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What are the Rephaim and what are Demons

Written By: CK Quarterman - Aug• 19•11
Hebrew Bible

Genesis 6:1-4

 How are they related?

In Genesis 6:1-4, we read the following….

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 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 renown.

One of the key phrases in the passage above is “and also after that”.  Most serious students of Bible prophecy understand that there were giants on the earth before the flood, but many do not realize that the Scriptures also tell us that there were giants on the earth after the flood.

One of these races of giants was known as the Rephaim.

Rephaim rendered in English as Rephaite refers to dead spirits (shades), who are residents of the Netherworld, and to a race of giants occurring in the Hebrew Bible. Rephaim can also describe ancient “tribes” of giants in (1300 – 600 BC) Iron Age Israel, or the places where these individuals lived.

The area of Moab at Ar, (the region East of the Jordan) before the time of Moses, was also considered the land of the Rephaites. Deuteronomy 2:18-21 refers to the fact that Ammonites called them “Zamzummim”. The Zamzummim, were a people called Anakite (or Rephaite) a race of giants who lived in the lower Mediterranean coastal plain until the ancestors of the Philistines expelled them. Chedorlaomer, in Genesis 14, defeated them. The Zamzummim may have originated from the ancient Caphtorites whose ancestors are identified as Cretans’ (Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 2:37-38; ANET 138).  Crete is steeped in Greek mythology.

In Arabic Zamzummim is  zamzama it means to murmur, drone according to the theological dictionary of the OT, and  Wikipedia defines it as “to rumble”, “roll” and “thunder”. Nefilim bene Anaḳ  used in Num. 13: 33 is reported in the Koran as “jabbarun” , or  “jabbar” (sura v. 25) meaning in English a giant.

Also written as raf’-a-im, ra-fa’-im, but the Codex Vaticanus omits it while the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus have Rhapha(e).

Deuteronomy 2:20, “That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;”.

The many references to repha’im in the Hebrew Bible in contexts involving Sheol and dead spirits strongly suggests it refers as well to the residents of the Sheol. In the Bible, examples of this usage are Isa. 14:9, 26:14, 19; Ps. 88:11; Prov. 2:18, 9:18, 21:16; Job. 26:5.

Sometimes Rephaim and Nephilim are used interchangeably. Giants in the Hebrew text are described as those “who ruined the world” (by their violence, (Enoch vii. 3, 4). These giants are descended from the fallen angels and the daughters of Adam. They comprise three classes: the original giants, who begot the Nephilim, to whom in turn, were born the Eliud (Book of Enoch, vii. 2).

There are three names employed to describe these “fallen ones” “Nephilim,” “Gibborim,” and “Anakim” In the Book of Jubilees these Nephilim “fought with one another” to their destruction.

In Rabbinic literature, the Rabbies concede that these giants had many names. They were called, “Emim,” because whoever saw one of them was seized with terror, “Rephaim,” because their sight made people “soft” (fearful) like wax. “Gibborim,” because their brains alone measured 18 ells, (45 feet by this authors calculations) “Zamzummim,” because they inspired fear and were fierce warriors, “Anakim,” because they wore huge necklaces in great numbers, “Avim,” because they destroyed the world and were themselves destroyed, “Nefilim,” because they caused the world to fall and fell themselves (Ber. R.27).

Cabalistic writer Recanate in perticular alleged that giants were called, “Men of the Name” because they imparted to men the mysteries of the names of demons. This is confirmed by the indication in the Book of Jubilees that the fallen angles taught men enchantments.

In addition, several rows of teeth were attributed to giants (Ḥul. 60a). They were alledged to eat as many as a thousand oxen, horses, and camels each day according to the Midrash (Abkir). When these were exhausted, they eat the inhabitants of the land.

The Fallen Angels created the Nephilim, and Rephaim and the Nephilim became the mighty men of old, and later in death the demons or “shades”.

“Let not the dead live, let not the giants rise again…” (Douay-Rheims Version, Isaiah 26:14)

Giants are the, “Demons”.

You would think by the rarity of mention that demons must not exist or perhaps wander in the trash dumps. The Book of Enoch as well as the Bible tells us what became of these departed spirits of the Nephilim. The Nephilim became what we know now as “demons.” This is seen in Lev. 17:7; Deu. 32:17; II Chr. 11:15; Psa. 106:37.Job 26
“The Rephaim are formed, Beneath the waters, also their inhabitants”.


The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them”.


Noah’s flood destroyed their bodies, but now they are disembodied spirits looking for a body through which it might once again affect its evil ways.

ENOCH 15:8

And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy

In the New Testament, they are called “demons,” “unclean spirits,” and “evil spirits.”

The Earlier Church Fathers on Demons and Giants

Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions


“When, therefore, the number of men had begun to increase, God in His forethought, lest the devil, to whom from the beginning He had given power over the earth, should by his subtilty either corrupt or destroy men, as he had done at first, sent angels for the protection and improvement of the human race; and inasmuch as He had given these a free will, He enjoined them above all things not to defile themselves with contamination from the earth, and thus lose the dignity of their heavenly nature substantiæ, “essence.”   He plainly prohibited them from doing that which He knew that they would do, that they might entertain no hope of pardon. Therefore, while they abode among men, that most deceitful ruler.   See 2 Cor. iv. 4, “the god of this world.” of the earth, by his very association, gradually enticed them to vices, and polluted them by intercourse with women. Then, not being admitted into heaven on account of the sins into which they had plunged themselves, they fell to the earth. Thus from angels the devil makes them to become his satellites and attendants. But they who were born from these, because they were neither angels nor men, but bearing a kind of mixed Middle nature, were not admitted into hell, as their fathers were not into heaven. Thus there came to be two kinds of demons; one of heaven, the other of the earth. The latter are the wicked    Unclean spirits, the authors of all the evils which are done, and the same devil is their prince. Whence Trismegistus calls him the ruler of the demons. But grammarians say that they are called demons, as though dœmones. Plato approves of the etymology given by Lactantius; for he says that good men, distinguished by great honours, after their death became demons, in accordance with this title of prudence and wisdom. [See the whole subject in Lewis’ Plato, etc., p. 347.  That is, skilled and acquainted with matters: for they think that these are gods. They are acquainted, indeed, with many future events, but not all, since it is not permitted them entirely to know the counsel of God; and therefore they are accustomed to accommodate.   To combine, qualify, or temperate their answers to ambiguous results. The poets both know them to be demons, and so describe them. Hesiod thus speaks, “These are the demons according to the will of Zeus, Good, living on the earth, the guardians of mortal men.” And this is said for this purpose, because God had sent them as guardians to the human race; but they themselves also, though they are the destroyers of men, yet wish themselves to appear as their guardians, that they themselves may be worshipped, and God may not be worshipped. The philosophers also discuss the subject of these beings. For Plato attempted even to explain their natures in his “Banquet;” and Socrates said that there was a demon continually about him, who had become attached to him when a boy, by whose will and direction his life was guided. The art also and power of the Magi altogether consists in the influences  and  Aspirations  of these; invoked by whom they deceive the sight of men with deceptive illusions,   Blinding tricks, juggleries so that they do not see those things which exist, and think that they see those things which do not exist. These contaminated and abandoned spirits, as I say, wander over the whole earth, and contrive a solace for their own perdition by the destruction of men. Therefore they fill every place with snares, deceits, frauds, and errors; for they cling to individuals, and occupy whole houses from door to door, and assume to themselves the name of genii; for by this word they translate demons in the Latin language. They consecrate these in their houses, to these they daily pour out     They lavish. The word implies profuse and excessive libations of wine, and worship the wise demons as gods of the earth, and as averters of those evils which they themselves cause and impose. And these, since spirits are without substance. Thin, unsubstantial, as opposed to corporeal. The ancients inclined to the opinion that angels had a body, not like that of man, but of a slight and more subtle nature. Probably Lactantius refers to this idea in using the word tenuis. How opposed this view is to Scripture is manifest. [Not so manifest as our translator supposes. I do not assert what Lactantius says to be scripturally correct: but it certainly is not opposed to many facts as Scripture states them; whether figuratively or otherwise, I do not venture a suggestion.]   and not to be grasped, insinuate themselves into the bodies of men; and secretly working in their inward parts, they corrupt the health, hasten diseases, terrify their souls with dreams, harass their minds with phrenzies, that by these evils they may compel men to have recourse to their aid”.


Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia


Refers to this union of the “sons of god” as, “The Apostasy”


The Apostasy:


1. Its Cause: The marriage of the sons of God and the daughters of Men (Genesis 6:1-2).


2. Its effect on the human race: Men forgot God and became giants in wickedness (Genesis 6:3-4).


3. Its effect on the Creator: “And the LORD repented that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6). The word “repent” always describes a change in something. There is a sense in which God cannot change (Matthew 3:9; James 1:17). He is always God, omnipotent and eternal. There is a sense in which He changes His purposes toward us, otherwise forgiveness would be impossible (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12). God has declared that the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4), but the sinner who turns from his sins and obeys the Lord, has the promise of salvation (2 Peter 3:9). God therefore changes His purposes toward men, but He is always God!


Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Jude gives us an understanding of fallen angels and their interaction with humanity and of those who resist such knowledge as brute beasts.

In order to understand this passage we must ask which angels kept not their first estate. In addition, what does it mean that they “kept not their first estate”? The word rendered “habitation” (oikētērion) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means they kept not their spiritual bodies but took upon themselves flesh.

These fallen angels have ventured into our dimension several times. The first incursion began before the Great Flood when some two hundred fallen angels followed the Dark Lord called Samyaza and elected him their leader.

The full number of fallen angels is unknown; however, a small number under Samyaza swore an oath together to materialize into this realm and to perform the deed of cohabiting with the daughters of men. They forsook their own realm in direct opposition to the command of the Lord.

When the fallen angels saw the daughters born to the children of men, they became entranced with them, saying one to one another, “Come, we must take to ourselves concubines from the descendants of men.”

These fallen angels under Samyaza conspired together to take upon themselves bodies of flesh in order to marry the daughters of men.

This they knew would be a one-way trip, knowing they would be barred from returning back into the spiritual realm having once disobeyed the Lord’s command. But, nevertheless, they harkened to their chosen leader, Samyaza.

Samyaza said to them, “I fear that you may not fulfill this venture, and I alone shall suffer for so terrible a crime.”

They answered and said to him, “We all pledge and bind ourselves by fears that we will not change our mind and hearts, but we will fulfill this venture.”

The two hundred swore together, and all bound themselves by the fears. The whole number, with their leaders, descended upon Mount Hermon in the days of Jared. All of the Watchers who materialized into this realm took wives, cohabiting with them and teaching them all manner of wickedness, sorcery, and witchcraft.

Wickedness continued to increase, and fornication by the fallen angels rampaged throughout the Earth. The fallen angels continued to transgress the commandment until they had corrupted all of mankind.

Then came the flood upon the earth, namely, owing to the fornication wherein the Watchers against the law of their ordinances went a whoring after the daughters of men, and took themselves wives of all which they chose: and they made the beginning of uncleanness. And they begat sons, the nephilim, and they were all unlike, and they devoured one another: and the Giants slew one man another (Book of Jubilees).

(Gen 6:1-4) And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God (angels, watchers) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 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 renown.

And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children. (1Enoch 6:1-3)

This verse is saying that the angels who kept not their “own habitation” had gone after “strange flesh”. These are the angels referred to in Genesis Chapter Six who took on human form “strange flesh” and went after “strange flesh”, that is the daughters of Adam.

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