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1 Kings 7: 23-26
23 And he (Hiram of Tire; a coppersmith who worked on behalf of King Solomon; RB) made the sea (a large, round vessel; RB), poured, from edge to edge ten cubits all around and five cubits high, and a string of thirty cubits was the measure around it. 24 And around the sea went knots around its edge, ten to a cubit; it had two rows of knots that were cast with the casting. 25 And it stood on twelve cattle, three of them facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east, with the sea on top, and their hindquarters all turned inward. 26 But the wall of the sea was a hand's breadth, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like an open lily, and two thousand buckets went inside.
For the meaning of the word "brazen": see Duden
Surely you know, dear reader, that the value of the number π (Pi) is approximately 3.14; 3.14 is of course only an approximation. If one reads the above passage from the Old Testament (part of the Bible) with the eyes of a pure rationalist, one might conclude that God does not know the number π very well, because 30 divided by 10 (U / d; circumference divided by diameter) yields 3. The above section could be misused to defame God and his servants (e.g. the surveyors of the sea or the author of 1. Kings) as such banauss who simply specify the number π with 3 (was it due to measurement errors when measuring the diameter or the circumference of the sea, be it due to calculation errors).
First the view of the pure rationalist:
Let us first assume that that sea was a completely normal, round container such as B. a container for liquids in a chemical factory.
For the following I take the approximate value 3.1416 for π, which is a fairly precise value (accurate to a thousandth or 1/1000).
For the sake of simplicity, I also assume that the diameter was measured correctly, but the circumference was measured incorrectly. So I am not assuming a calculation error, but a measurement error.
Imagine a cylinder 1 meter in diameter. You would put a string around it and it would be 3 meters (???) in circumference. What would that mean? It would mean that you would have measured yourself by more than 14.16 cm (0.1416 meters), because the formula U = π * d applies (circumference is equal to π times the diameter of the circle). The real circumference of the cylinder, calculated according to the formula, would be 3.1416 m in contrast to your measurement - with three meters you would have measured 14.16 cm too little.
I assume the measure “cubit” mentioned in the above Bible passage to be 45 cm. Let us now calculate the measurement error that those apparently which determined the diameter and circumference of the brazen sea. We only have to multiply 0.1416 by 10 and by 45 cm (3.1416 * d - 3 * d; where d = 10 * 45 cm). We get a whopping 63.72 cm. The rationalist would say that those who surveyed the sea must have had a really nice "kink in their optics", that they "messed up" a whole 63.72 cm (over half a meter).
End of the rationalist view.
The text of the Bible passage above contains a factual compulsion:
To describe any circle, it is sufficient to state its diameter without its scope, because the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is fixed, just π. We have to assume that the author of 1st Kings, who was inspired by God, was the enemy of God Not wanted to give cause for blasphemy that God's servants are not able to give the number π more precisely than the value 3; which would mean an error of 14.16 cm for a circle only 1 m in diameter. Such a mistake is of course completely unacceptable or the formula U = 3 * d is of course for everyday use (construction technology, economy, etc.) completely unsuitable, because it delivers results that are far too different from reality. According to the wrong formula U = 3 * d, a cylinder with a diameter of 2 meters and a height of 1 meter should have a volume of 3 cubic meters (V = π · r² · h). But if one were to calculate with 3.1416 for π, it would have a volume of approx. 3.1416 cubic meters. The difference would be 141.6 liters (3141.6 l - 3000 l = 141.6 l; 1 cubic meter corresponds to 1000 liters). The value 3 (for π) is therefore a value that one could not accept as such, that would be unacceptable (problems in calculating circular structures of buildings; problems in calculating quantities of liquids in trade in goods, e.g. wine).
Why does the author of the above passage seem to be intent on giving the enemies of God an occasion to blaspheme his servants as quite fools by giving both the diameter and the girth of the sea?
Gradually we have to bring realities into play which can only be grasped with the eyes of faith and which remain hidden from the rationalist (the true realists on earth, the everything Taking real ones into account are not the rationalists, who in their presumptuousness and presumptuousness consider themselves the sole realists on earth, but the pious - but maybe another article on that).
To my brothers (I hope they would accept me as their brother if they were still alive), who measured the sea at that time, and to relieve the author of the above Bible passage from the accusation of stupidity or backwardness, I want a spiritual reality cite:
"God wants to make the crooked straight and the hunchback straight."
Isaiah 40: 4 All valleys are to be raised, and all mountains and hills are to be made low, and what is uneven is to be straight, and what is hilly is to be level;
Luke 3: 5 All valleys are to be increased, and all mountains and hills are to be made low; and what is crooked should become straight, and what is uneven should become a level path.
Other spiritual realities:
The bronze sea is an image of the grace of God for all pious of all ages (two times a thousand buckets of water went in; the number two(2) symbolizes the two Groups of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians; and "a thousand" simply means "all". In a nutshell: By the grace of God all sinners (the “crooked ones”) who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus become righteous (the “straight lines”).
The thing with π and 3 makes all the symbolism perfect: The sea caused a curvature of space (a miracle, of course).
With a circumference of the sea of 30 cubits, the diameter (according to the formula d = U / π) should have been 30 / π = 10 cubits times 3 / π. That gives that crooked Value of about 9,5492. . . Ellen. If you take this crooked value by π times, you get back to 30 cubits.
What I'm going to say is this: Probably the sea had a real diameter of 9.5492. . . Ellen. The measuring stick or the string or whatever one may have used for measuring at the time, however, indicated 10 cubits. The measuring equipment was as curved in space. Since the value for π is crooked in normal (non-curved) space, it became 3 in the curved space of the sea, since the curvature of space in the sea exactly canceled out the curvature of π it has in normal space. The normal, non-curved, space is simply the space that we, you and I, live in. In this space, π = 3.141592. . . . That curved (wonderful) space within the sea is a picture to the space of the (real) church, where miracles are possible. The sea was something unique in history - the same goes for the (real) church. A “church” in which no miracles occur is simply not a church. Just as the curvature of space was special about the brazen sea, the miracle is special about the (real) church. The main miracle in the church is that there sinners become righteous by the grace of God.
Romans 3, 23-2423 They (Jews and Gentiles; R. B.) are all sinners and lack the glory that they should have with God, 24 and are justified without merit by his grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus.
If you, dear reader, were a mathematician and at the same time pious, then you would know all the more what I'm getting at; Pi is a very crooked number.
π = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288. . . (see Pi fascination)
If we take the number π as a symbol for "crookedness", which is certainly very obvious, then the above passage from the Bible will be very valuable to us.
The ratio of the circumference of a normal circle to its diameter is very crooked, just π. The brazen sea could do away with this sorrow; so the sea of brazen becomes an image for the grace of God, which makes sinners righteous.
The secret of the knots on the edge of the iron sea.
Jews at the time of King Solomon's reign were already familiar with the slide rule with a logarithmic scale
© Christian Church, Munich 2018
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