The Non-Interchangeability of the Terms “Rephaim” and “Nephilim”
A Study on the Non-Interchangeability of the Terms “Rephaim” and “Nephilim”
This study will build upon concepts already laid out in more detail in several online writings, and to get the most out of this study it would be best to read them first, but I will also summarize them.
This writing details the framework of the origin of demons. In summary, the spirit of a child comes solely from the multiplication of the spirit of the father of the child (as is shown laid out in scripture in the study). Therefore, as the nephilim were fathered by the sinful angels “sons of God” of Genesis 6, they had the same immortal type of fallen-angelic-spirit as their fathers. However, their mortal bodies were human, as their mothers, but with inferior deteriorated human DNA. In fact the “sons of God” looked like human men. When they “left their first abode” and decided to take up a permanent physical manifestation on earth and take wives, they must have contributed DNA which matched human DNA in the physical multiplication/reproductive conception process, as this is required by the science of genetics in order for any offspring to have resulted.
The “sons of God” themselves had immortal spirit bodies, but these bodies were only able to sustain immortality due to their immortal spirits fueling the life in them. This trait was not passed to their children the nephilim. As such the nephilim had mortal human bodies, but immortal fallen-angelic-type spirits, yet these spirits were not able to sustain immortality in their physical mortal bodies. Rather the opposite, as this inferior human DNA in the mortal human bodies of the nephilim resulted in the nephilim developing pituitary cancer, causing the deformity of gigantism, and a shortened-longevity gene resulting in lifespans of only 120 years. The nephilim also took wives and had children, passing to all humanity these deteriorated genetics causing gigantism and shortened lifespans. The Bible teaches the genetics of lifespans of 120 years and gigantism first came through the Nephilim, and teaches these traits survived the flood. Therefore it can be understood that the nephilim had nephilim-daughters, who must have married human men with human spirits, which produced human-spirited children who had bodies with the deteriorated human DNA genetics of the nephilim, of 120-year lifespans and gigantism. Such a female human descendent with deteriorated genetics must have been on the ark, passing these genetics forward, and as such we see shortened lifespans (dominant gene) and gigantism (dominant but with only partial penetration, therefore behaving more like a recessive gene) after the flood. It is in fact out shortened lifespans of 120 years which prove that we are all related to the nephilim, as, in short order, was everyone who lived after the flood, all descended from the women on the ark. But everyone on the ark was human because they had a human-spirit, so all their descendants were human. When the nephilim died, before or during the flood, their immortal fallen-angelic-type spirits remained active on earth, and today we call them demons – as are seen to gain control over humans or animals throughout the New Testament in particular.
No Nephilim Post-Flood http://paradoxbrown.com/appendixnonephilimpostflood.html
In summary, after the Flood the genes for shortened life-spans proliferated, and the genes for gigantism sprang up occasionally. They would not have posed much of a problem, but these human beings with gigantism (male and female) seem to have decided to match up and have kids. The Bible also records they practiced inbreeding, even with immediate family members. This made the hereditary genes for gigantism to be reinforced in these populations. Though hereditary genes for gigantism are dominant, they only have partial penetration which means they normally act as recessive. But through inbreeding, these dominant genes became fully dominant through reinforcement. As such entire tribes of giant humans are mentioned in the Old Testament repeatedly. These were not nephilim which had fallen-angelic-type spirits and would become demons (and the Bible nowhere mentions a second incursion of the fallen angels interbreeding with human women). Rather, these were humans with gigantism, with human-type-spirits, like all other humans, and they were called by various other tribal names, such as: Rephaim, Anakim or sons of Anak, Zuzims, Emim, etc. We can see these terms are not used interchangeably with “nephilim” due to the story in Numbers chapters 13 and 14, which makes clear that God considered it slander for the sons of Anak to be called “Nephilim”. In particular the slanderous report claimed that, “And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the Nephilim” (Num 13:33). This was a slanderous report because it was 1. false that the “sons of Anak” (Anakim) were nephilim 2. false that the “sons of Anak” were more descended from the nephilim due to their gigantism than anyone else was. That the Anakim had giantism, one trait that originally came from the Nephilim, did not make the Anakim to be Nephilim, the same as the fact that the Israelites themselves lived only 120 years, another trait that originally came from the Nephilim, did not make the Israelites to be Nephilim either. (The same as we today are not Nephilim, despite living only 120 years.) This is why the report was “slander” and effectively not true, even though there was some small element of truth in it. The spies who gave this bad/evil/slander/malicious report “died by a plague before the Lord” for their slanderous report, and all the trouble they caused the people with it, as this bad report resulted in the people lacking faith in God and disobeying Him, and wandering in the desert for 40 years (Num 14:37). So the ONLY Biblical precedent for what God thinks of using the terms “sons of Anak” (Anakim) and “Nephilim” interchangeably, is that those who do so are committing slander, and they “died by a plague before the Lord”. That is a rather strong negative precedent.
From Numbers 13-14 we can gather that “sons of Anak” are not “Nephilim”, and these terms are not interchangeable. In fact Gen 6:4 and Num 13:33 are the only places in the Bible where the word “Nephilim” is used.
However the “sons of Anak” or “children of Anak” are mentioned in the Bible 8x total: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6061&t=KJV. These terms “sons of Anak” or “children of Anak” are used interchangeably.
The terms “children of Anak” and “Anakim” are also used interchangeably, as is shown in Deut 9:2, “A people great and tall , the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest , and [of whom] thou hast heard [say], Who can stand before the children of Anak!”
So we can know the terms “sons of Anak” or “children of Anak” or “Anakim” are all interchangeable, and therefore all not able to be used interchangeably with the term “Nephilim”, and these giant people were not “Nephilim”.
Deut 2:10-11 further reveals for us that the term “Anakim” was used interchangeably with the term “Rephaim”, as was the term “Emim”. “The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; Which also were accounted Rephaim, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.”
From this we can see that the terms “sons of Anak”, “children of Anak”, “Anakim”, “Rephaim”, and “Emim” are all used interchangeably, and the term “Rephaim” seems to be the broader category of which the other terms are only subcategories. This means that none of these terms are interchangeable with the term “Nephilim”, and none of these giant people were “Nephilim”.
Looking over the usage of the term “Rephaim” it becomes clear that “Zuzims” and “Zamzummims” are also additional interchangeable terms with “Rephaim”, and so they were not “Nephilim” either. All of these tribes were of humans with gigantism, who had human-spirits, and they were not “Nephilim”. It can also be seen clearly in context that none of these tribes were mentioned to have been sired by fallen angels, but rather started with men, some of whom were named “Anak” and “Arba”.
These tribes were a case of hereditary human gigantism, which through inbreeding was reinforced into a strongly dominant trait producing tribes of giants. The Bible records that God had the Israelites wipe out every man, woman, and child in these tribes when they settled thelandofIsrael. This was not because these people were “Nephilim”, but because they had developed through inbreeding an incurably reinforced disfiguring painful genetic disorder that all their descendants would be doomed to inherit. There was danger of this spreading to the Israelites, and to all surrounding nations. In essence, the killing of these tribes of human giants was a mercy to their own descendants who were hopelessly stuck in this reinforced dominant trait, and doomed to this painful disfiguring hereditary disorder, and was a quarantine measure to protect all those around them, including the Israelites, from the same condition. Had these tribes of giants not been practicing inbreeding in ignorance, whole tribes of giant men, women, and children would not have developed, and none of this would have been necessary. It is generally just a very sad story.
There is little that would contradict the understanding of these terms as presented here. But the little that might contradict is confusing. The term “rephaim”, of Strong’s 7497 (linked above), is of the same spelling as the term “rephaim” of Strong’s 7496. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7496&t=KJV
I have presented that the Rephaim were human giants, with human spirits, who did not become demons upon their death, and rather that only “Nephilim” became demons.
The term “Rephaim” of 7496 is spelled the same as 7497 “Rephaim”, but it is not defined as a “tribe of giants”, but rather the Strong’s says it means “ghosts of the dead, shades, spirits”.
Understanding that the demons are essentially the ‘ghosts’ or immortal spirits of the dead “Nephilim”, this creates some confusion. The Bible does refer to demons essentially as spirits or ghosts in the Old Testament (as in the first paper on Demons linked above). So it almost seems that the Strong’s definition of (7496) is referring to ghosts or spirits of the dead, in other words demons. If I am correct that none of the “Rephaim” were demons, because they all had human-spirits, and only “Nephilim” became demons, then this could seem to contradict.
There is additional confusion in that the word “Rephaim”(7497) meaning a “tribe of giants” is not used interchangeably with the term “Nephilim”, and (7497) and (7496) have the same spelling, and would seem to be the same word, excepting the Strong’s having given them different definitions. So is the term “Rephaim”(7496) (same spelling as “Rephaim”(7497)) used interchangeably to refer to the dead “Nephilim”, as ghosts, evil spirits, or demons?
We will look at the 8x the word “Rephaim” (7496) is used in the Old Testament to ascertain whether there is a contradiction or not. But first, to answer this question, it is essential to understand the historical framework the Old Testament writers reflected as to what they believed about the place called the Abyss, and the place called Sheol. Much of this perspective they held is explained in this writing:
“A Survey of the Abyss in the Old and New Testaments” http://paradoxbrown.com/TheAbyssOldNewTestaments.htm
The people back then understood that the “sons of God” had been buried alive inside the earth during the flood, in a prison, a place called the “Abyss”, or the “pit”, or “Destruction”. It is much like a well or cistern used as a prison, it is a hollow in a deep pit, covered by earth and rock, covered by water, where the sinful angels are imprisoned.
The Flood was a cataclysmic event in which the “fountains of the deep” broke open, subterranean waters, and before it was over, the mountains came up and the valleys sank down.
“He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.” Ps 104:5-9
Many people today picture the people before the flood as having died by drowning from the rain, after much effort to survive the rising waters. However, the Bible seems to paint a different picture of what happened.
The “sons of God” were imprisoned by God in a hollow pocket, like a cistern or well, inside of the earth, called the “Abyss”. And the Bible seems to indicate the pre-flood people who were living with the “sons of God” were also killed in the same process, forming a mass graveyard underground, near the Abyss, which was called Sheol. When the Bible was written, it seems people used to know this. Now this understanding has been mainly forgotten, but it is all made plain in the Bible. It seems the pre-flood people did not die from slowly drowning in the rising waters. In fact if you think about it, if Noah was able to survive in a boat, it seems quite possible others might have been able to also for some time. But Eze 31 records the pre-flood people were not given the opportunity to survive indefinitely this way. The historical event itself of the “sons of God”, the pre-flood people (and nephilim) being swallowed by the earth, the making of this mass Sheol/grave, and imprisonment of the sinning angels in the Abyss, is recorded in the Bible in Exe 31:14-15,17:
“To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit (Abyss). Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him…They also went down into Sheol with him unto [them that be] slain with the sword; and [they that were] his arm, [that] dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.”
This describes the sinful angels and the people with them, Nephilim or not, going down into the earth, the dead people to Sheol, sinful angels to the Abyss. Eze 31 as a whole indicates that the “sons of God” had a leader, called “the Assyrian”, who had a kingdom. It seems that the “sons of God” and the people with them, and Nephilim, may have all been grouped into the same location, this kingdom, and potentially stayed grouped together as the flood waters rose.
Cross-referencing Eze 31 with Genesis 7-8, it seems that God stayed the floods of the deep after the 150 days of rain (the Flood lasting 370 days total, according to the detailed Genesis account). This would mean that after 150 days of flooding, the people, nephilim, and sinful angels were likely still floating around in the waters in the same general location, possibly clinging to wood and such, and eating fish and plant debris – which would realistically make sense. And so to wipe them out, God had the earth open up, so they would all be swallowed into a massive subterranean chamber, likely in a giant whirlpool, as the earth was covered in deep waters at the time. The mortal bodies of the humans/Rephaim and Nephilim died in the process, and made a mass graveyard called “Sheol”, and the lowest depths of this were a hollow where the sinful angels were physically imprisoned alive, called the “Abyss” (or “bottomless pit” in Revelation). They were all buried, dead or alive, together, inside the nether parts of the earth.
It can be understood that God intentionally physically forced all of them down to this place of the Abyss/Sheol during the cataclysmic upheavals of the Flood, as described in Eze 31. When God sent the “sons of God” physically down into the earth, burying them alive in a prison, the people who lived among them perished alongside them, to Sheol. This seems to be described more in Ezekiel 32.
It should be noted that another word that was used sometimes in relation to “Rephaim” or also “Nephilim” was “gibbowr” usually translated “mighty” or “mighty ones”. This word is both an adjective and a masculine noun, and is first used in reference to the “Nephilim” in Gen 6:4 “mighty men which were of old”. Nimrod was the first called a “mighty man” after the flood, though it is unknown if he was a human giant (however the Septuagint does seem to reflect that he was – if so then he would be classified as a “rephaim”). Beyond this God is said to be mighty, as are many warriors of God, and Holy angels, as this word is an adjective for “strong, mighty” and is used in many places in which it has nothing to do with giants of any sort. The word “gibbowr” is therefore not a synonym for or interchangeable with the word “Nephilim” nor the word “Rephaim”. But there are some verses of particular note in Eze 32 that do seem to refer to giants, probably especially the Nephilim, or perhaps also the pre-flood human Rephaim. This is continuing information from Eze 31 about those who were “slain by the sword”, people that went down to mass graveyard of Sheol, alongside the sinful angels who went down to the prison of the Abyss.
Eze 32:21-27 “The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of Sheol with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. Asshur [is] there and all her company: his graves [are] about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit (Abyss), and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living. There [is] Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit (Abyss). They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit (Abyss): he is put in the midst of [them that be] slain. There [is] Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living. And they shall not lie with the mighty [that are] fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to Sheol with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though [they were] the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.”
This passage gives insight into the past, ties the location of the Abyss and Sheol together, makes clear that Sheol is a mass graveyard in the lower parts of the earth, and the mass graveyard of Sheol seems to comprise the area around the Abyss. Those who are there in Sheol are the “mighty”, which likely references to the bodies of the pre-flood Nephilim or human Rephaim. They are described as having caused “terror in the land of the living”.
(Those who are “slain by the sword” may reference not to having been killed in battle, though that’s possible too, but to the “sword” of the Lord. It may be it shall be brandished 3 times total: at the Flood, at Jesus’ return, and also at the end of the millennial reign.
“Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite [thine] hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it [is] the sword of the great [men that are] slain, which entereth into their privy chambers. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no [more], until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [him].” Eze 21:14,27)
The NLT translation of verse 27 is also especially interesting, “They shall not lie with the mighty” (KJV), “who went down to the grave (Sheol) with their weapons—their shields covering their bodies and their swords beneath their heads. Their guilt rests upon them because they brought terror to everyone while they were still alive.” (NLT)
It seems there might be some hint here that while the bodies of these “mighty” are in Sheol, they still are actively bearing their guilt which rests on them, because of the terror they caused while they were still alive. This almost seems like it could be a reference to the still-active demons, the disembodied spirits of the dead “mighty” Nephilim. So this passage may reference to both the “mighty” Nephilim now demons, and also the pre-flood human dead Rephaim. (Though as was said, the word “gibbowr” is a broad adjective, which is not used interchangeably for “nephilim” or “rephaim”, and it seems other contextual clues are consistently present to identify when “gibbowr” is referencing to any sort of giant.)
In any case, the “sons of God” lived with and alongside the people of the pre-flood world, including humans, humans with gigantism (pre-flood Rephaim), and Nephilim. When God buried the “sons of God” alive in the Abyss, the people who lived alongside them were buried alongside them in the mass graveyard of Sheol.
This explains to a great extent why it is that we do not find very many human fossils in the same areas as the fossils of all the animals (including dinosaurs) which died in the Flood, and generally do not find human fossils (normal or giant) of those killed in the Flood. While the “sons of God” were buried alive in the prison of the Abyss, those who went down with them (mortal) died along the way, buried down in the earth where we cannot access the remains. (So archaeology and the Bible agree.) The road to the Abyss is paved with bones, a mass graveyard of the pre-flood people and Nephilim, and this mass graveyard is one of the meanings of the Hebrew word “Sheol”, or “The Grave”. (The word “sheol” also can refer to a normal grave on the surface of the earth “a grave”, as those in a graveyard today, etc.)
This idea that Sheol is a mass grave of men that were swallowed up by the earth (as in the cataclysm of the Flood) is also seen here:
“If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; [then] the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick (alive) into Sheol; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that [was] under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.” Num 16:29-33
This describes pretty much the same thing that happened during the Flood to the pre-flood people and “sons of God”, but on a smaller scale. And this same event is also referenced in Prov 1:12 “Let us swallow them up alive as Sheol; and whole, as those that go down into the pit (Abyss).”
So, knowing what had happened was understood in ancient times, let’s look at the 8x the word “Rephaim” (7496), spelled the same as “Rephaim” (7497), is used in the Old Testament, to ascertain what it means, and if it refers to ghosts/spirits/demons.
Eight uses of Strong’s (7496):
Job 26:5 “The Rephaim whirl/tremble/writhe under the waters and their inhabitants. Sheol naked before him, and destruction [the Abyss] hath no covering.” The pre-flood human Rephaim whirled under the waters, writhing, trembling, as they were buried down in Sheol.
Psa 88:10-11 “Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? Shall the Rephaim arise [and] praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in Sheol? [or] thy faithfulness in destruction [the Abyss]?” The dead pre-flood Rephaim are mentioned again in relation to Sheol and the Abyss, as those who are dead, as in bodies in a mass graveyard.
Pro 2:18 “For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the Rephaim.” The wicked woman’s path leads to the Rephaim, which here is used as a synonym with the grave, Sheol, where the dead rephaim (human giants) of the pre-flood world were understood to be buried. The emphasis is death of the wicked.
Pro 9:18 “But he knoweth not that the Rephaim [are] there; [and that] her guests [are] in the depths of Sheol.” Again, the wicked woman calls the simpleton to her, and he doesn’t know her guests are with the dead pre-flood rephaim, her guests are in Sheol. It is figurative language, not literal, expressing great wickedness and judgment for that wickedness. A sinful person upon dying does not literally get buried physically alive deep in the earth, near the Abyss, in the mass graveyard of Sheol, with those who were buried deep down there in the Flood, but rather a sinful person just lays in a normal surface grave. So the language is figurative, but points to the great wickedness of the men who died at the Flood.
Pro 21:16 “The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the Rephaim.” (Or “One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead/Rephaim.”)
The assembly of the dead Rephaim is again used to refer to the wicked dead in Sheol, the mass graveyard of the wicked dead human giants who died, sent deep down buried in the earth, at the time of the Flood. So far, there is nothing that indicates these Rephaim are alive, or ghosts, or demons: just that they are dead bodies of the wicked in the mass graveyard of Sheol. The language again is figurative of the wicked dead.
Isa 14:9-11,15 “Sheol from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming : it stirreth up the Rephaim for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to Sheol, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee…. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the sides of the pit [Abyss].”
This passage is directed towards the king of Babylon, and also is prophecy about Satan. This section speaks of Satan’s imprisonment in the Abyss for 1000 years, starting when Jesus Christ returns. (There is more detail on this here: www.paradoxbrown.com/Chapter_1.htm)
Again, the dead Rephaim in the earth that were buried in Sheol are referenced – and additional information is given that they may also have been called “chief ones” and were kings in the time before the flood. The prison of the Abyss and the mass graveyard of Sheol are again indicated to be closely associated and in the same general location. The only potential difficulty in this passage is that the Rephaim, chief ones, kings of the nations, are described to “speak” to Satan. This does not in any way need to mean that they are conscious in the realm of the dead, or that they are not dead. The language could easily be taken as more figurative towards making a point. In a prior verse fir trees are speaking and taunting Satan also, so adding dead people to the list of those who figuratively speak is not a problem.
But besides this, and a better resolution, is that “they shall speak and say unto thee” can also be translated as “they shall testify and declare unto thee…” The picture here is that the Abyss, this physical prison hollow, is lined with the bones of the dead people and giants and nephilim from before the flood – Sheol the mass graveyard – the bodies of the dead testify and declare, asking if he has become as weak as them, and like them (I wonder if perhaps this is a statement not a question). As in the paper linked on the Abyss, the fallen angels while in the Abyss are considered to be “dead” or “inactive”, even though they are conscious and alive, as they are in a prison in which they can do nothing.
So here again there is no need to see the dead Rephaim as being demons, they are just dead human giants from the time before the flood, with human-type-spirits and not fallen-angelic-type spirits, humans who “sleep” in death like all humans do. But their physical dead bodies in Sheol are said to testify and declare a point to Satan.
Isa 26:14 “Dead, they shall not live; Rephaim, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.”
This verse seems to have a duel meaning, both referencing to the pre-flood Rephaim being killed in the Flood, and the post-flood Rephaim tribes being killed by people after the Flood, in that God will not let the Rephaim “rise”. The word “rise” here both means “to stand up”, likely referring to their height, and it also means “to endure” or in other words, remain. God has instead destroyed them and made their memory to perish. Their memory perishing includes that for the most part, people do not remember that there were once tribes of giant humans, either before or after the flood. God chose to not specify about the pre-flood Rephaim in the Genesis account, for some good reason, perhaps because the story was so awful, though the story can be understood from later Scriptures. Isaiah 26 continues a few verses later with:
Isa 26:19 “Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the Rephaim.”
Here “the earth shall cast out the Rephaim” is also translated “the earth will give birth to the dead (rephaim)”. This verse seems to obviously be referring to the second resurrection, of the wicked. The context of the chapter of Isa 26 is about the millennial reign. The next verses are,
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
At the end of the miilenial reign there is the God Magog uprising when Satan is released, and the Lord Jesus Christ will smite the armies that come up against Him at this time. This is shortly followed by the second resurrection, the white throne judgment, and the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven, followed by the eternal kingdom of God. This passage indicates that the Rephaim too will rise in the second resurrection to be judged – the earth will birth the Rephaim – and so this would be in keeping with some of the Rephaim having been pre-flood human giants, who will be resurrected along with all other people, to be judged.
From all of this, it in fact it seems that there really does not need to be a Strong’s number 7496, as this word is spelled the same as 7497, and in context it seems this IS the same word with the same meaning, tribes of human giants, Rephaim. But all of these verses reference to the human giants, the Rephaim, who lived before the flood, who were buried in Sheol. That the Strong’s defines this word to have the meaning of “ghosts of the dead, shades, spirits” seems to be based on traditions of men and misunderstanding, and certainly is NOT required by context, nor is a separate Strong’s number. The definition of “tribes of giants” for Rephaim seems correct and is satisfactory if these verses are looked at in the larger historical context of the formation of Sheol, an event which killed the pre-flood human giants of Rephaim. Their dead bodies, along with those of the Nephilim, are buried in Sheol, which is very near or overlapping with the location where the sinful angels are imprisoned in the Abyss. As such, it seems consistent across the board that the term “Rephaim”, which describes tribes of human giants, is non-interchangeable with the term “Nephilim”, which describes those demon-spirited giants who were of the paternal lineage from the “sons of God”. The Rephaim lived before and after the Flood, and at neither time were Nephilim, nor are giant humans today. But the Nephilim only lived in giant mortal bodies before the Flood, and have roamed the earth as demons ever since.