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. Aggadah suggests an alternative to this; that he sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the storm from this location.
Og is introduced in the Book of Numbers. Like his neighbor Sihon of Heshbon, whom Moses had previously conquered at the battle of Jahaz he was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth (probably modern Tell Ashareh, where there still exists a 70-foot mound).
The Book of Numbers, Chapter 21, and Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, continues:
- "Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei." Moses speaks: "The LORD said to me, "Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon ... So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors." ... "At that time we took all his cities, there was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og's kingdom in Bashan ... destroying every city, men, women and children ... But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves."
The Talmud further embellishes in fantastic detail that Og was so large that he sought the destruction of the Israelites by uprooting a mountain so large, that it would have crushed the entire Israelite encampment. Moses, fulfilling the LORD's injunction not to fear him, seized a spear of ten cubits length, and jumped a similar vertical distance, succeeding in stabbing Og in the ankle. The LORD then caused Og's teeth to lengthen until they grew into the mountain he held aloft; millions of ants then swarmed into his mouth, killing him.