In Bamidbar 13:22, the Torah tells us that the spies saw Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the sons of Giants. Rashi tells us they were the descendants of Shamchazai and Azael, angels who fell from heaven in the days of Enosh.

The Gemara (Niddah 61A) tells us that Og was the grandson of Shamchazai.

The Rabbis tells us that Og survived the flood either by being on the roof of the Ark and being fed by Noach (Yonatan ben Uziel Bereshit 14:13) or standing next to the Ark where the waters were not boiling (Zevachim 113B).

  • Were Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai born before the flood or after?

  • If they were born before the flood, and Og had to have a special method of being saved, how did Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai survive?

    [The Gemara in Nidda (61A) says that Sichon was Og's brother, so we could ask how he was saved from the flood. Rabbi Bogomilsky brings a commentary from Rabbeinu B'Chaye (Seder HaDorot says it is Parshat Chukat), who says that "before entering the ark, the wife of Cham, Noach's youngest son, became pregnant with Sichon through a relationship with Schemchazel. Cham brought her into the ark together with him, and there she gave birth to Sichon. Consequently, Sichon and Og were brothers from the same father."]

  • If Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai were born after the flood, how were they born of Shamchazai and Azael, who presumably died in or before the flood? were they descendants of Sichon or Og? If so, is it mentioned anywhere?

  • Did Shamchazai and Azael survive the flood and have more children? This doesn't seem likely, since (as we said) Og had to be saved. On the other hand, Og was 3/4th human (based on the Gemara that says he was the grandson of Shamchazai), while Shamchazai and Azael were angels, so maybe they were a special case.

  • Who says that they survived the flood? They were born after the flood. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 0:51
  • @Gershon-Gold: Who says they were born after the flood? Is there a source for this? If so, as I asked, it would seem they were descendants of Og or Sichon, is this mentioned anywhere?
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 1:24
  • Is there a source that they were born before the flood? No! Based on the Torah and Medrash the only ones that survived the flood were Noach, his wife, children and wives, and Og. Therefore they must of been born after the flood. I think the onus is on you to prove that they were born before the flood. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 1:27
  • @Gershon-Gold: I updated my question.
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 2:02
  • of interest: chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/1987446/jewish/…
    – Menachem
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


In Yehoshua 14:15 Rashi, Radak, and Metzudas Dovid all say that the father of Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai was Arba.

The Shaarei Aaron in Parshas Shelach Perek 13 Pasuk 33 mentions in the name of Reb Yeshaya and Rashi that they were descendants of Og since the Pasuk says "Vehu Nishar MiYeser HaRafaim". However, Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch maintains that it is not necessarily so that they were descendants of Og. He mentions the Gemara in Zevachim 113 that there was no Mabul in Eretz Yisroel and says it is possible that they survived as they were in Eretz Yisroel.

Haamek Davar says that their father's name was Anak and that is why they were known as Bnei Anakim.

  • Gold: Do you have a link to the Shaarei Aaron? Who is the Shaarei Aaron?
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 4:44
  • Shaarei Aaron is not available online - so no link. It was authored by Rabbi Rother שערי אהרן של הרב רוטר, פירוש משולש על מקרא Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 12:13
  • Does R' Hirsch explain why Og didn't just go to Eretz Yisroel as well?
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 20:17

The Chida, in his Sefer Pnei David, says that they must have been the descendant of Og, since Shamchazai and Azael died in the flood.

Ibn Ezra (Bereshit 6:4) says that the Nephilim were around after the flood, but it looks like he also says that Nephilim weren't angels.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .