TJ Steadman on the mother of all Nephilim texts Num 13:33, 3 of 3

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

TJ Steadman then wrote:

Some argue that perhaps all people of ancient times were bigger than modern man. If that were the case, the writers of the Old Testament would have thought nothing of the size of the men described and would not have bothered to make any contrast with other men as though they were any different.
It is obvious that where the Scripture describes giants it does not speak of them as ordinary men. The giants were real, and they were spectacular.

Were they 450-foot monsters like the book of 1 Enoch would have us believe? Even the 36-foot giants imagined in Internet conspiracy theory videos are too much for any realistic and well-grounded Bible believer. Most Bible versions quote Goliath’s height at six cubits and a span.

I do not know who “Some” are but I see no reliable evidence for that “all people of ancient times were bigger than modern man.”
Yet, I also do not see that “the writers of the Old Testament” make much of a contrast: again, they call some people “tall” or “of great stature” and neither of the merely to specific heights mentioned in the whole Bible—which one would imagine were specifically specified due to being so unusual—even make it to 8 ft (which is just like modern day pro basketball players since none of them quite make it to 8 ft).

Analyzing the sentence, “It is obvious that where the Scripture describes giants it does not speak of them as ordinary men. The giants were real, and they were spectacular” we must biblically read it as that “It is obvious that where the Scripture describes giants” meaning what Nephilim or Rephaim or gibborim or a reference to height (inches taller, feet taller, entire body lengths taller) or that Nephilim or Rephaim or gibborim were taller than average (by however much) which would be an utterly generic claim “it” most certainly “does…speak of them as ordinary men” since Rephaim are 100% human, gibborim merely means might/mighty, and we have no reliable physical description of Nephilim.
Thus, that “The giants were real, and they were spectacular” is generic enough to be a meaningless statement.

1 Enoch aka Ethiopic Enoch actually states “three thousand ells is their height” (7:2) and while it is thought that an ell ranges from 27-45 inches this rage results in then being 81,000-135,000 ft. or 15.3-25.6 mi. (yes, miles) tall (see my book In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch). As for the “Internet conspiracy theory videos,” how do I just know he is referring to Rob Skiba and those who parrot him?

To the statement I just commented upon, he attached this footnote:

It is commonly assumed that in units of length, the traditional cubit of 18 inches or 45cm would have been in used during the time of the Kings; however some argue the Greek LXX most likely employs the royal Egyptian cubit because it was translated as a means of preserving the Scripture in the common language of its time for an Egyptian audience, which it is argued would necessitate an attempt at approximate unit conversion.

The LXX takes similar liberties elsewhere, updating place names for the benefit of its contemporary readership, so the idea of units of measure also being updated is not implausible. The royal Egyptian cubit equals roughly 52.4cm or 20.62 inches, and the span is half a cubit, 26.2cm or 10.31 inches. The unit is based on the measurement of a typical forearm, from elbow to fingertip.

This would make the typical Israelite cubit (based on the average male Israelite stature of 5’3″) more like 16″ or 40cm, and the span 8″ or 20cm. The date of the events does not necessarily indicate any certainty of the measure in use because of the fact that the date of authorship (and any later redaction or editing) may have influenced the measurement actually preserved in the record.

It certainly is likely that the LXX is using longer cubits which, of course, means that we should be less impressed by its sizes—but what sizes, the size of the only two people’s heights specified therein? The LXX still has Goliath at just shy of 7 ft—which yes, would be quite tall compared to 5.0-5.3 ft.

TJ Steadman wrote:

But that was not the last that Israel would see of the Amalekites. As the Israelites approached the Promised Land, they sent spies ahead of them; this was not a good move because they had not been directed to do so by Yahweh.

And in that same vein, the failures of Israel began to multiply. The spies brought a mostly fearful and faithless report back on account of the understandably genuine concerns that there were giants in the land equipped.

Actually, Num 13 begins with “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel.”

Overall, this was an issue of that “The” ten” spies brought a mostly fearful and faithless” evil/bad “report back on account of the understandably genuine concerns that” as the original/as is report had it, “the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled” which led to a fear-mongering scare-tact tall tale of the “Don’t go in the woods” sort when thy took it up a notch seeing themselves being up against the wall.

Lastly, beyond any and all of this, during out debate TJ Steadman argued that it was a redactor who, millennia later during the Babylonian exile, inserted the Aramaic term naphiyla into Num 13:33—even though there is no textual evidence of that—so that we know not what the ten spies actually stated which ends up discrediting his entire case—beyond all of the other reasons I noted for discrediting it.

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My well gone through copy of Steadman’s book


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