By Charles H. Welch
Nephilim. This word occurs three times in the original Hebrew, and is translated "giants". "There were giants in the earth" (Gen. 6:4); "There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants" (Num. 13:33). These "nephilim" were in the earth immediately before the flood, and "after that" as Genesis 6:4 continues: "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 renown".
The giants which the spies saw were evidently descended from those Nephilim that were in the earth after the flood. The word Nephilim does not of itself indicate gigantic structure, it rather looks to the height from which these beings have fallen. Naphal in Hebrew means "to fall" and the Nephilim are "fallen ones". Genesis 3:15 contains not only a promise concerning the seed of the woman but a warning that there would be a seed of the serpent, and that the conflict between these two seeds would constitute the conflict of the ages.
By the time of, and as a countermove of Satan to Abraham's call, this evil seed were concentrated in the land of Canaan, and the sword of Israel was as necessary as the previous waters of the flood, if the purposes of grace were to prosper. Another name given to this evil seed is the Rephaim (Gen. 14:5) which is translated "giants" in Deuteronomy 2:11,20; 3:11,13, Joshua 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 17:15; 18:16 and 1 Chronic1es 20:4,6, and 8. These Rephaim (Isa 26:14 "deceased" in A.V.), have no resurrection. For the particular application to dispensational truth of this subject see the article entitled GIANTS.