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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Anak

Anak Anak

Anak and his descendants the Anakim are a tall and numerous people, reckoned among the Nephilim (Numbers 13:33) and the Rephaim (Deuteronomy 2:10). The name of the father of Anak is Arba, and his city, Hebron, is given to Caleb (Joshua 15:13). Caleb subsequently drives out the three sons of Anak (perhaps again three subdivisions of the Anakim), whose names are Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai (Joshua 15:14).
Other related peoples are the Zumim and the Emim.

The name Anak comes from the assumed Hebrew root Anak ('nq), whose derivations are rarely used: Anak (anaq) means necklace and is used in the Song of Solomon 4:9, Ju 8:26 and figuratively in Pr 1:9. This word is spelled and pronounced identical to the name Anak. As a verb the word Anak (anaq) means to serve as a necklace (Ps 73:6) or figuratively bestow someone with riches (Deuteronomy 15:14).

NOBS Study Bible Name List, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and BDB Theological Dictionary all agree: the name Anak means Long-Necked, but even though these Anakim were certainly tall, there is no indication that they specifically had long necks (the regular word for neck is sawwar).

They were possibly called Anakim (=Necklaces) because they wore ornaments around their necks. This name may also allude to their wealth.



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