YLT Job 26:5 The Rephaim are formed, Beneath the waters, also their inhabitants.

2 Answers 2


The Rephaim was one of the names of the tribes of giants, that were drowned in the flood of Noah's day. "Under the water" is a way saying they were dead.

Excerpt from my blog post "Giants: Rephaim, Zamzummim, Emim, Amorite, Anakim, Nephilim, Zuzim" -

"Job, answering the charge of Bildad challenges him in chap. 26:

Job 26:5, “The Rephaim are formed, Beneath the waters, also their inhabitants.”

The Vulgate translates this as “Behold the giants, and those who dwell with them, groan from under the waters.” The Septuagint has it, “Are not the giants formed from under the waters, and their neighbors?” The Chaldee has it, “Can the trembling giants be regenerated, when they and their hosts are under the water?” And, the King James as, “Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.”

The meaning is clearly of the state of the dead, and was referring to the wicked giants who were drowned in the great flood of Noah’s day. They were dead and gone. "

See all of the post here that discusses all of these giants and how God used the Israelite to defeat them about 1445 BC, approx. 1100 years after the flood in the land of Canaan.

  • That sounds fine until you examine Gen 14:5, 15:20, Deut 3:11, 13, Josh 17:15 where some people are actually referred to by that name as still existing well after the flood. Where do you get the evidence that they were drowned in the flood?
    – user25930
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 1:27
  • Your own posts say that they existed after the flood so how could they have drowned in the flood? I am confused.
    – user25930
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:33
  • Most ppl make an assumption regarding the giants; that they were the result of the marriages of the "sons of God and daughters of men" in Gen. 6,4. Read carefully you discover they existed prior to the marriages. The "tall" factor was in the DNA, just like eye color, hair color, etc. Otherwise, they would not again be in the land when God led the Israelite to Canaan. And they were. All of those ppl in Canaan were very tall, giants. Og, King of Bashan was at least 13.5 ft tall, and possibly 16 ft tall. Pls read the post. It connects the scriptures that discuss the giants.
    – Gina
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 10:44
  • I read them and cannot square them with the answer above. Either they were drowned in the flood and did not survive, or, they were a race of people after the flood. Which is it?
    – user25930
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 11:15
  • All wicked ppl were drowned in the flood, including those who were giants that existed before the flood. Noah walked with God, & was chosen to carry on. That the giants were living in Canaan again 1100 years after the flood can mean only one thing... Noah carried the same DNA in the human blood line that allowed the "tall" genes in succeeding generations. Otherwise, the ppl of the land of Canaan would not have been giants. They existed both before the flood and again after the flood. Blue eyes or brown eyes, blond hair or brown hair, 5 ft tall or 16 ft tall...DNA.
    – Gina
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 13:06


This word in Job 26:5, "repha'im" is applied to various things:

  • A race of ancient (extinct) giants - Gen 14:5, 15:20, Deut 3:11, 13, Josh 17:15 (see also Deut 2:11, 20). The LXX translates this word "giants".
  • A valley outside Jerusalem - Josh 15:8, 18:16, 2 Sam 5:18, 22, 23:13, 1 Chron 11:15, 14:9, Isa 17:5
  • The dead generally - Ps 88:10, Prov 2:18, 9:18, 21:16, Isa 14:9, 10, 26:14, 19.

It is unclear how the same word could represent these disparate ideas all at once, UNLESS the meaning "dead" is by association and the process of metonymy -the dead race of once proud giants are as powerless as the dead in she'ol??

Alternatively, "repha'im" MAY be derived from the root "raphah" meaning to sink or to relax and this well describes the state of the dead??

In either case, the context appears to imply the dead as most versions (NIV, NLT, ESV, BSB, NASB, KJV, CSB, CEV, GNT, ISV, NET, etc) have it.

Under the Sea

The phrase, "under the sea", "depths of the ocean", and the like, has long been used, especially in Hebrew idiom to represent the remotest place; and/or a place from which nothing can be retrieved. Neh 9:11, Ps 46:2, 68:22, 77:16, Eze 27:34, Micah 7:19, Jonah 2:3, Matt 18:6, etc.

Job 26:5 "The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them." (NIV)

Bildad has just been praising God, His unlimited power and authority in heaven (Job 25:2ff); now Job agrees and extends the argument into the nether regions beneath the sea and the realm of the dead (Job 26:5, 6). His following argument also includes the heavens (v7) and then over the all the earth as well (v8, 10, 12) as well as heavenly bodies such as the moon (v9, 11, 13).

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