How Tall Was David in the Bible?
David was an exceptionally tall man in biblical times. His height was six feet nine inches, which was extremely tall 3,000 years ago. His greatest rival was the Philistine champion Goliath, who was only six inches shorter than David. Only one man was taller than Goliath: King Saul of Israel.
David is mentioned in the Bible as being tall, but we do not know exactly what his height was. Several historians and scholars have discussed the question. There is some evidence to suggest that he was tall, but there is also evidence to suggest that he was short. For example, King Saul offered David armor before the battle against Goliath. David refused it because it would have made him seem disproportionately short. In contrast, Goliath was over six feet tall.
David was the future king of Israel. When he was young, he was a shepherd, but he was also an armor bearer for his father, King Saul. In the bible, David continued to work for his father, but his services were irregular. For example, 1 Samuel 17:15 mentions that he often returned to Bethlehem to feed the sheep, but it is not clear that David was a full-time shepherd.
The request for David’s height may seem innocuous enough, but it actually has a complicated background. Saul was a mighty warrior, and David would have been of kingly stature. In fact, Saul offered David armor before the Goliath battle, but David turned it down because he was not used to it. Although Saul may have wished for David to be taller, David’s training as a shepherd had prepared him well for the battle.
Saul’s request for David’s taller height is based on his desire to avenge the Amalekite attacks on his Israelite tribes 200 years earlier. The Amalekites had been defeated by Saul in a holy war, but Saul had not destroyed all of them. Because of this, Samuel told him that he had disobeyed Yahweh.
The Bible mentions Goliath as a giant, but never calls him a Nephilim. David fought against this giant and won. Goliath was at least six cubits tall and had a spearhead that was about fifteen pounds. However, David defeated Goliath and he fell to the ground. Although Goliath was a giant, we must remember that God is bigger and stronger than any giant.
There is little evidence for how tall David was, but his life was quite similar to many other Middle Eastern despots. One scholar compared David’s rise to power to that of Ibn Saud. Another comparison might be to Saddam Hussein. Both men were political masterminds and military commanders. They overthrew their rivals and consolidated their power with military force.
While it is unclear how tall David was in the Bible, he certainly had a very impressive physique. His name means “mighty man of valor,” and he had killed lions and bears before. His strength in battle was also well known, since King Saul, who was himself a tall man, offered him armor. David was also said to be strong enough to use Goliath’s sword, which means he was not only tall but had great strength.
Although David was a gifted musician, he also had a warrior’s heart and a shepherding skill level on par with his masters. One of the best-known biblical stories shows David using his sling during battle. He was defending Israel against the Philistines, who were a non-Semitic people in ancient southern Palestine. In one battle, David was fighting a giant named Goliath, who was over ten feet tall. As a result, none of the Israelite warriors dared fight him.