Biblical numerology is not something I want to get into!
Vernon's post illustrates however that the Biblical writers may have been
working within a literary framework quite alien to out understanding and
that framework may well have influenced how they recorded what we would call
"facts".
For the record if I am asked quickly what the circumference of a circle 5 m
across I am likely to say 15 m. If I am allowed to round things off in a
non technical situation, then why shouldn't the Biblical writers be allowed
the same privilege? It just illustrates that they weren't writing a
mathematics treatise and the Bible should not be treated as such.
No further correspondence will be entered into from me on this subject!
God Bless
Jonathan
Vernon Jenkins wrote:
> To the Forum:
>
> Further to the matter of 1Ki.7:23-26 and the Hebews understanding of Pi:
>
> (1) The ratio, inner circumference:outer diameter is given as 3 - the
> number of 'divine perfection' - which also crops up in respect of the
> supporting oxen and of the 300 knops on the rim. Further, the Temple (of
> which this laver was part) had a cubic 'Holy of Holies'(1Ki.6:20), and
> consisted of three parts: the Court, the Holy Place, and the Sanctuary.
> We are further informed that it had three chambers round about
> (1Ki.6:5,6).
>
> It seems highly likely, therefore, that the laver's designer had chosen
> to achieve this ratio so that the result would indeed glorify God. {As a
> spin off, the very real problem of representing a fraction in the text
> was also avoided).
>
> (2) In our first encounter with the mensuration of the circle and
> sphere, Pi is introduced as 'three and a seventh', or 22/7 - an
> approximation adequate for many practical applications. As a matter of
> interest, this may be expressed as the decimal fraction,
> 3.142857142857..., and we observe the 6-digit sequence,'142857',
> repeated ad infinitum. Treating this as a number in its own right, we
> unearth a gem of recreational mathematics, thus:
>
> (a) It is rich in factors:
>
> 142857 = 3.3.3.11.13.37
>
> In particular, 37, 407 and 999 are factors.
>
> (b) The 5 numbers formed by rotating its digits are
> multiples of itself, thus:
>
> 142857 = S, say = 1.S
> 428571 = 3.S
> 285714 = 2.S
> 857142 = 6.S
> 571428 = 4.S
> 714285 = 5.S
>
> (c) Reversing its digits, and rotating as before, we find
> that 37, 407 and 999 continue as factors of each of the six
> numbers.
>
> There is a direct link here with Genesis 1:1. Originally written in
> Hebrew (a language with an alphabet of 22 letters), and comprising 7
> words (which may be fairly read as numbers), we find:
>
> (a) the verse total = 2701 = 37.73
>
> (b) the 6th word = 407
>
> (c) word 1 + word 3 = word 2 + word 4 + word 5 = 999
>
> So an eye-catching 'recreation' emanating from a first approximation of
> Pi leads to something rather significant. From many points of view, the
> Bible's opening words are observed to be centred on the surest of all
> earthly foundations - the natural numbers! Clearly, such 'coincidences'
> do not evolve! However, there are many more. These are described at the
> the URLs given below.
>
> Vernon
>
> Vernon Jenkins
> [Musician, Mining Engineer, and Senior Lecturer in Maths and Computing,
> the Polytechnic of Wales (now the University of Glamorgan), 1954-87]
>
> http://homepage.virgin.net/vernon.jenkins/index.htm
>
> http://www.compulink.co.uk/~indexer/miracla1.htm