Translation of the word Giant

2018-06-13 01:53:55

Are there other translations of the word "Giant"? Please note that this question is related to this question.

Genesis 6:4 KJV

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


1 Chronicles 20:8 KJV

These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of

David, and by the hand of his servants.

Numbers 13:33 KJV

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the

giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were

in their sight.

Joshua 15:8 KJV

And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the

south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went

up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom

westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:


  • Short Answer: "Generally it is the only translation" (but it is complicated)

    First, there are two (three?) different words in the references you give. The Nephilim (נְפִילִים; a word only ever found in plural form in OT) only appears three times in Gen 6:4 and Num 13:33 (twice). The word in 1 Ch 20:8 (also 1 Ch 20:6 and 1 Ch 8:2; cf. also 1 Ch 4:12) is Rapha (רָפָא; singular), also only found these three times (though that depends on interpretation of homonyms, see below). In Josh 15:8 is the word Rephaim (רְפָאִים; plural), which is always found its eight times (also Josh 18:16; 2 Sam 5:18, 22; 23:13; Isa 17:5; 1 Ch 11:15; 14:9) in connection with the word for valley, Emeq (עֵמֶק), hence in the translations either translated "valley of giants" or transliterated "valley of Rephaim."

    Second, many major lexicons essentially uphold the word "giant(s)" as the translation in these spots, though you will find some differences as to what "giant" even should "mean." Many choose not to tran

    2018-06-13 02:05:19
  • There remains another possibility that does not appear coincidence. It has been argued that the morphology of "nephilim" as a Hebrew plural noun version of the verb "naphal" is impossible. The only two options would be renderings of "nophelim" and "nephulim". Therefore, "nephilim" would not be a proper Hebrew word. Interestingly, if one examines Aramaic, which uses the same alphabet, an extremely similar word does exist. That being "nephilin". Guess what it means in Aramaic? Giant.

    It would seem plausible that the Hebrews borrowed the Aramaic word and changed the "n" to an "m" at the end. There are several Hebrew and ancient language scholars who argue for this. Michael S. Heiser is one who is still around and lights out with the material.

    2018-06-13 02:51:37