Nimrod the ‘Gibbor’
Genesis and 1 Chronicles strongly suggest that Nephilim DNA was present on the earth in at least two of Ham’s sons, Mizraim and Cush, since giants can be directly traced to the lines of those two sons. Genesis 10 provides the lineage;
The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD? that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. (Genesis 10:6-12)
Based on this lineage, the first post-flood indication of Nephilim blood appears to come through Ham’s son Cush, who fathered Nimrod. And it’s interesting that Nimrod is singled out in this passage, being described as a gibbor, which is translated as 'mighty warrior' in most western language Bibles. On the surface this merely sounds like Nimrod was a good hunter, but that is not the entire story. The term gibbor actually has several connotations that led the Jewish translators of the Septuagint to render this word as “giant” instead;
And Chus begot Nebrod: he began to be a giant upon the earth. He was a giant hunter before the Lord God; therefore they say, As Nebrod the giant hunter before the Lord. (Genesis 10:8-9 LXX)
This passage would suggest that not only was Nimrod a giant himself, but that he hunted other giants. And according to records from many ancient cultures this was indeed the case, since Nimrod was depicted as a giant that hunted or subdued other giants in order to bend them to his will. If true, this would certainly explain why he was the first ruler of the post-flood world, because any man that could harness the power of the giants would certainly earn his leadership among his own people.
The adjacent illustration appears to confirm the size of Nimrod, who is depicted here building the tower of Babel. Notice that he appears to be about twice the size of the other men in this relief. Again, this is consistent with other historical accounts.
Although the Bible does not go into any detail about Nimrod's role in the Tower of Babel, the book of Jashar does, specifically naming him as the builder of the tower and the primary reason for the rebellion against God that took place in those days. In fact, the name Nimrod literally means 'Rebellion', which seems to confirm his role in that matter. God had commanded man to spread out over the earth after the great flood, but Nimrod rebelled and sought to keep them in Babel in order to build his empire. That act of rebellion led to the confusion of languages at Babel, which in turn forced man to spread out as God had commanded.
There are also a number of other reliefs that depict ancient kings as giants, such as the one on the left that clearly suggests that this king was three times the size of his subjects, pictured standing in front of him. While mainstream archaeology would consider this to be hyperbole, it seems to me that is squares with the biblical account of giants as the "men of renown" in Genesis 6 "and afterward" in the post-flood world.
The 'Gibbor' Pictographs
Because of this accumulation of circumstantial evidence that suggests that Nimrod was a giant, I thought it would be interesting to examine the word gibbor in the ancient Hebrew pictographs to see if these 'picture' letters would provide any additional depth to our understanding of Nimrod. And they do.
Gibbor is spelled ‘Gimal-Beyt-Resh’ in Hebrew, and the vowels are inferred. In modern Hebrew the word would appear this way, reading from right to left;
However, in the ancient pictographic Hebrew, the letters would be illustrated as a foot, a house, and a man’s head, in the following manner, again reading from right to left;
In order, this suggests the ideas of 1) walking/gathering; 2) house/family; and 3) man/first. In essence, the message may be;
“Gathering the House of Men”
However, it could also have additional or alternative meanings, such as "gathering the first house", or perhaps "gathering the house of the first/head." But however we render it, it's clear that the gibbor were intent on 'gathering' mankind in some way. And Nimrod was the first post-flood ruler of the earth, meaning that he was the first to gather men into a kingdom. So once again, the pictographs provide an additional level of understanding to our studies, as it appears that the gibborim were 'mighty men' that assembled kingdoms.
While we could examine Ham's lineage in great detail as many others have, I’d rather focus on just a few of his descendants that were clearly depicted as giants in the Bible. We’ve already seen that Ham’s first son Cush fathered Nimrod, who was a giant. But his second son Mizraim also fathered giants such as Caphtor, the ancestor of the Philistines;
The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan………Mizraim was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, Pathrusites, Casluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites. (Genesis 10:6-14)
In this passage from the NIV translation, it would appear that the Philistines came from the tribe of Casluhites, but that is not an accurate translation. The Philistines actually came from the Caphtorites, the next name on that list. Other translations render this passage more accurately, as with the New Living and Basic English translations;
And Pathrusim and Casluhim and Caphtorim, from whom came the Philistines. (Genesis 10:14)
We know that this latter translation is more accurate since other scriptures in the Bible affirm that the Philistines came from Caphtor. For instance, consisder the following passages found in the writings of the prophets Jeremiah and Amos;
For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The LORD is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor. (Jeremiah 47:4)
Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the LORD. “Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? (Amos 9:7)
This may seem like a small point, but it’s actually quite important since Caphtor was from the islands of the Mediterranean, specifically Crete, and the legends of giant demi-gods ran rampant on Crete and throughout the Greek Isles. When you think of the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods and demi-gods, you can trace them to this precise area, where the presence of the post-flood Nephilim was very prominent. So the fact that the Philistines came from these people should be no surprise, since the Philistines also had their share of giants such as Goliath;
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. (1Samuel 17:4)
This height of “over nine feet” was based on the 18” cubit, whereas the evidence suggests that Israel was using the slightly longer Egyptian cubit of 20.7 inches, which would make Goliath almost 11 feet tall in reality. No wonder King Saul and his men were afraid of him. He was twice their height and many times their weight and strength.
Now we can turn our attention to Canaan, the fourth son of Ham, who fathered the giant race of the Amorites that plagued the land of Canaan, or modern day Israel;
The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan………Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. (Genesis 10:6-18)
While several of these tribes can be linked to the Nephilim, it’s the Amorites that I’d like to pay special attention to, based on a particular verse in the Bible that I think clearly explains that these people were giants. Through the prophety Amos, God said this about these descendants of Canaan;
I destroyed the Amorite before them, though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below. (Amos 2:9)
Some commentators believe that this is mere poetry when God compares the height of the Amorites to cedar trees. But I don’t think so. It seems that God was using the height of a cedar tree as a literal symbol to convey their size. And since cedars routinely grow over 35 feet tall, and as high as 75+ feet in some areas, we have to wonder just how big these Nephilim descendants became.
Historical records indicate that the bones of giant men up to 35 and 36 feet tall were found in antiquity, and these accounts come from all over the ancient world, as described in Steve Quayle’s book “Genesis 6 Giants”. The tallest skeletons appear to be centered around the Middle East and the Mediterranean, while skeletons of 8’ to 15’ have been found throughout Europe and the Americas.
One might expect this declining size after the flood, since men no longer lived for 900+ years as they did before the flood. With the much shorter life spans of 150 to 250 years, these giants would naturally not reach their full potential genetically. In addition, it's quite possible that their DNA became ‘watered down’ through subsequent generations of inter-breeding with non-Nephilim mates. So by the time Moses recorded their activity in the Torah, these giants were of the smaller size of 10 to 15 feet. As an example, we read of the giant Amorite king 'Og' of Bashan;
Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites. (Dt 3:11)
This is another case where the cubit of 18 inches was used, when it probably should have been the Egyptian cubit of 20.7 inches. That would suggest that Og’s bed was around 15 feet tall, and Og was therefore somewhere near that height. While all of this may seem rather extreme, please understand that plenty of fossils of this size have been found around the world.
While ‘Og’ is identified as a “Rephaite” in this verse, the Rephaites were descended from the Amorites, which is verified in the following passage where Og is also described as an "Amorite";
These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. (Dt 4:45-47)
From this we can see that the Rephaites were descendants of the Amorites, so that Gog was both a Rephaite, and a descendant of the Amorites. And both of these were descendants of the Nephilim.
The Nephilim Descendants
From the Amorites we can also tie this line to other tribes mentioned in the Bible, such as the Anakites, the Emites, the Horites, the Zamzummites, and other Canaanite tribes. The biblical record is pretty clear that these people grew to enormous heights, and the following passages are just a few that point this out;
The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites. (Dt 2:10-11)
Here we see the Emites and Anakites connected to the Rephaites, who descended from Rapha, a known Amorite giant living in the land of Canaan. His name meant 'the dead', which I suppose is an appropriate way to describe how God viewed he and his descendants, because not only were the giants dead spiritually, but they were also virtually wiped out during Israel’s conquest of Canaan.
The etimology of the name Emites is interesting as well, since it means 'terrors'. And indeed, when the 12 spies of Israel entered the land of Canaan, they were terrified by the size of it’s inhabitants;
"We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:33)
The “Nephilim” that they saw there were clearly the tribes such as the Amorites, Rephaim, Emites, and Anakim that we‘ve already discussed. But there were additional giants as well, including the Zamzummites, who are described as being “as tall as the Anakites”;
“When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.” That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place. (Deuteronomy 2:19-21)
If you read further, this same passage also describes the Horites being driven out of the land by Esau, and suggests that the Horites were also giants. And there are many other references to giants as well. The point is that the Bible is loaded with these references, and that the land of Canaan was occupied by giants when God sent Israel to drive them out.
In the end, when we consider just who it is that is coming out of the Abyss, we have to understand that these scorpion locusts are the evil spirits of the Bible, described in the extra-biblical book of Enoch as the disembodied spirits of the dead Nephilim;
“And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits on the earth, and shall live on the earth. Evil spirits have come out from their bodies because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers; their beginning is from primal origin. They shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called; spirits of the evil ones." (Enoch 15:8)
In the past three posts we’ve really only skimmed the surface of the giants in the Bible in order to demonstrate a point regarding the fifth trumpet. If the reader wishes to pursue further study on the biblical giants, I would recommend Rob Skiba’s analysis in ‘The Genesis Six Experiment’ or ‘Post Flood Giants’, which can be found at his Babylon Rising Blog. I also recommend Steve Quayle's book ‘Genesis 6 Giants’, which is one of the best compilations on historical giants that I've read.
In the next post we’ll get continue with the symbolism behind the demonic locusts of the Fifth Trumpet.