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Parasa (Ancient Hebrew)

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This page describes an obsolete unit.

The unit described on this page was in use prior to modern methods of precision measurement. It was based on a standard which is no longer available, and which is not capable of being calibrated against modern measurement units. Therefore, the equivalence to modern SI units or to current United States customary units can only be considered approximate.



The parasa (פרסה, derived from the Persian parasang) was a unit of length or distance in the Ancient Hebrew system. The plural was parasa'oth (Ancient pronunciation) or parasa'ot (Modern Israeli pronunciation) (פרסות). The Persian parasang was approximately equal to four Roman miles, and the relation of the parasa to the mil was similarly set at 4 to 1.

Value in terms of modern unitsEdit

Ancient Hebrew units of length or distance are mentioned in the Bible, but their values in terms of modern units are open to some speculation. The only way of determining the length of any Ancient Hebrew unit would be to measure something in modern terms whose length was given by the Hebrews in their units. Unlike the Attic Greek and Ancient Roman units, there are not good examples of such measurable objects, so much of the information we have is based on guesswork.

The parasa has been described as a distance walkable in 72 minutes. (Since average walking speeds are 5 km/hr = 3.1 mi/hr, this implies a distance of 6 km = 3.7 mi. However, most estimates are shorter, see below.)

Estimates of the value of the Hebrew parasa range from 3.84–4.608 km (2.4–2.88 mi).

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