Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 581

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581. That 'the Nephilim' means those who, persuaded of their own prominence and superiority, treated everything holy and true as being worthless is clear from what comes before and directly after; that is to say, they immersed matters of doctrine in their own evil desires, which is what is meant by the statement about the sons of God going in to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. Persuasion concerning self and its own delusions also grows as more and more things enter in, till at length that persuasion is inerasable. And when doctrinal matters concerning faith are added as well, utterly persuasive assumptions cause them to treat everything holy and true as being worthless, and they become Nephilim. As has been stated, this set of people who lived before the Flood are such that all spirits are choked to death by their absolutely dreadful delusions which spread from them like a sphere that is poisonous and choking. Spirits are so choked to death by them that they do not know how to think, and as a result feel semi-dead. And unless the Lord by His Coming into the world had freed the world of spirits from so pernicious a set of people, no one could possibly have stayed on there, and so the human race, which the Lord governs by means of spirits, would have perished. Consequently these people are now detained in a hell beneath what looks like a misty solid rock, beneath the heel of the left foot. Nor do they ever try to escape. The world of spirits is accordingly free of that extremely dangerous crew. That crew and the thoroughly poisonous sphere of persuasions from it will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with as a separate subject.a These are the people called the Nephilim, and they treat all that is holy and true as being worthless.

[2] Further mention is made of them in the Word, though their descendants were called Anakim and Rephaim. The fact that they were called Anakim is clear in Moses,

The men who explored the land of Canaan said, We saw the Nephilim there, the sons of Anak who were descendants of the Nephilim; and in our own eyes we were like locusts, and so we were in their eyes. Num 13:33.
The fact that they were called Rephaim is clear once again in Moses, The Emim lived formerly in the land of Moab, a people great and many, and tall like the Anakim. The Rephaim were also considered to be as Anakim; and the Moabites called them Emim. Deut 2:10, 11.

The Nephilim are not mentioned again, but the Rephaim are. In the Prophets the description of them fits what has been said about them already, as in Isaiah,

Hell beneath has been stirred up for you, to meet you as you come. He has roused the Rephaim for you. Isa 14:9

This refers to the hell where such people are. In the same prophet,

The dead will not live, the Rephaim will not rise. To that end You have visited and destroyed them, and wiped out all remembrance of them. Isa 26:14.

This also refers to that hell of theirs from which they will never rise up again. And in the same prophet,

Your dead will live, my corpse will rise again. Wake up and sing, O inhabitants of the dust. For Your dew is a dew of herbs. But You will cast away the land of the Rephrim. Isa 26:19.

'The land of the Rephaim' is that self same hell. In David,

Will You work a wonder for the dead? Will the Repkaim rise up and confess You? Ps 88:10.
This similarly refers to that hell of theirs and to the fact that they can never again rise up and contaminate the atmosphere of the world of spirits with the utterly dreadful poison of their persuasions. Provision has been made by the Lord however to prevent the human race ever again being steeped in such dreadful delusions and persuasions. But the people who lived before the Flood were of such a nature and disposition that they were able to be steeped in them, for reasons until now unknown to anybody, which too will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with later on.


a i.e. in 1265-1272

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