(Eʹmim) [Frightful Things].
A tribe or people that dwelt in the territory E of the Dead Sea. They are described as being great, numerous, and tall “like the Anakim.” (De 2:10) This comparison with the sons of Anak indicates that the Emim were giantlike in stature and fierce, for Moses stated to Israel: “You yourself have heard it said, ‘Who can make a firm stand before the sons of Anak?’” (De 9:2) The origin of the Emim cannot definitely be established, although some think that they were a branch of the Rephaim.
During the time of Abraham, the Elamite king Chedorlaomer defeated the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim. (Ge 14:5) The Emim apparently continued to dwell in their land E of the Dead Sea for some time after this, as the Bible speaks of them as finally being dispossessed by the Moabites. The Moabites also used the name Emim to refer to the Rephaim.—De 2:11.