Re: Peer review and ID

From: gordon brown <>
Date: Mon Oct 24 2005 - 17:08:21 EDT

On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

> I follow you on the shape. Whether cylindrical or hemispherical or of a
> related shape, the top was circular. This gives us an outer diameter (od)
> and an inner one (id). A cord can only be wrapped around the outer
> circle, so we have pi x od. If the measurement across reached the outer
> edge, the ratio (pi x od/od) would have to be ~3 1/7. However, the
> measurement across might have involved the inner edge, in which case the
> ratio (pi x od/id) would be >pi, not 3. According to I Kings 7:26 (od -
> id)/2 = one handbreadth or about 7.5 cm.

If it was a cylinder with a lip protruding from the top, I was suggesting
that the cord be wrapped around the cylinder, not the top. The diameter
could be of the top, including the lip.

> I think there is a further problem. A table of measures gives 1 cubit =
> 0.444 m; 1 bath = 38.88 l. I tried to run a quick calculation. It seems
> that even a cylinder 10 cubits across and 5 cubits deep would not contain
> 2000 baths.

I think this is more of a problem. I haven't seen a convincing solution to
it although I have seen it mentioned in commentaries. Errors in
transmission of numbers is not unusual, and it may be that there is
something we don't understand about ancient measures, not necessarily
something that the ancients didn't understand.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395
Received on Mon Oct 24 18:24:42 2005

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