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1 Samuel 17:4

Context

17:4 Then a champion 1  came out from the camp of the Philistines. His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was close to seven feet tall. 2 

1 Samuel 17:23

Context
17:23 As he was speaking with them, the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, was coming up from the battle lines of the Philistines. He spoke the way he usually did, 3  and David heard it.

1 tn Heb “the man of the space between the two [armies].” See v. 23.

2 tc Heb “his height was six cubits and a span” (cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV). A cubit was approximately eighteen inches, a span nine inches. So, according to the Hebrew tradition, Goliath was about nine feet, nine inches tall (cf. NIV, CEV, NLT “over nine feet”; NCV “nine feet, four inches”; TEV “nearly 3 metres”). However, some Greek witnesses, Josephus, and a manuscript of 1 Samuel from Qumran read “four cubits and a span” here, that is, about six feet, nine inches (cf. NAB “six and a half feet”). This seems more reasonable; it is likely that Goliath’s height was exaggerated as the story was retold. See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 286, 291.

3 tn Heb “according to these words.”



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