luglio 16th, 2012
Excavations on the Jordan banks, and generally throughout the areas affected by the narrated events, have shown that they were ruled, at least since the fourth millennium BC, by strong races that had produced a megalithic civilization capable of realizing cyclopean buildings: think of the incredible site of Baalbek (in the Valley of Bekaa, Lebanon), where monoliths were moved weighing hundreds of tons each!
The same archaeological records show that these breeds have been gradually supplanted by the new occupants… The Anaqitis (“long-necked” men) occupied the land of Hebron and the region that will be later conquered by the tribe of Judah.
Only three leaders of theirs are worth mentioning – whose names are Ahiman, Sesay and Talmay. They have Aramaic origins – who were defeated by Caleb, to whom the city of Hebron surrendered. They were then destroyed by Joshua, leaving their traces in Gaza, Ashdod and Gath (the city of Goliath the giant! Perhaps, it is no coincidence…). Rephaìms (to which Og belonged) instead occupied.
Transjordan from Mount Hermon down to Ammon; alike Anaqitis, they also were defeated by Joshua during the wars for conquest, even if David would have later fought against some of them who were living in the West Bank (see Sam2 21:15- 21). They were also in Gilead where they were destroyed by the Amorites.
To the Rephaìms also belonged the Zamzummìms, who lived in the region of Amman (Transjordan) and were defeated by the Ammonites,21 which overtook their territory: like the Anaqiti, they also were described (Deut. 2.20-23) as “tall” people.
The name Rephaìm was already quoted in the Canaanites stories before the Jewish conquest. The etymology is uncertain.
Some say their name refers to the concept of “healing”, pertaining to the root rafah: actually, the fact that the Anunnaki held a special medical knowledge is a fundamental assumption for the whole system of hypothesis that we are discussing here.
It is curious to note that the term Rephaìm also indicated the inhabitants of the sheòl, “the other world,” the world beyond: can we suppose a link with the memory of these individuals’ ancestors coming from another world, concrete and not imaginary?
Finally, the Emìms lived in the territory of Moab (east-southeast of the Dead Sea) and Moabites themselves gave them this name, because they were otherwise known as Rephaìm.
According to Genesis 14:5 they were defeated by Kedorlaomer and his allies in the plain of Qiriatàyim; the city was destroyed and then rebuilt by the tribe of Reuben (see Nm 32.37 and Josh 13.19). The names of these people also show a geographical feedback in the “Rephaìm Valley”, which is identified with the plains of El-Beqa, south-west of Jerusalem.