Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date August 23, 2014

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Og, ("gigantic"; Hebrew: עוֹגֿ, ʿog ˈʕoːɡ; Arabic: عوج‎, cogh [ʕoːɣ]) according to the Bible, was an Amorite king of Bashan who, along with his army, was slain by Moses and his men at the battle of Edrei. In Arabic literature he is referred to as ‘Uj ibn Anaq (‘Ûj ibn ‘Anâq عوج بن عنق).

Og is mentioned in Jewish literature as being alive from the time of Noah up until the time of his death in battle with the Israelites. It is also written in the Midrash that he had a special compartment in Noah's Ark just for him. Aggadah suggests an alternative to this; that he sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the storm from this location.

Og is introduced in the Book of Numbers. Like his neighbor Sihon of Heshbon, whom Moses had previously conquered at the battle of Jahaz he was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth (probably modern Tell Ashareh, where there still exists a 70-foot mound).

The Book of Numbers, Chapter 21, and Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, continues:

"Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei." Moses speaks: "The LORD said to me, "Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon ... So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors." ... "At that time we took all his cities, there was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og's kingdom in Bashan ... destroying every city, men, women and children ... But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves."

Og's destruction is told in Psalms 135:11 and 136:20 as one of many great victories for the nation of Israel, and the book of Amos 2:9 may refer to Og as "the Amorite" whose height was like the height of the cedars and whose strength was like the oaks.

King Og

300px Kingdoms around Israel 830 map.svg 1 King Og


King Og of Bashan his Genealogy

In the book of Deuteronomy, the Rephaim are identified as exceedingly tall, Giants.Deuteronomy 1.28 relates that there were Giants who were resident in the area, calledAnakim, who lived there before theIsraeliteconquest, and who were discovered by the Israelite spies sent by Moses to scout out the land.

Deuteronomy 2.11 considers the Anakim to be Rephaim. In addition, Deuteronomy holds that Israel’s neighbouring countries were also inhabited by races of Rephaim before being settled by their human inhabitants. So, Deut. 2.11-12 and 20-21 describe Giants living in Moab and Ammon – called ”Emim” and “Zamzummim” (to buzz)– who also lived there before the Moabites and Ammonites respectively, and who are also referred to as Rephaim. The description of the Anakim in Deut. 1.28 seems to reflect the parallel account in Numbers 13.28b, 33. Yet Num. 13.33 adds the additional information that these Anakim were “from the Nephilim”. Nephilim by the way is technically (correctly) pronounced “nepheeleem.” This description links to Genesis 6.1-4, the only other place in the Old Testament where the Nephilim are mentioned, and which describes the descent of these mysterious Angelic creatures, Nephilim or “sons of god(s)”, to earth, where they interbred with the “daughters of men”, producing “mighty men” of ancient times.

Another possibility is that King Og was considered the offspring not directly of Nephilim, but of other Rephaim. Passages such as Num. 13.28 and Josh. 15.13-14 describe lineages of Anakim (who Deuteronomy consider to be Rephaim), which suggests that they were thought of as having families of their own following the initial sexual intercourse between the “sons of god” and human women. If this is the case, Deut. 3.11a might indicate that King Og was the last of a genealogy of rulers which ultimately claim an Angelic father who mated with a human mother: “only King Og of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim”. Perhaps it merely means that King Og was the last of his kind? Again, this is not entirely clear.

Related articles

One of the most fascinating and strategic topics in ancient texts is the record of fallen angels, giants, and UFO s. Fallen angels and giants are shrouded in mystery and belong to the age of pyramids and other great wonders of the world. It is an epoch that was destroyed by God s judgment, a flood, which left the world everlastingly changed, the evidence of which is found in the tales, folklore, and traditions of many cultures around the world. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown (Genesis 6:4). This vivid language defines the conspiracy of evil which has beset our world. The ancient books, Enoch and Jubilees, tell us of a race of nephilim, which are hybrids, alive in history and today, fathered by fallen angels. Strange as this may seem, the Lord declares that this conspiracy of evil is to be repeated before His return. Consequently, it is important from the standpoint of both understanding history and understanding the future that we understand these events. The world is in a slumber, asleep with the dream of a better tomorrow. While dark forces of fallen angels are arrayed against us, many today write about the approaching juggernaut of the apocalypse and well they should! Few, however, know or understand that fallen angels have brought us to this apocalypse, this apex of human history. The end of the world as we know it is about to take place. A storm is gathering, so terrible as to cause men s hearts to fail them for fear; we must not approach this coming apocalypse unaware and unarmed.

Og and the Rephaim

Some see Rujm el-Hiri, dating from the third Millennium BC in the Golan Heights, as a source for legends about "a remnant of the giants" for Og.

In Deut. 3:11 and later in the book of Numbers and Joshua, Og is pronounced as the last of the Rephaim. Rephaim is a Hebrew word for giants. Deut. 3:11 declares that his "bedstead" (translated in some texts as "sarcophagus") of iron is "nine cubits in length and four cubits in width", which is 13.5 ft by 6 ft according to the standard cubit of a man.



It goes on to say that at the royal city of Rabbah of the Ammonites, his giant bedstead could still be seen as a novelty at the time the narrative was written. If the giant king's bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 to 13 feet in height. However, later Rabbinic tradition has it, that the length of his bedstead was measured with the cubits of Og himself. The Talmud further embellishes in fantastic detail that Og was so large that he sought the destruction of the Israelites by uprooting a mountain so large, that it would have crushed the entire Israelite encampment. Moses, fulfilling the LORD's injunction not to fear him, seized a spear of ten cubits length, and jumped a similar vertical distance, succeeding in stabbing Og in the ankle. The LORD then caused Og's teeth to lengthen until they grew into the mountain he held aloft; millions of ants then swarmed into his mouth, killing him. It is noteworthy that the region north of the river Jabbok, or Bashan, "the land of Rephaim", contains hundreds of megalithic stone tombs (dolmen) dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. In 1918, Gustav Dalman discovered in the neighborhood of Amman Jordan (Amman is built on the ancient city of Rabbah of Ammon) a noteworthy dolmen which matched the approximate dimensions of Og's bed as described in the Bible. Such ancient rock burials are seldom seen west of the Jordan river, and the only other concentration of these megaliths are to be found in the hills of Judah in the vicinity of Hebron, where the giant sons of Anak were said to have lived (Numbers 13:33).

Og in non-Biblical inscriptions

A reference to "Og" appears in a Phoenician inscription from Byblos (Byblos 13) published in 1974 by Wolfgang Rölling in "Eine neue phoenizische Inschrift aus Byblos," (Neue Ephemeris für Semitische Epigraphik, vol 2, 1-15 and plate 1). It appears in a damaged 7-line funerary inscription that Rölling dates to around 500 BC, and appears to say that if someone disturbs the bones of the occupant, "the mighty Og will avenge me."

A possible connection to Og and the Rephaim kings of Bashan can also be made with the much older Canaanite Ugaritic text KTU 1.108 from the 13th century B.C., which uses the term "king" in association with the root /rp/ or "Rapah" (the Rephaim of the Bible) and geographic place names that probably correspond to the cities of Ashtaroth and Edrei in the Bible, and with which king Og is expressly said to have ruled from (Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 9:10; 12:4; 13:12, 31). The clay tablet from Ugarit KTU 1.108 reads in whole, "May Rapiu, King of Eternity, drink [w]ine, yea, may he drink, the powerful and noble [god], the god enthroned in Ashtarat, the god who rules in Edrei, whom men hymn and honour with music on the lyre and the flute, on drum and cymbals, with castanets of ivory, among the goodly companions of Kothar. And may Anat the power<ful> drink, the mistress of kingship, the mistress of dominion, the mistress of the high heavens, [the mistre]ss of the earth."

"Ogias the Giant"

The 2nd century BC apocryphal book "Ogias the Giant" or "The Book of Giants" depicts the adventures of a giant named Ogias who fought a great dragon, and who was supposedly either identical with the Biblical Og or was Og's father.

The book enjoyed considerable currency for several centuries, especially due to having been taken up by the Manichaeanreligion.



Illustration of Pantagruel for the Fourth Book in the Pantagruel and Gargantua series by François Rabelaispublished in Œuvres de Rabelais(Paris: Garnier Freres, 1873), vol. 2, Book IV, ch. XXVII, opposite page 87,Gustave Doré, 1873

In "Pantagruel", Rabelais lists Hurtaly (a version of Og) as one of Pantagruel's ancestors. He describes Hurtaly as sitting astride the Ark, saving it from shipwreck by guiding it with his feet as the grateful Noah and his family feed him through the chimney.


See also


  1. Jump up^ Talmud Bavli Zabahim 113b; Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer (Heigar) “Chorev” Ch. 23 ד"ה וזה אשר תעשה; Yalkut Shimoni, Torah, Parashas Noach, Remez 55 ד"ה זכר ונקבה יהיו; Yalkut Shimoni, Torah, Parashas Noach, Remez 56 ד"ה ד"א ויהי לשבעת; Yalkut Shimoni, Job, Remez 926 ד"ה +לט+ התקשר רים. These sources were found using Bar Ilan CD.
  2. Jump up^ From Og's Circle to the Wise Observatory, Yuval Ne'eman, Tel Aviv University
  3. Jump up^ Talmud Bavli: Berachot 54b
  4. Jump up^ Werner Keller Bible As a History 1995, Page 153 ISBN 1566198011, 9781566198011
  5. Jump up^ Wyatt, N. (2002). Religious texts from Ugarit - 2nd Edition. Sheffield Academic Press. pp. 395–396. ISBN 0-8264-6048-8.

Og, King of Bashan

The Gilgal is the Israeli Stonehenge. The structure is composed of over 40,000 stones that are arranged in 4 circles. It is quite big – the diameter of the outer circle is about 150 meters/490 feet. The site is estimated to be 5,000 years old.

Og, according to the Holy Bible, was an Amorite king of Bashanwho, along with his army, was slain by Moses and his men at the battle of Edrei.

Og is mentioned in Jewish folklore as being alive from the time of Noah up until the time of his death in battle with the Israelites. It is also written in the Midrash that he had a special compartment in Noah’s Ark just for him.Aggadah suggests an alternative to this; that he sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the storm from this location.

I reject that Og survived the flood by any means due to the following passage of Scripture:

God clearly stated, “For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground” (Genesis 7:4).

When studying  the Sons of God and the Nephilim, it is apparent that “Nephilim were on the earth before the flood, and also afterward. (Genesis 6:4).

The Holy Bible is silent on how the Sons of God were established after the flood. Many apocryphal books and commentaries deal with this question, I will not however, as I do not believe speculation should be included in any serious Bible study.

Og is introduced in the Book of Numbers. Like his neighbor Sihon of Heshbon, whom Moses had previously conquered at the battle of Jahaz he was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth where there still exists a 70-foot mound.

Th Book of Deuteronomy says, “Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ So the LORD our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left. And we took all his cities at that time–there was not a city that we did not take from them–sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. And we devoted them to destruction, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children. But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as our plunder” (Deuteronomy 3:1-7 ESV).

Og’s destruction is told in Psalms 135:8-12 and 136:2-22 as one of many great victories for the nation of Israel, and the Book of Amos 2:9-10 may refer to Og as “the Amorite” whose height was like the height of the cedars and whose strength was like the oaks.

In Deuteronomy 3:11 and later in the Book of Numbers and Book of Joshua, Og is pronounced as the last of the Rephaim. Deuteronomy 3:11 declares that his “bedstead” (translated in some texts as “sarcophagus”) of iron is “nine cubits in length and four cubits in width” (13.5 ft x 6 ft) according to the standard cubit of a man. It goes on to say that at the royal city of Rabbah of the Ammonites, his giant bedstead could still be seen as a novelty at the time the narrative was written. If the giant king’s bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 to 13 feet in height. However, later Rabbinic tradition has it, that the length of his bedstead was measured with the cubits of Og himself. The Talmud further embellishes in fantastic detail that Og was so large that he sought the destruction of the Israelites by uprooting a mountain so large, that it would have crushed the entire Israelite encampment. Moses, fulfilling the LORD’s injunction not to fear him, seized a spear of ten cubits length, and jumped a similar vertical distance, succeeding in stabbing Og in the ankle. The LORD then caused Og’s teeth to lengthen until they grew into the mountain he held aloft; millions of ants then swarmed into his mouth, killing him. It is noteworthy that the region north of the River Jabbok, or Bashan, “the land of Rephaim”, contains hundreds of megalithic stone tombs (dolmen) dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. In 1918, Gustav Dalman discovered in the neighborhood of Amman Jordan (Amman is built on the ancient city of Rabbah of Ammon) a noteworthy dolmen which matched the approximate dimensions of Og’s bed as described in the Holy Bible. Such ancient rock burials are seldom seen west of the Jordan river, and the only other concentration of these megaliths are to be found in the hills of Judah in the vicinity of Hebron, where the giant sons of Anak were said to have lived (Numbers 13:33)

A reference to “Og” appears in a Phoenician inscription from Byblos (Byblos 13) published in 1974 by Wolfgang Rölling in “Eine new phoenizische Inschrift aus Byblos,” (Neue Ephemeris für Semitische Epigraphik, vol 2, 1-15 and plate 1). It appears in a damaged 7-line funerary inscription that Rölling dates to around 500 BC, and appears to say that if someone disturbs the bones of the occupant, “the mighty Og will avenge me.”

A possible connection can also be made with the much older Ugaritic text KTU 1.108, which uses the term “king” in association with the root /rp/ or “Rapah” (the Rephaim of the Bible) and geographic place names that probably correspond to the cities of Ashtaroth and Edrei in the Holy Bible, and with which king Og is clearly associated (Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 9:10; 12:4; 13:12, 31).

The 2nd century BC apocryphal book “Ogias the Giant” or “The Book of Giants” depicts the adventures of a giant named Ogias who fought a great dragon, and who was supposedly either identical with the Biblical Og or was Og’s father.

The book enjoyed considerable currency for several centuries, especially due to having been taken up by the Manichaean religion.

Table of Contents
—Biblical Data:

Amorite king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and was conquered by Moses and Israel in the battle of Edrei (Num. xxi. 33), sixty fortified cities, with high walls, gates, and bars, comprising the region of Argob, being taken and given to the children of Machir, son of Manasseh (Deut. iii. 13; Josh. xiii. 31). Og was one of the giants of the remnant of the Rephaim. His iron bedstead in Rabbath, the capital of Ammon, is described as having been nine cubits in length and four cubits in breadth (Deut. iii. 11).

—In Rabbinical Literature:

Og was not destroyed at the time of the Flood (Niddah 61a), for, according to one legend, the waters reached only to his ankles (Midr. Peṭirat Mosheh, i. 128, in Jellinek, "B. H." ii.). Another tradition states that he fled to Palestine, where there was no flood (Rashi to Niddah, ad loc.); while, according to a third legend, he sat on a rung of the ladder outside the ark, and, after he had sworn to be a slave to Noah and his children, received his food each day through a hole made in the side of the ark (Pirḳe R. El. ch. xxiii.). Og was known also as "Ha-Paliṭ" (see Gen. xiv. 13).

It was Og who brought the news to Abraham of the captivity of Lot. This he did, however, with an evil motive, for he thought that Abraham would seek to release Lot and would be killed in battle with the great kings, and that he, Og, would be able to marry the beautiful Sarah (Gen. R. xlii. 12). A long lease of life was granted him as a reward for informing Abraham, but because of his sinister motive he was destined to be killed by the descendants of Abraham. Og was present at the banquet which Abraham gave on the day Isaac was weaned (comp. Gen. xxi. 8). As Og had always declared that Abraham would beget no children, the guests teasingly asked him what he had to say now that Abraham had begotten Isaac, whereupon Og answered that Isaac was no true descendant since he could kill Isaac with one finger. It was in punishment for this remark, one legend declares, that he was condemned to live to see a hundred thousand descendants of Abraham and to be killed in battle against them. (Gen. R. liii. 14). When Jacob went to Pharaoh and blessed him (Gen. xlvii. 7), Og was present, and the king said to him: "The grandson of Abraham, who, according to thy words, was to have no descendants, is now here with seventy of them." As Og cast an evil eye upon the children of Israel, God foretold that he would fall into their hands (Deut. R. i. 22).

Death of Og.

During the battle of Edrei (Num. xxi. 33) Og sat on the city wall, his legs, which were eighteen ells long, reaching down to the ground; Moses did not know what monster he had before him until God told him that it was Og. Og hurled an entire mountain against the Israelites, but Moses intercepted it (Deut. R. l.c.). According to another legend, Og uprooted a mountain three miles long, intending to destroy all Israel at once by hurling it upon their camp, which was also three miles in length; but while he was carrying it upon his head a swarm of locusts burrowed through it, so that it fell round his neck. When he attempted to throw off this unwieldy necklace long teeth grew from both sides of his mouth and kept the mountain in place. Thereupon Moses, who was himself ten ells tall, took an ax of equal length, jumped upward ten ells, so that he could reach Og's ankles, and thus killed him (Ber. 54b).

Shabbat (151b) and 'Erubin (48a) also indicate that Og was regarded as an unusually large giant. A legend says that a grave-digger pursued a stag three miles inside of one of Og's bones without reaching the other end (Niddah 24b).


The Giant of the Flood

Just before the world was drowned all the animals gathered in front of the Ark and Father Noah carefully inspected them.

"All ye that lie down shall enter and be saved from the deluge that is about to destroy the world," he said. "Ye that stand cannot enter."

Then the various creatures began to march forward into the Ark. Father Noah watched them closely. He seemed troubled.

"I wonder," he said to himself, "how I shall obtain a unicorn, and how I shall get it into the Ark."

"I can bring thee a unicorn, Father Noah," he heard in a voice of thunder, and turning round he saw the giant, Og. "But thou must agree to save me, too, from the flood."

"Begone," cried Noah. "Thou art a demon, not a human being. I can have no dealings with thee."

"Pity me," whined the giant. "See how my figure is shrinking. Once I was so tall that I could drink water from the clouds and toast fish at the sun. I fear not that I shall be drowned, but that all the food will be destroyed and that I shall perish of hunger."

Noah, however, only smiled; but he grew serious again when Og brought a unicorn. It was as big as a mountain, although the giant said it was the smallest he could find. It lay down in front of the Ark and Noah saw by that action that he must save it. For some time he was puzzled what to do, but at last a bright idea struck him. He attached the huge beast to the Ark by a rope fastened to its horn so that it could swim alongside and be fed.

Og seated himself on a mountain near at hand and watched the rain pouring down. Faster and faster it fell in torrents until the rivers overflowed and the waters began to rise rapidly on the land and sweep all things away. Father Noah stood gloomily before the door of the Ark until the water reached his neck. Then it swept him inside. The door closed with a bang, and the Ark rose gallantly on the flood and began to move along. The unicorn swam alongside, and as it passed Og, the giant jumped on to its back.

"See, Father Noah," he cried, with a huge chuckle, "you will have to save me after all. I will snatch all the food you put through the window for the unicorn."

Noah saw that it was useless to argue with Og, who might, indeed, sink the Ark with his tremendous strength.

"I will make a bargain with thee," he shouted from a window. "I will feed thee, but thou must promise to be a servant to my descendants."

Og was very hungry, so he accepted the conditions and devoured his first breakfast.

The rain continued to fall in great big sheets that shut out the light of day. Inside the Ark, however, all was bright and cheerful, for Noah had collected the most precious of the stones of the earth and had used them for the windows. Their radiance illumined the whole of the three stories in the Ark. Some of the animals were troublesome and Noah got no sleep at all. The lion had a bad attack of fever. In a corner a bird slept the whole of the time. This was the phoenix.

"Wake up," said Noah, one day. "It is feeding time."

"Thank you," returned the bird. "I saw thou wert busy, Father Noah, so I would not trouble thee."

"Thou art a good bird," said Noah, much touched, "therefore thou shalt never die."

One day the rain ceased, the clouds rolled away and the sun shone brilliantly again. How strange the world looked! It was like a vast ocean. Nothing but water could be seen anywhere, and only one or two of the highest mountain tops peeped above the flood. All the world was drowned, and Noah gazed on the desolate scene from one of the windows with tears in his eyes. Og, riding gaily on the unicorn behind the Ark, was quite happy.

"Ha, ha!" he laughed gleefully. "I shall be able to eat and drink just as much as I like now and shall never be troubled by those tiny little creatures, the mortals."

"Be not so sure," said Noah. "Those tiny mortals shall be thy masters and shall outlive thee and the whole race of giants and demons."

The giant did not relish this prospect. He knew that whatever Noah prophesied would come true, and he was so sad that he ate no food for two days and began to grow smaller and thinner. He became more and more unhappy as day by day the water subsided and the mountains began to appear. At last the Ark rested on Mount Ararat, and Og's long ride came to an end.

"I will soon leave thee, Father Noah," he said. "I shall wander round the world to see what is left of it."

"Thou canst not go until I permit thee," said Noah. "Hast thou forgotten our compact so soon? Thou must be my servant. I have work for thee."

Giants are not fond of work, and Og, who was the father of all the giants, was particularly lazy. He cared only to eat and sleep, but he knew he was in Noah's power, and he shed bitter tears when he saw the land appear again.

"Stop," commanded Noah. "Dost thou wish to drown the world once more with thy big tears?"

So Og sat on a mountain and rocked from side to side, weeping silently to himself. He watched the animals leave the Ark and had to do all the hard work when Noah's children built houses. Daily he complained that he was shrinking to the size of the mortals, for Noah said there was not too much food.

One day Noah said to him, "Come with me, Og. I am going around the world. I am commanded to plant fruit and flowers to make the earth beautiful. I need thy help."

For many days they wandered all over the earth, and Og was compelled to carry the heavy bag of seeds. The last thing Noah planted was the grape vine.

"What is this--food, or drink?" asked Og.

"Both," replied Noah. "It can be eaten, or its juice made into wine," and as he planted it, he blessed the grape. "Be thou," he said, "a plant pleasing to the eye, bear fruit that will be food for the hungry and a health-giving drink to the thirsty and sick."

Og grunted.

"I will offer up sacrifice to this wonderful fruit," he said. "May I not do so now that our labors are over?"

Noah agreed, and the giant brought a sheep, a lion, a pig and a monkey. First, he slaughtered the sheep, then the lion.

"When a man shall taste but a few drops of the wine," he said, "he shall be as harmless as a sheep. When he takes a little more he shall be as strong as a lion."

Then Og began to dance around the plant, and he killed the pig and the monkey. Noah was very much surprised.

"I am giving thy descendants two extra blessings," said Og, chuckling.

He rolled over and over on the ground in great glee and then said:

"When a man shall drink too much of the juice of the wine, then shall he become a beast like the pig, and if then he still continues to drink, he shall behave foolishly like a monkey."

And that is why, unto this day, too much wine makes a man silly.

Og himself often drank too much, and many years afterward, when he was a servant to the patriarch Abraham, the latter scolded him until he became so frightened that he dropped a tooth. Abraham made an ivory chair for himself from this tooth. Afterwards Og became King of Bashan, but he forgot his compact with Noah and instead of helping the Israelites to obtain Canaan he opposed them.

"I will kill them all with one blow," he declared.

Exerting all his enormous strength he uprooted a mountain, and raising it high above his head he prepared to drop it on the camp of the Israelites and crush it.

But a wonderful thing happened. The mountain was full of grasshoppers and ants who had bored millions of tiny holes in it. When King Og raised the great mass it crumbled in his hands and fell over his head and round his neck like a collar. He tried to pull it off, but his teeth became entangled in the mass. As he danced about in rage and pain, Moses, the leader of the Israelites, approached him.

Moses was a tiny man compared with Og. He was only ten ells high, and he carried with him a sword of the same length. With a mighty effort he jumped ten ells into the air, and raising the sword, he managed to strike the giant on the ankle and wound him mortally.

Thus, after many years, did the terrible giant of the flood perish for breaking his word to Father Noah.


Exploring Canaan

1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

3So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4These are their names:

from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur;

5from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

6from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

7from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

8from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

9from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

10from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

11from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi;

12from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

14from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

15from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki.

16These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.)

17When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

21So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,a they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Report on the Exploration

26They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33We 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.”

a 23 Eshkol means cluster; also in verse 24.


The People Rebel

1That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

5Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

10But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lordappeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

13Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16‘The Lordwas not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

17“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

20The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.a ”

26The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27“How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”

36So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

39When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”

41But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”

44Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp.45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

a 25 Or the Sea of Reeds



14Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. 15The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.

16Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, 17the Lord said to me, 18“Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar. 19When 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.”

20(That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21They 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. 22The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day. 23And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtorb destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon

24“Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle. 25This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”

26From the Desert of Kedemoth I sent messengers to Sihon king of Heshbon offering peace and saying, 27“Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28Sell us food to eat and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot— 29as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.

31The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”

32When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, 33the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. 34At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyedc them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead, not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them. 37But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God, you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites, neither the land along the course of the Jabbok nor that around the towns in the hills.

a 1 Or the Sea of Reeds
b 23 That is, Crete
c 34 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.



Defeat of Og King of Bashan

1Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

3So the Lord our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. 4At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 5All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. 6We completely destroyeda them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroyingb every city—men, women and children. 7But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.

8So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon. 9(Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.) 10We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salekah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.11(Og king of Bashan was the last of the Rephaites. His bed was decorated with iron and was more than nine cubits long and four cubits wide.c It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)

Division of the Land

12Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns. 13The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites. 14Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maakathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.d ) 15And I gave Gilead to Makir. 16But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. 17Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.

18I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. 19However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, 20until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lordyour God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”

Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan

21At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that theLord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. 22Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”

23At that time I pleaded with the Lord: 24“Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? 25Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”

26But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 27Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan. 28But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” 29So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.

a 6 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
b 6 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
c 11 That is, about 14 feet long and 6 feet wide or about 4 meters long and 1.8 meters wide
d 14 Or called the settlements of Jair


BY  | APRIL 13, 2011 · 1:50 PM

A Giant the Size of King Og Found in Belgium!

Giant skeletonsThe Washington Postyesterday (11 April 2011) reported the finding of a Giant the size of King Og, in Belgium:

In 1643, workers unearthed some huge bones in a Belgian field. The naturalists who studied them were convinced they had come from a humanlike giant. Their length, after all, tallied with a biblical reference to Og, a giant king supposedly slain by Moses.

- Henry Nicholls, “Frozen remains help explain the life and eventual extinction of the woolly mammoth”

Alas, centuries later the developing science of palaeontology discovered that the purported Giant was an elephant. And later still, it turned out to be an extinct mastodon. The Washington Post story links to an article by Taika Helola Dahlbom (“A Mammoth History: The Extraordinary Journey of Two Thighbones”, Trends in Cell Biology 31.3 (2007): 110-114):

In 1643, two respected gentlemen observed some workers unearth a skeleton from a field outside Bruges in Flanders. One of the gentlement, Dr. Sperling, the court physician to King Frederick III of Denmark, recorded the length of the skeleton as nine Brabantian cubits (more than 4 m). With the bible as their point of reference as was common for seventeenth-century naturalists, this confirmed to the men that the skeleton had belonged to a giant…. [M]ore than 50 years later… the King’s collection… contained three specimens believed to have come from giants – two complete sets of teeth and another hip-bone. Whilst this other hip-bone was, according to the 1737 catalogue, ‘more than three feet long’ and ‘presumably of a large giant’, there was greater certainty over the provenance of the more recent acquisition. ‘A still larger hip-bone 3.5 feet long, weighing 25 lb, belonging to a large Giant’. This confidence stemmed from the account of its excavation by Dr. Sperling’s son, the reputable polymath Otto Sperling the younger (1634-1715)…. Since the extraordinary length of the skeleton relayed by Sperling the younger exactly matched the length of the giant King Og’s coffin described in deuteronomy 3:11, there was little doubt that the Bruges hip-bone had indeed belonged to a giant.
(p. 110)




Gilgal (Hebrew: גִּלְגָּל) is a place name mentioned by theHebrew Bible. It is a matter of debate how many of the places named "Gilgal" are identical.

The Gilgal associated with Joshua

The main mention of Gilgal is when the Book of Joshuastates that the Israelites first encamped there after having crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 4:19 - 5:12). In the narrative, after setting up camp, Joshua orders the Israelites to take twelve stones from the river, one for each tribe, and place them there in memory. Some modern scholars have argued that this is anaetiological myth created by the author of Joshua to explain away what is in reality a neolithic stone circle.

According to the biblical narrative, Joshua then orders the Israelites who had been born during the Exodus to be circumcised. The Bible refers to the location this occurred as Gibeath Haaraloth; some English translations of the Bible identify "Gibeath Haaraloth" as the name of the place. However, since the place is elsewhere identified as still being Gilgal, and since "Gibeath Haaraloth" means "hill of foreskins", some scholars[citation needed] think this is simply a description, and some translations provide a translation rather than a transliteration of it as a proper name.

The narrative continues by stating that the place was named Gilgal in memory of the reproach of Egypt being removed by this act of mass circumcision. Although "Gilgal" is phonetically similar to "gallothi", meaning "I have removed" in Hebrew, some believe that it is more likely that "Gilgal" means "circle of standing stones", and refers to the stone circle that was there.

Some textual scholars see the circumcision explanation, and the twelve stones explanation, as having come from different source texts; the circumcision explanation being a way to explain how the location was regarded as religiously important in local culture, without mentioning the presence of a religious monument (the stone circle) whose existence might have offended the author's religious sensibilities. It is considered by some that this stone circle was the (unnamed) religious sanctuary that was severely condemned by the Book of Amos (Amos 4:4, 5:5) and Book of Hosea (Hosea 4:15).

This Gilgal is said to have been "on the eastern border of Jericho" (Joshua 4:19). It has been identified with Khirbet en-Nitleh, but today scholars regard Khirbet El Mafjir as the more probable identification. Khirbet El Mafjir is located 2 km northeast of ancient Jericho.

A "Gilgal" is also mentioned in a list of places to divide the land under the leadership of Joshua (Joshua 15:7). There are scholars who believe that this is not the same location as the one where the Israelites had encamped. Some scholars believe that this may be the result of a scribal error, and instead should really refer to Galilee. It may also have been the place marked by the modern village Jiljulieh, southwest of Antipatris, and northeast of Joppa. But another Gilgal, under the slightly different form of Kilkilieh, lies about two miles east of Antipatris.

The Gilgal mentioned by Deuteronomy

It may have been the Gilgal of Elijah and Elisha, or yet another Gilgal, that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:29-30 as having Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal in front of it. Its location is significant since it helps fix the position of these religiously significant hills.

The Gilgal associated with Samuel

A place named Gilgal is mentioned by the Books of Samuel as having been included in Samuel's annual circuit, and as the location where he offered sacrifices after Saul was anointed as king, and where he renewed Saul's kingship together with the people (1 Samuel chapters 7 and 11). Again it is possible for this to simply be yet another "circle of standing stones" (or the same one as mentioned in relation to Elijah and Elisha, as Bethel is on the circuit with Gilgal, and other assumed locations show Gilgal to be far further away than the other two locations), and significant that it is treated as a holy place by the biblical text, rather than as a heathen one.

It is also the place where Samuel hewed King Agag in pieces as Saul refused to obey the Word of the Lord and utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15: 32, 33).

The Gilgal associated with Elijah and Elisha

In the Books of Kings, a "Gilgal" is mentioned that was said to have been home to a group of prophets. The text states thatElijah and Elisha came from here when they went down to Bethel from Gilgal (2 Kings 2:1-2); suggesting that the place was in the vicinity of Bethel, and hence in a mountainous region, which is somewhat different from the place associated with Joshua. Since "Gilgal" literally means "circle of standing stones", it is quite plausible for there to have been more than one place named Gilgal, and although there are dissenting opinions, it is commonly held to be a different place to the one involved with Joshua; it has been identified with the village Jiljilia, about 11 km north of Bethel. It is significant that the Books of Kings treat it as a place of holiness, suggesting that stone circles still had a positive religious value at the time the source text of the passages in question was written, rather than having been condemned as heathen by religious reforms.

Another opinion is that it is not different from the Book of Joshua, as it locates it near Bethel as does the Books of Chronicles.


  1. Jump up^ Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed
  2. Jump up^ Jewish Encyclopedia, Book of Joshua; Gilgal

External links


What is the Meaning and Significance of Gilgal in the Bible?

Posted on February 1, 2014 by Lee Woofenden 

Here is a spiritual conundrum posed by a reader named victor:

What is the significance of gilgadh mentioned in 2king 2:1 – why the journey starts from gilgadh?

Gilgal Refaim ("circle of ghosts" or "circle of giants"); or Rujm el-Hiri ("stone heap of the wild cat")

Gilgal Refaim, or Rujm el-Hiri

Thanks for the question, victor! I assume you mean Gilgal, which is mentioned in 39 verses in the Bible. One of those verses is 2 Kings 2:1—the start of a story about the prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind while the prophet Elisha, his apprentice, looks on (2 Kings 2).

The name Gilgal has been associated by Bible scholars with at least five different possible locations in and around the Holy Land, none of them certain. But as we will see, it seems likely that “Gilgal” is not a town name at all. Instead, it is likely a word for a particular type of human-made site. In recent decades archeologists have made some exciting new discoveries of ancient “Gilgal” sites!

Though Gilgal is first mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:30, it gains its primary meaning and significance in the book of Joshua. The first camp of the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan into the Holy Land was at a place called Gilgal. This camp served as their base of operations during the initial conquest of the Holy Land under Joshua. Several other important events in the Bible take place either at this Gilgal or at a different one. Eventually, though, Gilgal became corrupt, and two of the prophets railed against it later in Israel’s history.

In some ways Gilgal has a story similar to that of Bethel, which is covered in an earlier article: “What is the History and Importance of Bethel in the Bible?” However, as we will see in Part 2 of this article, “the gilgal” (as it should really be translated) has its own particular meaning in the Bible story, and its own special significance for our spiritual life.

Okay, okay! I’ll spill the beans just a little . . .

As the Israelites’ point of entry into the Holy Land and their base of operations for the initial conquest of the land, the site called “Gilgal” signifies the simple, basic religious beliefs and teachings that first introduce us to a spiritual life, and that we return to again and again as we fight our early battles to reform ourselves and get our life into order.

It’s all about stones and circles.

Part 1: The Biblical and archeological background of Gilgal

Where is Gilgal?

Do you like to see where places are on the map? I do!

Thing is . . . we don’t really know where Gilgal was. As I mentioned earlier, scholars have suggested at least five different locations for the various mentions of “Gilgal” in the Bible. Most of them are on the east side of Palestine, toward the Jordan. One is located on the western, Mediterranean side.

The traditional location of Gilgal is just east of Jericho, based on Joshua 4:19. Here is a map showing this location. See the question mark? That’s because no location has been definitely identified as that of Gilgal. This is just the best guess of various Bible scholars.

Map showing the position of the Biblical town of Bethel in relation to Jericho and Jerusalem

Bethel in relation to Jericho and Jerusalem

(Map courtesy of

Though it doesn’t seem to agree with the location given in the book of Joshua, some scholars think Gilgal might be farther north—near the town labeled “Adam” on this map. That’s because back in the 1980s archeologists discovered a fascinating site there, which may have been connected to the ancient Israelites about the time of their conquest of the Holy Land. We’ll get to that in a minute.

What’s a “gilgal”?

Why has it been so hard to locate Gilgal in the Bible? It may be that scholars and archeologists had been looking for the wrong thing.

It was long assumed that Gilgal was the name of a town, like other towns mentioned in the Bible. But it’s possible, even likely, that Gilgal is not a town at all.

One subtle hint of this is that almost everywhere “Gilgal” appears in the original Hebrew, it is preceded by a definite article—Hebrew’s equivalent of our word “the.”

The one exception is Joshua 5:9, which reads: “The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.’ And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.” That might be why we previously thought it was the name of a town.

Everywhere else, it should really be “the gilgal.” This suggests that “Gilgal” is not the name of the town, but rather a type of place.

Consider these examples in English:

Of course, there are many different cities, malls, and rivers. Each has a specific name. But as a type of place, we refer to them as “the city,” “the mall,” and “the river.”

In the Bible, the same is probably true of “the gilgal,” as it is almost always written in the original Hebrew. In other words, what is usually translated “Gilgal” is probably a type of place. And there might very well be several different Gilgals, as many Bible scholars have suggested.

The meaning of “gilgal”

So what type of place is a “gilgal”?

Like other words assumed to be place names, “Gilgal” isn’t a translation. It’s atransliteration into English of the letters in the original Hebrew word. It doesn’t give us the meaning of the Hebrew; it simply represents the sound of the original Hebrew word in Roman letters.

However, the word gilgal does have a meaning in Hebrew.

As suggested in the original Hebrew of Joshua 5:9 (quoted above), the word gilgal in Hebrew is related to the word galal, which means “to roll.” Galal is often used to refer to rolling heavy objects such as stones. So in Hebrew the related word gilgalmeans a wheel or circle, or something that rolls. In particular, it seems to refer to a circle of stones, or to a circular altar.

A remarkable example of a “gilgal” is the place known as “Gilgal Refaim” in Hebrew, or “Rujm el-Hiri” in Arabic. It is pictured at the beginning of this article. This ancient monument is sometimes called “the Stonehenge of the Levant,” or “Israel’s Stonehenge.”

“Gilgal Refaim” is massive arrangement of four concentric stone circles, with a fifteen-foot-high circular stone mound in the center. It is estimated to contain over 42,000 large basalt stones. The largest circle is about 170 yards in diameter, and eight feet high. Archeologists believe it was built around 3,000 BC. This would mean that it was already over 1,500 years old when Joshua and the Israelites began their conquest of the Holy Land. This ancient “gilgal,” or stone circle, is located in the present day Golan Heights region, east of the Sea of Galilee.

It is unlikely that Gilgal Refaim corresponds to any of the Gilgals mentioned in the Bible.

However, a more recent discovery may very well be associated with the Biblical Gilgals.

The foot-shaped gilgals

Bedhat esh-Sha'ab: A foot-shaped "Gilgal" near the Jordan River, located southwest of the Argaman settlement

A foot-shaped “Gilgal” near the Jordan River

Starting in the 1980s, and continuing right up into the 2000s, archeologists have discovered and done initial studies of five human-built foot- or sandal-shaped constructions that have been dated to the same general time period as the Israelites’ conquest of the Holy Land. Pictured here is the best-known one, named in modern times “Bedhat esh-Sha’ab.” It is located just southwest of the Argaman settlement in the Jordan River valley, about two-fifths of the way from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee.

To put this in Bible terms, Bedhat esh-Sha’ab a little northwest of the town of Adam on the map above.

Why is this significant? Because when Joshua and the children of Israel crossed the miraculously dried-up Jordan river to enter the Holy Land, Adam and its neighboring city of Zarethan to its north are named as the location where the Jordan River’s “waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap” (Joshua 3:15–16).

Because of this association, some scholars think that Bedhat esh-Sha’ab may actually be the Gilgal mentioned in Joshua—though this does not square with its description in Joshua 4:19 as being “on the east border of Jericho.”

Why were these “gilgals” in the shape of feet, or sandals? And what does this shape have to do with the Bible story?

First, it should be said that the Bible does not make any specific mention of foot-shaped sites. However, Israeli scholars Adam Zertal and Dror Ben-Yosef, of theUniversity of Haifa, who have studied five foot-shaped sites discovered in the Holy Land, make the case that the foot shape does have Biblical overtones. See the recent article, “Footprints of Ancient Israel: Unusual stone circles may mark biblical ‘Gilgal’

Here’s the short version:

In ancient times, setting one’s foot on the land and walking around the borders of a particular area of land were ways of asserting ownership or control of that land. The feet were also symbols of the defeat of enemies. Here are just a few Biblical examples:

The foot-shaped stone sites, perhaps built by the Israelites during this time period, may have been symbols of their declaration of ownership and control of the land, and their defeat of its previous inhabitants. It is likely that these foot-shaped “gilgals” were used for sacred observances and rituals. One of those rituals, scholars think, may have involved a ceremonial walking around the borders of the site, reflecting the practice of walking around a parcel of land to claim ownership of it.

There are many other Biblical tie-ins with these foot- or sandal-shaped gilgals. But these are enough for now. It should also be mentioned that these foot-shaped gilgals commonly had smaller circular arrangements of stone within them that were probably used for sacrifices and other ceremonial purposes.

In short, even though these sites are not technically circular, they invoke the circles represented by the Hebrew word gilgal in a number of ways, including being stone enclosures, the ritual of walking around their borders, and the circular stone objects commonly placed within them.

These recent discoveries throw a whole new light on what the Bible means by “Gilgal”!

What happened at the gilgals?

We don’t know how many gilgals there were in the Bible, or exactly where any of them were. However, we don’t need to know all of the historical and archeological details in order to understand the cultural and spiritual significance of the gilgals, or stone circles, in the Bible. We only need to read the stories of what took place at these important sites.

Though the gilgals certainly have a strong ritual significance in the Bible, they have an equally strong association with military conquest, and with new beginnings.

We don’t have time or space to cover all of the events described in the Bible as taking place at Gilgal. When we look at the significance of Gilgal in the Bible, we’ll focus on the initial story of the Gilgal mentioned in Joshua.

But let’s get the big picture first. Here is a list of the events that took place at one or another of the Gilgals:

Whew! That’s quite a list! And it paints a picture of Gilgal as:

  1. A place of new beginnings.
  2. A base camp for many battles of the Israelites against their enemies.
  3. A sacred site that eventually became corrupted, but was still important in Israel’s history.

Like Bethel, by the time of Jesus, Gilgal had faded into insignificance. It is not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament. And like Bethel, Gilgal relates to new beginnings in our spiritual life.

However, Gilgal has its own spiritual significance, distinct from that of Bethel.

The journey starts at Gilgal not just because that happened to be where the Israelites first landed in the Holy Land, but because of the symbolism of Gilgal as pictured in the Bible.

The creation of Joshua’s Gilgal

Like our first impressions of someone that we’re meeting for the first time, the first occurrence of any person, place, or thing in the Bible tends to put its stamp on its meaning. In the Bible, Gilgal is stamped with the meaning it took on in the first major stories about it. Those stories are about its role as the first place that the Israelites camped in the Holy Land after crossing the Jordan River on dry land.

The whole story is too long to repeat here. You can read it in Joshua chapters 4 and 5. Here is the key narrative of what might have been the creation of that Gilgal:

Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan

Joshua crossing the Jordan

When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: “Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, and command them, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight.’”

Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.”

The Israelites did as Joshua commanded. They took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord told Joshua, carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down there. (Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.)

.  .  .

The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal, saying to the Israelites, “When your children ask their parents in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:1–9, 19–24)

What did Joshua’s Gilgal look like?

The Bible doesn’t say exactly how the twelve stones were arranged when they were set up. However:

All of this points to the likelihood that Joshua had his men set up those twelve stones in a circle.

Perhaps it was Joshua’s army that built the various foot-shaped stone enclosures that have been discovered in Palestine. These “gilgals” be the strongest archeological evidence to date that something like the conquest of the Holy Land by the Israelites—which many secular scholars have considered a cultural myth—may have actually taken place historically.

Part 2: The spiritual significance of Gilgal

As fascinating is it is to speculate on these ancient circular and foot-shaped gilgals in the Holy Land, the Bible itself provides all we need to know to understand thespiritual significance of Gilgal for our own life journey. It also provides what we need to know in order to understand why the journey starts from Gilgal both inJoshua 4–5 and in 2 Kings 2. Remember, like the parables of Jesus, the entire Bible speaks to us through the use of “correspondences,” or physical imagery that speaks of deeper spiritual realities.

Here are some of the key facts from the Bible story about the Gilgal mentioned in Joshua:

We can’t cover all of these facts in detail. In fact, if we were to try to fully understand all the depths of meaning in even a single verse of the Bible, we would never reach the end of it. However, if we sketch out the significance of the stones, the Jordan River as an entryway into the Holy Land, and the conquest of the Holy Land, we can create a vivid snapshot of the meaning of Gilgal in our own spiritual journeys today.

The stones of Gilgal

Stones appear prominently throughout the Bible—and they embody a deeper spiritual meaning. Wherever they appear with a positive connotation, we can think of them as representing bedrock truths on which we can safely found our beliefs and our life.

In the Old Testament, one the most vivid examples of this correspondential meaning of stones is the fact that the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God on two stone tablets. The Ten Commandments are the most central and sacred laws given in the Old Testament. So much so that they were placed in the ark of the covenant, which occupied the most holy place in the ancient Jewish Tabernacle, and later in the Temple. They were written in stone to signify that these commandments embody basic, everlasting laws of divine truth for us to live by.

In the New Testament, when the apostle Peter said of Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus said of Peter’s statement, “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” (He also made a play on words with the name “Peter,” which means “rock” in Greek.) For Christians, the belief that Jesus is the Messiah (Hebrew for “anointed one”) or Christ (Greek for “anointed one”) and the Son of God, is the bedrock truth of the entire Christian faith.

From these and many other examples of stones in the Bible, we can understand that the stones of Gilgal represent the simple, basic beliefs, or truths, that form the foundation of our spiritual faith and life.

The River Jordan

However, these were not just any old stones. These stones came from the middle of the Jordan River, from the very spot where the priests were standing with the ark of the covenant.

What does the Jordan River mean spiritually?

For the ancient Israelites, the Jordan was their introduction into the Holy Land. To get into their Promised Land on the route that they were traveling, they had to cross the Jordan.

For Christians, the Jordan represents introduction into the Christian Church.


Because that’s where the first Christians became Christians through baptism: “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:4–5). Jesus himself was also baptized by John at the beginning of his ministry, as an example for all to follow (Matthew 3:13–17).

Water in general represents God’s living truth flowing in our lives. Here is how this is expressed in the poetic words of Deuteronomy 32:1–2:

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.

When the rain of God’s teaching gathers together, it becomes rivers of truth. And the Jordan River, because of its special significance in the spiritual life of both Jews and Christians, represents the truth that introduces us into “the heavenly Canaan,” which for Jews is the Holy Land, and for Christians is the Christian Church . . . and for all good people in due course, the angelic community of heaven.

Stones from the Jordan

If you are a person of faith, or are following a spiritual path, what were the basic beliefs that introduced you into the spiritual life—or into the church, if you are a churchgoer?

These and many other basic, fundamental religious and spiritual beliefs have the power to introduce us into a spiritual or religious life from our former worldly and secular life.

For each one of us, the stones of Gilgal, taken from the River Jordan where the feet of the priests had stood, represent the “sacred circle” of basic beliefs, or teachings of truth, that provided the miraculous passage through our own spiritual Jordan from our former ways of spiritual enslavement and death to our new ways of spiritual life.

The conquest of our Holy Land

Joshua's Conquest of Canaan, showing Gilgal as the base camp

Joshua’s Conquest of Canaan

If you have made that symbolic passage over Jordan into your own spiritual Holy Land, you probably discovered fairly quickly that there was great resistance to your new life. It is likely that:

When we cross the Jordan into a new, more spiritual life, that is only the beginning.Before we can actually occupy the “promised land” of spiritual life and joy, we must battle our old self into submission. That “old self” is represented by all the pagan nations that occupied the Holy Land when the Israelites first crossed the Jordan. (No, this doesn’t necessarily mean those historical nations actually were evil or deserved to be slaughtered. That’s only what those nations represented to the ancient Jews. So they came to represent the same thing in the Bible, which was written through the ancient Jewish culture.)

What do those battles have to do with Gilgal?

Gilgal, as we have already seen, was the base camp from which Joshua and his army conducted their initial conquest of the Holy Land. And Gilgal represents the basic religious truths that introduce us to the spiritual life, or to the church.

What’s the message here?

If we are to be victorious in our early battles to set aside our old selfish, materialistic self, which was enslaved to various worldly desires and pleasures, we must continually return to those basic beliefs and teachings that got us going on a spiritual life in the first place.

What basic beliefs drew you into a new, spiritual or religious life? These are your “stones of Gilgal,” to which you can return again and again to steel yourself for the battles of life that you must fight both within your own mind and heart and in your relationships with your fellow human beings.

There may come a time when, as Jesus says, “our yoke will be easy and our burden light” (see Matthew 11:29–30) in living a spiritual life. But especially in the early days, it is a battle. And we fight that battle using those simple, basic true beliefs that first introduced us to a spiritual life. They represent our Gilgal.

Why does the journey start from Gilgal?

Gilgal was the Israelites’ first foothold in the Holy Land, and their base of operations for the initial conquest. Later, the center of their culture shifted to farther inland. From the low ground in the Jordan river valley where Gilgal was located, it moved eventually to the heights of the mountain on which Jerusalem and the Temple were built.

In the very same way, later on in our own spiritual journey we must move on to a higher, more complex and nuanced understanding of the Bible, of Jesus Christ, and of the meaning of a spiritual life. We must move from the Gilgal of a basic understanding of spiritual life to a more developed and complex Jerusalem of mature spiritual life.

When we do reach that stage of our journey, those simple, basic truths will no longer be enough for us. If we are unwilling to journey higher in our spiritual life, but remain stuck in those old, simple, black-and-white laws, our “Gilgal” can become a place of corrupt idol worship, as it had become when the prophets Hosea and Amos railed against it (Hosea 9:15–17, 12:11–14; Amos 4:4–6, 5:1–6).

Even so, it all starts in Gilgal. It all starts out with those first, fundamental true teachings that introduced us into the spiritual life. And the final mention of Gilgal in the Bible is a poignant reminder by the prophet Micah of the simplicity and faith of our early beginnings with God (Micah 6:1–5).

No matter how fancy and developed our spiritual beliefs and practices may become, those basic beliefs that were the starting point of our spiritual journey are never out of date. Even if we no longer spend our days in them, they still form the foundation of our spiritual life. The journey starts with the stones of Gilgal because we need a lasting foundation of basic principles of truth on which to build the superstructure of a mature, well-developed spiritual life.

What does Gilgal mean for you? What are the basic stones of truth that form the sacred circle from which your spiritual journey started?

In addition to being a response to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader, this is one in a series of articles on the theme “The Bible Re-Viewed.” Each article takes a new look at a particular selection or story in the Bible, and explores how it relates to our lives today. For more on this spiritual way of interpreting the Bible, see “Can We Really Believe the Bible? Some Thoughts for Those who Wish they Could.”


compiled by Dee Finney


ji'-ants The word appears in the King James Version as the translation of the Hebrew words nephilim ( Gen 6:4; Num 13:33 ); repha'im ( Deut 2:11,20; 3:11,13; Jos 12:4 , etc.); rapha' ( 1Chron 20:4,6,8 ), or raphah ( 2Sam 21:16, 18, 20, 22); in one instance of gibbor, literally, "mighty one" ( Job 16:14 ).

In the first two cases the Revised Version (British and American) changes "giants" into the Hebrew words "Nephilim," nephilim, and "Rephaim," repha'im, respectively. The "Nephilim of Gen 6:4 are not to be confounded with the "mighty men" subsequently described as the offspring of the unlawful marriages, of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men." It is told that they overspread the earth prior to these unhallowed unions. That the word, whatever its etymology, bears the sense of men of immense stature is evident from the later passages; Num 13:33 . The same is true of the "Rephaim," as shown by the instance of Og ( Deut 3:11; Jos 12:4 ). There is no doubt about the meaning of the word in the ease of the giants mentioned in 2Sam 21 and 1Chron 20 .

When did Giants live?

Anthropologists have found evidence of humanoid giants existing into the far distant past, over 1 million years ago (see Gigantopithecus). Since then it is possible that numerous civilizations, troupes and tribes of human and human-like giants lived and perished across planet earth.

Those mentioned in the Bible, Nephilim, Emim and Anakim, may have been a tiny element of a once expansive human giant civilization, especially before the Great Flood of the Bible, and other sources.

Giants (1.) Heb. nephilim , meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Gen 6:4). These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who fell upon others. The word may also be derived from a root signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters" or "prodigies." In Num 13:33 this name is given to a Canaanitish tribe, a race of large stature, "the sons of Anak." The Revised Version, in these passages, simply transliterates the original, and reads "Nephilim." (2.) Heb. rephaim , a race of giants (Deu 3:11) who lived on the east of Jordan, from whom was descended. They were probably the original inhabitants of the land before the immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by Chedorlaomer (Gen 14:5), and their territories were promised as a possession to Abraham (Gen 15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim were branches of this stock. In Job 26:5 (R.V., "they that are deceased;" marg., "the shades," the "Rephaim") and Isa 14:9 this Hebrew word is rendered (A.V.) "dead." It means here "the shades," the departed spirits in Sheol. In Sam2 21:16, Sam2 21:18, Sam2 21:20, 33, "the giant" is (A.V.) the rendering of the singular form ha raphah, which may possibly be the name of the father of the four giants referred to here, or of the founder of the Rephaim. The Vulgate here reads "Arapha," whence Milton (in Samson Agonistes) has borrowed the name "Harapha." (See also Ch1 20:5, Ch1 20:6, Ch1 20:8; Deu 2:11, Deu 2:20; Deu 3:13; Jos 15:8, etc., where the word is similarly rendered "giant.") It is rendered "dead" in (A.V.) Psa 88:10; Pro 2:18; Pro 9:18; Pro 21:16 : in all these places the Revised Version marg. has "the shades." (See also Isa 26:14.) (3.) Heb. 'Anakim (Deu 2:10, Deu 2:11, Deu 2:21; Jos 11:21, Jos 11:22; Jos 14:12, Jos 14:15; called "sons of Anak," Num 13:33; "children of Anak," Num 13:22; Jos 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba (Jos 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of Palestine near Hebron (Gen 23:2; Jos 15:13). They were a Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered them (Sam2 21:15). From this race sprung Goliath (Sa1 17:4). (4.) Heb. 'emin , a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites. They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Gen 14:5; Deu 2:10, Deu 2:11). (5.) Heb. Zamzummim (q.v.), Deu 2:20 so called by the Amorites. (6.) Heb. gibbor (Job 16:14), a mighty one, i.e., a champion or hero. In its plural form (gibborim) it is rendered "mighty men" (2 Sam. 23:8-39; Kg1 1:8; 1 Chr. 11:9-47; Ch1 29:24.) The band of six hundred whom David gathered around him when he was a fugitive were so designated. They were divided into three divisions of two hundred each, and thirty divisions of twenty each. The captains of the thirty divisions were called "the thirty," the captains of the two hundred "the three," and the captain over the whole was called "chief among the captains" (Sam2 23:8). The sons born of the marriages mentioned in Gen 6:4 are also called by this Hebrew name. 

Rephaim, or Giants: 
(rf´m) (KEY) , in the Bible. 1 Pre-Israelite race of giants. They were also referred to simply as “giants.”

Rephaim - from the root rapha = spirits, shades Gen. 14:5

Anakim - race of giants Num. 13:33 descendents of Nephilim Emim - the proud deserters, terrors, race of giants Gen. 14:5

Zuzim- the evil ones, roaming things Gen. 14:5 Zamzummims - the evil plotters, Deut. 2:20 Zophim - watchers, angels who descended Num. 23

Sepherim - the many.

Nephilim - According to Micah 3, God used the Nephilim Giants to punish Israel. They are hidden but will soon return during the "Tribulation" to lead the nations against Israel. This will be the taller ones.

The "Gold Museum" of Peru has displays of Giant skulls and mummies who were evidently Royalty, according to the clothing and artifacts they had with them. 

Glenn Kimball reports:


Glenn photographed the mummies of two of these giant men in Lima Peru in 1969. These giants are still in the gold museum in Lima Peru today and can be seen by anyone who visits. They were mummified because their golden robes are prominently on display. Their crowns could fit around Glenn’s waist. Their golden gloves have fingers ten inches long. Their mummies can be measured with a tape and they were both around nine and a half feet tall. There were other personal items fit for a giant king, that wouldn’t have been useful to a man of normal size. The actual bodies are there incased in glass for all to see. The news media has never photographed anyone nine and a half feet tall.

These were not mutations. A mutation is something that happens once in a “blue moon”. There were two giants in Peru side by side from successive generations. What makes the story even stranger is that the average height of the Peruvians, both now and historically, is well under six feet high.

This isn’t the only time Giants were mentioned by prominent people who visited South America. Don Cieza de Leon and Agustin de Zarate published texts on South American Giants in 1553 AD and 1555 respectively. These books came just after the arrival of the conquistadores and were published within twenty years of Pizarro. They said that the native traditions told the incoming Spanish that the giants came to the Americas on raft-like boats. Some of these men were so tall that from the knee down they were as big as a man. Their eyes were the size of plates. Some were clad in skins and others were mostly naked. They said that there were no women on these boats, which was strange indeed. These giants dug deep wells for water that still exist today through solid rock. Cieza de Leon said that when Don Antonio de Mendoza went to Cuzco Peru in 1560 that he found tombs with extremely large bones, similar to the ones that were already found in Mexico City at the time of Montezuma. Padre Acosta found similar large bones in 1560 in Manta Peru where they later found similar bones in 1928 when constructing the railroad to Ecuador. They were hidden behind stalagmites in caves.

When Diego de Ordaz climbed to the high volcano of Popocatepetl, near Mexico City, according to Las Casas, he found a giant thigh bone that he sent to the Vatican. When Cortez invaded Mexico his men found living giants in this region and reported them. In their written testimonies they tore a few ribs from the dead bodies of these giants and brought them back to Spain with them.

In the summer of 1931 Monsignor F. Lunadi organized an expedition into the jungles of San Agustin. He found traces of a very ancient South American empire known to the old British buccaneers of the seventeenth century. These men were giants who had knowledge of electricity which they used in various forms.

This race of ancient white giant men with beards was called the Viracochas. Pedro Cieza de Leon said that they came long before the Incas began to reign. The Indians also called these white men Titicaca, like Lake Titicaca today located high in the mountains between Bolivia and Peru. Glenn Lived in Juliaca Peru on the sores of Lake Titicaca, very close to the ancient city of Tiauanacu where there are huge statues to the giants with six fingers and toes to this day. On the door to the sun, the main entrance to their temple, is carved the image of Viracoca, the creator of not only their civilization, but the white bearded God who created the whole world. This temple has many similarities to the Masonic temples of our day.

At the ruins of Pachacamac where US and British archeologists and the Carnegie Institution are working today, the giants are mentioned. It is said that they built large beautiful temples with iron tools around 500 BC. The tradition has it that these giant men had no women in their group and were later consumed in fire from heaven. It is interesting that the stories of these giants quasi-parallels the story of the Watchers married the Daughters of Eve. The daughters of Eve bore the watchers giant children, but nothing is mentioned that these giants themselves had children. The stories of the Giants often ends in a single generation, though the Giants lived a very long time.

These giants were granted a state of quasi-unprotected immortality by deity. They could be killed, but did live long periods of time if they weren’t deliberately killed and for the most part couldn’t bare children. According to Hesiod these “Watchers”, one of the parents of the giants, were men from the four former epochs of human existence prior to the coming of Adam and Eve. Adam wasn’t the first man on the earth. He was the patriarch of the final epoch of time. How else could their have already been men of old and men of renown when Adam and Eve had their first children? That is exactly what it says in Genesis chapter six. The four previous epochs of time rose in culture and science, but were exterminated because they violated the laws of the earth and deity. We are headed for a similar cataclysm in our day because of our rejection of deity. A human remnant of the four epochs survived because of their valiant nature and those people, numbering in the thousands, were called the “Watchers”. Hesiod suggests that this remnant numbered in the thousands.

These immortals who survived the cataclysms of the four previous epochs of time were also called angels because they were allowed to pass from the realm of Deity to mortality seamlessly. They were allowed to pass between the heavens and the earth because they were given the assignment by deity to watch over mortals. This is another reason they lived so long and paradoxically the reason they were commanded not to have children. Their job wasn’t to interfere with men unless directly commanded. These Watchers weren’t classic disembodied spirits, as is the case with classic angels. Most of the evidence and history of the Watchers is included in the audio class “Daniel and the Watchers”. In essence the Watchers were noble-immortal men who have yet to die; a status granted them by deity because of their righteousness.

Two hundred some odd of these watchers, because they were still in the flesh, found the daughters of Eve attractive and violated their agreements with deity not to intervene in the lives of men. That is why they are often called “Fallen Angels”. They bore children to mortal women which was against their agreement with God. They were angels because of the status deity gave them and fallen because they violated the agreement. However, not all the watchers violated the agreement with deity and remain men of old and men of renown who come and go at the behest of deity. These are the ones who still appear today during a moment in crisis, effect rescues and give important messages and then are gone. Most of us have either had a first hand encounter with one of them at a moment in crisis, or have heard of the stories from our friends.

Daniel met some of them. Moses is said to have translated the book of Jubilees as dictated by one of them. Even Mohammed is said to have been dictated the Quran by one of them. Millions of people have reported a stranger appearing at the moment of crisis and then vanishing without a trace. Others have reported these Watchers coming to them during moments of crisis and giving them critical pieces of advice about subjects they could not have otherwise known. After they left their message they were nowhere to be found. Truly these beings watch over the affairs of men and perform rescues of many kinds, as if they were sent from deity.

The important thing about the giants is that they are children of a small segment of the Watchers and the daughters of Eve. Since one of the parents of the Giants was immortal, these giants often lived a very long time.

The North American Indians believed that the first race of human beings were giants. In the autobiography of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Cody writes that while camping on the South Platte, a Pawnee Indian came into the camp with what the army surgeon pronounced to be a giant thigh bone of a human being. When Cody asked about where such a bone might have come from, the Indian replied that long ago a race of giants had lived in the area. This race of men had been three times larger than normal men and able to out-run a buffalo and even carry it in one hand. Cody wrote:

“These giants denied the existence of a Great Spirit, so he caused a great rain storm to come, and the water kept rising higher and higher so that it drove these proud, and conceited giants from the low ground to the hills, and thence to the mountains, but at last even the mountain tops were submerged and then those mammoth men were all drowned. After the flood had subsided, the Great Spirit came to the conclusion that he had made man too large and powerful, and that he would therefore, correct the mistake by creating a race of men of smaller size and less strength. This is the reason, say the Indians, that modern men are small and not like the giants of old, and they claim that this story is a matter of Indian history, which has been handed down among them from time immemorial.”

The bones that were in the possession of Buffalo Bill were given to the museum, that promptly hid them. They continue to be lost to us today, though many saw them at the time.

Brazilian Giants

William Turner, the naturalist and dean of Wells (d. 1568), mentions that on the coast of Brazil, near the river Polata, he saw a tribe of very gigantic naked savages, one of whom he estimated to be twelve feet tall.

While in Brazil, Knyvet several times saw an Indian who, though still a youth, towered to a height of thirteen spans. Since thirteen spans equals nine feet, nine inches, this would have made the giant about the same size as Goliath.

Chile's Giants

Reaveneau de Lussan reported contact with natives of Chile that were of enormous bulk and stature. Frezier also relates that natives of the coast of Chile told him that some of the Indians living inland stood nine feet high.

Captain George Shelvock, on his voyage in 1719 to the Island of Chiloe off the coast of Chile, saw Indians which stood nine to ten feet high.

Cocopa Giants

Soon after Maldonado discovered the Seri giants, Captain Melchior Diaz came across another tribe of huge Indians while searching farther up the coast for the ships carrying supplies for Coronado's 1540 expedition. Pedro de Castaneda reported that, “After going about 150 leagues, they came to a province of exceedingly tall and strong men-like giants.” Evidently, these were the Cocopa, a Yuman tribe who also inhabited the lower Rio Colorado, which the Indians called Rio del Tison.


Antonio Francesco Pigafetta, chronicler of Magellan's circumnavigation of the world: “We had been two whole months in this harbor without sighting anyone when one day (quite without warning) we saw on the shore a huge giant, who was naked, and who danced, leaped and sang, all the while throwing sand and dust on his head. Our Captain ordered one of the crew to walk towards him, telling this man also to dance, leap and sing as a sign of friendship. This he did, and led the giant to a place by the shore where the Captain was waiting. And when the giant saw us, he marveled and was afraid, and pointed to the sky, believing we came from heaven. He was so tall that even the largest of us came only to midway between his waist and his shoulder; 621 yet with all he was well proportioned. He had a large face, painted round with red; his eyes were ringed with yellow and in the middle of his cheeks were painted two hearts. He had hardly any hair on his head, what little he had being painted white....”

Rupert Gould said in his book Enigmas in 1945, included another quote about Magellan’s voyage and added, This man was so tall that our heads scarcely came up to his waist, and his voice was like that of a bull.

Many of the other natives in this region were also very tall; this would lead to the naming of those in the region the "Patagonian Giants", Patagonian meaning "people of the long feet."

P. Joseph Tarrubia wrote in his Gianthologia, published in Madrid in 1761, that some utensils found in South America were of such enormous size that they could only have been used by giants. He also noted that several Spanish settlers told of having seen monstrous men, ranging from nine to ten feet in height, when they sometimes strayed from their wild retreats verging toward the Straits of Magellan. Tarrubia further related that: “…the South Americans had a body of soldiers, consisting of about four hundred men, the shortest of whom was not shorter than nine feet and the tallest about eleven feet.”

Twenty years before Magellan came, Amerigo Vespucci and some fellow sailors sighted several giants off the coast of Venezuela. Amerigo, for whom approximately one-third of the world was later named, recounted this experience: “Thus sailing along, we came upon an island [Curasao] which was situated fifteen leagues from the mainland. At our arrival, since we saw no people and the island looked favorable to us, we decided to explore it, and eleven of us landed. We discovered a trail and set ourselves to walk on it two leagues and a half inland; we met with a village of twelve houses in which we did not find anyone except seven women. They were of such great stature that there was not one of them who was not taller than every one of us by a span and a half [about 19 inches]. When they saw us they were very much afraid of us. The chief one of them, who was certainly a discreet woman, by signs hauled us up to a house and made them give us refreshments. When we saw such noble women, we determined to carry off two of them, who were young women fifteen years of age, and make a present of them to the king. They were creatures whose stature was certainly above that of average men. While we were thus plotting, thirty-six men arrived, who entered the house where we were drinking, and they were of such lofty stature that each of them was taller when upon his knees than I was when standing erect. They were of the stature of giants in their great size and in the proportion of their bodies, which corresponded with their height.

When the men entered, some of our fellows were so frightened that at the moment they thought they were done for. The warriors had bows and arrows and tremendous oar blades, finished off like swords. When they saw our small stature, they began to converse with us to learn who we were and whence we came. We gave them soft words for the sake of amity and replied to them in sign language that we were men of peace and that we were out to see the world. In fact, we judged it wise to part from them without controversy, and so we went by the same trail by which we had come. They stuck with us all the way to the sea and until we embarked.


Critics have long suggested that the stories from South America are just too incredible to be true. They have openly asked why there aren’t stories of giants in the North America. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Again we are people who run from subjects that don’t neatly conform to what we believe.

The stories of the giants are located in every state in the union and are beyond the scope of a single class. However, to illustrate this point we choose Ohio.

The History of Marion County, Ohio (1883)

A picture of a skull from 1996, taken by J.C. Chatters of Kennewick Man, Washington State is that of a giant. Giants were also found when removing the gravel bluffs for the construction and repairs of roads.

The History of Brown County, Ohio (1883)

Mastodonic remains are occasionally unearthed and from time to time; discoveries of the remains of Indian settlements. Among the ruins are gigantic skeletons with high cheek bones, powerful jaws and massive frames peculiar to the Red man.

Now and Long Ago: A History of the Marion County Ohio Area

Satterfield, a justice of the peace, said that three giant skeletons were found at the mouth of the Paw Paw Creek. Jim Dean and others found the bones while digging a bridge foundation. She said it was Dr. Kidwell, of Fairmont, who examined them and said they were very old, perhaps thousands of years old. She said that when the skeletons were exposed to the weather for a few days, their bones turned black and began to crumble. All these skeletons, she said, were measured and found to be about eight feet long.


There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
-- Genesis 6: 1-4 (KJV)

The phrase 'and also afterwards' is a later addition in an attempt to harmonize the Genesis account with the book of Numbers and Samuel, for reasons which will become obvious. These giants appear to be an ancient Hebrew equivalent to the Greek myth of Hercules or Cyclops. Shortly thereafter everyone on earth, including all the giants, called Nephilim, perish in the flood, with the exception of Noah and his family.

"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm upon the earth, and every man; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark." (Genesis Chapter 7 verse 21)

Since Noah was of a stock of smaller people, most of his descendants were of his stature. However, some of the genes to produce giants survived through the wife of Ham, one of Noah's sons. Therefore, a number of the sons of Canaan (one of Ham's sons) were giants (Numbers 13:1-2, 32-33). InDeuteronomy 2:19-21, Moses records that God destroyed the giants who dwelt in Ammon so that the children of Lot could possess the land. Those giants—who apparently descended from Canaan through a man named Anak—eventually became extinct. King Og of Bashan was the last of them to inhabit Palestine east of Jordan (Deuteronomy 3:11).

  • Subdued by Chedorlaomer
    (Genesis 14:5)

    Genesis 14
    5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim 6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. 7 Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar. The War of Sodom and Gomorrah

    "In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Rephaim" (Genesis 14:5 RSV)


    The Emim were a warrior tribe of giants who were defeated by Chedorlaomer and his allies. Around the time of Abraham, they lived east of the Jordan.

      "In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Rephaim in Ashterothkarnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shavehkiriathaim" (Genesis 14:5 RSV)
  • Anakim

    The Anakim lived in the south, near Hebron. They were defeated by the Israelites under Joshua.

    Joshua 11
    6 The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots."
    7 So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, 8 and the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. 9 Joshua did to them as the LORD had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.
    10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) 11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed [2] them, not sparing anything that breathed, and he burned up Hazor itself.

      "And Joshua came at that time, and wiped out the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities." (Joshua 11:21 RSV)

      21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns.

      The Lord tells Joshua to Kill the Enemy

      Joshua.12:4 "And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants."

      1 These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah:

      2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon. He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge-from the middle of the gorge-to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. This included half of Gilead. 3 He also ruled over the eastern Arabah from the Sea of Kinnereth [1] to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea [2] ), to Beth Jeshimoth, and then southward below the slopes of Pisgah.

      4 And the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaites, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5 He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salecah, all of Bashan to the border of the people of Geshur and Maacah, and half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

      6 Moses, the servant of the LORD , and the Israelites conquered them. And Moses the servant of the LORD gave their land to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh to be their possession.

      7 These are the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir (their lands Joshua gave as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel according to their tribal divisions- 8 the hill country, the western foothills, the Arabah, the mountain slopes, the desert and the Negev-the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites):

      The Battles of Moses and Joshua

    Og the king of Bashan had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei and had survived as one of the last of the Rephaites. Moses had defeated them and taken over their land. 13 But the Israelites did not drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.

    (Joshua 13:12)

    The Land that was given by the Lord to the Israelites

  • THE VALLEY OF THE GIANTS -  Joshuah's allotment
    • A border of Judah
      (Joshua 15:8)
    • Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. 9 From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim).
    • Was exceedingly fruitful

    Dwelt in Canaan - Manneseh's Allotment
    (Joshua 17:15)

    (Said to Joseph)  15 "If you are so numerous," Joshua answered, "and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites."

  • Jos.18:16 "The valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants."

    16 The boundary went down to the foot of the hill facing the Valley of Ben Hinnom, north of the Valley of Rephaim. It continued down the Hinnom Valley along the southern slope of the Jebusite city and so to En Rogel. 

    (Isaiah 17:5)
    It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm-
    as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.

          David & Goliath: 1 Sam.17:4
 "Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span....."
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet [1] tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels [2] ; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. [3] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

  • The last of, destroyed by David and his warriors
    (1 Samuel 17:4,49,50; 2 Samuel 21:15-22)
  • 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
    50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

"And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [i.e. about 9 feet / 3 meters]. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels [i.e. about 125 pounds / 57 kilograms] of bronze. And he had greaves of bronze upon his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels [i.e. about 15 pounds / 7 kilograms] of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him." (1 Samuel 17:4-7 RSV) (see David And Goliath)

The biblical giant Goliath of Gath (or "the Gittite"), whom the teenage David killed with a sling stone (I Samuel 17). Goliath's brother and sons were also men of great stature, and the Bible explicitly mentions that David and his men killed them all (II Samuel 21:15-22; I Chronicles 20:4-8).

Both before and after the Flood, God was directly involved in the destruction of those giant men. The reason for their destruction is not stated directly, but like Goliath, those men seemed always to be in opposition to God and to His people Israel.

  • David obtained victories over the Philistines in
    (2 Samuel 5:18,25)
    18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the LORD , "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
    The LORD answered him, "Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you."
    20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me." So that place was called Baal Perazim. [4] 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.
    22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the LORD , and he answered, "Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army." 25 So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon [5] to Gezer.


Although their origin has been interpreted various ways, the Nephilim existed very early in human history. Independent Egyptian records of about 2000 BC also record their existence.

    "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown." (Genesis 6:4 RSV)

    "‘And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim); and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.' Then all the congregation raised a loud cry; and the people wept that night." (Numbers Chapter 13 verse 33)



The Rephaim occupied the land prior to the Canaanites, but were eventually defeated. The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim people were related.

"The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim." (Deuteronomy 2:10 RSV)

Dt.2:10-11 "The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; Which also were accounted giants."

Dt.2:20-21 "That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time.... A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them."

"For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits [i.e. about 13 feet / 4 meters] was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit." (Deuteronomy 3:11 RSV)


1 Chr.11:23 "And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high."

Chronicles 11
22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23 And he struck down an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet [1] tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver's rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear.


4 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.   5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam.   6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of greatstature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.   7 But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother slew him.   8 These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.


Giant (mythology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Giants are humanoid creatures of prodigious size and strength, a type of legendary monster that appear in the tales of many different races and cultures. They are often stupid or violent and are frequently said to eat humans, especially children; others, however, like Oscar Wilde's giants, are intelligent and friendly.

The Cyclopes of Homer's Odyssey were giants, as was Goliath who strove with King David in the Bible. The Bible also records a race of giants called "Nephilim". Genesis states that "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men who were of old, men of renown." (Gen. 6:4 KJV); here "giants" is a translation of the Hebrew "Nephilim". Post-biblical tradition holds that Nimrod was a member of this race.

In Germanic mythologies (see Norse mythology), giants (Jotuns) are often opposed to the gods. In particular, the Wodin/Odin-derived mythologies of Northern Europe feature frost giants, who are eternally opposed to the Aesir. The Aesir themselves emerged from the race of giants, and in the eventual, apocalyptic battle of Ragnarok the frost giants will storm Asgard, home of the gods, and defeat the gods in war, bringing about the end of the world. In the mature form of this mythology recorded in the Edda poetry and prose, giants inter-marry with the gods and are the origin of most of the monsters in Nordic mythology (e.g., the Fenris Wolf), so relations between the Aesir and the giants are sometimes cordial and sometimes adversarial.

Tales of combat with giants were a common feature in the folklore of Wales and Ireland. From here, giants got intoBreton and Arthurian romances, and from this source they spread into the heroic tales of Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, and their follower Edmund Spenser. The giant Despair appears in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Norse andAnglo-Saxon mythology are also rich in tales of giants, which seem there to be a separate race akin to the gods, and strove often with Thor. Ogres and trolls are giant-like humanoid creatures that occur in various sorts of Europeanfolklore.

In Basque mythology, giants appear as jentilak (Gentiles) and mairuak (Moors). They are who made dolmens andmenhirs. After Christianization, the giants were driven away. The only remaining one is Olentzero, a coalmaker that brings gifts on Christmas Eve.

Giants figure in a great many fairy tales and folklore stories, such as Jack and the Beanstalk and Paul Bunyan.


Examples of giants


Origin of the belief in giants

It is possible that tales of giants derive from the remains of previous civilizations. Saxo Grammaticus, for example, argues that giants had to exist, because nothing else would explain the large walls, stone monuments, and statues that we know were the remains of Roman construction. Similarly, the Anglo-Saxon "Seafarer" speaks of the high stone walls that were the work of giants. Giants provided the least complicated explanation for such artifacts. Cyclopes may be originated in antique elephant skulls found in Sicily. If one does not know what an elephant looks like, the place where the trunk is placed on the skull can be mistaken for a giant eyesocket.

"Giant" is also colloquially used for a human who is unusually tall, or afflicted with one of the several forms of gigantism.

Gigantes y cabezudos ("Giants and big-heads") are figures from street processions at Spanish fiestas.


See also

Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus are names given to giant hominids found by paleontologists, but since they don't fit too well in the imaginary evolutionary chain, they don't get much attention. Meganthropus is the giant Java man who inhabited Southeast Asia over a million years ago. He stood12 feet tall and weighed several hundred pounds. Java man was found with stone implements consisting of hand axes, clubs, pounders, adzes, knives, and other tools often ranging in weight from 8 to 36 lbs or more. Artifacts, identical to those used by Meganthropus, have been found in Australia. Gigantopithecus is often suspected of being the elusive Bigfoot or Yeti.

There are a number of skeletons, skulls, and footprints of giants as tall as 30 feet. They appear in almost every culture's folklore and legend, most of them the "big bully" variety, and a hero dispatches almost all. Theories about the builders of pyramids, stone circles, and other monolithic examples of ancient construction find giants as a possible answer. Big blocks mean big builders.

Icon of St. Chistopher (249-251).  Church of St. George Cegelkoy.  Tradition relates that the saint came from a country of cannibals and that his face was disfigured.  When he became a Christian, he was martyred for his faith. Jacques de Voragine, in The Golden Legend, wrote of St. Christopher: "He was of gigantic stature, had a terrifying mien, was twelve coudees tall.” A coudee is equal to or larger than the English foot. According to this ancient account, St. Christopher stood from 12 to 18 feet tall, a fact that was erased from church history.

St. Christopher was a member of the north African tribe of the Marmaritae. He was captured by Roman forces during the emperor Diocletian's campaign against the Marmaritae in late 301/early 302 and was transported for service in a Roman garrison in or near Antioch in Syria. He was baptised by the refugee bishop Peter of Alexandria and was martyred on 9 July 308. Bishop Peter arranged for the transport of his remains back to Marmarica in 311. He is really identifiable with the Egyptian martyr known as St. Menas. In so far as the author of the lost, original acts of St. Christopher seems both to have been based at Antioch and to have wanted to encourage missionary activity, he is probably identifiable if not as bishop Theophilus the Indian himself, present at Antioch c.351-54, then as one of his circle.

The Greek tradition came to interpret this passage absolutely literally, and this is why Byzantine icons often depicted St. Christopher with a dog's head. In time, of course, this led to a reaction against St. Christopher. The Latin tradition developed along different lines, however, since early Latin translations did not always render a literal translation of the original Greek term "dog-headed" (kunokephalos), and some seem to have translated it as "dog-like" (canineus). This was amended to read "Canaanite" (Cananeus) as time progressed since it was obvious that he could not really have been "dog-like".7 It is important at this point to emphasize that the description of Christopher as from the land of the dog-headed has absolutely nothing to do with the Egyptian cult of the jackal-headed god Anubis.8 The real explanation is rather more prosaic. In brief, the civilised inhabitants of the Greco-Roman world had long been accustomed to describe those who lived on the edge of their world and beyond as the strange inhabitants of stranger lands, cannibals, dog-headed peoples and worse.9 So when the author of the original account of the martyrdom of St. Christopher described his origin from the land of cannibals and dog-headed peoples he was merely signifying that he came from the edge of the civilised world as the inhabitants of the Roman empire saw it, and the Marmaritae did indeed inhabit such a peripheral region.10He was not to realize that later generations would misinterpret this common cultural metaphor in an entirely literal fashion.


GIANTS IN RELIGION: Evidence for human giants in the Bible and other holy writ.
Giants' Skeletons

... The Giants are also Norse Gods . Frost giants all descended from Ymir, the frost
giant(who Odin slewed. ... The giants will fight them at Ragnorak. ...


... In those days there was a race of giant bears just as there was a race
of human Giants. ... One Bear Spirit married into the Giants. ...

Easter Island - The Connection to Extraterrestrials
... They are among the few moai that face the sea. These seven stone giants may well
symbolize those seven explorers, but no one knows for sure. ... - 

... His teacher explained that the word meant "giants" when describing the "sons of
the deities" who married the daughters of Man, although the literal Hebrew ... - 

The Mandelbrot Set Crop Circle Formation
... The myth belongs in the same tradition of battles between gods and giants,
or between the powers of light and the demons of darkness. ... -

... EXCERPTS FROM JIM A. CORNWELL'S SCHOLARSHIP. " Biblical Information of Giants (8,850
BC to 1,300 BC) ". ... Noah and the Giants (Anakim or Annunaki) after the Flood. ... 

... I went back to the building to look for the rods and hatchet again, and when I went
to the laundry rooms along the 'Way' I was now in the land of the giants. ... - 

... Above, in Asgard, the gods would march to meet the frost giants, and the awful children
of Loki, Jormungand the world serpent, and Fenrir the wolf, as well as ...

... Bacabs. In Mayan mythology, a group of four protective deities, the sons of Itzamna
and Ixchel. They are giants who uphold the sky at its cardinal points. ... -

... After reading these cases previously sited, I will be first in line. RETURN OF THE
GIANTS. by Barry Chamish. ... End of Chapter Five. CHAPTER NINE - THE GIANTS RETURN ...

... stone in South America. He also met long-eared giants on the craft, and
found their statues in South America. He even was shown ...

... AV - Anakims 9; 9. Anakims = "long-necked". 1) a tribe of giants, descendants of
Anak, which dwelled in southern Canaan. 6063 `Aner {aw-nare'}. AV - Aner 3; 3. ...

... age, the "age of joy," or spiritual innocence of man; Treta-yug, the age of silver,
or that of fire -- the period of supremacy of man and of giants and of the ... - 86k - Cached - Similar pages

... Greek mythology says he was the leader of the Giants, the sons of heaven and earth
who fought a battle with the Olympian gods for control of the universe. ...

... Some traditions have him as brother of Ambrosius and High King of Britain for a
time. Geoffrey of Monmouth says he is buried at the Giants' Dance. MORE. ...

... and nobleman(jarl). Jotunheim - (Norse) The abode of the giants. It is
on the edge of the ocean, far to the northeast. It is one ...

The 4th World - and the 5th World of the Aztecs
... According to the native traditions of the Caroline Islands, Papua New Guinea, and
Malaysia, a subterranean race of giants went underground in ancient times. ...

... The Tradition promises a "bow" set in "the clouds" to those persons who have maintained
its chain. " Biblical Information of Giants (8,850 BC to 1,300 BC). ...

... 1728 + 48 = 1776. The Book of Genesis tells us that fallen Angels descended to
earth and had offspring with woman. These were called Giants. ...

... so David chopped the giants head off .. Saul said . "Whose son are you? and took
him into his home. . David and Saul's son Jonathan become best friends . ... - 

Sacred Numbers to Resuscitate the Dead - Lazarus and Awakening the ...
... is the financial center. Phillip walked with the angel, like giants, across
the southern part of the United States. At Los Angeles ... - 

... If you are a hard line literal interpreter of the Bible, you must agree that lines
like "there were giants in the earth" means that things were different and ...

The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three
... He had numerous offspring by many wives, both mortal and immortal; mostly of
a violent unruly character like himself -- titans and giants. ... -

... the novel, including the reference to the mystic brotherhood that lives amid "the
walls, polished as by jewelers, though excavated by giants; floors carpeted ...







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