Unraveling the Mystery of Goliath: How Big was the Biblical Giant?
Skip to content

Viral Believer is reader-supported. We may earn a small fee from products we recommend at no charge to you. Read Our Affiliate Disclosure

Unraveling the Mystery of Goliath: How Big was the Biblical Giant?

Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior, is one of the most famous and intriguing figures in the Bible. Known for his colossal size and strength, as well as his infamous battle against David, Goliath has captured the imagination of believers and non-believers alike for thousands of years. However, despite his prominence in the biblical narrative, the true size of Goliath remains a topic of debate and speculation.

The story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 paints a vivid picture of the giant warrior’s immense stature, with some translations suggesting that he stood over nine feet tall. In an effort to reconcile the biblical account with historical evidence and scientific understanding, scholars have sought to determine just how big Goliath truly was. In this blog post, we will explore the various dimensions of Goliath’s size, as well as what this information can teach us about the biblical world and our own faith journey.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Goliath’s height is a matter of debate, with estimates ranging from six and a half feet to over nine feet tall.
  2. The size of Goliath’s armor and weaponry can provide some insight into his true dimensions.
  3. The story of David and Goliath has important spiritual significance, which is not diminished by questions surrounding Goliath’s size.
  4. The account of Goliath’s size can provide valuable insight into the biblical world and ancient cultures.
  5. Understanding Goliath’s true dimensions can help us better appreciate the story of David and Goliath as well as its deeper spiritual meaning.

Goliath’s Height: A Matter of Debate

The exact height of Goliath remains a subject of scholarly debate. According to 1 Samuel 17:4 (NKJV), Goliath stood at “six cubits and a span” in height. The traditional understanding of a cubit is approximately 18 inches, while a span is about 9 inches. Using these measurements, Goliath would have stood around 9 feet 9 inches tall.

However, some scholars argue that these measurements might not accurately reflect Goliath’s true stature. Some ancient manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint, record Goliath’s height at “four cubits and a span,” or about six feet nine inches. This would make the Philistine warrior a tall man by ancient standards, but not the towering giant that many imagine.

It is also important to consider that height measurements in ancient cultures were often exaggerated or idealized. In this case, the account of Goliath’s height may have been intended to emphasize his status as an exceptional and fearsome opponent, rather than providing an accurate record of his height.

Insights from Goliath’s Armor and Weaponry

While Goliath’s height may be a subject of debate, the size of his armor and weaponry can provide additional insights into his dimensions. The Bible describes Goliath’s armor and weaponry in great detail: “He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels” (1 Samuel 17:5-7, NKJV).

The weight of Goliath’s coat of mail, roughly 125 pounds, indicates a man of considerable size and strength. Similarly, the size of his spear, likened to a “weaver’s beam,” suggests that Goliath was significantly taller and more robust than the average man. It is also worth noting that ancient warriors, particularly those of significant size or strength, were often outfitted with armor and weaponry designed to showcase their physical prowess.

Spiritual Significance: The Story of David and Goliath

Regardless of the exact dimensions of Goliath, the story of David and Goliath remains one of the most famous and spiritually significant accounts in Scripture. David’s unlikely victory over the giant, despite his youth and inexperience, demonstrates the power of faith and reliance on God. As David proclaimed to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Samuel 17:45, NKJV).

The story of David and Goliath has often been interpreted as a metaphor for overcoming the “giants” in our own lives. Whether we face physical, emotional, or spiritual challenges, the account of David’s triumph serves as a powerful reminder of the strength and guidance that God provides to those who trust in Him.

Goliath’s Size in Context: The Biblical World and Ancient Cultures

Understanding Goliath’s size within the context of the biblical world and ancient cultures can provide valuable insights into the story of David and Goliath. The Bible mentions other giants, such as the Anakim and the Rephaim, who were considered to be of exceptional stature and strength (Deuteronomy 2:10-11, 20-21). While these accounts are often understood metaphorically or symbolically, they do provide a cultural backdrop against which Goliath’s size can be understood.

Additionally, it is worth noting that ancient cultures often used physical characteristics, such as size or strength, as symbols to represent power, authority, or superiority. In this context, Goliath’s immense stature would have been a way of conveying his dominance as a warrior, and the impressive nature of David’s victory over him.

Embracing the Mystery: Appreciating the Deeper Spiritual Meaning

As believers, we may find ourselves drawn to the mystery and intrigue surrounding Goliath’s size. However, it is important to remember that the story of David and Goliath transcends these physical details, revealing deeper spiritual truths about our relationship with God. Ultimately, whether Goliath was six feet tall or over nine feet, the power of David’s faith and the message of trust in God remains just as relevant and inspiring.

The story of David and Goliath not only serves as a powerful reminder of God’s strength and protection in our lives, but also demonstrates the importance of trusting in Him despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges before us. As we delve deeper into the account of Goliath’s size and the world in which he lived, we find new opportunities to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the biblical narrative, as well as to strengthen our own spiritual journey.


In conclusion, the exact size of Goliath remains a matter of debate within scholarly and religious circles. The biblical account, along with historical and cultural context, offers clues that can help us to better understand his true dimensions. While we may never know for certain just how big Goliath was, the spiritual significance of the story of David and Goliath remains undiminished.

By exploring the various aspects of Goliath’s size and the cultural context in which the story takes place, we can develop a deeper appreciation for the biblical narrative and its relevance within our own lives. As we embrace the mystery surrounding the dimensions of Goliath, we can also find hope and inspiration in the message ofDavid’s unwavering faith and reliance upon God. Through this journey, we can grow closer to God and gain new insights into the depth of His love and power in our lives.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.