The descendants of Anak.1 They dwelt in the south of Palestine, in the neighborhood of Hebron.2 In the days of Abraham3 they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. Their formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants"4 of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of Anakim.5 They were expelled from the land by Joshua, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.6 The Philistine giants whom David encountered7 were descendants of the Anakim.

In Modern Hebrew, the term anak is used for a giant.



  1. Josh. 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2.
  2. Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13.
  3. Gen. 14:5, 6.
  4. Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33.
  5. Josh. 15:14.
  6. Josh. 11:22.
  7. 2 Sam. 21:15-22.


  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael. (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica, second edition. Farmington Hills: Keter Publishing House Ltd.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.