Who were these meropes anthropoi, and what’s the connection to the Rephaim of the Bible?
Homer named a few of them in The Iliad: Theseus, who killed the Minotaur on Crete; Aegeus, the mythical founder of Athens; Polyphemus, the cannibalistic giant son of Poseidon, one of the Cyclopes; Caneus, a nigh invulnerable warrior, transformed from a woman into a man by Poseidon; Dryas, leader of a tribe that fought a long war with the Centaurs; and so on.
Significantly, Hesiod mentions that the meropes anthropoi became daimones after death, although he viewed them more favorably than Jews and Christians do demons:
But after earth had covered this generation — they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth…
Hesiod, Works and Days, emphasis added
The Book of Enoch offers a slightly different explanation for the origin of demons:
And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.
1 Enoch 15:8-12 (R.H. Charles translation), emphasis added
Thus, between Hesiod and Enoch we can connect the meropes anthropoi, the men of the Golden Age, to the Nephilim, children of the fallen Watchers. Both lived during a pre-flood age, and both, upon death, became wandering spirits called demons. It’s just that the Greek view of daimones was more favorable than the Jewish (or Mesopotamian, for that matter) understanding of demons.
Needless to say, that’s another PSYOP by the Enemy.
Kronos, Saturn to the Romans, was king of a race of gods called the Titans, who reigned supreme after Kronos deposed his father, Uranus (with extreme prejudice—Kronos castrated him with a scythe). The golden race of men created by the Titans was the only one that lived during the reign of Kronos. Told that he would be deposed in turn by his children, Kronos tried to preserve his kingship by eating his kids as soon as they were born. Zeus was spared that fate by his mother, Rhea, who gave Kronos—obviously not a picky eater—a boulder wrapped in a blanket instead. When Zeus was grown, he freed his siblings and led a war to depose the old tyrant. The Titans were defeated and imprisoned in Tartarus.
So through the link between the Semitic root mrp’ and the Greek word meropes, we have a connection between the Nephilim and the heroic men of the Golden Age of Kronos, the meropes anthropoi, “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”
Now, back to the Bible: Og, last “of the remnant of the Rephaim”, ruled the land of Bashan, a territory that included Mount Hermon, the place where the rebellious Watchers descended. In Deuteronomy 1:3, Joshua 12:4-5, and Joshua 13:12, we’re told specifically that Og “lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei and ruled over Mount Hermon.” Edrei was the site of the battle between Israel and the forces of Og. And one of the Ugaritic texts, KTU 1.108, confirms the link between Og and the Rephaim as denizens of the netherworld.
May Rapiu, king of eternity, drink wine, may he drink, the powerful and noble god, the one who rules in Athtarat [Ashtaroth], the god who reigns in Edrei…
In other words, the Amorites of Ugarit believed that a god named Rapiu, a singular form of the word rpum (Rephaim), ruled exactly the same territory as Og, king of Bashan. And since Rapiu, the king of eternity, was linked to the Rephaim, the honored ancestral dead, Og’s kingdom around Mount Hermon was essentially the gateway to the underworld.
Here’s another interesting data point: In Ugaritic, Bashan, which Ugaritians pronounced with a “th” instead of an “sh”, meant “place of the serpent”—a callback to the divine rebel, the nachash, of Genesis 3. Remember from Isaiah 14, the nachash was cast down to Sheol where the dead kings of the nations reside. Did that happen at Bashan?
Canaanite myth offers another link between Og and the Rephaim: Danel (the Ugaritic equivalent of the Hebrew name Daniel), the hero of a Canaanite myth called The Legend of Aqhat, is described in the story as a mt rpi. According to Amar Annus, mt rpi, which means “man of Rephaim”, is a linguistic match for meropes anthropoi. That specifically links the golden race men from the age of Kronos—i.e., the Nephilim—to the Rephaim, and thus to the council of the Didanu.
But get this: Danel is also called mt hrnmy, which probably means “man of Hermon.”
Yeah. That Hermon.
So now we can link the biblical Rephaim, the mythical meropes anthropoi of the Golden Age of Kronos, the Nephilim, the Watchers of Genesis 6, and the mysterious council of the Didanu—which, remember, was probably the name of an ancient tribe of Amorites claimed as the ancestors of the kings of Ugarit, Assyria, and Babylon.
This is a good time to point out that the ill-fated Ammurapi III of Ugarit mentioned above shared a name with the most famous king of the old Babylonian empire, Hammurabi. Scholars typically translate their names, ammu rapi, as “my kinsman is a healer.” This draws on the possible meaning “healer” of the Semitic root rpi.
Although this author is not a scholar of ancient Semitic languages, in the context of what we’ve just read, a more accurate rendering of Ammurapi/Hammurabi might be “my kinsman is a Raphi’“—one of the Rephaim.
Since you’re perceptive, you’ve probably already figured out where this is leading. But to put this on the record, we will now lay this out in black and white: The name of an ancestor of several Amorite royal houses, Dedan, whose descendants were called the Didanu, Tidanum, and variations thereof, is the name from which the Greeks derived the word titanes—from which we get the name of the Titans.
Dedan is a name attested in the Bible. Dedan and Sheba are locations in western Arabia mentioned several times by the prophet Ezekiel (about which more later). It’s also the name of one of the leaders of Korah’s rebellion against Moses, Dathan (see Numbers 16).
One of the nephews of Nimrod was named Dedan, maybe not coincidentally. Could his name have been in honor of the Titans, the old gods who descended at Mount Hermon in the dim, distant past?
While we’ll never identify for sure the Dedan whose name became synonymous with the old gods, or why the Amorites appear to have carried the belief that they were their heirs, we can document the connection between the Watchers of the Bible and the Titans of Greek myth.
When the Olympians defeated the Titans, Zeus banished them to Tartarus, a place of torment for the wicked as far below Hades as the earth is below heaven. That just happens to be the current address of the Watchers who landed at Mount Hermon.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
2 Peter 2:4 (ESV), emphasis added
The Greek word translated “cast them into hell” is the verb ταρταρόω, tartaroo, which literally means “to thrust down to Tartarus.” This is the only use of that word in the New Testament. Hades, meanwhile, is mentioned nearly a dozen times, including twice by Jesus. That distinguishes Hades from Tartarus, which was apparently reserved as a special place of punishment for angels who sinned. And the only explicit example of angels sinning in the Bible is in Genesis 6:1-4, which is confirmed by the passages in 2 Peter and by Jude, who clearly linked the punishment of the angels to a sexual sin.
Further, the Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew scriptures into Greek two hundred years or so before Jesus’ birth into the text called the Septuagint understood the link between the Rephaim and the pagan gods. In 2 Samuel 5, the scholars translated the site of David’s battle against the Philistines, emeq rapha, as Valley of the Titans.
So. The Titans of the Greek myths were the “angels who did not stay within their own position of authority,” the Watchers of Genesis 6. They are bound in Tartarus, kept “in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.” Their children, the Nephilim, whose spirits are the demons that plague the earth to this day, were the shades of Sheol, the Rephaim, who were summoned in rituals by Amorite kings who believed they were their honored dead ancestors.
Does the phrase “the iniquity of the Amorites” (Genesis 15:16) begin to make more sense?
Derek Gilbert Bio
Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.