“There were giants in the earth in those days”



This is one of two verses in the Bible that refer to giants (the King James Bible translation) or nephilim (the Hebrew transliteration). The root word from the original Hebrew is נְפִיל which is defined by Strong's Concordance as “a feller, i.e., a bully or tyrant.” This word is derived from the Hebrew base word נְפִל; which means “to fall, lie, be cast down, fail.” So it is implied that these are people that have fallen down or failed.

To get what Genesis 6:4 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

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“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

Very high popularity: 3,600 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Genesis chapter 6 using average monthly Google searches.

Genesis 6:4 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
There were הָי֣וּ To exist, i.e., be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary) There were
giants הַנְּפִלִ֞ים Properly, a feller, i.e., a bully or tyrant giants
in the earth בָאָרֶץ֮ The earth (at large, or partitively a land) earth
in those הָהֵם֒ They (only used when emphatic) those
days; בַּיָּמִ֣ים A day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb) days
and also וְגַ֣ם Properly, assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correl. both...and also
after אַֽחֲרֵי Properly, the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjunction, after (in various senses) after
that, כֵ֗ן Properly, set upright; hence (figuratively as adjective) just; but usually (as adverb or conjunction) rightly or so (in various applications to manner, time and relation; often with other particles) that
when אֲשֶׁ֨ר Who, which, what, that; also (as an adverb and a conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc when
the sons בְּנֵ֤י A son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like father or brother), etc.) sons
of God הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ Gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative God
came in יָבֹ֜אוּ To go or come (in a wide variety of applications) came
unto אֶל Near, with or among; often in general, to unto
the daughters בְּנ֣וֹת A daughter (used in the same wide sense as other terms of relationship, literally and figuratively) daughters
of men, הָֽאָדָ֔ם Ruddy i.e., a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.) men
and they bare וְיָלְד֖וּ To bear young; causatively, to beget; medically, to act as midwife; specifically, to show lineage bare
children (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
to them, the same הֵ֧מָּה They (only used when emphatic) same
became (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
mighty men הַגִּבֹּרִ֛ים Powerful; by implication, warrior, tyrant mighty men
which אֲשֶׁ֥ר Who, which, what, that; also (as an adverb and a conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc which
were (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
of old, מֵעוֹלָ֖ם Properly, concealed, i.e., the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e., (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always old
men אַנְשֵׁ֥י A man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation) men
of renown. הַשֵּֽׁם׃ An appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character renown

Verse Context

See Genesis 6:4 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

  • 3  And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

  • 4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

  • 5  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

  • 6  And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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