For King Og of Ba′shan was the last remaining one of the Reph′a·im. His bier was made of iron, and it is still in Rab′bah of the Am′mon·ites. It is nine cubits long and four cubits wide, by the standard cubit. – Deuteronomy 3:11
Og is mentioned in Jewish literature as being alive from the time of Noah up until the time of his death in battle with the Israelites. It is also written in the Midrash that he had a special compartment in Noah’s Ark just for him. Jewish oral tradition has it that Og sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the Flood from that location.
Such was the impact of the slain of Og in the memory of the Jewish nation that Og’s destruction is retold again centuries later in the book of Psalms (Psalms 135:11;136:20) as one of many great victories for the nation of Israel .Also the book of Amos makes a reference to Og the Amorite with the following words :”But it was I who annihilated the Am′or·ite before them,Who was as tall as the cedars and as strong as the oaks;I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below.”(Amos 2:9)
Og “was the last remaining one of the Reph′a·im” a tribe considered in ancient Israel as a tribe of giants.If the giant king’s bedstead was built in proportion to his size as most beds are, he may have been between 9 to 13 feet in height. However, later Rabbinic tradition has it, that the length of his bedstead was measured with the cubits of Og himself. The Talmud applies fantastic proportions to this giant’s height relating a story where Og was so large that he tried to destroy the Israelites by uprooting a mountain so large, that it would have crushed the entire Israelite encampment. In the same story Moses under Jehovah’s direction not to fear this giant grasped a spear the size of ten cubits length and by jumping a similar vertical distance managed to stab Og in his ankle.
It is of great interest to mention that the region north of the river Jabbok, or Bashan, “the land of Rephaim”, is a land full of hundreds of megalithic stone tombs (dolmen) dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. At the begining of the 20th century Gustav, a German theologian and orientalist, discovered in the neighborhood of Amman Jordan (Amman is built on the ancient city of Rabbah of Ammon) a noteworthy dolmen which appears to be of the same proportionste dimensions of Og’s bed as described in the Bible. Such ancient rock burials were not the norm for the area west of the Jordan river, and the only other concentration of these megaliths are to be found in the hills of Judah in the vicinity of Hebron, where the giant sons of Anak were said to have lived (Numbers 13:33).
The Bible is not the only record of that time to make mention of these extrodinary giants .The ancient Egyptians also called the inhabitants of the land of Canaan “Shasu.” A later text entitled The Craft of the Scribe(c. 1250 BC), which was used to train Egyptian scribes, discusses a Canaanite mountain pass during a past battle.
Egyptian cubits were longer than the Hebrew common cubit. At 20.65 inches per Egyptian cubit, the Shasu mentioned in this letter would have measured between 6’10” and 8’7.” This description shows that the traditional measurement of Goliath is not as outlandish as many critics believe.