Re: Solomon's 'molten sea' revisited

From: David Bowman <David_Bowman@georgetowncollege.edu>
Date: Sun May 02 2004 - 21:39:11 EDT

At the risk of demonstrating a lack of a life on my part I want to ask
Vernon a question concerning his interpretation of the 1 Ki 7:23-26
passage about the brazen sea. Vernon wrote:

> ...
>"1Kings 7:26 informs us that the wall thickness of Solomon's 'brazen
>sea' was 'an handbreadth' - and we are immediately reminded that a
>real cylinder has an inner diameter (d, say) and an outer diameter
>(D, say); an inner circumference (c, say) and an outer circumference
>(C, say). It must follow that 1Kings 7:23 is inherently ambiguous, for
>the '10 cubits from one brim to the other' and the 'line of 30
cubits...
>round about' are unqualified. Your correspondent has assumed c = 30
>and d = 10, so that the ratio, c/d = pi = 3 (or, alternatively, C = 30
>and D = 10; with an identical conclusion). But what if the writer's
>intention had been c = 30 and D = 10?
> ...

Vernon, how do you suppose that the craftsmen who built or at least
measured this object could successfully wrap a measuring line of 30
cubits around the *inner* circumference of the sea? Do you imagine
that they carefully glued it in place so it would not slide down to the
inner bottom of the bowl? I think it is pretty clear that the measuring
line would have to have been measured around the outer circumference of
the sea so it could be pulled taut to get any kind of decent measurement
at all.

David Bowman
Received on Sun May 2 21:39:41 2004

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