The Bible does not explicitly name a height for Adam, the first man in the Hebrew Bible. Nevertheless, there are techniques we can use to try and determine his approximate height. In this article, we’ll explore different theories on the physical size of Adam—from his body measurements in Ancient Hebrew terms to comparisons of the biblical figure with characters in scripture.
Hebrew Measurement Terms
In Ancient Hebrew, the term amot is typically translated as “cubit” but can mean any measure of length. The Bible uses this term to describe many of its figures and structures, including the Ark of the Covenant, the walls of Jerusalem, and the height of Ahab, king of Israel. The exact value of an amot is disputed, with most estimates range around 0.5 and 0.6 meters, or 17 inches to 20 inches, respectively.
Some scriptures use amot to list Adam’s height as “six amot.” If we were to take this literally, Adam would be around 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) tall. However, the word amot’s loose definition does not allow us to interpret this phrase with much precision.
There are other metrics of height from ancient Hebrew texts. One such example is the réa’ah which was around one half of an amot or about 11 inches. With this measurement, Adam’s approximate height would be closer to 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches).
Comparisons with Other Biblical Characters
The Bible is littered with descriptions of various heights, allowing us to make an educated guess as to Adam’s stature. Comparing Adam to countless other biblical characters with listed heights can further refine our perceptions of the oldest human’s size. For example, the Bible states the height of Goliath, King Saul’s enemy, was “six amot and one span”. A similar comparison between Adam and King Saul gives us an even more precise vertical measurement. The Bible claims that King Saul was “a head taller than anyone else”. This means that Adam could have been roughly 1.7 meters (5 feet 7 inches).
While the Bible does not give a definitive height for Adam, we can make reasonable assumptions about his size by looking at ancient Hebrew measurement standards and comparing him with biblical characters with listed heights. From those calculations, we can surmise that Adam was somewhere between 1.5 and 1.7 meters (4 feet 11 inches to 5 feet 7 inches) in height.