Wednesday, July 22, 2015

There Were Giants In Those Days (Parshas Devarim 5775)

Who was Sihon?

The Torah writes (Deuteronomy 1:3-4):

And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; after he had smitten Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who dwelt in Ashtaroth, at Edrei.
The Talmud (Nidah 61a) writes that Sihon and Og were brothers, descendants of fallen angels from before the Flood:

Sihon and Og were brothers as the master said - Sihon and Og were sons of Achia son of Shamhazai 
Rashi explains (ibid):
They descend from Shamhazi and Azael, the two angels that came down during the generation of Enosh
The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 3a) tells us that Sihon was the same person as king of Arad and Canaan (see earlier post):
Sichon, Arad and Canaan are the same. Sichon because he was similar to a young donkey of the desert, Canaan because of his kingdom, and this real name was Arad. According to others, he was called Arad because he was similar to a wild donkey of the wilderness, Canaan after this kingdom, and his real name was Sichon.
Rabbeinu Bachya (end of Chukas) says that Sihon's mother was the wife of Ham (see also Sefer Mayim Rabim by Rabbi Mordechai Frankel [Parshas Noach, #4] for further discussion on how Canaan and Sihon are the same person)

Baalei Tosfos (Moshav Zekeinim, end of Chukas) writes that Sihon was the son of Noah:
Noah's wife died before the Flood, and Noah married the mother of Og. Og was already born when her first husband was alive, and she married Noah once Og's father died. And she conceived Sihon from Noah before the flood and he was born in the Ark
(see also the second answer given by Baalei Tosfos that Sihon was the son of Noah's wife, but not Noah's son)

Who was Og?

According to the Talmud, he was a brother of Sihon, descendent from fallen angels (see above)

The Talmud (Nidah 61a) also explains that Og was the survivor who told Abraham about Lot's capture:
It is written "And a survivor came and told Abraham the Ivri" (Genesis 14:13) and Rabbi Yochanan said: this is Og who survived the generation of the Flood
(see also Rabbeinu Bachya [end of Chukas] where he discusses whether Og the king was the same person or a descendent of Og in the time of Abraham)

Midrash Shocher Tov (chapter 106) explains that his name is from the term "Ugos":
Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said in the name of Bar Kapra: "Palit" was his name as it says "And the Palit / survivor came" (Genesis 14:13). And why is he called "Og"? Because he came and found Abraham busy with baking of Pesach matzos (called Ugos).
Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer (chapter 16) says that Og was Eliezer, the servant of Abraham:
"The elder of the house of Abraham" was Eliezer, his servant. How did he become his servant? When he (i.e. Abraham) was leaving Ur Kasdim, all the great people of the generation gave him gifts. Nimrod signed over his servant Eliezer to Abraham. When he did kindness with Isaac, his son, Abraham freed him and G-d have him rewards in this world and he became king - he was Og, the king of Bashan.
(See also Biur Hardal (ibid) who explains that Og was a slave to Noah when Noah saved him from the flood (see Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer [chapter 23]), and Ham inherited him, then Cush then Nimrod. An alternate explanation is that he was captured by Nimrod from the Rephaim.)

(see also Targum Jonathan [Genesis 14:13] who identifies Eliezer as Nimrod's son)

According to some, Og was a stepson of Noah (see above)

Who were the Anakim / Giants?

 The Torah writes (Deuteronomy 2:20-21):
That also is accounted a land of Rephaim: Rephaim dwelt therein aforetime; but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead;
Genesis Rabbah (26:7) explains that they are identified with seven names:
"And Nephilim were on earth in those days" - they are called seven names: Eimim, Rephaim, Giborim, Zamzumim, Anakim, Avim, Nephilim.
The Torah (Numbers 13:33) identifies Anakim as descendants of Nephilim, which are fallen angels, (see Genesis 6:4, see also Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer [chapter 22]):
And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’
The Torah identifies them as dwelling in Hebron (Numbers 13:22):
And they went up into the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were there.
Tanach states (Joshua 11:22) that after the land was conquered they only remained in certain cities:
There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain.
The Rashbam (Genesis 23:2) identifies their father, with the name "Arba":
The name of the person who founded or owned this town was Arba. We know this from Joshua (15:13) where he is described as the father of a giant. The reference to a town by mentioning an outstanding citizen is familiar to us from Numbers (21:27-29) where the capital of the Emorites is described as Krias Sichon - the city of Sichon
Targum Jonathan (Deuteronomy 1:28) identifies them as the sons of Ephron (see Genesis 23). Tosefta deTargum (Joshua 15:13) identifies  the father of the "Anak" as Tzohar, the father of Ephron, and "Anak" as Ephron.

The Baal Haturim (Genesis 6:4) identifies the Anakim as Og and Sichon based on the Talmud (Nidah 61a)

Midrash Agada (Deutoronomy 3:11) defines an "Anak" as someone more than 9 cubits tall:
And therefore Goliath is called an "average man", because a giant is defined as someone greater than 9 cubits and Goliath was average for he was only 6 cubits and a zeres.
(see also R' Natan Slifkin, "Sacred Monsters", chapter 3, "Gigantic Giants", for further discussion about giants)

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