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*** si p. 56 par. 19 Bible Book Number 9?1 Samuel ***
Goliath, a giant towering to the height of six cubits and a span (about 9.5 ft) [2.9 m]. He is so monstrous that his coat of mail weighs about 125?pounds [57?kg] and the blade of his spear about 15?pounds [6.8 kg]. For a copy of the book; My Book Of Bible Stories, Go to www.watchtower.org
Many people incorrectly think Goliath was 9 ft. 9 inches tall or taller. Some are so enthralled by the mere thought of giants that their imaginations get the better of them; causing them to speculate Goliath was a laughable 11 feet tall! Not true. He was between 6' 7" and 6' 9" according to the Dead Sea Scrolls which date from 100 BC, the Historian Flavius Josephus 100 AD, and the oldest version of the Greek Bible (LXX) which was first translated from Hebrew to Greek in the 200's BC.
The tradition that Goliath was "six cubits and a span," or 9 feet 6 inches tall, is now understood to be a much more recent scribal error which dates to the Medieval period, from between the 7th to 10th centuries AD, or about 1,000 years later than the earlier original! These earlier and therefor more accurate (since they had not yet been mistranslated) versions actually have Goliath at four cubits and a span, NOT six cubits and a span. This is not made up, this is not heresay. Again, the EARLIEST manuscripts ALL agree that Goliath was four cubits and a span.
It's also best to understand that there are two different types of "cubits".
Just how long is a cubit? It depends on whom you ask. Noah's cubit was somewhat longer than the Egyptian, Greek and Roman cubit. For Noah, the cubit was the measurement from his elbow to the tip of his middle (longest) finger. This inexact measurement likely caused great problems throughout the world, particularly in Africa, where a cubit could range anywhere from less than 12 inches (for pygmy cultures) to more than 36 inches (for the Watusi).
Most sources agree that a cubit in the Bible was equal to 21.8 inches, an Egyptian cubit was equal to 20.6 inches, a Greek cubit was equal to 18.3 inches, and a Roman cubit was equal to 17.5 inches.
To complicate things, there is another type of cubit. A "short" cubit is the length of the forearm, not including any part of the hand. Scholars believe that this unit was occasionally used in the Bible as well, as in the case of the height of Goliath. Said to be "six cubits and a span" tall, David's target would have been nearly 11 feet tall using a regular cubit, but a more likely height of 6' 9" using the "short" cubit. Because humans were shorter during ancient times, a man of that height could have been considered a giant, despite the fact that he would have had difficulty dunking on an NBA center.
It's also worth noting that there are no independent historical records of a specific Goliath and the entire story could be a fabrication