He wrote, “By examining the Scriptures, we are able to get a good idea of the size of the Nephilim. The account in Numbers tells of immense size.” Note that the Book of Numbers record post-flood events.
In another article, I noted that TJ Steadman sometimes wants his cake, wants to eat it, and does not want to get fat.
Well, we have another such occasion in the case of the mother of all Nephilim texts—the mother of the mere two we have in the Bible: Gen 6:4 and Num 13:33 (so, they are not really even texts but verses), the latter is not commenting upon the former even though it is obviously related.
During our debate, he stated, “what I’m really saying here is not that I’m arguing that there are Nephilim after the flood” and in his book “At the end of the Flood narrative…the Nephilim have all died.”
Numbers records a mere claim of post-flood Nephilim, a claim for which the unreliable speakers were rebuked—my opening statement for the debate was focused on this point alone.
So, if and since “At the end of the Flood narrative…the Nephilim have all died” and he is “not…arguing that there are Nephilim after the flood” then, pray tell, how could we “get a good idea of the size of the Nephilim” “By examining the Scriptures” since the only reliable Nephilim verse, Gen 6:4, does not provide any sort of physical description and the unreliable one, Num 13:33 well, we will have to see, since there were no Nephilim post-flood but there also were—or, something.
Actually, TJ Steadman does, in fact, believe in two forms of post-flood Nephilim: 1) Nephilim in spirit form as demons (since he believes pseudepigraphical folklore from millennia after the Torah was written), and 2) Nephilim 2.0 in the form of Rephaim (which is utterly unbiblical for a number of reasons).
But still, the unreliable speakers recorded in Num 13:33 refer to “Nephilim” not to Rephaim (except that they also refer Anakim who are a Rephaim subgroup)—and they refer to Nephilim being alive and well, on the ground at that time, etc.
Yet, TJ Steadman also, sort of, denies (and also agrees with) this—as we shall see.
One last note before really digging in: TJ Steadman, who I really would like to see become a friend of the sort with whom I can keep sharpening iron with iron, suffers from a condition I will herein coin as Gigorexia Nervosa which is the obsessing desire to see giants everywhere (and invent them if they are nowhere to be seen)—the same condition afflicts the people I featured in my book Nephilim and Giants As Per Pop-Researchers.
TJ Steadman wrote, “It is well attested historically that the average fully grown Israelite man of those days stood not much taller than 5 feet 3 inches, or approximately 160cm. Therefore, it would be reasonable to conclude that anyone considered a giant on the basis of physical comparison would have been upwards of six feet tall as a starting point, from the point of view of the Israelites.”
Close, but the well attested historical average ranges from 5.0-5.3—and that is the average for males who tend to be taller than females on average.
In any case, it is close enough but the problem is that such stuff is so subjective: “giant” is a subjective term, “tall” is likewise, as is “average,” and I can attest to you that in modern day North America at 6 ft even (another inch with my shoes on) I have been called a giant many, many, many times.
TJ Steadman wrote:
By examining the Scriptures, we are able to get a good idea of the size of the Nephilim. The account in Numbers tells of immense size – the Israelite spies appeared to be grasshoppers by comparison, and not just from their own point of view!
Even allowing for hyperbole on the part of the spies, this is a significant difference in size. We’re not talking about a few inches.
Incidentally, the LXX renders the last two verses slightly differently to illustrate this point:
Numbers 13:33-34 (NETS) “And they brought about consternation for the land that they had spied out, to the sons of Israel, saying, “The land that we passed through to spy it out – it is a land that devours those who live upon it. All the people that we saw in it are very tall men, and we have seen the giants there, and we were before them like grasshoppers – indeed even so we were before them.”
The LXX translation is most notable here for plainly affirming the great size of the giants over and above the size of the natural human inhabitants of the land, who were also tall men. So, it reveals that where the Canaanites were taller than Israelites, the giants were taller still.
Part of the issue is when we speak in terms of, for example, “the Scriptures…The account in” so that we are thinking about a text we automatically think of as being “God’s Word,” which the Bible is, without thinking about who said it, why they said it, how it was received, etc. For example, “the Bible says” and “Moses wrote” and “God inspired” the recording of statements by Satan and while we should believe that he stated them, we should not believe the statements.
Thus, “Numbers tells of immense size” or even “the Israelite spies appeared to be…” is not specific enough since TJ Steadman is really referring to ten of the twelve spies: the ten who proved themselves to be unfaithful, disloyal, self-contradictory, embellishers, who made five claims about which the rest of the Bible knows nothing, who also contradicted Caleb, Joshua, Moses, God and the whole rest of the Bible, and were rebuked for what they said.
Thus, it is not just a matter of “allowing for hyperbole.” Yet, I agree that “this is a significant difference in size. We’re not talking about a few inches” but difference of more than a few inches in real life, or in unreliable people’s mere assertions?
It is fascinating that he quotes the LXX since, did you notice it?, it lacks reference to Anakim so that based on it, it cannot be claimed that Anakim are related to Nephilim.
Note also that TJ Steadman is staking the deck, as it were, by baiting and switching the verse’s reference to “Nephilim” and opting to tell us about “giants.”
No version, not even the LXX, plainly or vaguely affirms a supposed “great size of the giants.” He just thinks this because he thinks that the Greek word(s) “gigantes” or “gigas” implies something about size (some vaguely unspecific something) which is not the case: those terms mean “earth-born.”
Thus, there is no indication that “Canaanites were taller than Israelites, the giants were taller still” but only that some Rephaim, such as the Anakim, were “tall” or “of great stature” (since there is no such word as “giant” in the Hebrew Bible—and yes, tall, great stature, and giant are all subjective terms).
My well gone through copy of Steadman’s book
A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help out. Here is my donate/paypal page.