In a recent piece, Ephraim Nissan has lent further support to the interpretation of the phrase “sons of Anak” (in Numbers 13, esp.) being related to the Greek anakes/Ἄνακες (singular: anax/ἄνᾰξ) and Mycenaean wanax/ϝάναξ.
The proposal for a Greek rather than a Hebrew etymology for “anak” was suggested by Colin MacLaurin in 1965 (E. C. B. MacLaurin, “Anak/’Αναξ,” VT 15 (1965): 468–74). It has been taken up as a possibility by some scholars subsequently, such as Othniel Margalith (Beit Mikra 25 (1986), 359–64), and Thomas Römer (“The Hebrew Bible and Greek Philosophy and Mythology: Some Case Studies,” Semitica 57 (2015), 195). I argue that the derivation from the Greek cognate is the better interpretation in Deane Galbraith, “The Origin of Archangels: Ideological Mystification of Nobility“, in Robert J. Myles, Class Struggle in the New Testament (Lanham: Lexingham, 2019).
It’s also worth noting that the proposal was already put forward centuries earlier by Samuel Bochart, in Chanaan seu de coloniss et sermone Phoenicum, & c. (Caen: P. Cardonellus, 1646), 1 c. 1.
In “Onomastic Word-Play in Roman-Age to Medieval Rabbinic Biblical Exegesis, and Beyond”, in Oliviu Felecan, ed., Onomastics between Sacred and Profane, 355-384 (Wilmington, DE; Vernon Press, 2019), 361, Nissan writes
As I argue in the chapter cited above, the conception of the Anakim as elite, ancient, heroic leaders of the country in and around Hebron displays impressive continuity with the elite, noble, ancient, and heroic conception of the Greek anakes/anax. Not only that, but there is a striking continuity with the conceptions of many other elite, ancient, warrior figures: the Ugaritic Rapiuma, Hebrew Rephaim, Hebrew Nephilim, the biblical King Og, Greek King Ogygos, and Hebrew Gibborim. In addition, all the attempts to derive ‘Anakim’ from a Hebrew root (usually from ‘nq, surrounding the neck) have been thoroughly unconvincing.
Anak is simply the Jewish version of the Greek anax.