’ (which means ‘water’), ‘gal’ (literally, ‘big’), and ‘lu’ (man). Thus ‘apkallu’ means, ‘big man from before (or out of) the waters.’”
But, again, that is only the description of a certain variety of Apkallu—which makes whether that etymology is accurate questionable.
Actually, the transliteration from Akkadian is Apkallu and from Sumerian is Abgal.

Also, how could “big man from before (or out of) the waters” be a “connection to the giants” since well, such vague writing is problematic since he is referring to pre-flood times and also post-flood times and referring to everyone as giants.

If pre-flood then we have no reliable physical description of Nephilim and thus, cannot claim to know if they were even on inch taller than average.

If post-flood then all we are told about the 100% human Rephaim is that some of them, such as the Anakim, were tall (which is subjective).

Actually, it would be interesting to know if ab gal lu means big water-man (whatever that would mean) or big-water man (such as from a large body of water) or any other options.

TJ Steadman refers to “The Apkallu fish with their ever-watchful eyes,” which, again, is only pulling from some of the Apkallu tales/tails but it is interesting that ANE cultures would sometimes depict, such as in this case “fish-apkallu,” as indicative of being ever watchful (watchers) since fish do not have eyelids and thus, are viewed as ever watching.

See my various books on Nephilim related issues for more.

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My well gone through copy of TJ Steadman’s book


For more details, see my relevant books.

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