1. Kings 7: 23-26
23 And he (Hiram out of Tyre, a worker in brass who worked on behalf of king Solomon; R. B.) made a molten sea (a big, round vessel; R. B.), ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast. 25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward. 26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.
You certainly know, dear reader, that the value of the number π (Pi) is about 3.14; 3.14 is, of course, an approximation. When you read the above section of the Old Testament (part of the Bible) with the eyes of a rationalist, you could conclude that God would not know the number π very exactly because 30 divided by 10 (C/d; circumference divided by diameter) gives 3 (three). The above section of the Bible could be abused in order to defame God and his servants as such a philistines which would quote the value of π all to roughly with 3 (be it because of measuring errors when they measured the diameter or the circumference of the sea, or be it because of calculation errors).
At first, the point of view of a rationalist
Let us imply, that the sea had been an ordinary, round vessel like a vessel used for liquids in a chemical factory.
For the following, I take 3.1416 as approximate value for π which is yet a pretty exact value.
Furthermore, for the following for the sake of simplicity I assume that the diameter had been measured correctly but the circumference wrong. Hence, I assume no calculation error but a measuring error.
Imagine a cylinder with the diameter one meter. You would wrap around it a string and get a circumference of 3 meters (???) as a result. What would that mean? It would mean that you had made a measuring error of more than 14.16 cm (0.1416 meter) because the formula C = π * d (circumference is equal to π times diameter) is valid. The real circumference according to the mentioned formula would account for 3.1416 meters in contrast to your measurement. Your wrong result of three meters would mean a difference of 14.16 cm – that is pretty much and really a perceivable error.
The measure cubit mentioned in the above section of the Bible, I assume with 45 cm. Let us just calculate the measuring error which those ones seemingly made who determined diameter and circumference of the molten sea. We merely have to multiply 0.1416 with 10 and with 45 cm (3.1416 * d – 3 * d; whereby d = 10 * 45 cm). As a result, believe it or not, we get 63.72 cm. The rationalist would say that those ones who measured the sea were pretty cross-eyed because their error was indeed 63.72 cm (more than a half meter).
End of the rationalist point of view.
The text of the above section of the Bible includes an objective constraint:
In order to describe any circle, it is fully enough to quote its diameter without its circumference because the ratio between circumference and diameter is fixed, just π. We must assume that the author of 1. Kings who was inspired by God did not want to provide any reason to the enemies of God for defamation that God’s servants would not be able to quote the value of π more exactly than three which would mean an error of 14.16 cm when you would have a small circle of only one meter in diameter. Such an error is completely inacceptable, or the formula C = 3 * d is completely unfit for everyday life (construction sites, trade, etc.) because it delivers results which differ much too much from reality. According to the false formula C = 3 * d, a cylinder of 2 meters diameter and a height of 1 meter had a volume of 3 cubic meters (V = π·r²·h). Would one in contrast calculate with the value 3.1416 for π then he would get a volume of 3.1416 cubic meters. Hence, the difference would account for 141.6 liters (3141.6 l – 3000 l = 141.6 l; 1 cubic meter is equal to 1000 liters). Hence, the value 3 (for π) is a value which could not be or cannot be accepted at all (it would cause heavy problems when one would compute circular constructs of structures, or when someone would compute quantities of liquids for trade, for example vine).
The author of the above section of the Bible seems to be determined to provide a reason for the defamation of God’s servants as blockheads to the enemies of God by quoting not only the diameter of the sea but also its circumference with a ridiculous rough value for the ratio of both to each other of 3.
Gradually, we have to call into play realities which one only can perceive by eyes of faith, and which remain hidden to the rationalist (note: the true realists on earth who take into account everything which is real are not the rationalists, which consider themselves as the only realists on earth in their perfidious presumption and assumption, but the pious – concerning that I may add on another article).
In order to clear my brothers (I hope they would accept me as their brother if they would be still alive) which have measured the sea back then and the author of the above section of the Bible of the accusation of stupidity and backwardness, I want to quote a spiritual reality:
“God wants to make straight the crooked and the rough places plain.”
Isaiah 40: 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Luke 3: 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
Another spiritual realities:
The molten sea represents the grace of God for all pious of all ages (two times thousand baths could be poured in; the number two (2) symbolizes the two groups Jewish Christians (first group) and Gentile Christians (second group); and “thousand” simply means “all” or “everybody”. Briefly: Through the grace of God all sinners (the “crooked”) which repent and believe in Jesus become the righteous (the “smooth” ones).
The issue concerning π and 3 makes perfect the whole symbolism: The sea caused a curvature of the space within the sea (of course, an outstanding miracle).
Given a circumference of the sea of 30 cubits, the diameter had had to account 30/π = 10 cubits times 3/π according to the formula d = C/π. That gives a “crooked” number with the value 9.5492 . . . as a result. When one multiplies this value with π, he gets 30 cubits again.
What I want to express, is the following: Most probably, the sea had a real diameter (if one had measured it from outside in the normal space of our world) of 9.5492 . . . cubits. However, and that is extremely exciting and marvellous, the measuring rod or string or whatever was used to measure the sea displayed 10 cubits (measurement inside the sea). Hence, the measuring rod was crooked in the space; it was shortened a little inside the sea; factor: 3/π). Because the value of π is “crooked” in the natural, not curved space (the world in which we live), it became 3 in the curved space of the sea because the curvature within the space of the sea exactly neutralized the “crookedness” of π which it has in our world. The natural, not curved space is simply the space in which we, you and I, live. In this space π = 3,141592 . . . . The curved space within in the sea represents the space of the true Christian Church where miracles can take place. The molten sea was something unique in the history of mankind and the same is valid for the Christian Church. Like the curvature of space was the special thing of the sea, miracles are the special thing of the Christian Church. The main miracle within the Church is that sinners become righteous there through the grace of God.
Romans 3: 23-24 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
If you, dear reader, would be a mathematician and pious at the same time, you would know what I mean because π is indeed a very “crooked” number.
Leibnitz formula for π:
π = 3.14159265358979323846 . . .
When we take the number π as a symbol for crookedness which would be very standing to reason then the above section of the Bible becomes very precious for us.
The ratio of circumference of a normal circle to its diameter is very “crooked”, just π. The molten sea was able to neutralize this “crookedness”; thus, the molten sea becomes an illustration of the grace of God for us which makes righteous out of sinners.
Through God’s grace I have also solved the puzzle of the two rows of knops compassing the sea; the solution is highly mathematical and less spiritual but has, of course, something to do with the spiritual character of the molten sea:
The above section of the Bible you can find here: Holy Bible
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