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The Nephilim (plural) are the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6:4, or giants who inhabit Canaan in Numbers 13:33. A similar word with different vowel-sounds is used in Ezekiel 32:27 to refer to dead Philistine warriors.
In the Hebrew Bible and several non-canonical Jewish and early Christian writings, nephilim means the fallen ones are a people created by the cross-breeding of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men". The word nephilim is loosely translated as giants or titans in some Bibles, and is left untranslated in others.
The phrase "sons of God" is sometimes translated into English as "sons of gods". The Hebrew word, "Elohim", is a plural form, but is often used with single verbs and adjectives (as in this case) when the single meaning is traditionally understood.
The traditional Jewish view, deriving from the Book of Enoch, is that the fathers of the nephilim, the "sons of God", were the Grigori (a class of fallen angels also called the Watchers); however, there is some controversy on this point.
Some commentators suggest the nephilim were believed to have been fathered by members of a proto-Hebrew pantheon, and are a brief glimpse of early Hebrew religion, most of the details of which was later edited out from the Torah. Others, especially some Christians, suggest the "sons of God" were fully human. It is sometimes suggested that ridding the Earth of these nephilim was one of God's purposes for flooding the Earth in Noah's time.
Despite the literal text of the Bible and its traditional interpretation, the idea that heavenly beings mated with humans is controversial, particularly among Christians, who cite the teaching of Jesus in the Book of Matthew that angels do not marry (they may take the verse in question out of context because Jesus said that the resurrected don't marry in heaven but are as the angels).
Others who find the idea of angels mating with humans as distasteful have suggested more figurative interpretations of the nephilim, such as the idea that they were the offspring of men possessed by demons.Still others, including the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, take the traditional view of Genesis 6:1 that the allusion refers to some men, from the godly lineage of Seth, called sons of God (an expression denoting those in covenant relationship with YHWH, cf. Deuteronomy 14:1; 32:5), began to pursue fleshly interests, and so took wives of the daughters of men, i.e., those who were unbelievers descended of Cain. This is also the view presented in a few extra-biblical, yet ancient works, particularly the Second Book of Adam and Eve.
Rephaim is a general title that the Book of Joshua states was given to the aborigines of Palestine, which were afterwards conquered and dispossessed by the Canaanite tribes. They were known to the Moabites as Emim, i.e., "fearful", (Deut. 2:11), and to the Ammonites as Zamzummim. In the Books of Samuel, it states that some of them found refuge among the Philistines, and were still existing in the days of David. We know nothing of their origin.
In the Torah, the Anakim are the descendants of Anak, and dwelt in the south of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Hebron. In the days of Abraham they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan river. They are mentioned during the report of the spies about the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. The book of Joshua states that Joshua finally expelled them from the land, excepting a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. The Philistine giants whom David encountered were supposedly descendants of the Anakim.
The story of the nephilim is chronicled more fully in the Book of Enoch (part of Ethiopian biblical canon). There are also allusions to these descendants in the deuterocanonical books of Judith, Sirach, Baruch, and Wisdom of Solomon.
There have been many interesting attempts to reconcile mythology with evolution, the theory being that mythology often contains grains of truth in the form of a highly distorted "folk memory" of events in the remote evolution of the human past.
In this context, the nephilim have been associated with everything from Atlantis to extraterrestrials in efforts to rationalize their literal existence. One theory is that nephilim were actually surviving Neanderthals, or a Homo sapiens-Neanderthal hybrid.
It is believed by such people that modern man shared several thousand years of history with Neanderthals, and also that the Middle-Eastern region was home to some of the last surviving pockets of Homo sapiens or H. neandertalensis. Therefore, it is conceivable that a Folk Memory of these creatures survived by way of mythology- but not necessarily in the way that it is imagined.
In addition, it appears that the very last Neanderthals adopted some of the technological and cultural innovations of their contemporaries. So, the theory goes, surviving Neanderthals or hybrids might have been very large, powerful men, possessing the intellect and societal characteristics of our species, explaining their identification as: "mightiest ones" and "men of renown," which could be a great exaggeration based on some level of prowess.
One major flaw in this "theory" some have suggested is that neanderthalensis were in fact slightly shorter in height than H. sapiens and unlikely to have been named giants. On the other hand, they were giants relative to their even shorter predecessors, Australopithecus and Homo habilis. Of course, this flaw is easily resolved when one remembers that the word Nephilim earlier described means "fallen ones" and not giants, the word being translated in the King James Bible as "Giants", recognized now as somewhat of a mistranslation.
Simply put, the Nephilim were aliens who came to Earth to create humans. Like everything else we call the history of humanity, it was all mythology, as reality is a consciousness hologram brought forth into the physical to study emotions.
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