1 Samuel 17:4: “And there come out indigenous the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, that Gath, whose elevation was six cubits and also a span.”

All right. First, let’s get a figure for Goliath’s height, follow to the Bible. I point out several commentaries, ~ above this passage (my italics), and also other reference sources:

Considerable sports (between 8 feet 5 inches and also 10 feet 6 inches) exists in the commentaries, due to the fact that the biblical cubit is not sufficiently precise to prevent it. Together we watch above, ancient historians (however precise they are reputed to it is in in together natters) note several human being as high or taller than Goliath. The most famed tall human in our time to be Robert Wadlow (1918-1940), who was 8 feet, 11.1 inches at his death.

You are watching: How tall is 6 cubits and a span

Wikipedia interestingly states around Wadlow: “Even by the moment of his death, there was no indication that his development had ended.” It provides a chart, reflecting that he had actually grown every solitary year of his life. From period 15 come 22, he had grown as much as 5 inches every year. His last year of growth was much more than any kind of year because he was 15, i beg your pardon raises the question, “How tall can he have actually grown?”


Taking the mean of his development from 15-22 us arrive at 2.26 customs a year. Ten much more years in ~ that typical rate is 22.6 an ext inches that growth, leading to a projected height at period 32 the 10 feet 9.7 inches, i beg your pardon is taller 보다 the highest estimate that the seven sources provided above.

John Rogan (1868-1905) was 8 feet 6 inches tall. Wikipedia (“List the tallest people”) has actually 18 noted men as well as Wadlow and also Rogan over eight feet tall.

But wait! It’s tho not details that Goliath was in the above range of height, based on textual evidences of numerous sorts. J. Daniel Hays, professor that Old testimony at Ouachita Baptist University, go an exhaustive research entitled, “Reconsidering the height of Goliath” (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society). Anyone seriously interested in the topic have to read the whole thing, however here room his basic reasons because that why the believes Goliath to be 6 feet 9 inches:

“The Masoretic message (MT), the is, the ‘received’ Hebrew text upon which many of our English OT translations are based, says in 1 Samuel 17:4 that the height of Goliath is ‘six cubits and a span.’ A cubit is about 18 inches, and also a expectancy is around 9 inches. Thus, in the MT Goliath is 9’9” tall. Most of ours English translations follow this reading.


“On the various other hand, in the major Septuagint (LXX) manuscripts Goliath’s height is provided as “four cubits and a span,” which place him in ~ the much shorter height that 6’9”. For lot of the modern era, the LXX manuscripts were perceived as an additional witnesses come the OT message when contrasted to the MT. However, the discovery of the DSS adjusted that situation, since in several cases the enlarge Hebrew texts uncovered at Qumran sustained the readings that the LXX over against the MT. ... Only one big substantial manuscript that 1-2 Samuel was discovered, referred to as 4QSama. ... 1 Sam 17:3-6 is clear, and also in this manuscript, by far our earliest Hebrew manuscript the this text, Goliath is listed as four cubits and a span, around 6’9”…”

Professor Jeff Chadwick that Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem facility of Archaeology and also Near east Studies, learned the exact measurements of the old Israeli cubit:

“Since 2013, Chadwick has conducted research top top the old measurements well-known as the cubit and the expectations as part of an extensive project on old measurements in general. Visiting dozens of archaeological sites in Israel, and also measuring hundreds of various architectural attributes in your excavated remains, Chadwick has established the length of the old cubit together 54 centimeters <1.77 feet>, and also the length of the ancient span together 22 centimeters <0.72 feet>.”

He accepts the reading of four cubits and also a span. Using the dimensions for the cubit and also span the he has determined in 7 years of intensive on-the-spot research, the comes out to 7 feet 8 inches.


So, in conclusion, we check out that there is rigorously argued textual and also archaeological proof leading come a height for Goliath of between 6 feet 9 inches and 7 feet 8 inches — fully attainable heights, together we know from recent an extremely tall person beings. I accept these conclusions, based upon the in its entirety evidence the the matter. We’re no talking about much more than 10 feet tall, yet rather, a human being being who was well within the selection of what we recognize to be entirely possible.

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