AHIMAN, SHESHAI, TALMAI, the sons of anak , who were said to have inhabited hebron when the spies sent by Moses reconnoitered Canaan (Num. 13:22). Their names have not been identified with certainty. Ahiman may be Semitic, while Kempinsky and Hess regard Sheshai and Talmai as Hurrian. The sons of Anak are described as nephilim (ibid. 13:33), a term probably indicating extraordinary stature and power (cf. Gen. 6:4). In Deuteronomy 2:21 (cf. Deut. 1:28) the Anakim are described as "great, numerous, and tall." Traditions about an ancient giant race were apparently current in Israel, Amon, and Moab (see og , rephaim ). According to Joshua 15:13–14, caleb attacked Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai and dispossessed them (cf. Judg. 1:20). Another passage credits the tribe of Judah with the victory over the three brothers (Judg. 1:10). Finally, according to Joshua 11:21–22, Joshua annihilated the Anakites. The name Ahiman occurs as well in I Chronicles 9:17 and in three epigraphs: a jug from elephantine , one seal from Megiddo, and another of unknown provenance. Talmai is also the name of a king of Geshur in northern Transjordan who was a contemporary of David. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C.F. Burney, The Book of Judges (1920), 9–10; Mazar, in: Sefer Dinaburg (1949), 321; EM, 1 (1965), 218–9 (incl. bibl.). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Kempinsky, in: EM, 8, 575–76; R. Hess, in: CBQ, 58 (1996), 205–14; B. Levine, Numbers 1–20 (AB; 1993), 355. (Hanna Weiner)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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