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Nephilim

also known as: Nefilim

Hebrew: נְפִילִים ——transliteration: Nephilim

This ancient Hebrew name is plural, and Bible translators usually leave it untranslated, as its exact meaning is lost.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says that the name’s origin is from נָפַל —transliteration: naphal (meaning: to fall), and therefore that Nephilim were fellers, that is bullies or tyrants. In other words, violent ones—“those that cause others to fall down.”

Others say the word may mean “fallen ones.” And others assume it may be synonymous with with the word “giants,” and that is how the King James Version translated it.

The name Nephilim appears in just two Old Testament verses.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days [before the worldwide flood], and also afterward [after the Flood], when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. —Genesis 6:4 NASB

There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” —Numbers 13:33 NASB

Dr. Henry M. Morris suggests:

“These ‘giants’ were the monstrous progeny of the demon-possessed men and women whose illicit activities led to God’s warning of imminent judgment. The Hebrew word is nephilim (‘fallen ones’), a term possibly relating to the nature of their spiritual ‘parents,’ the fallen angels. That they were also physical giants is evident from the fact that the same word is later used in connection with the giants in Canaan at the time of Joshua (Numbers 13:33) and by the fact that the word here was translated in the Septuagint by the Greek word gigantes.” —Henry M. Morris, The Defender's Bible

Article Version: December 22, 2017

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