Giants in Writings of the First Century

Thankfully, 2 writers of the First Century A.D. recorded the history of the Giants for us, and have been preserved to this day. Those historians are Josephus, and Philo.

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Josephus Confirms the Giant Progeny of the Fallen Angels

Here Josephus confirms the narrative of the Fallen Angels begetting Giants with human women. Note that this is not only evidence of the Biblical narrative was in use by the Jews of the day, but he confirms that the Greeks also held the viewpoint as part of their belief system of gods, titans, and Giants.

NOW this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers; and did neither pay those honors to God which were appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made God to be their enemy. For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.3.1

William Whiston (Translator, 1737) includes a footnote for us on this section:

This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense, the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.3.1, Footnote 11

Giant Bones were on Display in Josephus’ Day

Josephus tells also of when the Israelite tribes of Judah and Simeon slew all the Giants in Hebron. This writing confirms that Josephus knew that even at that time (first century A.D.) there were skeletons of Giants on display for people to see at various places.

For which reason they removed their camp to Hebron; and when they had taken it, they slew all the inhabitants. There were till then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing. The bones of these men are still shown to this very day, unlike to any credible relations of other men.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 5.2.3

Josephus Recounts the Israelites Victory Over Philistine Giants

Here Josephus tells of some of the final battles against the Philistines, with one Giant who had six fingers and toes instead of five, and stood 9 feet tall.

They had a man who was six cubits tall, and had on each of his feet and hands one more toe and finger than men naturally have. Now the person who was sent against them by David out of his army was Jonathan, the son of Shimea, who fought this man in a single combat, and slew him; and as he was the person who gave the turn to the battle, he gained the greatest reputation for courage therein. This man also vaunted himself to be of the sons of the giants. But after this fight the Philistines made war no more against the Israelites.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 7.12.2

Other Josephus References to Giants

  • Antiquities, 3.14.2 – Moses’ spies see giants in Canaan
  • Antiquities, 7.4.1 – “The Valley of the Giants”
  • Antiquities, 7.12.1 – Achmon, son of the Giants

Philo Confirms the Fallen Angels Infraction with Human Women

(6) “And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they Chose.” (Genesis 6:2) Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air.

Philo’s Commentary, Concerning the Giants, On the Giants II-6

Philo says the Giant Narrative is “Truth”

(58) “And there were giants on the earth in those Days.”{14}{#ge 6:4.} Perhaps some one may here think, that the lawgiver is speaking enigmatically and alluding to the fables handed down by the poets about giants, though he is a man as far removed as possible from any invention of fables, and one who thinks fit only to walk in the paths of truth itself; (59) in consequence of which principle, he has banished from the constitution, which he has established, those celebrated and beautiful arts of statuary and painting, because they, falsely imitating the nature of the truth, contrive deceits and snares, in order, through the medium of the eyes, to beguile the souls which are liable to be easily won over. (60) Therefore he utters no fable whatever respecting the giants; but he wishes to set this fact before your eyes,…

Philo’s Commentary, Concerning the Giants, On the Giants XIII-58

Philo Calls Nimrod a Giant

The Bible says in Genesis 10:8 that Nimrod was a “mighty hunter”, but Philo gives some insight into that passage, that it was a veiled way of saying that Nimrod was a Giant!

… Nimrod being the first to set the example of this desertion; (66) for the lawgiver says, “that this man began to be a giant upon the Earth:”{17}{#ge 10:29 is the passage supposed to be alluded to; but as translated in the Bible it only says “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.”}

Philo’s Commentary, Concerning the Giants, On the Giants XV-65


To sum it up, both Josephus and Philo were 100% in sync with the Giant narrative of the Bible, the Jewish people, and the Greeks. To them it was factual history, not legend and not mythology. So it is to me.

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