ROUND research report on PI=3
1 Kings 7:23, 24 are the verses in question. (Also see 2 Chr 4:2-5) (Drawing)
NIV 23 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits (about 4.5 meters) from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. 24 Below the rim, gourds encircled it - ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
I finally found the Hebrew text. The translation turned out to be KJV.
7:23 And he made a molten sea, 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. 7:24 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.
So the word compass in Hebrew is the one that tells us what they were measuring.
Strongs' No. <05437>
a primitive root
TWOT - 1456
Word Usage in KJV
stood turned etc... about 54
turn away 4
turn aside 2
turn back 2
compass in 2
1) to turn, turn about or around or aside or back or towards, go about or around, surround, encircle, change direction
1a) (Qal) 1a1) to turn, turn about, be brought round, change 1a2) to march or walk around, go partly around, circle about, skirt, make a round, make a circuit, go about to, surround, encompass
1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to turn oneself, close round, turn round 1b2) to be turned over to
1c) (Piel) to turn about, change, transform
1d) (Poel) 1d1) to encompass, surround 1d2) to come about, assemble round 1d3) to march, go about 1d4) to enclose, envelop
1e) (Hiphil) 1e1) to turn, cause to turn, turn back, reverse, bring over, turn into, bring round 1e2) to cause to go around, surround, encompass
1f) (Hophal) 1f1) to be turned 1f2) to be surrounded
I do not see anything that says they were measuring the lip. The line went around the Sea but could have been at any level.
If the gourds were equally spaced then at that point the line was 30 cubits.
So the complete statement could probably read - and a line of thirty cubits did measure around it below the rim where gourds encircled it - ten to a cubit. So by reading both verses we see that the 30 cubit length defines a cord length that is used to show where the top of the gourds were to be. The context is that this is a report of a physical object that was actually built. The measurements are being made afterwards. So a line 30 cubits long would have been 1.4 cubits short. This is over half a meter. It would not require anyone to know anything about PI to know that it did not fit the edge.
No workman is going to miss the fact that a 30 cubit line will not fit at the lip, but must be below the lip.
The drawing of the Sea found at the archaeological excavations at Cyprus confirms that the "gourds" are a distance below the rim, confirming my conclusion.
So my idea makes more sense than someone mis-measuring by half a meter.
Note; to display hebrew you need the BST Fonts
7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was
round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line (8675) of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
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7:24 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 (8803).
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