2:10 (The Emites 1 used to live there, a people as powerful, numerous, and tall as the Anakites. 2:11 These people, as well as the Anakites, are also considered Rephaites; 2 the Moabites call them Emites.
3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy 5 that his sarcophagus 6 was made of iron. 7 Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath 8 of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet 9 long and six feet 10 wide according to standard measure.) 11
1 sn Emites. These giant people, like the Anakites (Deut 1:28), were also known as Rephaites (v. 11). They appear elsewhere in the narrative of the invasion of the kings of the east where they are said to have lived around Shaveh Kiriathaim, perhaps 9 to 11 mi (15 to 18 km) east of the north end of the Dead Sea (Gen 14:5).
2 sn Rephaites. The earliest reference to this infamous giant race is, again, in the story of the invasion of the eastern kings (Gen 14:5). They lived around Ashteroth Karnaim, probably modern Tell Ashtarah (cf. Deut 1:4), in the Bashan plateau east of the Sea of Galilee. Og, king of Bashan, was a Rephaite (Deut 3:11; Josh 12:4; 13:12). Other texts speak of them or their kinfolk in both Transjordan (Deut 2:20; 3:13) and Canaan (Josh 11:21-22; 14:12, 15; 15:13-14; Judg 1:20; 1 Sam 17:4; 1 Chr 20:4-8). They also appear in extra-biblical literature, especially in connection with the city state of Ugarit. See C. L’Heureux, “Ugaritic and Biblical Rephaim,” HTR 67 (1974): 265-74.
5 tn Heb “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).
6 tn The Hebrew term עֶרֶשׂ (’eres), traditionally translated “bed” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) is likely a basaltic (volcanic) stone sarcophagus of suitable size to contain the coffin of the giant Rephaite king. Its iron-like color and texture caused it to be described as an iron container. See A. Millard, “King Og’s Iron Bed: Fact or Fancy?” BR 6 (1990): 16-21, 44; cf. also NEB “his sarcophagus of basalt”; TEV, CEV “his coffin.”
7 tn Or “of iron-colored basalt.” See note on the word “sarcophagus” earlier in this verse.
8 sn Rabbath. This place name (usually occurring as Rabbah; 2 Sam 11:11; 12:27; Jer 49:3) refers to the ancient capital of the Ammonite kingdom, now the modern city of Amman, Jordan. The word means “great [one],” probably because of its political importance. The fact that the sarcophagus “still remain[ed]” there suggests this part of the verse is post-Mosaic, having been added as a matter of explanation for the existence of the artifact and also to verify the claim as to its size.
9 tn Heb “nine cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 in (45 cm) for the standard cubit, this would be 13.5 ft (4.1 m) long.
10 tn Heb “four cubits.” This would be 6 ft (1.8 m) wide.
11 tn Heb “by the cubit of man.” This probably refers to the “short” or “regular” cubit of approximately 18 in (45 cm).