Monday, May 11, 2020

Were the Canaanites Nephilim?

One of the stranger justifications I sometimes run across for the holy war commands against the Canaanites is the claim that the Canaanites weren't human. They were Nephilim. Angel/human hybrids. There are some problems with that interpretation:

i) That's not a reason given for why they were to be cleared from the Promised Land.

ii) If they were hybrids, they'd have superhuman abilities, so it's unclear how they could be defeated by the inferior Israelites. 

In principle, God could provide divine assistance to level the playing field, but in general the war narratives don't have the Israelites using anything other than conventional means.


  1. Michael Heiser says something along the subject line criticised. But not that people in this line were not human.

  2. Some of the Canaanites were Rephaim and Anakim, who were descended from the Nephilim. I do agree it is not the main reason given, and while I hold to the supernaturalist interpretation of Gen 6, I hesitate to use that as a reason: that would mean Rahab wasn't human!