Evidence of ‘biblical giants’ found in northern Israel

New docu-series to present rare, researched look at the Nephilim

 Gilgal Refaim (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)
Gilgal Refaim
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

A soon-to-be-released docu-series will present a rare and researched look at one of the most perplexing Biblical topics: Nephilim (giants). 

Produced by The Inspiration Networks, a faith-based family entertainment network, “Angels & Giants, The Watchers & Nephilim” presents four one-hour segments that are a serious investigation into the theories behind the Biblical giants.

Rudy Landa, a senior producer and director at The Inspiration Networks and company CEO David Cerullo decided to make the film three years ago, their enthusiasm for the subject fueled by their love of the Bible. 

“The Bible describes the Nephilim in several places,” Landa said. “The main commentary of the Nephilim happens in Genesis chapter six. Most people cruise right over that passage. The Nephilim were the offspring of heavenly beings who were placed in the spiritual realm to watch over the earth in those days. They were principalities in the heavenly realm.”

In the pre-diluvian sixth chapter of Genesis, the Bible says that the “Sons of Elohim” cohabited with the daughters of men. The offspring of these unions were called Nephilim, a race of giants that lived on the earth. 

“The docu-series brings the biblical sources, but it should be interesting for non-religious viewers,” Landa said. “We seek out actual proof, the traces and clues that are out there in the world, and not just the faith-based claims. Because there is so much archaeological evidence that needs to be explored.”

The subject can easily become sensationalized, and Landa stressed that he did not want to take that approach. He enlisted the help of author Douglas Van Dorn, who had just written a book on the subject, to guide the project.

“We present the evidence and we invite people to research to reach their own  conclusions,” Landa said. “We aren’t dogmatic and don’t hide anything. We bring the sources and encourage the viewer to ask questions, to continue to study and do their own research.”

The search begins in Israel 

The search takes them around the globe to Egypt, Peru and the United States, but most significantly, the docu-series begins in the Golan Heights in Israel. 

“It makes sense to start in Israel where the story of the Nephilim began,” Landa emphasized. “And that is the Golan.”The Book of Enoch, an apocryphal second-century BCE source attributed to the great-grandfather of Biblical Noah, describes the Nephilim and claims the name of Mount Hermon is derived from the Hebrew word cherem, meaning “to be banished.” According to the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim were banished from heaven and sent to earth at Mount Hermon. The region, known as the Bashan, is where Og the king came out against the Israelites at the time of their entrance into the Promised Land. 

Landa’s search for the truth also brought him to Gilgal Refaim (Wheel of the Giants), an enigmatic rock formation in the Golan. From the ground, it appears as random piles of rocks. But from above it is quite impressive, revealing itself to be five concentric rings with the outer ring measuring more than 500 feet wide. At its center is a mound of loose stones over 65 feet in diameter and over 16 feet tall, covering a central chamber carved into solid rock. Archaeologists generally place the beginning of the construction as early as 3500 BCE. The purpose of Gilgal Refaim is still a mystery and the focus of scholarly debate.

“There are theories that claim that Og was buried at Gilgal Refaim,” Landa said. 

Gilgal Refaim is an ancient megalithic monument in the Golan Heights (Credit: Hebrew Wikipedia user אסף.צ, CC BY-SA 3.0)Gilgal Refaim is an ancient megalithic monument in the Golan Heights (Credit: Hebrew Wikipedia user אסף.צ, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The movie explores the theory that the center of the structure was used as an excarnation chamber where the body was allowed to decompose. The bones would have later been interred in a huge serpentine structure of loose stones adjacent to stone rings. 

“This dual arrangement, circles of stones near a serpentine mound, appears in several places around the world where it was known to be used as a necropolis for this form of burial,” Landa explained. One such prehistoric serpentine mound is “Serpent Mound”  in Ohio.

The name Bashan is derived from the proto-Semitic root Ugaritic term btn, meaning “serpent.”

Landa explained that Gilgal Refaim aligns with significant astronomical phenomena. 

The entranceway to the center looks out on the sunrise on the summer solstice. Notches in the walls indicate the spring and fall equinoxes. Other markings indicate star risings. This would have allowed the site to be used to predict the beginning of the rainy season, a very important survival skill.

“There was clearly a very intelligent design behind the site,” Landa noted.

Based on Genesis 14:13, which describes a “fugitive” (Palit) who told Abram about Lot’s capture, Jewish tradition teaches that Og was alive in the time of Noah but escaped the flood by clinging to the side of the Ark. 

Og was named in Deuteronomy (3:11) as the only remaining man from the Rephaim. A rough estimate of Og’s size can be made based on a reference to the size of his bed which is described as nine amot long and four amot wide. The Biblical measurement of an amah, literally the length of a forearm, is 9.2 inches, which would mean that Og’s bed was over 14 feet long and over six feet wide.

The Inspiration Networks are considering the distribution channel for the film and expect to release “Angels & Giants: The Watchers & Nephilim” this fall.