Re: Dating Adam/Nephilim

Jack Collins (
14 May 96 22:36:59 EDT

There is a temporary lull in grading, and I'll just take a little break to
answer matters addressed to me by Dick Fischer. To review: last week I sent a
posting that pointed out that mention of the Nephilim in Numbers 13:33 does not
imply a truth-claim by the narrator that these people survived the flood. Dick
responded by asserting that the various groups Anakim, Emim, and Zamzummim are
not related to Noah.

The Hebrew word anak (plural Anakim) may mean something like "long-necked" (and
"giant" is the interpetive tradition, & that's what it means in today's Hebrew).
It may be that this was an exceptionally tall ethnic group, and that's how the
word came to mean "giant". They are first mentioned in Numbers 13:22. The Emim
first appear in Genesis 14:5, and elsewhere only in Deuteronomy 2:10-11; and the
Zamzummim only appear in Deut 2:20. Nowhere does an author suggest that they
are not descendants of Noah (I'm not saying that therefore they must be; I'm
just questioning Dick's conclusions from these limited data). Further, these
last three groups are all located in a fairly small geographical area
(Syria/Palestine). There are relevant articles in _The New Bible Dictionary_ by
T.C. Mitchell of the British Museum (a very fine scholar, by the way). The
amount of info available on these groups is disappointingly small (disappointing
if you're trying to build something on it, that is).

I benefit from reading the interchange of creative and active minds, even when
their overall constructs are not (at least yet) particularly compelling. All
I'm doing here is pointing out that bits of one argument don't do the work
they've been asked to do. Is it essential to the case or accidental?

Your servant,
Jack Collins
Covenant Theological Seminary