1 Samuel 17:4, How Tall Was Goliath?

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

//The Bible tells the story of how David, who is described as less than intimidating in his height, takes on a Philistine champion who measures “six cubits and a span.” If a cubit measures the distance from fingertip to elbow, that equates to about a foot and a half. A span is from thumb to little finger, another half foot. So, six cubits and a span equals about nine and a half feet! What a giant!

The Septuagint–the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, written between the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC–gives a different figure. It lists Goliath’s height as four cubits and a span; about six and a half feet. Still unusually tall for that era.

Which version should be believed? Did the Septuagint translators, disbelieving the incredible height in the original story, change it to only four cubits? Or was the Hebrew version updated to turn Goliath into a mythical giant?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>