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The Rafaites or Refaim are a people of the Bible . The Refaim Valley was named after them.

Biblical tradition

The Rafaites are mentioned in the Old Testament in a number of ancient Canaanite peoples ( Gen 14.5  EU ; 15.20 EU ). Jos 12.4  EU ; 13.12 EU ; 17.15 EU , the area of ​​King Og of Bashan in the area of ​​today's Golan Heights , which the Israelites occupy, is referred to as the "rest of the Refaiter". 2 Sam 21.15–22  EU and 1 Chr 20.4–8  EU , several great warriors and enemies of Israel in the time of David are referred to as "sons of Rafa ". Also Goliath of Gath is called "born to the Rafa" ( 2 Sam 21.19 to 22  EU ) called, but he will not be defeated in this version of the story of David.

The Refaiter are thus a biblical type of legendary enemies from the early days of Israel, some of whom are physically superior and are portrayed as giants . This type also includes the sons of Anak (Anakites) and the Emites . These stories of the struggle and victory against the giant peoples of Canaan have a theological background: By unconditionally relying on Yahweh's leadership, the people of Israel are able to take possession of the promised land .

Contributions of archeology

According to statistical studies by the Israel Antiquities Authority on male skeletons from the Bronze and Iron Ages (3000 - 500 BC), the average man in Biblical times was about 1.64 m tall. However, there are also finds of significantly larger skeletons (1.85 - 2.00 m), including from Gezer . It is very likely that such tall men served as lone fighters and champions in the armies. Egyptian texts from the Ramesside period (around 1200 BC) also support this thesis. However, the existence of an entire race of giants cannot be inferred or even proven from these finds.

Web links

Single receipts

  1. Chronolog of December 12, 2007  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed December 13, 2010@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.chronologs.de