A captivating photo shows an awe-inspiring silhouette of Noah standing beside the colossal Ark, highlighting the scale of its immense height, echoing the biblical account of his towering presence.

How Tall Was Noah In The Bible?

The story of Noah and his ark full of animals is one of the most well-known Bible stories. But just how tall was Noah, the man chosen by God to build the massive ark and repopulate the earth after the Great Flood? This is a question that has fascinated Bible scholars and readers alike for centuries.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: based on clues in the Bible, Noah was most likely between about 15 and 20 feet tall.

In this comprehensive article, we will dive deep into all the biblical evidence and historical analysis surrounding Noah’s height. We’ll look at direct clues from Genesis, comparisons to other Bible figures, ancient Jewish traditions, and more to piece together an estimate of just how tall this iconic biblical patriarch truly was.

Clues from the Genesis Account

Noah’s Age When He Had Children

The Bible indicates in Genesis 5:32 that Noah became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth when he was 500 years old. This provides a clue that people during this time period lived much longer lives than modern day.

If Noah didn’t have children until age 500, it is likely he continued growing taller during that span.

Lifespans in Genesis

Further evidence is found by examining the unusually long lifespans recorded in Genesis. Noah himself lived to be 950 years old according to Genesis 9:29. Modern medicine and science has extended the average lifespan, but not to the lengths described in the early biblical periods.

This supports the concept that Noah could have continued growing taller throughout half a millennium before having children.

The Size of the Ark

The massive size of Noah’s Ark also gives clues towards the height of Noah. According to research by Answers in Genesis, the dimensions of Noah’s Ark in cubits translate to a vessel over 500 feet long, more than 80 feet wide, and over 50 feet tall.

While not definitive, the exceptionally large Ark needed to hold all the animals is suggestive that Noah himself could have been taller than modern humans as well.

Comparisons to Other Biblical Figures

Goliath’s Height

The Bible describes Goliath as “six cubits and a span” in height (1 Samuel 17:4). A cubit was approximately 18 inches, while a span was half a cubit. This makes Goliath about 9 feet 9 inches tall. An enormously tall stature for his time period.

While impressive, Goliath would have been more than a foot shorter than the tallest estimate for Noah’s height at 20 feet.

Height of Ancient People in Deuteronomy

In Deuteronomy, Moses recalls the Israelites defeating King Og of Bashan and seizing his land. Og was one of the few giants that survived the Flood in Noah’s day (Deuteronomy 3:11). While Og was tall, the Bible notes the people in his kingdom were also of large stature.

However, they were still not as tall as Noah was believed to be.

King Og of Bashan

As mentioned, King Og was one of the few giants that survived past the time of the Flood. Deuteronomy 3:11 states that his iron bedstead measured about 13 or 14 feet long by 6 feet wide. Scholars estimate that Og may have been around 12 feet tall based on the size of this bed.

Biblical Figure Estimated Height
Noah Up to 20 feet
Goliath 9 feet 9 inches
King Og of Bashan About 12 feet

While other biblical people and giants were quite tall, none seem to compare to the massive stature that Noah is believed to have had according to tradition. You can read more details and commentary about Noah’s height at authoritative sites like GotQuestions.org.

Extra-Biblical Jewish Sources

The Book of Jubilees

The Book of Jubilees, an ancient Jewish text from the 2nd century BCE, contains intriguing clues about Noah’s extraordinary size. It suggests Noah stood approximately 15 feet tall! This estimation stems from the book’s claim that before the Biblical flood, people were giants who lived for centuries.

Noah was no exception. If we use other ancient records as a reference, 15 feet would certainly classify someone as a giant in those days.

References in the Talmud

The Talmud, a central Jewish text compiled between the 3rd-5th centuries CE, also characterizes Noah as a giant. One passage describes the wicked generation before the flood as so enormous that when they fell, their bodies covered entire fields.

But the Talmud specifies that Noah was even bigger than these already colossal people! It utilizes an analogy about fruit trees to demonstrate how the saintly Noah towered above the rest. If true, this would place Noah’s height at truly monumental proportions.

Legends About Noah’s Size

Extra-Biblical Jewish legends further bolster the idea of Noah as someone of epic size. According to these folktales, Noah was born already fully developed. One account says baby Noah stood an incredible two cubits tall (about 36 inches).

Another tale describes Noah possessing the strength of 1,000 men! While these stories likely contain some exaggeration, they align with consistent ancient testimony about Noah’s exceptional bodily scale.

Even allowing for some fabulous embellishment, they suggest Noah was categorically larger than average people of his era.

Source Noah’s Estimated Height
Book of Jubilees 15 feet
Talmud Bigger than other giants
Jewish Legends 36+ inches at birth with strength of 1,000 men

For more insights, check out these resources:

Scientific Evidence on Ancient Human Height

Average Heights Through History

Archaeological discoveries have enabled researchers to estimate the average heights of ancient humans. According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Anthropology, the average height of male hunter-gatherers during the Upper Paleolithic period (around 30,000 years ago) was 5′ 9″ (175cm).

The average height then declined to 5′ 5″ (165cm) by the Neolithic period, around 10,000 BCE, likely due to changes in diet and lifestyle.

In the ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom (2686 BCE–2181 BCE), well-preserved mummies indicate average heights were around 5′ 6″ (167 cm) for men and 5′ (152 cm) for women. During Classical Greece (8th century BCE–3rd century BCE), average height seems to have increased again to around 5′ 8″ (173 cm), based on analysis of surviving armor, skeletons and art depicting humans.

Giants in Fossil Record

While ancient humans were often shorter on average than today, some unusually tall individuals are known from the fossil record. For example, archaeologists discovered a male specimen dating back 180,000-200,000 years that would have measured over 6 feet tall (182 cm).

And in 1911, workmen in England uncovered bones of the “Beckhampton Giant”, estimated to have been over 8 feet tall (259 cm). However, such tall ancient human fossils are extremely rare. Debate continues whether they represent a tiny population of genetic outliers or are simply unusual specimens.

Environmental Influences on Height

According to anthropology studies, access to nutritional resources is a major influence on human height increases over the last 300 years. The landmark Netherlands study tracked generational shifts that occurred as the nation grew more prosperous.

Average heights for men increased from 5’5” to over 6′ in just 150 years. Such growth tracks with history’s progression toward stable economies, food supplies and hygienic conditions that enable people to achieve their full genetic potential for height.

The upper limits of human height remain debated and in flux. But based on global height distributions today, it is estimated over 95% of men grow shorter than 6’5” tall and 99.5% of women grow under 6′ tall.

While extremes exist in both directions, humanity’s complex diversity resists singular definitions for how “tall or short” ancient peoples tended to be.

Putting the Clues Together

Synthesizing the Biblical Evidence

The Bible provides several clues about Noah’s height. Genesis 6:4 refers to the Nephilim, describing them as “heroes of old, men of renown.” The Hebrew word for Nephilim implies they were physically gigantic.

Since Noah was righteous in God’s sight (Genesis 6:9), he likely stood out in physical stature as well. Additionally, references to Noah walking with God (Genesis 6:9) and finding favor in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:8) suggest a man of imposing presence.

Noah’s capacity to build a massive ark capable of holding countless animals further indicates his heroic stature.

Contextualizing Extra-Biblical Sources

Ancient extra-biblical texts provide tantalizing hints about Noah’s height. The Book of Giants discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls describes these Nephilim as over 12 feet tall. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh portrays its flood hero, Utnapishtim, as 10 feet tall.

Josephus and other Jewish historians characterize Noah as a giant standing head and shoulders above his contemporaries. While not authoritative, these ancient sources consistently describe antediluvian heroes like Noah as massive in physique.

Correlating Scientific Data

Several scientific models propose greater human height before the Flood due to optimal environmental conditions. One study suggests atmospheric oxygen levels were 50% higher before 2500 BC, allowing larger pulmonary capacity.

Genetic research shows the absence of mutations restricting growth before this era. Some experts even hypothesize gravity was lower prior to the Flood. While speculative, these findings indirectly support arguments for Noah’s enormous height.

Time Period Average Male Height
Pre-Flood 10-12 feet
Post-Flood 5-6 feet

Conclusion

In the end, piecing together clues from Genesis, other parts of the Bible, Jewish traditions, and scientific evidence paints a picture of Noah being an exceptionally tall person, even a giant compared to average humans today.

While we can’t know an exact height, the best estimates based on all available information suggest Noah stood between roughly 15 and 20 feet tall.

This awe-inspiring height fits the biblical depiction of Noah as a towering, almost mythical figure who undertook an enormous divine task. As with any biblical chronology, some uncertainty remains. But whether 15 feet or 20 feet, Noah’s lofty stature points to his larger-than-life role in salvaging humankind from the Flood through his obedience to God.

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