Land of the dead in this post may not be covering what you might have originally thought when reading the title. I’ll bet you thought we were going to bring up the land of the dead from Egyptian lore didn’t you? Or maybe a movie about zombies, or a mummy movie of some sort?
Nope, this is actual Biblical history at work found in the pages of the Old Testament. Here, when we refer to the land of the dead, we’re going to be talking about the land of Canaan. Why is it that I would feel that we could refer the pre-Israeli land of Canaan as the land of the dead? Well, taking a closer look at who was dwelling in the land in those days will help to paint us a better picture.
We went over in the last post that the Rephaim were a literal tribe in the days of Abraham. However, the term has been used as an overall cover (a blanket term) for other tribes that fell under their characteristics that dwelt in the land of Canaan as well. We’ve looked at the characteristics recorded about the tribe itself, but what does the word Rephaim actually mean?
REPHAIM – A General Reference
The shades or spirits of the departed, dwelling in Sheol or Hades, generally rendered in our version, “the dead” (“dead things,” Job 26:5); Psalm 88:10; Proverbs 2:18; 21:16, etc. Courtesy of Biblehub.
Hence the name of this post, Land of the Dead. These characters were all over the land of Canaan, which coincidentally, God had promised Abram (later called Abraham) as an inheritance for his seed. I have a feeling that this didn’t go unnoticed in the spiritual realm. As soon as the Lord said it, some demonic entity within earshot went back to report it to Satan, then it’s time for Satan to hatch a plan. Anyone that the Lord talks to directly, I have a feeling becomes a marked man by the unseen forces that are around us all the time, like a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour. I doubt it was long before Satan found out what God had offered to Abram.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
Sure the promised land had all that one could want, nicknamed the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’. The land itself was fine, it was the inhabitants that wound up being the problem. To paraphrase Chuck Missler from the video imbedded in the previous post, Once Satan heard the Lord tell Abraham about his seed, it gave Satan a clear target to focus his attacks upon. And when he found out where the Lord wanted that seed to dwell, he had four hundred years to place landmines all over the promised land during Israel’s time in Egypt. And those landmines came by way of several tribes of Giants.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.
That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
These are just a few of the players on the board that we went over on the last post. No need to get too deep into those particulars again. I’m just pointing out who it was that Israel needed to get through in order to inhabit the land promised by God to Abraham. I believe that Satan used the opportunity to get his team established in the land in an effort to prevent Israel from fulfilling what the Lord had promised.
That doesn’t sound like an unusual tactic from him does it? These days it seem to be a standard practice for Satan to create stumbling blocks in an attempt to keep us from getting to where the Lord wants us to go. Or creates scenarios which frustrate our efforts in order to keep us from doing whatever the Lord wants for us to do.
Removing the Raphaim Infestation
Not too long after God lead the Israelis out of Egypt, he put them on a mandate to wipe out these Rephaim tribes. Just as we’ve seen in previous post, God has not reserved mercy for these beings. Wiping them out of existence was paramount to prevent their spreading, eventually contaminating man anywhere they went.
I don’t think that this went on strictly with the Israelis. Looking through history and digging into the works of people who have thoroughly studied this whole period of time, tribes of giants were either worshiped or being irradiated all over the world, including the Americas. We’ve seen God using other nations to accomplish his will that didn’t necessarily care about him at all, and I believe this to be the case across the globe in those days.
God was not going to allow all flesh to be in danger again as it was in the days of Noah. Now that the post flood giants were smaller than their pre-flood counterparts, it was possible for the Lord to help man to get the job done, instead of taking care of it himself as he did earlier on. Especially in the case of Israel, he went before them and in one way or the other caused for giants to be utterly defeated.
So eventually, Israel went about eradicating these tribes from out of the land of Canaan, and wound up completely removing most, but not all of these nations from existence. God was very clear about how they were to proceed with these beings. No quarter was to be given for man, woman, child, beast or any of their belongings. They were to burn it all. Only in a few situations were the Israelis allowed to take any spoils.
Many people don’t understand this whole event on display for us in the Bible, and wonder why God instructed Joshua to give no mercy to any of these nations. Satan has been doing a good job over the years painting God to be a genocidal maniac, which is just not the case at all. Now that I think about it, even if he was, doesn’t the potter have right to do what he wills with the clay?
But anyways, that’s still not the case. They were placed there by Satanic design to become a roadblock to Israel, and I’m sure the original intention was there to eradicate the seed of the woman from the face of the earth. Same story that we went through since the Garden of Eden. The seed war was raging then, and is still being waged to this day.
They were Nephilim (Raphaim), and if you think that mercy would have been a good idea, think about giving a demon mercy. When you find out what you get in response, you’d be sorry you did. They are demon by nature, just still embodied, and actually that made them more dangerous.
David and Goliath
Everybody knows about the story of David and Goliath. This event is taught in every Sunday school class, there’s been movies made about it (from both secular and Christian companies), and it stands as one of the most popular events of the Bible. This one Giant struck fear into the hearts of the entire army of Israel, and taunted them for forty days! One thing I’d like to point out, is to notice how far they had been reduced in their faith in the Lord.
I say that because this is the same nation that took Raphaim tribes head on with the Lord leading the way. Now the army of Israel cowered in the hills because of one giant, that actually wasn’t all that large compared to others Joshua lead them into battle against in the past. It seemed good to point that out. It is evident that Israel at that time as a nation had forgotten their secret to success:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
That’s how it went down in all the exploits with Moses and Joshua, and also many of the Judges that kept their ways before the Lord. There’s a sermon in that somewhere I believe. It appears that only one person in the area that day was truly strong and of good courage, and knew that God was with him. We all know who that was, David.
Let’s take a look at Goliath. What do we know about him from the Word?
1 Samuel 17:
4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
I’ve found that six cubits and a span turns out to be 9 ft 6 inches tall. Cubits are being argued about all the time. The larger end of the cubit could have brought him to over 11 feet tall. Over one foot taller than a basketball hoop for a common reference. His mail weighed 126 lbs. His spear was anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick, and the iron head of the spear was about 16 to 18 lbs.
And David with his full confidence in the Lord was given victory over Goliath. We all know the rest of that story, but that’s not the only giant mentioned during the reign of King David. There were other accounts that the Philistines had mingled with the remaining Raphaim.
1 Chronicles 20:
4 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.
5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam.
6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot and he also was the son of the giant. 7 But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him. 8 These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
2 Samuel 23:
20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:
1 Chronicles 11:
23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.
So there are some accounts of giants in the land during the time of King David, with a mention of some other interesting characters as well. Men who were described as lion like. This to me is a throwback to some pre-flood genetic manipulation done by the fallen ones, corrupting the beasts of the earth.
Concluding the Old Testament Nephilim Issue
This is only one prong out of three that Satan used against what God was establishing. The other two was either demonic in nature, or by stirring up men. Sometimes (my opinion would be) all three. It is very interesting how the tactics seem to have changed after the bulk of the Nephilim were removed from the board.
Suddenly there becomes the problem of the nation of Israel turning in on itself and breaking into two nations. Seemingly non-stop wars and wicked kings. Idol worship and other small ‘g’ gods being established within it’s borders. Back and forth right up to the New Testament era. The seed war rages on.
For those of you who have been blessed by these posts and have been reading along in this series since the beginning, thank you and God bless you! I am going to keep on trucking as the Lord leads me to deal with this topic. But as far as the history and how the back and forth over thousands of years go, I feel that it’s been pretty well covered (at least as far as we should via blogging).
Moving forward with the series, we’ll be getting more into what we can do as Born Again believers in Christ Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, against these things that are still to this day doing all that they can to please their evil master. There’s still a ton to go over concerning the fight that we are in the middle of, but all the previous posts in this series were really to set the stage, and to show how all of this mess started in the first place.
As always, if you enjoyed this post please comment and let me know about it below. Also feel free to share it wherever you’d like via the share button at the bottom of this post or over there to the right. Thanks again for reading about how the Lord handled the Land of the Dead!