How Long Is A Furlong In The Bible

The Meaning Of A Furlong

A furlong is a unit of measurement found in the Bible. It is a measurement of length and is derived from the English language meaning “forty rods” or “forty perches.” A perch is a measure of an area, and a rod is a measurement of a length or a distance. Furlongs have been used since ancient times and represent a long distance, often referring to a large animal, such as a horse, running the length of a field. In the Bible, a furlong is often used when speaking of a journey that is long and arduous.

Biblical References To Furlongs

The Bible mentions the measurement of ‘a furlong’ several times. Isaiah 35:8-10 reads: “And a highway shall be there; and a way, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring unto Zion; the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Here, a furlong is used to describe the length of the journey of the God’s people being reunited in Zion to live in joy and celebration.
In Jacob’s time, a furlong was used to describe the distance between two locations – Ephrath and Bethlehem. In Genesis 48:7, it says that Jacob “journeyed from the Well of the Oath to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.” Again, the use of the term furlong implies a long, arduous journey.

The Length Of A Biblical Furlong

The exact length of a biblical furlong is not known for certain, though many theologians believe that it is likely to have been between 650 and 800 meters. This is based on the fact that, according to ancient sources, the Romans used a unit of measure that was longer than a stadium (160 meters) and shorter than a stade (618 meters). Additionally, the Talmud suggests that the biblical furlong had a length closer to a stadium. Therefore, it is logical to assume that the furlong mentioned in the Bible was somewhere between 650 to 800 meters long.

The Importance Of A Furlong In The Bible

The length of a furlong was important for farmers, traders and travelers and it was used extensively in the Bible for measuring distances and for symbolic purposes. Farmers and traders used the furlong when measuring the size of their land and when getting the most out of their yields. Since travel was difficult during the era of the Bible and most people were rural, they relied heavily on symbols such as the furlong to give them perspective and to add context to their travels. In the same way, travelers could use it to help them measure their journey, whether short or long.
The symbolic value of a furlong can also be noted in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 24:10, Abraham’s servant sets off in search of a wife for Isaac and he uses a furlong as a marker to signal his return. Similarly, furlongs are often used in the Bible to describe the long, meandering journey of the Israelites as they wandered through the desert.


From ancient times to the present, the furlong has been an important measure of distances in the Bible. While the exact length of a biblical furlong is unknown, it’s likely to have been between 650 and 800 meters. This unit of measure was used by both farmers and traders to measure their land, as well as to add context to travelers’ journeys. In the Bible, a furlong is also often used to symbolically describe a difficult and long journey. For these reasons, the furlong has been an important measure for centuries and will remain so in the years to come.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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