(long-necked, or strong-necked). Descended from Arba (Joshua 15:13; Joshua 21:11), dwelling in the S. of Canaan. Hebron was called from him Kirjath Arba, i.e. city of Arba. Anak is the name of the race rather than an individual; compare Joshua 14:15. The three tribes bore the names of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. They were in the spies' time a terror to Israel (Numbers 13:28), but were destroyed by Joshua, except a remnant who escaped to the Philistine cities, Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:21-22). Caleb, who brought tidings as a spy concerning them, was eventually their destroyer (Joshua 15:14).
Hence we find a giant race among the Philistines, and in Gath, in David's days (1 Samuel 17; 2 Samuel 21:15-22); an undesigned coincidence between the independent histories Joshua and 1 and 2 Samuel, confirming the truth of both. Their chief city Hebron became Caleb's possession for his faith, shown in having no fear of their giant stature since the Lord was on Israel's side (Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:20; compare Numbers 13:22; Numbers 13:28; Numbers 13:30-33; Numbers 14:24). They are represented on Egyptian monuments as tall and fair. The hieroglyphic Tanmahu represents Talmai, and one of his tribe is depicted on the tomb of Oimenapthah I.