Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 891 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
When Giants Walked the Earth – Wisdom Wednesday
Thank you for joining us for our five days per week wisdom and legacy building podcast. Today is Day 891 of our trek, and it is Wisdom Wednesday.
Creating a Biblical worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events. To establish a Biblical worldview, it is required that you also have a proper understanding of God’s word. Especially in our western cultures, we do not fully understand the scriptures from the mindset and culture of the authors.
In order to help us all have a better understanding of some of the more obscure passages in God’s Word, we are investing Wisdom Wednesday reviewing a series of essays from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. He has compiled these essays into a book titled I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.
We are broadcasting from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. The Bible is full of rich imagery and stories that fill our minds with wonders and questions. Today’s essay explores one such incident as we will focus on…
When Giants Walked the Earth
If they haven’t read it, most people have at least heard the story of David and Goliath of Gath (‘‘the Gittite”). The names of the hero and villain have iconic status. But how many people know anything about the giant Goliath, other than that he lost his head to a boy named David from Israel?
This story can be found in, 2 Samuel [21:15]-22 and 1 Chronicles 20:4-8. The story tells us that there were other unusually tall warriors among the Philistines. The lists are not identical, but putting them together we read that there were four: Saph (also called Sippai), Lahmi, Ishbibenob, and an unnamed warrior. The descriptions are similar to that given Goliath, noting “great stature” and the dimensions of their weaponry. Unlike Goliath or any of the other named warriors, the unnamed giant is said to have six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. This malformation, known as polydactylism, is only mentioned in the description of this giant. The Bible does not mention it when it discusses other giant clans.
· Wait a minute—giant clans?
There are several people groups described as giants or among whom giants lived in the Old Testament:
- There are the Anakim, who are descendants from the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4, which reads, “In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.” The descendants of those giants lived in Cannan, which was considered The Promised Land and are encountered by the Israelites under both Moses and Joshua. In Numbers 13:33 the spies reported back, “We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next, to them, we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
- At one time, before the children of Israel traveled through the Transjordan, the land to the east of the Jordan River was heavily populated with tall people known as Emites, which is found in Deuteronomy 2:10-11, “A race of giants called the Emites had once lived in the area of Ar. They were as strong and numerous and tall as the Anakites, another race of giants. Both the Emites and the Anakites are also known as the Rephaites, though the Moabites call them Emites.” They are also referred to as Zamzummites in Deuteronomy, “That area was once considered the land of the Rephaites, who had lived there, though the Ammonites call them Zamzummites.”
- The Amorites, another group that stood in the way of Israel claiming the promised land, are described as being exceptionally tall in Amos 2:9, “But as my people watched, I destroyed the Amorites, though they were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks. I destroyed the fruit on their branches and dug out their roots.”
- Lastly, there were the Rephaites, which are mentioned nearly 20 times, most often in association with the conquest of the Promised Land when Moses encountered King Og of Bashan. One reference to King Og is found in Deuteronomy 3:11, “King Og of Bashan was the last survivor of the giant Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.”
Goliath was Rephaim. He and the four giant warriors listed alongside him are descended from rapha in Gath, which is found in 2 Samuel [21:22] and 1 Chronicles 20:8.
If rapha is interpreted as a proper name, Rapha, then the four warriors were all brothers of Goliath. The biblical text does not actually say this. Only one of these men, Lahmi, is specifically said to be the brother of Goliath. Therefore, it is best to translate the term as “giants” or “Rephaim” as many English translations do.
Some of the Rephaim giants survived the wars of Moses and Joshua, and their descendants settled in the Philistine city of Gath. The other warriors who accompanied Goliath may not have been brothers, but they were all part of an enduring and unusual lineage that challenged Israel for their land and opposed their God. There is no indication in the Bible that there were giants clans after the time of King David.
Next Wisdom Wednesday we will continue with the Old Testament as we look at Dr. Heiser’s next essay titled “The Divine Arrow.” I believe you will find this another interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical Worldview.
Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and will help you lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 890 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Apple Podcast or Google Play so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!