Monday, September 15, 2014

But there are... Giants!

Religion, Mythology, Fairy Tales, and Folklore.  Which are which?  No one ever worshiped the Fairy Folk, but people sure did believe in them.  In fact, I bet they still have a few stragglers.  Thor had a religious following.  Without them he's been downgraded to myth, but got to keep Thursday in the settlement.

I do not believe The Bible is true, but I do find it as interesting as the other stories out there, maybe a little more.  Part of my fascination is that I grew up being told they were true.  Part of it is all the people who still do believe it is.

I've been reading it, and continue to be surprised.  One interesting revelation has been the reason the Israelites spent forty years in the desert.  Well, that was a punishment for the golden calf, right?  No, that was dealt with in a swifter and bloodier manner.  The forty years in the desert was all about giants, or rumors of there of.

The relevant chapter is Numbers thirteen.  After the Israelites leave the desert, Yahweh tells them to send scouts to check out Canaan, and bring back some fruit.  He's where it gets interesting.  This is their initial report:

“We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.  But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.  The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Nothing outlandish yet, but after they find out that this expedition was to see if they should go attack them, they make an addendum.

“The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Now here's the question, 'Were there really giants?'  If there were, wouldn't you lead with that?

Well, this notion of giants doesn't come about until after they find out they'll have to fight.  Also the second part of their report is described as a "bad report".  And lastly, lets remember that, although The Bible does include giants called Nephilim, that Yahweh went to great lengths to kill them off in the first book.

Pretty cut and dry, right?  The problem is, many modern people say that there really were giants there.  They say that they didn't change their story, and that the sons of Anak mentioned at first were Nephilim.  In fact, this is taken from the NIV version, and that had also added, "(the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim)".  Some people even point to the fact that it took two people to carry all fruit, and say that it was because it was giant fruit.

I can not find any biblical references, or extra biblical references, to Anak or his descendants being giants.  I do find a couple references to him, and his descendants, being tall.  And if they're not lying about their being giants, then what are they lying about?  The book clearly states that the second half of their report is a "bad report".  If your reading this, and know more, please share.

As for the giant fruit, I think they just grabbed enough regular sized fruit for two to carry.

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