The Height of David in the bible

David, a key figure in the Old Testament, is celebrated for his courage, wisdom, and leadership. Alongside his notable achievements, there’s a fascinating curiosity about the height of David in the Bible. The scriptures provide hints about David’s stature, contributing an interesting aspect to his narrative. This article aims to probe into the biblical descriptions of the height of David in the Bible, analyze their importance, and clear up popular misunderstandings regarding his physical height.

Key Takeaways:

  • David’s height is mentioned in various passages of the Old Testament.
  • His height played a symbolic role in his battle against Goliath.
  • Historical and cultural contexts help provide insight into the accuracy of biblical accounts.
  • David’s rise to kingship was not solely determined by his physical stature.
  • The portrayal of David’s height continues to influence artistic representations and cultural perceptions today.

The Height of David in the bible

In the Old Testament, there are several instances where the physical stature of King David is mentioned. These biblical references provide insights into David’s height and how it was perceived in Israelite history.

One such reference is found in 1 Samuel 16:7, where the prophet Samuel is sent to anoint the future king of Israel. As the sons of Jesse parade before him, Samuel initially assumes that the eldest, Eliab, must be the chosen one due to his impressive appearance: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” This passage highlights that David’s physical stature was not what determined his suitability for kingship, but rather his heart and character.

Another notable reference is found in 1 Samuel 17, the account of David’s legendary battle with the Philistine giant, Goliath. When David volunteers to fight Goliath, King Saul expresses doubt in David’s ability, stating, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). Saul’s doubt seems to imply that David was physically smaller or less imposing in stature compared to Goliath, which makes his victory even more miraculous and inspiring.

While the biblical text does not provide a specific measurement of David’s height, his physical appearance is often depicted as relatively humble compared to other characters in the narrative. This portrayal reinforces the idea that David’s strength and success were not reliant on his physical stature, but rather on his courage, faith, and leadership qualities.

Biblical References to David’s Height

toddler girl reading a book at vehicle backseat - the Height of David in the bible

The following passages in the Old Testament mention David’s height:

1 Samuel 16:7 – “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

1 Samuel 17:33 – “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

While these references do not provide specific details about David’s physical stature, they emphasize the importance of qualities beyond appearance in his role as a king and a leader.

Biblical ReferenceDescription
1 Samuel 16:7Highlights that David’s physical appearance was not what determined his suitability for kingship.
1 Samuel 17:33Implies that David was physically smaller or less imposing compared to the Philistine giant, Goliath.

David’s Height in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, there are several biblical references that provide insights into David’s height. These scriptures offer a glimpse into how David’s physical stature was portrayed in ancient texts. Let’s explore some of the key passages that discuss David’s height:

1. 1 Samuel 16:7

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”

This verse highlights the emphasis on inner qualities rather than physical attributes. It suggests that David’s height might not have been a key factor in his anointing as the future king of Israel.

2. 1 Samuel 17:4

“A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.”

While this verse speaks of Goliath’s tremendous height, it also indirectly highlights the contrast between David’s stature. The narrative builds anticipation for the encounter between the two iconic figures.

3. 1 Samuel 17:38-40

“Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around because he was not used to them… Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

In this passage, David’s refusal to wear Saul’s armor implies that he was significantly smaller in stature compared to the imposing Goliath. This highlights David’s reliance on his faith and skills, rather than physical size, in facing his giant adversary.

4. 2 Samuel 21:20

“In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.”

While this verse does not directly mention David’s height, it provides further context by mentioning his brother Jonathan. It offers a comparison between the individuals related to David and their actions in battles, leaving room for speculation about David’s physical attributes.

Scripture ReferenceKey Takeaways
1 Samuel 16:7Emphasis on inner qualities rather than physical appearance.
1 Samuel 17:4Highlights the contrast between Goliath’s towering height and David’s presumed smaller stature.
1 Samuel 17:38-40David’s refusal to wear Saul’s armor suggests a significant difference in stature between him and Goliath.
2 Samuel 21:20Comparison to David’s brother Jonathan leaves room for speculation about David’s physical attributes.

These biblical references provide intriguing glimpses into David’s height narrative in the scriptures. The variations in descriptions and the focus on inner qualities rather than physical appearance invite readers to delve deeper into the symbolism and significance of David’s stature in the Old Testament.

David’s Height Compared to Goliath

One of the most iconic stories in the Bible is the battle between David and Goliath. Central to this narrative is the stark contrast between their physical statures. David, a young shepherd boy, is often depicted as small and unassuming, while Goliath, a seasoned warrior, is portrayed as a giant. This stark difference in height plays a significant role in the dramatic showdown between the two figures.

According to biblical accounts, Goliath was an imposing figure, standing at “six cubits and a span” (roughly 9 feet 9 inches or 3 meters tall). In contrast, David’s height is not explicitly stated in the Bible, leaving room for interpretation. However, some scholars suggest that David was likely of average height, possibly around 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 meters), based on the historical context and the physical attributes of the people in that region during that time.

This stark contrast between David’s height and Goliath’s immense stature enhances the symbolic significance of their battle. David’s victory over the towering Goliath exemplifies the triumph of courage, resilience, and divine intervention over physical superiority. It reinforces the idea that true strength lies not in physical might, but in one’s faith and determination.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between David and Goliath:

DavidAverage height – around 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 meters)
GoliathAround 9 feet 9 inches (3 meters) tall

As seen in the table above, the difference in height between David and Goliath is significant, highlighting the extraordinary nature of their encounter. This contrast serves to emphasize the unconventional nature of David’s victory and the divine intervention that played a role in his triumph.

David’s Height and His Rise to King

David’s physical stature, as described in biblical texts, played a significant role in his journey to becoming a king. Despite his perceived physical limitations, David’s qualities as a leader ultimately overshadowed any concerns about his height.

In the Old Testament, David is depicted as a young shepherd who was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the future king of Israel. It was not his physical stature, but rather his courage, faith, and skill as a warrior that set him apart.

“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'” – 1 Samuel 16:7

David’s rise to power can be seen as a testament to his character and his ability to lead, rather than his height. His youthfulness and humble origins resonated with the people, and his victories on the battlefield solidified his position as a respected figure in Israelite history.

“David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.” – 1 Samuel 18:5

David’s accomplishments, such as his defeat of the Philistine giant Goliath, further enhanced his reputation as a courageous leader chosen by God. It was his unwavering faith and trust in the Lord that allowed him to triumph over his adversaries, regardless of his physical stature.

Thus, David’s ascent to the throne exemplifies the biblical principle that true leadership is not determined by outward appearances, but by one’s character, faith, and ability to inspire others. David’s story serves as an inspiration for individuals facing limitations or obstacles, highlighting the importance of inner strength and integrity in achieving greatness.

Myth vs. Historical Reality: Debunking Height Exaggerations

In the world of biblical accounts, the height of King David has been a topic of intrigue and speculation. Many myths and misconceptions have emerged regarding David’s physical stature, with some claiming he was exceptionally tall while others suggest he was unusually short. However, a closer examination of historical and cultural contexts reveals the truth behind these exaggerations.

Throughout the Old Testament, there are several references to David’s physical appearance, but none provide a definitive measurement of his height. The absence of precise details regarding David’s stature indicates that his height was not a significant factor in his narrative. Instead, it is his character, leadership qualities, and devotion to God that are highlighted.

The portrayal of David as a man after God’s own heart, chosen to be Israel’s king, is not contingent on his physical attributes. The emphasis lies in his faith, courage, and wisdom as demonstrated in his triumph over the giant Goliath, an event that has become one of David’s most iconic stories.

“…David’s physical appearance was not the focus of biblical narratives. Rather, it is his unwavering faith and trust in God that set him apart.”

The exaggerations surrounding David’s height stem from a tendency to interpret biblical accounts too literally or impose modern expectations on ancient texts. These myths are often derived from artistic representations or cultural assumptions rather than grounded in historical evidence.

Understanding the historical and cultural context of the Old Testament is crucial in debunking these height exaggerations. In the ancient Near East, physical stature held symbolic significance, representing strength, power, and authority. Therefore, it is possible that the biblical authors used height as a metaphorical device rather than a literal measurement of David’s stature.

While we may never have a definitive answer to David’s exact height, it is important to remember that the focus of biblical narratives goes beyond physical appearance. The stories of David’s rise to kingship and his unwavering devotion to God continue to inspire and resonate with readers today, regardless of his height.

Symbolism of David’s Height in Biblical Narratives

David’s height in Israelite history holds significant symbolic meaning in biblical narratives. It goes beyond mere physical stature and serves as a powerful metaphor for spiritual strength and divine guidance. Throughout scriptures, David’s height narrative is intricately woven into his journey as a leader and his relationship with God.

David’s physical stature, though not explicitly described in exact measurements, is often portrayed as modest compared to his predecessors and contemporaries. This portrayal reinforces the idea that greatness lies not in physical attributes but in one’s character and faith.

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

This verse highlights the underlying message that the importance of David’s height lies in the qualities that it represents rather than the measurement itself. It emphasizes the significance of inner strength, righteousness, and a genuine connection with God.

Furthermore, David’s humble stature sets him apart from the towering figures of his time, such as Goliath. The contrast between the two showcases the triumph of spirituality over physical dominance, illustrating that true victory comes from faith and courage.

“Then said David to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and 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

In this iconic showdown between David and Goliath, David’s smaller stature serves as a symbol of his unwavering trust in God’s protection and guidance. It demonstrates that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, one’s faith can pave the way to victory.

Throughout David’s journey, his height narrative continues to be a powerful representation of his spiritual journey and the divine favor bestowed upon him. It reminds believers that their physical limitations do not define their potential, and that true strength comes from a heart devoted to God.

Symbolic Meaning of David’s Height in Biblical NarrativesExamples
Metaphor for spiritual strengthDavid’s triumph over Goliath despite his smaller stature
Depiction of humility and righteousnessDavid’s modest height compared to other rulers
Representation of divine guidanceDavid’s confidence in God’s protection throughout his battles
Illustration of the triumph of faith over physical dominanceDavid’s victory over Goliath, demonstrating the power of trust in God

The Significance of David’s Height Today

In contemporary interpretations of David’s life and legacy, his height remains a subject of fascination and consideration. While the biblical account of David’s height provides some insight, its true significance lies in the symbolic and cultural implications it carries to this day.

Artistic representations of David often emphasize his physical stature, highlighting his heroic qualities and prowess as a warrior. Paintings, sculptures, and other forms of artistic expression capture the essence of his character, drawing attention to his towering presence and commanding demeanor.

“David stood at a head and shoulders above his companions, a towering figure with an aura of strength and authority.” – Art Critic

These artistic portrayals serve as a reminder of David’s exceptional leadership and his ability to overcome daunting challenges. They inspire admiration and awe while reinforcing the notion that physical stature alone does not determine one’s capabilities.

Furthermore, David’s height has also influenced cultural perceptions and societal standards of leadership. In many cultures, height is associated with power, authority, and success. As a result, individuals who are tall are often regarded as more capable and accomplished.

This cultural bias towards height has permeated various aspects of society, including politics, business, and the entertainment industry. Tall individuals are often seen as more charismatic and commanding, leading to potential advantages in these domains.

However, it is crucial to recognize that David’s true strength and significance lie not in his physical stature but in his character, faith, and accomplishments. The biblical account of David’s height serves as a reminder that true greatness cannot be measured by external attributes alone.

In conclusion, the ongoing significance of David’s height today resides in its ability to inspire, challenge prevailing societal norms, and remind us that true leadership and greatness come from within. David’s physical stature is just one facet of his multidimensional character and should not overshadow the qualities that made him a revered figure in biblical history.


Throughout this article, we have explored the fascinating subject of David’s height in the Bible. The Height of David in the Bible, David’s height, and the Height of King David according to the Bible have been keywords of our investigation. By examining the biblical account of David’s height, we gain valuable insights into the portrayal of this iconic figure and its significance in Israelite history.

From our analysis of the biblical references, we have seen that there is no explicit mention of David’s exact height. Rather, the focus lies on the narrative of David’s rise to kingship and his symbolic qualities as a leader. Any assertions about his height being unusually tall or short are unfounded and do not align with the biblical texts.

It is essential to separate myth from historical reality when discussing David’s height. While his physical stature may not have been a defining characteristic, David’s legacy as a great warrior, musician, and king endures. His story serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the power of faith, courage, and perseverance.

Understanding the biblical account of David’s height allows us to appreciate the complexities of his character and the rich symbolism within the narrative. David’s height, or lack thereof, serves as a metaphor for his spiritual strength and divine guidance. As we continue to interpret and explore the life of David, it is crucial to embrace the multifaceted aspects of his story and its enduring relevance in our lives today.


What is the height of David according to the Bible?

The Bible does not explicitly mention David’s height. However, there are several references to his physical appearance and qualities, which have been subject to interpretation.

Are there any specific accounts in the Bible that mention David’s height?

While the Bible does not provide specific measurements of David’s height, there are references that suggest he was of average stature for his time. These accounts focus more on his character and qualities rather than his physical attributes.

Was David taller or shorter than Goliath?

According to the biblical narrative, Goliath was described as a giant, standing over nine feet tall. In contrast, David is portrayed as a young shepherd boy. Their contrasting statures emphasized the apparent mismatch between them in the famous battle.

Is it true that David’s height played a significant role in his rise to becoming a king?

While David’s height is not explicitly mentioned as a factor in his rise to kingship, his qualities as a leader and his courage in battle were instrumental in his ascension to the throne. It was his actions and the divine favor he received that propelled him to become king rather than his physical stature.

Was David’s height exaggerated in biblical texts?

There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that David’s height was exaggerated in biblical texts. It is important to consider the historical and cultural context in which the accounts were written to understand the portrayal of David’s physical attributes in the Bible.

What symbolic meaning is associated with David’s height in biblical narratives?

David’s height is often used metaphorically to represent spiritual strength and the divine guidance he received. It symbolizes the notion that true power comes from within, rather than from physical stature or appearance.

How does the portrayal of David’s height continue to impact cultural perceptions today?

The portrayal of David’s physical stature in biblical accounts continues to influence artistic representations and popular perceptions of him. It serves as a reminder that greatness is not solely determined by physical attributes, but by one’s character, courage, and faith.

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