What is a span in the Authorized King James Bible of 1611?

Answer: A span is the length from the tip of a man's thumb to the tip of his little finger when his hand is stretched out. It is about 9 inches.

It is handy to know your cubit, your span, and your handbreadth--many, many things can be measured and estimated very nicely without a ruler or measuring tape, just stick out your arm. I was in the store one day and had measured out 40" using my cubit, etc. A man stopped by with a measuring tape (I guess he saw me measuring with my arm, etc.), he measured, and then, as I recall, he told me the same measurement that I had already calculated, I don't think the measurement was even an inch off. If it was, then it was perhaps an inch.

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