Here the cubit (which is based on arm length) seems to be analogous between an angel and a man. Or is this a translation or textual issue?

Berean Literal Bible Rev 21:17 And he measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits, the measure of man, that is of the angel.

Here is the Greek:


I note also that every time an angel appears they are either referred to as a "man" or they appear indistinguishable from a man:

BSB Luke 24:4While they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men in radiant apparel stood beside them.

Berean Literal Bible Hebrews 13:2 Do not be forgetful of hospitality, for through this, some have entertained angels unawares.

  • WoundedEgo - I think this question might be presupposing that all angels are the same size. Michael is clearly not the size of a man: NASB, Revelation 10:2 - ...and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; I think the better question might be: who was measuring the walls? Aug 21 '17 at 21:15
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    @elikakohen, I'm not sure how that shows that Michael was not the size of a man. ?
    – Ruminator
    Aug 21 '17 at 21:25
  • WoundedEgo - That explanation is a little longer than another example, so: NASB, 1 Chronicles 21:16 - Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. ... 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord. I believe it is reasonable to at least consider that some angels may come in different sizes - according to these texts. Aug 22 '17 at 5:22
  • @elikakohen Is there a reason why you might believe that this is Michael? I can't find a mention to that in the text. Some would believe that the "angel" in Rev 10 would be Christ. Also, there are others who would go further to believe that "the messenger of the LORD" is often an appearance of Christ, even in the OT.
    – DKing
    Aug 22 '17 at 15:10
  • @DKing - There are two parts of the question: A.) Whether angels, (in the classic sense) are all as tall as people, (I think not). B.) And, how should v.17 actually be interpreted if this is not true. C.) I have always assumed the verse meant that Angels are using the measuring standards of "mankind", not that mankind is using the measuring standards of angels. I believe that Angel sizes in Scripture are clearly not-standardized, (also see: Nephilm and Giants, Numbers 13:33). D.) Vs. 9+ seems clear that this is an angel speaking on behalf of Jesus. Aug 22 '17 at 16:14

Rev. 21:15-17,

"15 And he who is speaking with me had a golden reed, that he may measure the city, and its gates, and its wall;

16 and the city lieth square, and the length of it is as great as the breadth; and he did measure the city with the reed -- furlongs twelve thousand; the length, and the breadth, and the height, of it are equal;

17 and he measured its wall, an hundred forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, that is, of the messenger;" (YLT)

The "measure of a man" describes the length of the cubit... as a man would measure. Think of it as "yardstick" or "ruler." It is not discussing the height of a man nor the height of the angel.

Clarke's commentary on verse 17:

"The wall - a hundred and forty and four cubits - This is twelve, the number of the apostles, multiplied by itself: for twelve times twelve make one hundred and forty-four.

The measure of a man, that is, of the angel - The cubit, so called from cubitus, the elbow, is the measure from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, and is generally reckoned at one foot and a half, or eighteen inches; though it appears, from some measurements at the pyramids of Egypt, that the cubit was, at least in some cases, twenty-one inches.

By the cubit of a man we may here understand the ordinary cubit, and that this was the angel's cubit who appeared in the form of a man. Or suppose we understand the height of the man as being here intended, and that this was the length of the measuring rod. Now allowing this height and rod to be six feet, and that this was intended to have some kind of symbolical reference to the twelve tribes, mentioned Revelation 21:12, represented by the twelve gates; and to the twelve apostles, represented by the twelve thresholds or foundations; then twenty-four, the number of the tribes and apostles, multiplied by six, make precisely the number one hundred and forty-four." Source: here


Not sure, but it seems like it could be saying that the angel's cubit is as long as a man. So let's say 1.5ft on a 6ft man corresponds to 6ft on a 24ft angel? That fact certainly makes the Kingdom sound majestic. I like to think that that's it.

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    This is more of a comment than an answer. Please delete this answer and wait until you have commenting privileges (when you have 50 points) until you have the points to make comments. Thanks, and welcome to the site Nicholas.
    – Ruminator
    Nov 13 '18 at 11:33

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