We often take the roots of Western Civilization for granted. Yes, we are taught by convention that such roots find a strong hold in Mesopotamia around 3500 B.C. But, have you ever stopped to ask yourself how deep those roots go, and better yet, “who planted the tree?”
angels along with the Nephilim taught men metallurgy, war craft, farming, husbandry, and a host of other bodies of knowledge defining civilizations.
The great Mesopotamian hunter and king, Nimrod, is often regarded as a giant. We read clearly in Genesis of his renown, no doubt contributing to the memories preserved by Abraham, himself born of Sumeria. Consequently, Nimrod is also credited with having built the Tower of Babel, preserved to us in image as a ziggurat, one of the stepped temples of ancient Mesopotamian society. The very Cradle of Civilization provides an example of an early civilization and its connection to the giants of old.
Egypt, whose legends whisper to us in the present, was most likely not without its own giant origins. At least this may be said about its monuments, and in particular the pyramids. Some scholars who entertain historical ideas outside of convention, such as Patrick Heron, posit that the antediluvian giants constructed the pyramids. This design spread with them as they spread to other lands east and west of the Holy Land.
In the Old Testament, we get a picture of the descendants of these giants. You may recall from Sunday school that the spies Moses sent into Canaan on the eve of its conquest were all terrified except for Joshua and Caleb. They related that they were as “grasshoppers” compared to these enormous men. Jewish tradition tells us that one giant, Arba, built the great fortified city of Hebron. Another giant, Og, who allegedly had survived the great flood, ruled over Bashan, a vast kingdom northeast of the Sea of Galilee.
Moving away from the Near East leaves one with no fewer examples of giant-founded societies. Most of us remember to some extent the myths we were taught in grade school about the Greeks and the Romans. Scholars have long been aware of the influence of the Near East on Greek ideas and religion. Similar residues may be found in the pottery and art of ancient Greece, an indicator of trade with Phoenicians and other peoples of the Near East, and something known to scholars as “Oriental-izing.” The very gods were all believed to hail from Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, and other lands to the east. As for feats of city-building, Poseidon and Apollo were believed to have built the great walls of Troy. The Greeks also contended that the Cyclopian giants had built the city of Mycenae.