Who or WHAT were the ‘Lionlike Men’?

TODAY’S Bible in 90 Days Reading: II Samuel 22:19 – I Kings 7:37

Our Lord and Savior told us that all words in the Bible (original languages) are important. In fact, He proclaimed that not one ‘jot’ or ‘tittle’ would disappear until ALL was fulfilled (For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” — Matt. 5:18). How remarkable! Even the tiniest letter (the ‘jot’–Greek equivalent is ‘iota’) or the slenderest of decorations on a letter (the ‘tittle’) would disappear. Scribes throughout the centuries paid careful attention to the minutae–making sure to count the letters in each sentence and faithfully copy all the decorative marks–so important to the full meaning).

So, as we read the Bible in 90 Days, let’s make sure to pay attention to the ‘small things’! For instance, in today’s reading, I found a phrase in II Samuel 23:20 to be VERY interesting. Here’s what is says in the KJV:

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:

This sentence follows several others, listing the exploits of David’s ‘mighty men’. Benaiah was the son of a priest (Jehoida), and he served as David’s chief body guard. What I want you to notice here is that he slew “two lionlike men”. As I read this morning, the word ‘lionlike’ caught my eye, so I decided to take a look at the original language.

The Hebrew word translated ‘lionlike’ is ariyel (אֲרִיאֵל), and its meaning is uncertain. According to Strong’s, it could mean ‘resembling a lion’ or ‘sons of Ariel’. Ariyel is actually the compound of two Hebrew words: ariy and el. Ariy means ‘lion’ or ‘image of a lion‘ and ‘el’ means ‘god’, ‘angel’, or even demon‘.

Is it possible that what Benaiah actually killed were two genetically altered men? Do we have here an example of one of the ancient Nephilim with the appearance of a lion/man hybridization?

No, I cannot prove it, but there is definitely room for speculation here. So, what did you glean from today’s reading?