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Anakim

Meaning: the descendants of Anak (Joshua 11:21; Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 9:2).

They lived in the south of Canaan, in the neighborhood of Hebron (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:5-6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the original inhabitants of Canaan before the Canaanites, a Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings.

Their formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the “giants” (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33) of the antediluvian age. And, indeed, there were men of very large stature among them.

There were various tribes of Anakim (Joshua 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). The Philistine giants whom David encountered (2 Samuel 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim.