Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. - Amos 2:9

I'm assuming it's more poetic, but it still seems such a big exaggeration that one would think that there is an element of truth to it. But when you hear reports like that of Numbers 13:33:

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

It seems to suggest that maybe they were really big, but maybe the clue is in the verse before when it says "And they brought up an evil report of the land" as in they were lying about the size of them. If anyone could help bring some more clarity on it that would be great!

4 Answers 4


Yes, the Amorite were literally really tall people. They are listed with the tribes living in Canaan with the other giants in Gen. 15:18-21.

"18 In that day hath Jehovah made with Abram a covenant, saying, `To thy seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Phrat, 19 with the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, 20 and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, 21 and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.'” (YLT)

Deu. 4:46-47 lists two kings of the Amorite whom the children of Israel defeated.

"46 On this side Jordan, in the valley over against Bethpeor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come forth out of Egypt: 47 And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sunrising;" (KJV)

King Og of Bashan was a giant described in Deu. 3:11-13.

"11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.

13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants." (KJV)

Excerpt from my post "Giants: Rephaim, Zamzummim, Emim, Amorite, Anakim, Nephilim, Zuzim" -

"Deu. 2:10-11, ” The Emim formerly have dwelt in it, a people great, and numerous, and tall, as the Anakim; 11 Rephaim they are reckoned, they also, as the Anakim; and the Moabites call them Emim.”

The Emim were compared to the Anakim (the sons of Anak), a great, numerous, and tall people. So, the Emim, or Rephaim, and Anakim were tribes of very tall people, viewed as giants by the rest of mankind. People are men and women and children of the species of man.

Again speaking of the land which God gave to Lot –

Deu. 2::20-21, “A land of Rephaim it is reckoned, even it; Rephaim dwelt in it formerly, and the Ammonites call them Zamzummim; 21 a people great, and numerous, and tall, as the Anakim, and Jehovah destroyeth them before them, and they dispossess them, and dwell in their stead,”

So, the Rephaim were called Zamzummim by the Ammonite, and Emim by the Moabite.

After battling the Amorite, and defeating King Sihon, the Israelite turned to the land of King Og of Bashan, and all his kingdom of Argob." and

"Og was one of the Rephaim. A common or short cubit was about 18 inches, by the length of an average man’s fingertips to his elbow. The long cubit was 20 -22 inches. So, if Og’s bed was 9 cubits long x 4 cubits wide, then Og had to be able to fit within that length and width. If we use the short or common cubit of 18 inches, then at a minimum, Og had to be somewhere under 13.5 feet tall in order to lie down on his bed. If we use the long measure, then Og could have been as tall as 16 feet.

Og was the last of the Rephaim, the same giants whom the Ammonite called the Zamzummim, and whom the Moabite called the Emim. They were as tall as another tribe of giants, the sons of Anak called the Anakim. Deu. 4:46-47 says that Og was one of the two kings of the Amorite who were dispossessed, the other being king Sihon.

The Rephaim – known also as Zamzummim, and Emim – were of the Amorite."

You can read the rest of my post here.

  • Thank you so much for your reply! That was very helpful and informational! Dec 7, 2022 at 15:50
  • Good answer. +1. The specific evidence is very helpful.
    – Dottard
    Mar 31 at 22:29

"The Amorite". To me , that's a collective noun, meaning "the nation of Amorites". The Lord would have helped Israel by defeating a nation rather than an individual. So that rather looks like a metaphorical expression of the strength and power of the nation. The Amorites as individuals are not labelled as giants in the Numbers ch21 narrative. In Deuteronomy ch2, again, the Rephaim (vv20-21) are called as tall as the Anakim, but the Amorites (vv26-34) are not.


Were the giants gigantic? Or were they merely oversized, no more than double another man’s height?

Saul was the tallest in all of Israel, he stood one head above the next tallest man in Israel and he was never referred to as a giant but according to some answers, he too was a giant. That’s problematic because we are not entitled to pick and choose our own truths, and by that we cannot reinterpret what the text meant to the writer and reader in that time based on our feelings or academic philosophical or theological comfort levels.

There are giants pre flood and post flood. The pre flood giants were significantly taller than the post flood giants on account that their genetics were undiluted. The post flood giants were a resolute of deliberate giant phenotype selection, given this trait was carried on the X chromosome having been passed on over the flood through the non-tamayim or non pure daughter-in-laws of Noah, which being it was on the X chromosome meant it could gradually phase out, unless selected for. This genome selection continued through the cursed grandchild Canaan who decided to settle in the region named after him that was designated to Shem’s descendants.

The next issue is that the verse being cited in Amos is not a prophetic interpretation or a human narration, it is God Himself speaking. God cannot lie, exaggerations are lies and for God to use colorful language merely to create sensation is out of character for God. When God says they were as tall as cedars that means they were as tall as cedars.

Also noteworthy is that poetry does not mean exaggerated speech, it means melodic, rhythmic, rhyming speech. Just because today some poetry is exaggerated doesn’t mean this was true for ancient poetry too. Truth can and is conveyed poetically. The genre of poetry is not synonymous with exaggerated language. Also this verse in Amos is NOT poetic genre.

Now, how tall were the cedars? Depends on the specie of cedar at the time in that region, if we are to go by today’s standard of a regular cedar, in excess of 40feet but cedars of Lebanon were said to exceed 100feet in heights.

We have other factors like texts that says we were like grasshoppers in their sight, someone 10 feet tall would not consider a 4 foot woman to appear like a grasshopper to a 4 foot woman but a 100 ft giant seeing a 6 ft man is getting close.

We have fossilized trees and fossilized bones, trees based on the girth being hundred of years old standing in excess of 100 feet in height. We also have bones, claimed to be reptilian, but they do not exclude humanoid shaped persons. It’s only claimed to be from a dinosaur but seeing how there has been a deliberate effort rid the history books of even the existence of much smaller giants from recent history, it’s not a stretch to see some of these humanoid skeletal fossils as being covered up and falsely claimed as dinosaur. No fossilized dinosaur skeletons that were found complete are of gigantic proportion, all the gigantic skeletons are artistic creations found in museums around the world and if there are any real bones it’s only one bone from which a whole dinosaur is artistically created

Was this passage descriptive in Amos and should it be taken as written. If it is not, then this means any and all passages in scripture can be reinterpreted. One has to contend with this fact. Which means one can and should throw the whole Bible out in the dust bin because it can’t be trusted. Verses are going to start contradicting themselves and one will need to do some mental gymnastics to try keeping them together. It’s also calling God a liar or at least the words claimed to be His unauthoritative, so again annulling other times God spoke.

The Bible speaks of giants after the flood and they were small in size, not ones that would qualify as making a regular man appear the size of a grasshopper but that doesn’t therefore annul the possibility of taller giants. Giants that were tall enough to move stones several tons in weight like that found in ziggurats and pyramids with ease.

In conclusion, as uncomfortable as it might be for the modern conditioned and sanitized mind, the text is authoritative, it’s God speaking as He is being quoted word for word and those giants were indeed far taller than oversized men


How big were the giants of Amos 2:9 (Amorites) really?

If one takes the bible literally then we must consider an even taller version of the giants. Not only are they described as being tall as cedars and strong as oaks; some of them were reportedly descended from the Nephilim. The first part of the OP's quote from Numbers 13:33 reads as follows:

We saw the Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim.)

If so, then the Nephilim survived that flood, which could mean they we tall enough to wade through it; in other words really, really tall. This may sound silly, but consider the description of them from 1 Enoch 6-7.

It came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children... And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells. [sometimes translated as cubits]

Whether ells or cubits, these giants, clearly the same as the Nephilim, were about as tall as a mountain, let alone oaks and cedars. The Book of Enoch is not holy scripture except in the Ethiopian-based churches, but it was quoted in the NT Letter of Jude. So yes, to "really big" if we take these reports as factual.

But I do not think we can. The reality is that their size is exaggerated, either to produce a sense of awe, or to create drama, as in the case of David and Goliath. If we are talking about reality, than there never was any such thing as giants: whether Nephilim descended from fallen angels, Trolls from Norse gods or Cyclopes from Greek deities. However, there were and are indeed very large human beings, whose size grows as the tale is told.

How tall were they really? Probably a a bit larger than an NBA center. Tall as Manute Bol, strong as Shaquille O'Neill, and maybe even a little stronger.

  • Tall tales grow taller with the telling. Fictional mythologies should not even be suggested here, much less repeated, as some lack the discretion to reject them.
    – Biblasia
    Dec 8, 2022 at 4:41
  • Were the giants tall like Cedars? Yes. Did they survive the world wide flood? No. “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭7‬:‭21‬-‭22‬ ‭the way the Nephilim genetics survived the flood was through the daughters-in-law genome hence why the grandchild Canaan was cursed for Ham’s desperate sin of “uncovering his father’s nakedness”. Jan 9 at 12:41

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