1 Samuel 17:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.

King James Bible
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.

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

World English Bible
There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

Young's Literal Translation
And there goeth out a man of the duellists from the camps of the Philistines, Goliath is his name, from Gath; his height is six cubits and a span,

1 Samuel 17:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

There went out a champion - Our word champion comes from campus, the field; Campio est enim ille qui pugnat in campo, hoc est, in castris, "Champion is he, properly, who fights in the field; i.e., in camps." A man well skilled in arms, strong, brave, and patriotic.

But is this the meaning of the original איש הבנים ish habbenayim, a middle man, the man between two; that is, as here, the man who undertakes to settle the disputes between two armies or nations. So our ancient champions settled disputes between contending parties by what was termed camp fight, hence the campio or champion. The versions know not well what to make of this man. The Vulgate calls him sir spurius, "a bastard;" the Septuagint, ανηρ δυνατος, "a strong or powerful man;" the Targum, גברא מביניהון gabra mibbeyneyhon, "a man from between them;" the Arabic, rujil jibar, "a great or gigantic man;" the Syriac is the same; and Josephus terms him ανηρ παμμεγεθιστατος, "an immensely great man." The Vulgate has given him the notation of spurius or bastard, because it considered the original as expressing a son of two, i.e., a man whose parents are unknown. Among all these I consider our word champion, as explained above, the best and most appropriate to the original terms.

Whose height was six cubits and a span - The word cubit signifies the length from cubitus, the elbow, to the top of the middle finger, which is generally rated at one foot six inches. The span is the distance from the top of the middle finger to the end of the thumb, when extended as far as they can stretch on a plain; this is ordinarily nine inches. Were we sure that these were the measures, and their extent, which are intended in the original words, we could easily ascertain the height of this Philistine; it would then be nine feet nine inches, which is a tremendous height for a man.

But the versions are not all agreed in his height. The Septuagint read τεσσαρων πηχεων και σπιθαμης, four cubits and a span; and Josephus reads the same. It is necessary however to observe that the Septuagint, in the Codex Alexandrinus, read with the Hebrew text. But what was the length of the ancient cubit? This has been variously computed; eighteen inches, twenty inches and a half, and twenty-one inches. If we take the first measurement, he was nine feet nine; if the second, and read palm instead of span, with the Vulgate and others, he was ten feet seven inches and a half; if we take the last, which is the estimate of Graevius, with the span, he was eleven feet three inches; or if we go to the exactest measurement, as laid down in Bishop Cumberland's tables, where he computes the cubit at 21.888 inches, the span at 10.944 inches, and the palm at 3.684 inches, then the six cubits and the span will make exactly 11 feet 10.272 inches. If we take the palm instead of the span, then the height will be 11 feet 3.012 inches. But I still think that the nine feet nine inches is the most reasonable.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Goliath

1 Samuel 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name...

1 Samuel 21:9,10 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you slew in the valley of Elah, behold...

2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite...

1 Chronicles 20:5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite...

of Gath

1 Samuel 27:4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

Joshua 11:22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

2 Samuel 21:16-22 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight...

1 Chronicles 20:4-8 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai...

whose height

Deuteronomy 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron...

1 Chronicles 11:23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam...

Amos 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks...

six cubits According to Bp. Cumberland's calculation, the height of Goliath was about eleven feet ten inches; but Parkhurst estimating the ordinary cubit at seventeen inches and a half, calculates that he was nine feet six inches high. Few instances can be produced of men who can be compared with him. Pliny says, `The tallest man that hath been seen in our days was one name Gabara, who, in the days of Claudius, the late Emperor, was brought out of Arabia: he was nine feet nine inches.' Josephus mentions a Jew, named Eleazar, whom Vitellius sent to Rome, who was seven cubits, or ten feet two inches high. Becanaus saw a man near ten feet, and a woman that was a full ten feet. And, to mention no more, a man of the name of John Middleton, born at Hale, near Warrington, in Lancashire, in the reign of James the First, was more than nine feet high. Dr. Plott, in his history of Staffordshire, says, that `his hand, from the carpus to the end of the middle finger, was seventeen inches, his palms eight inches and a half broad, and his whole height was nine feet three inches; wanting but six inches of the height of Goliath of Gath.'

Library
The victory of Unarmed Faith
'And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock; 35. And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Call of David.
"So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone."--1 Samuel xvii. 50. These words, which are taken from the chapter which you heard read just now in the course of the Service[1], declare the victory which David, the man after God's own heart, gained over Goliath, who came out of the army of the Philistines to defy the Living God; and they declare the manner of his gaining it. He gained it with a sling and with a stone; that is, by means, which to man might seem weak and
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
A BRIEF AND FAITHFUL RELATION OF THE EXCEEDING MERCY OF GOD IN CHRIST TO HIS POOR SERVANT, JOHN BUNYAN; WHEREIN IS PARTICULARLY SHOWED THE MANNER OF HIS CONVERSION, HIS SIGHT AND TROUBLE FOR SIN, HIS DREADFUL TEMPTATIONS, ALSO HOW HE DESPAIRED OF GOD'S MERCY, AND HOW THE LORD AT LENGTH THROUGH CHRIST DID DELIVER HIM FROM ALL THE GUILT AND TERROR THAT LAY UPON HIM. Whereunto is added a brief relation of his call to the work of the ministry, of his temptations therein, as also what he hath met with
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Joshua 11:22
No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.

1 Samuel 17:3
The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

1 Samuel 17:5
He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels;

1 Samuel 17:23
As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.

2 Samuel 21:19
In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod.

Jump to Previous
Armies Camp Camps Champion Cubits Duellists Height Hight Nine Philistine Philistines Six Span Tall Tents
Jump to Next
Armies Camp Camps Champion Cubits Duellists Height Hight Nine Philistine Philistines Six Span Tall Tents
Links
1 Samuel 17:4 NIV
1 Samuel 17:4 NLT
1 Samuel 17:4 ESV
1 Samuel 17:4 NASB
1 Samuel 17:4 KJV

1 Samuel 17:4 Bible Apps
1 Samuel 17:4 Biblia Paralela
1 Samuel 17:4 Chinese Bible
1 Samuel 17:4 French Bible
1 Samuel 17:4 German Bible

1 Samuel 17:4 Commentaries

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.

Bible Hub
1 Samuel 17:3
Top of Page
Top of Page