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
CommentaryClarke'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
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.'
LibraryThe 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.
The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
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.
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