People seem to have an innate bias toward the mythical, preferring it over reality. The Hebrew word "nephilim," first used in Genesis 6:4, is no exception: many questions here are asked about its meaning.
- Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?
- In Genesis 6:4 how should נְפִילִים (nephilim/giants) be translated?
- The Nephilim and Abortions?
But the Hebrew root letters for "nephilim" appear clear: nun, peh, and lamed (the -im suffix puts the noun in masculine plural, but is not part of the root).
Based on the root letters, one can easily look up the word's meaning. And I have not found any resource that yields "giant" or "alien" or the like for this root. Here's what I found instead:
It means "to fall, to drop" (Pa'al) or "to throw down" (Hif'il).
This appears to point to the iniquitous, fallen state of these people--the same fallen nature that prompted the Flood.
So my questions are these:
Why is this not translated as "the fallen ones"?
What support, beyond mere mythology or tradition, is there for translating this as "giants"?
Note: If one claims that the "nephilim" are connected with the "annakim" (sons of Anak--the family of giants that included Goliath), the question yet remains, why would "nephilim" mean anything other than "fallen ones"--weren't the Canaanites dispossessed of their territory because they had fallen into Godlessness? Any contextual-based answers of this nature need to make sure they are not utilizing circular reasoning.