One Biblical passage which is used to support the analogy of The Nephilim to Giants is Numbers 13:33 --- "We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." However when taken in its proper context, the passage is actually a fabrication / a bad report spread among the Israelites .
Although, I do believe that on the Earth there once were Giants , the Biblical writings do not support this theory to the degree that some would writers would have you believe. Another passage used to support the Biblical Giant synopsis is Genesis 6:4 which in the King James version of the Bible states " There were giants in the earth in those days " . On a previous page I have demonstrated that this is a mistranslation , and I do believe the consensus among most scholars of both Christian and non-Christian persuasions supports my argument. [See Biblical Giants]
Although the Nephilim were not the ridiculously tall Giants one at first envisions, they were huge in the sense of their body mass and capabilities. The Legends of them are extensive given the distance in time we are attempting to draw upon.
Legendary accounts, are, without exception exaggerations, and misinterpretations. The fact remains however that many ancient trans-cultural middle Eastern texts , both Biblical and otherwise speak of the Nephilim / Sons of Anak who were men, but not ordinary men. They were "the heroes of old, men of renown" as per Genesis 6:4.
Every time a tale is retold it changes just a bit. Legends have a strong tendency to distort relevant facts, but in most cases the underlying foundation of the story has some basis in reality. The human tendency is to remember and retell things that make a strong impression and to forget things that don't impress us much at all. There is also a tendency to exaggerate , glorify , idealize or vilify. As well as a natural tendency to simplify or edit. After generations of stories being retold of these huge men with exceptional strength, these extraordinary men eventually become giants in height as well as mass and intelligence. They become the Neanderthal of "Collective memory" which the Legends have labeled Nephilim, anakite, and Rephaim giants - and that which science has labeled Neanderthal and possibly Cro-Magnon.
Fossil records indicate that the Neanderthal were physically powerful and war-scarred race substantially more muscular than Homo Sapiens. They had extremely muscular chests, longer bodies, but shorter legs. Some fossil specimens , have hip sockets more splayed than modern humans. A Neanderthal, partially because of this greater muscle mass, would weigh about 20-25 lbs [10-12 kilos] more than a modern human of the same height. Physically, they were a race resembling the Incredible Hulk, with a greater intellectual capacity than their Homo-Sapien counterparts
One flaw in the Neanderthal/Nephilim theory is that Neanderthals, although of significantly greater body mass were actually slightly shorter in height than Homo sapiens and some claim they were unlikely to have been referred to as giants. This theoretical flaw is easily reconciled when one realizes that the word Nephilim actually means "fallen ones" and "Unnaturally begotten men" not giants, the word being translated in the King James Bible as "Giants", is recognized now as a probable mistranslation.
Manual Dexterity / Opposing Thumbs
Anthropologists at one time theorized that Neanderthal was incapable of making the more advanced tools utilized by Humans because they lacked opposing thumbs and hence the requisite dexterity . Recent studies suggest otherwise.
Although no proof of a written language has been discovered.
Neanderthal may have possessed an advanced vocalized language. Fossils
indicate that their voice boxes contained vocal cords that were capable
of making sounds similar if not the same as modern humans.
Neanderthal Communities and Culture
Neanderthals were a social race. The old and the injured were taken care of ,not simply left to die. Elderly Individuals have been found substantiating the belief that they exercised "humanity" in their exercise of mental thought principles over physical actions.
There is evidence indicating that Neanderthals possessed a sense of family / community spirit . Ritual burials and caring for the old and sick. Remains of physically impaired individuals have been discovered. Some skeletons display healed injuries which tends to indicate that the injuries were treated and cared for.
In a cave in Iraq, archaeologists uncovered skeletal remains of a man, two women and a child buried together in soil containing flower pollen . The flowers, apparently being set there by survivors, strongly suggests that Neanderthals thought and cared for their dead.
In Yugoslavia a flute has been unearthed among Neanderthal remains
which indicates that Neanderthals had the ability to make music as well
being indicative of an advanced thought process.
There is evidence that Neanderthals were vicious and warlike , suffering and inflicting battle wounds, mutilations, torture and maiming. One Neanderthal site containing human/homo sapien bone fragments shows signs of cuts and burns. These burnt and intentionally broken human bones have been interpreted as being evidence of cannibalism. They could also be indicative of torture and or mutilation by dismemberment as has often been the case within certain homo sapien cultures who engage in vicious battle blood lust.
Modern man and Neanderthal are both derived from a common ancestor who lived about 500,000 years ago, but modern humans probably do not have Neanderthal ancestors in their family tree, a new DNA study concludes. The DNA extracted from the ribs of a Neanderthal infant buried in southern Russia 29,000 years ago was found to be too distinct from modern human DNA to be related. Not all Researchers agree. A 24,500-year-old skeleton found in Portugal demonstrates that Neanderthal man and early humans intermixed and produced children, said Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts and Sciences.
|1.] ( Thomas Lindahl, Facts and Artifacts
of Ancient DNA Vol. 90, 1-3).