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What are they?Mary Sutherland Copyright @2005
Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Gilgal Rephaim (or Circle of the Refaim)

Also known as the Circle of the Refaim

The monument consists of five concentric stone rings whose diameter is 155 meters.

The best preserved of the rings is the outermost, whose height reaches 2 meters and thickness 3.3 meters. Some of the stones used to create the ring weigh twenty tons. The total weight of the stones is 37,000 tons.

In the middle of the rings is a CAIRN  topped by a TUMULUS  measuring twenty meters across.

CAIRN  - a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument, tombstone, etc.
TUMULUS -  a domelike swelling or mound

This ring remained hidden from the world  until Israel won the area from the SYRIANS  in the Six  Day War of 1967.

One feature of the rings  which is worthy of note is the two large openings , like doorways, one facing northeast and the other facing southeast.


In 1968 Professor Yonathan Mizrahi of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and Prof. Anthony Aveni of Colgate University discovered that in 3000 BCE, the first rays of the summer solstice would have
appeared directly through the northeast opening as seen from the central tumulus. At the same time, the southeast opening provided a direct view of Sirius.

Micah Ankouri,  writing in Teva Ve'aretz (Land and Nature) shows some connection  between the circles and Far Eastern mandalas.

The circles pre-date the pyramids and Babylonian temples, making them the oldest astronomical complex in the Middle East.


For those seeking a possible UFO connection: the circles were built on a flat plateau. No one could have seen the shape of the monument from ground level and there were no hills nearby to gaze upon it. Yet the
monument could only have been appreciated from above. It was as likely a message to the stars as a stellar observatory.


In the general region of the rings are hundreds of dolmens  similar in appearance to those found in northern Britain and France. Moshe Hartal, Chief Archaeologist of the Golan explains, "We have identified 8,500
dolmens of twenty separate styles on the Golan Heights. Each tribe had its own dolmen style. The biggest dolmen stones weigh over 50 tons and are seven metres in height. Graves are found within some domens
but not all. Their function was not purely funereal."


There is strong evidence that the biblical giants or Refaim were the architects and engineers who constructed the monument.

Consider the following biblical clues, written in modern terminology (The Book, Tyndale House Publishers):

In Genesis 14:5, we are told the Refaim inhabit the place called Ashtherot-Karnaim. Just ten miles from the rings is the site of an ancient Canaanite city called Ashtherot. It is named after the Canaanite goddess of
war and, contradictorily, love. Ashterot was the Canaanite name for Sirius, from which the Hebrew name Esther was derived.

In Joshua 12:4, we learn that "King Og of Bashan, the last of the Refaim, who lived at Ashtarot... ruled a territory stretching From Mount Hermon in the north...

In 1 Chronicles 6:71, we are told that the half-tribe of Manasseh later inhabited "Golan," in Bashan.
The most explicit description of the size of the people of Bashan is found in Deuteronomy 3. King Og is attacked and defeated. "King Og of Bashan was the last of the great Refaim. His iron bedstead is kept at
Rabbah... and measures thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide." In the same chapter we are informed that "The Sidonians called Mount Hermon, 'Sirion.'"

In Deuteronomy, we are told that the Refaim "were a large and powerful tribe, as tall as the Anakim (giants)."  
See Giants

In Chronicles 20, the last of the Anakim is killed. "A giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, whose father was also a giant,... was killed by David's nephew Jonathan. These giants were
descendants of the giants of Gath and were killed by David and his soldiers."


"The Jewish oral tradition says Og, the King of Bashan, stowed away on Noah's ark and was the only survivor of the flood outside Noah's family. Og was descended from the Nefilim, deities who fell from the heavens."


Og had children with Noah's daughters and they were hybrid giants called the Anakim or Refaim. They existed in ancient times and the Bible records their presence in the Golan Heights. They could have built Gilgal


(Josh 4:19-20 KJV) "And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.  And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua
pitch in Gilgal."

Commentary to above verse from - The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament:

"Joshua led the people to Gilgal, their first encampment in Canaan, about two miles from Jericho. There the 12 stones... taken out of the Jordan were set up, perhaps in a small circle. The name Gilgal means "circle,"
and may have been taken from an ancient circle of stones of pagan significance. If so, the more recent circle commemorating Yahweh's great work would serve to counteract the idolatrous association of the site."
Circle of Og
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Mary Sutherland is the author of the following books
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