How Tall Are 6 Cubits And A Span?

How Tall Are 6 Cubits And A Span?

How Tall Are 6 Cubits And A Span?.

1 Samuel 17:4 says that Goliath was six cubits and a span, and the notes in my Bible say that that is about 9 ft. 9 inches. A “cubit” is the length from your elbow to the end of your middle finger—about 18 inches. A span is the span of your hand—about 9 inches.

How Many Feet Are In 6 Cubits?

The past texts say that Goliath was “four cubits and a span,” which Chadwick claims is equivalent to 7.80 feet (2.38 meters). However, some texts suggest Goliath sat at a height of “six cubits and a span,”  an amount equal to 11.35 feet (3.46 meters).

“Four Cubits and a Span”: 7.80 Feet (2.38 Meters)

According to a few old texts, Goliath’s height is “four cubits and a span,” which translates to 7.80 feet, or 2.38 meters. This figure is consistent with the notion of Goliath being a remarkably massive and tall man who towers over his enemies. In earlier times, the cubit and span were common measurements used to measure length.

A cubit usually corresponds to a person’s distance from their elbow to the point of the middle finger, while a span is the distance between the point of the thumb and the point of the finger that is visible when the hand is fully extended.

Goliath’s size of 7.80 feet must have been a remarkable feat during the biblical period, when people generally had shorter heights compared to the modern era. This figure portrays Goliath as a powerful adversary and a feared foe, causing fear in the hearts of those who met Goliath in battle. But other texts from the past give a different figure that adds a fascinating level of complexity to the discussion.

“Six Cubits and a Span”: 11.35 Feet (3.46 Meters)

Contrary to what is known as the “four cubits and a span” measurement, some older texts depict Goliath as being “six cubits and a span,” roughly 11.35 feet, or 3.46 meters. This measure depicts Goliath as a much more colossal character, surpassing the already massive height given to him in other texts. If Goliath were indeed 11.35 feet tall and a foot taller, he would have an impressive and formidable appearance on battlefields, able to put fear into the hearts of his enemies just by his appearance.

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“The “six cubits and a span” measurement is a way to complicate Goliath’s stature, as it depicts Goliath as a mythological character, one of the biggest among men. These implications fascinated readers and scholars alike, provoking discussions on the significance of Goliath’s enormous height and his role as a powerful antagonist in biblical tales.

What Was Goliath’s Real Height?

Some of the oldest documents, including those of the Dead Sea Scrolls text of Samuel from the end of the 1st century BCE, the 1st century CE historian Josephus, and the main Septuagint documents (meters), all provide Goliath’s height in “four cubits and a span” (6 feet 9 inches or 2.06 meters); in contrast, it is the Masoretic Text, which has “six cubits and a span.”

The Most Accurate measurement is “Four Cubits and a Span” (6 feet 9 inches or 2.06 meters)

The oldest and earliest documents of the Goliath story, which include Goliath’s Dead Sea Scrolls text of Samuel, the writings of historian Josephus, and the main Septuagint manuscripts, give an accurate measure of Goliath’s size as “four cubits and a span.” This is about six feet nine inches, or 2.06 meters. The ancient sources provide remarkable agreement on this particular aspect, regardless of the larger differences that could exist in their versions.

It is believed that the “four cubits and a span” measurement reveals Goliath as an impressive and tall figure, considerably larger than the average person of the time. With a height of six feet nine inches, Goliath was an intimidating battleground presence, instilling terror and fear among his opponents. This figure has received a lot of interest from scholars and has been widely acknowledged as the most probable representation of Goliath’s height, as described in the original text.

The Masoretic Text: “Six Cubits and a Span”

Contrary to the standard measurement found in the earliest manuscripts, The Masoretic Text, which serves as the basis of the Hebrew Bible, presents a different measure of Goliath’s height: “six cubits and a span.” The measurement is roughly 9 feet, 9 inches (2.97 meters), making Goliath the most massive number compared to the “four cubits and a span” description.

Its inclusion in “six cubits and a span” in the Masoretic Text has sparked debates among scholars, with some claiming that it is a later textual addition or exaggeration that could be influenced by legends or mythical tradition.

Some scholars suggest it could be a sign of mythological or legendary origins “Six cubits and a span” could refer to the existence of a different tradition circulated separately from other manuscripts. Whatever the reason, this “six cubits and a span” measurement has added a layer of complexity to the Goliath story’s meaning and spurred discussions on the symbolic significance of his immense stature.

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How Tall Is 6 Cubits And A Span In The Bible?How Tall Is 6 Cubits And A Span In The Bible?

1 Samuel 17:4 mentions that Goliath was six cubits in size and had an arm, and the note in the Bible stated that it was nine feet. 9. “Cubit” is the term used to describe a measurement “Cubit” is the length between your elbow and the middle finger, around 18 inches.

Calculating Goliath’s Height: 9 Feet 9 Inches

To determine Goliath’s height, by using the biblical measure “six cubits and a span,” we first consider the size of the cubit. It is about 18 inches. Six cubits multiplied by 18 inches will give us 108 inches, or 9 feet. In addition, we multiply the width of the span, which is approximately 9 inches, and add it to the total. The result is Goliath’s height of 9 feet, 9 inches. This is 2.97 meters.

At nine feet and nine inches, Goliath certainly would have had a massive and intimidating character in the field.

The size of his stature could have provided him with the advantage of strength and reach, which would have made him an incredibly formidable opponent for any opponent. The representation of Goliath as the size of a giant increases the intensity and drama of Goliath’s story. David and Goliath’s story highlights the seemingly unsurmountable task David had to face. David was confronted with

Symbolic Significance of Goliath’s Height

Goliath’s height of “six cubits and a span” is symbolic and has more meaning than its literal depiction. Goliath’s imposing stature signifies not just physical strength but also a symbol of pride, arrogance, and oppression. His massive height reflects his authoritative presence and is an analogy for the tyranny-inducing forces and injustices David must face.

The diminutive and unassuming image of David is the image of the underdog as a symbol of faith and courage. It also symbolizes determination, strength, and perseverance. The difference in dimensions between David and Goliath illustrates the concept of victory against every obstacle and the strength of faith and ingenuity in the face of challenges. The story that follows David and Goliath is a constant reminder that strength is not in one’s physical size but in the strength of one’s convictions and the determination to stand against injustice.

How Tall Was Goliath In The Dead Sea Scrolls?

The size of Goliath. “He’s barely tall enough to make the all-star game,” notes Frank Cross, a Harvard University expert on the official team that works in the Scrolls. In 1 Samuel 17:4, most English versions say that Goliath was “six cubits and a span,” which means a nine-foot height.

The Surprising Measurement: “Barely Tall Enough to Make the All-Star Game”

Contrary to the conventional definition of Goliath’s height as “six cubits and a span,” the Dead Sea Scrolls present a significantly different measurement. Frank Cross, the esteemed Harvard University expert on the scrolls, says that Goliath’s height should be recognized as “barely tall enough to make the all-star game.” This implies that Goliath’s height wasn’t the huge nine feet commonly believed to be. Instead, he was of a smaller size.

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The precise measurement mentioned by the Dead Sea Scrolls is not explicitly mentioned; the implied meaning would be that the height of Goliath was significantly smaller than what is commonly believed to be the case. This new perspective challenges the conventional view that Goliath is a gigantic giant, which has prompted scholars and readers to reconsider the character and significance of Goliath. David and Goliath’s story

Reevaluating Goliath’s Character and Symbolism

It is believed that the Dead Sea Scrolls’ alternative measurement of Goliath’s size opens new possibilities for understanding the symbolism and character of the biblical character. A Goliath with a more moderate size contests the notion of dominance through physical strength and highlights the other aspects that define his personality and role in the story. Instead of appearing to be a massive character, Goliath may be portrayed as a formidable but not invincible adversary, which emphasizes the importance of David’s victory in the role of an unbeaten opponent.

In addition, the Dead Sea Scrolls’ perspective encourages reflection on the value associated with Goliath as a symbol of pride, oppression, and the misuse of power. The significance of his status as a “giant” need not be restricted to height but may encompass larger themes of pride and arrogance. According to this interpretation, David’s triumph over Goliath is not only an account of his physical strength but also a timeless lesson in determination, courage, and triumph for human strength against the odds.


What is the measurement of a cubit and a span?

In ancient times, a cubit was a unit of length typically based on the length of a person’s forearm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. A span, on the other hand, was a shorter unit of length, traditionally measured from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger when the hand was fully extended.

How long is one cubit in modern measurement?

The exact length of a cubit varied in different civilizations, but it was typically around 18 inches (approximately 45.72 centimeters) in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. However, in other regions and time periods, it could be slightly longer or shorter.

What is the measurement of a span in modern units?

A span is generally considered to be approximately half a cubit. Therefore, in modern measurement, a span would be approximately 9 inches (approximately 22.86 centimeters).

How tall would someone be if they were 6 cubits and a span tall?

To calculate the height of a person who is 6 cubits and a span tall, we need to add the lengths together. If one cubit is around 18 inches and a span is around 9 inches, the total height would be 6 x 18 inches + 1 x 9 inches = 117 inches. Converting to feet, this would be approximately 9 feet 9 inches (approximately 2.97 meters).

Were cubits and spans used in the modern era?

No, cubits and spans are ancient units of measurement that were commonly used in various ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the biblical world. They are not used in modern times for official measurements.

How do cubits and spans compare to modern measurement systems?

Cubits and spans are generally longer than most modern units of measurement. For example, one cubit is roughly equivalent to 18 inches, while one span is approximately 9 inches. In the metric system, one cubit would be close to 45.72 centimeters, and one span would be approximately 22.86 centimeters. These ancient units are significantly larger than common modern units like inches or centimeters.