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Numbers 13:33 Numbers 13:32–33 includes a description by the Twelve Spies of giant "Nephilim" that they saw in Canaan:

32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 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.'

If the Nephilim were giants, they presumably left behind giant bones.

Have any bone specimens been found to prove the Nephilim's existence?

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No. (15 characters) –  Daniel May 10 '13 at 17:21
    
    
So you are basically asking if bone specimens of giants have been found? –  Fred May 10 '13 at 17:22
    
This might work better in Biology –  Charles Koppelman May 10 '13 at 17:35
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This is a perfectly legitimate question for Mi Yodeya, IMO, like any other question that relates accounts in the Torah with those told or not told by other sources. –  Isaac Moses May 10 '13 at 17:54

2 Answers 2

In Shaarei Kedusha part 3 gate 2 it implies they were angels, so it's a question whether or not they had physical bones. It also implies there that they did not "die" but were banished somewhere (perhaps olamot hatohu?)

"And therefore, the angels did not descend below to wear a physical body,because certainly they would be defeated by the klipos. Because even the souls of men does not have the strength to stand up to the klipos, all the more so them. And the proof is from the "Nefilim" (fallen angels in Bereishis 6:4 - Rashi on Bamidbar 13:33 brings down "Nefilim-Giants among the sons of Shamchazay and Azael who fell from heaven during the days of Enosh"), who tried to descend to this world and became lost. They will be destroyed in the future."

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No.

The word "Nephilim" describes the "sons of Anak." While the "Nephilim" are never mentioned again #, the "sons of Anak" make several appearances. Indeed, in Joshua 15:14, they are named: "And Caleb drove out thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak." (See also Judges 1:20.) As the Nephilim appear to be only three individuals, it is highly unlikely that their bones will ever be recovered.

In addition, while "Nephilim" is generally translated as "giants," it is unclear whether this translation is correct, especially since the word is so rare. (Granted, in Modern Hebrew, "anak" means "giant," but that could simply be because of this verse.) Other translations have been proposed. As the JPS edition of Deuteronomy states,

The exact meaning of "Anakites" is uncertain. Some take it as an epithet meaning "long-necked ones," based on Hebrew 'anak, "necklace," and its Arabic cognate meaning "neck". Others relate it to names of people or places in Canaan or across the Mediterranean containing the element 'anak or to Greek anax, "nobleman".

In such case, they would not be giants, and thus, would not have special bones waiting to be found.

( # The Nephilim make one other appearance, in Genesis, where they are described as the offspring of the "sons of God and the daughters on Man." Who or what this refers to is very unclear, but either way, these Nephilim are clearly not the same as the "sons of Anak.")

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