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Anakites

ANAKITES, ANAKIM (ăn'a-kīts, ăn'a-kĭm, Heb. ‘ănāqîm). Also called “sons [children] of Anak.” The spies compared them to the giants of Gen.6.4 (rsv, niv, Nephilim); also they were reckoned among the Rephaites (Deut.2.11, rsv, niv). Three chiefs of the Anakites were in Hebron (Num.13.22) from the time of the spies until Caleb took it (Josh.15.13-Josh.15.14). Remnants of them remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashod (Josh.11.21-Josh.11.22).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


At Hebron, at the time of the Israelite conquest, we may gather that they formed the body-guard of the Amorite king (see Jos 10:5) under their three leaders Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai (Nu 13:22; Jos 15:14; Jud 1:20). Tell el-Amarna Letters show that the Canaanite princes were accustomed to surround themselves with bodyguards of foreign mercenaries. It appears probable that the Anakim came from the Aegean like the Philistines, to whom they may have been related. The name Anak is a masculine corresponding with a feminine which we meet with in the name of the goddess Onka, who according to the Greek writers, Stephanus of Byzantium and Hesychius, was the "Phoen," i.e. Syrian equivalent of Athena. Anket or Anukit was also the name of the goddess worshipped by the Egyptians at the First Cataract. In the name Ahi-man it is possible that "-man" denotes a non-Semitic deity.