Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pi in the Torah

This week, the הפטרה is read from מלכים א פרק ז. There is a difference of opinion as to which part of the פרק is read. The ספרדים and some אשכנזי shuls will read the part that contains a reference to the figure of π. פסוק כג states that the pool was 10 אמות in diameter and 30 אמות in circumference. The obvious difficulty is that π is more than 3. Even if the פסוק were to round to the nearest whole number, it would be 31.

There is a famous approach to this problem which is said over in the name of the גר"א although I am not sure there is any written evidence of it. The word used for the circumference is וקוה. However, it is read וקו. If you drop the leading ו which is simply a וי"ו החיבור, you are left with קו and קוה. The respective גמטריות of those words are 111 and 106. If you divide 111/106 and multiply that by the apparent figure of π used - 3 - then the result is 3.1415094! That is correct to 3 decimal places!

I once heard an interesting addendum to this. There needs to be some meaning behind the figure of 30 אמות. The thickness of the walls was 1/4 אמה (I'm not sure where we know that from.) Therefore, the inner diameter was 9 1/2 אמות. If you multiply that by π you come awfully close to 30. I thought heard this in the name of the מלבי"ם but I looked it up and he definitely did not say that.

4 comments:

  1. There is an in-depth essay on this matter here:
    http://www.truthofland.co.il/english/Sea of Solomon.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do not understand what do you find difficult?

    The text speaks about outer diameter (10 cubits), outer radius (or height, 5 cubits) and inner circumference (30 cubits).

    This in turn makes the thickness of the Sea [10-(30/Pi)] /2 = ~0.225 cubits or ~ 10.287cm or ~4.05 inches. Exactly an average handbreadth.

    Measure your hand with the ruler to confirm these calculations and you will find them very accurate.

    Here is a diagram that I made that shows the whole idea: http://goo.gl/YgdGv

    ReplyDelete
  3. קו is spelled differently in מלכים and דברי הימים.

    קו and קוה

    That's what makes the gematria work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That mentioned, they have also formed the premise for an explosion of themed slots that pay homage to every little thing from cult films and musicians to hit TV reveals. Condition, 1xbet korea gamers estimated that they won on average 36 occasions (an overestimation of eight (i.e. 24 %)). As such, sounds {may be|could also be} an integral part of of} the disguise in the losses disguised as wins, causing gamers to suppose that they won more often during a taking part in} session than they actually did. The overwhelming majority of the gamers that had been examined most well-liked the taking part in} session where wins had been accompanied by sounds.

    ReplyDelete