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ANAK (ā'năk, Heb. ‘ănāq, long-necked). A descendant of Arba (Josh.15.13) and ancestor of the Anakites (Num.13.22, Num.13.28, Num.13.33).

The place of Anak’s origin is either the “city of Arba” (qiryat ’arbac) Josh 15:13 or Hebron (= Kiriath-arba). This latter interpretation seems to be borne out by Numbers 13:22 where the chiefs of Hebron are said to be Anak’s descendants.

So tall and formidable were these sons of Anak that their name and reputation became a byword in Israel: “who can stand before the sons of Anak?” (Deut 9:2); cf. also 1:28, 2:10, 21).

The sons of Anak are prob. referred to in the 19th-18th cent. Execration texts found in Egypt as the Iy-canaq whose three princes have Sem. names. See Nephilim.


ANET. 328; J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical texts of the OT (1959), 79.

See also

  • Anakites