the Pastors eye
3/16/12 at 02:14 PM 1 Comments

How Long is a Cubit?

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I know a lot of people who read the Bible properly do not know what a cubit is. Other then a unit of measurement. So I will try to explain it .
Eastman's bible dictionary says there are at least 2
measures for the term "cubit":

* Standard cubit : elbow to end of middle finger (20").
* Lower forearm cubit : elbow to base of the hand (12").

From Strong's Definitions:

Old Testament Hebrew Definition:
0520 'ammah {am-maw'}
prolonged from 0517; TWOT - 115c; n f
AV - cubit 242, measure 1, post 1, not translated 1; 245
1) cubit - a measure of distance (the forearm), roughly
18 in (.5m). There are several cubits used in the OT, the
cubit of a man or common cubit (Dt 3.11), the legal cubit
or cubit of the sanctuary (Eze 40.5) plus others.

So looking at De 3:11:

De 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of
giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron;
is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine
cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the
breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

So realistically, how tall might a giant like Og have been?

Well, the largest man on record was nearly 9 feet tall. He
did not live long and died at 22 due to complications related
to his size. Recently, there have been two very tall men at
approximately 7.75 feet tall. Given this, it's fairly
reasonable to assume that Og was about 8 to 9 feet tall.

So how long is "the cubit of a man"?

If you use the standard cubit (20"/cubit), Og's height
would be:

Og's height = 9 cubit * 20"/cubit * 1ft/12" = 15 feet

This is NOT real likely.

If you use the lower forearm cubit (12"/cubit), Og's height
would be:

Og's height = 9 cubit * 12"/cubit * 1ft/12" = 9 feet

This is in line with present day very tall men or "giants".

Further, there is another giant listed in the bible, his
name was Goliath:

1 Sa 17:4 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.

So let's see how tall Goliath was:

If you use the standard cubit (20"/cubit and 9"/span), Goliath's
height would be:

Height = (6 cubit * 20"/cubit + 9") * 1ft/12" = 10.8 feet

This might be possible and would explain the extreme fear he
instilled in the Israelis as he mocked them for 40 days.

If you use the lower forearm cubit (12"/cubit), Goliath's height
would be:

Height = (6 cubit * 12"/cubit + 9") * 1ft/12" = 6.75 feet

This would be a tall man, but not really considered to be
of "giant" caliber. Therefore it's reasonable to assume the
longer cubit for Goliath's measurement.

From this, it's fairly clear that there are at least two
versions of cubit available, one based on the elbow to
tip of the middle finger and another from elbow to the
base of the hand.

God made it all, Jesus died for our sins.

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