Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim?
The answer to the question, “Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim?” is answered in three parts. First, we explore the archeological evidence that is available about giant people. Second, we will discuss what the Bible reveals about giant people. Third, the answer is given to the question, “Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim?”
It is clear from 1 Samuel 17:4 that Goliath was a giant. The passage says,
Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 1 Samuel 17:4 (NASB)
Since a cubit was about 18 inches long and a span was 9 inches, this means that Goliath was 9 feet and 9 inches tall. Today, we would call him a “giant.” He would have appeared to be a powerful individual. That is why the Philistines included him in their army. So, “Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim?”
Archeological Evidence for Giant People
Historical and archeological data exists that reveals giant people existed both in ancient and modern times. The Creation Research Institute has published a DVD titled, The Monsters God Made. John Macay, the author of the DVD, provides extensive documentation of fossils and photographs that reveal there used to be giant plants, insects, animals, and giant humans. The DVD provides visual support from numerous museums. Evidence of giant humans are also provided. His point is that everything was gigantic before the worldwide flood, and after the flood for a shorter period of time. Everything was enormous, not just people. When God repeatedly announced that “it was good” in Genesis 1, that referred to everything was perfect.
Regarding the worldwide flood, Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods, has stated that there are more than “500 deluge legends are known around the world.” He provides documentation for a large number of “legends” regarding a worldwide flood. It is important that the common thread in all of the accounts is that there was a great flood, and the world was usually rescued by a man with a boat.
Tim Chaffey, author of the article “Giants in the Bible,” provides supporting evidence from secular sources that there have been giant plants, giant insects, and giant animals. He does not provide evidence of giant humans, however. His information which supports John Macay’s statements follows. Mr. Chaffey states,
What is indeed significant is that many giant versions of other creatures existed in the past or still exist today. To name just a few, these include the following:
1. spiders (e.g., the bird-eating spider, up to 12-inch leg span)
2. moths (e.g., the Atlas moth, with a wing span of 11 inches)
3. centipedes (up to 13 inches long)
4. snails (e.g., the African giant snail, up to 15 inches long)
5. frogs (e.g. Beelzebufo, 16 inches high)
6. dragonflies (e.g., Meganeura, with a wing span of more than 2 feet)
7. rats (e.g., Josephoartigasia, with a conservatively estimated body mass of 750 pounds)
8. beavers (e.g., Trogontherium, about 7 feet long)
9. scorpions (e.g., the sea scorpion Jaekelopterus, estimated at more than 8 feet long)
10. crabs (e.g., the giant spider crab, with a claw span more than 12 feet)
11. armadillos (e.g., Glyptodon, up to 13 feet long)
12. turtles (e.g., Archelon, up to 16 feet long)
13. fish (e.g., Xiphactinus, 19 feet long)
14. sloths (e.g., Megatherium, which stood about 20 feet)
15. worms (e.g., the giant earthworm, up to 22 feet long)
16. sea cows (e.g., Hydrodamalis, 25 feet or more in length)
17. crocodiles (e.g., Sarcosuchus, up to 40 feet long)
18. snakes (e.g., Titanoboa, over 42 feet long)
19. crustaceans (e.g., supergiant amphipods 10 times larger than those previously discovered)
20. squid (e.g., Mesonychoteuthis, 50 feet or more in length)
21. sharks (e.g., Rhincodon, up to 65 feet long)
22. octopuses with 100 foot long tentacles.
The fact that scientists have discovered animals with body sizes far greater than those observed today suggests, at least in theory, the possibility of there having also been giant humans in the past, as recorded in the Bible.
While the author’s last comment seems to indicate that giant humans may not have not existed in the past, he adds this,
Nearly every place around the world has legends of giants dwelling in the land.
He refers to Greek, Roman, and Norse accounts of giants. Then he cites the following “legend” from a Sioux tribe.
It was taught by the wise men of this tribe that the earth was originally peopled by giants, who were fully three times the size of modern men. They were so swift and powerful that they could run alongside a buffalo, take the animal under one arm, and tear off a leg, and eat it as they ran. So vainglorious were they because of their own size and strength that they denied the existence of a Creator. When it lighted, they proclaimed their superiority to the lightning; when it thundered, they laughed. This displeased the Great Spirit, and to rebuke their arrogance he sent a great rain upon the earth. The valleys filled with water, and the giants retreated to the hills. The water crept up the hills, and the giants sought safety on the highest mountains. Still the rain continued, the waters rose, and the giants, having no other refuge, were drowned.
Historical data reveals that extremely tall people exist in modern times. For example, Guinness World Records reports the “Tallest man ever” stood at 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in). Here is a summary of their report.
The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow (USA) (born 6:30 a.m. at Alton, Illinois, USA on 22 February 1918), who when last measured on 27 June 1940, was found to be 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall.
Robert died at 1:30 a.m. on 15 July 1940 in a hotel in Manistee, Michigan, as a result of a septic blister on his right ankle caused by a brace, which had been poorly fitted only a week earlier.
The Guinness World Record lists the tallest ten people over the last one hundred years. The shortest of the ten individuals is 2.32 m ( 7.6 ft).
Wikipedia has provided a very long list of the tallest people dating back into the Medieval ages. The tallest man in their list is John Middleton (A.D. 1578 – 1623). His reported height of 282 cm (9 ft 3 in) cannot be verified.
In conclusion, sufficient evidence exists that support the point that “giants” have existed in the past and in modern times.
What the Bible Reveals About Giant People
The Bible refers to giants on many occasions. One very interesting passage is Genesis 14:5–7. It lists four groups of giants, without referring to them as giants. Here is the passage,
In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is by the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and conquered all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, who lived in Hazazon-tamar. Genesis 14:5–7 (NASB)
However, several biblical passages reveal that the Rephaim were giants (Deuteronomy 3:11; 1 Chronicles 20:4). Deuteronomy 3:11 states the bed of a king named, Og king of Bashan, was 9 cubits long and four cubits wide!
(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.) Deuteronomy 3:11 (NASB)
That was a long bed of about 411.5 cm (13.5 ft). This suggests that the descendant of Rephaim were very tall. Many Bibles translate the name Rephaim as giants (1 Chronicles 20:4). This suggests that Og, king of Bashan, was a giant since he was a descendant of Rephaim.
Deuteronomy 2:20–21 indicates the the people of Zuzim or Zamzummim were once also called Rephaim. The Emim were called a race of giants in Deuteronomy 2:10–11. Verse 11 and Numbers 13:29-33 reveal the Anakites was another race of giants. Also, the Amorites were giants in the land according to Numbers 13:29-32 and Amos 2:9-10.
Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. Amos 2:9-10 (NASB)
The Nephilim were the earliest giants recorded in Scripture (Genesis 6:4). Later in Numbers 13:32—33 the Hebrew word for Nephilim is translated by some Bibles as giants. The Hebrew word for Nephilim literally means “giants” (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:32—33).
These Bible references reveal many giants existed in the Old Testament. This means the Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, the Amorites, and Anakites were giants. Tim Chaffey in his article titled, “Giants in the Bible,” provides additional evidence that the Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, and the Amorites were giants. He refers to other giants in 2 Samuel 21:15–22 and 1 Chronicles 20:4–8. He also refers to the Egyptian giant mentioned in 1 Chronicles 11:23.
Where Did Goliath Come From?
Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim? First, we have already discovered that 1 Samuel 17:4 states Goliath was 9 feet and 9 inches tall, and that he was from Gath. Second, Joshua 11:22 helps us understand that descendants of Gath were descendants of Anakim.
There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. Joshua 11:22 (NASB)
Since the Anakim were a race of giants (Deuteronomy 2:10–11. Verse 11 and Numbers 13:29-33) this means that Goliath was a descendant of a race of giants. His heritage is traced back to Anakim. His heritage is not traced back to the Nephilim.
Therefore, the answer to the question, “Where did Goliath come from if the flood killed the Nephilim?” is that Goliath’s ancestry is not traced back to the Nephilim, but to the race called Anakim. it is important to notice that the Nephilim were destroyed in the worldwide flood described in Genesis 6-8.
1. John Macay. The Monsters God Made. DVD. 2008.
2. John Hancock. Fingerprints of the Gods. Crown Trade Paperbacks. New York. 1995. p. 193.
3. Tim Chaffey. “Giants in the Bible,” Answers In Genesis. February 22, 2012. The data cited is referenced to a footnote which states, “Sources include: The Diagram Group. 1980. The Book of Comparisons. Hampshire, England: Sidgwick & Jackson.; newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2009/02/04/biggest_animals_of_all_time; news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7408743.stm [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7408743.stm] ; Online Encyclopedia (www.encyclo.co.uk [http://www.encyclo.co.uk/] ); prehistoricearth. wikia.com/wiki/Glyptodon [http://prehistoricearth.wikia.com/wiki/Glyptodon] ; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meganeura [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meganeura] www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16834913.”
6. Guinness World Records. “Tallest man ever.” (www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/tallest-man-ever)
7. “List of tallest people.” Wikipedia. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_people).
8. Tim Chaffey. Ibid.
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