Something caught my eye today while reading I Kings. In chapter 7 we find the specs for the construction of Solomon’s magnificent temple. When we get to verses 23 ff. we find the details for the giant laver in the courtyard. Verse 23 reads as follows, “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.” Obviously the writer of Kings (We are not sure who that was.) wasn’t a mathematician or was into rounding off numbers. I am not a mathematician so if I am wrong on this will a real mathematician please correct me. If the laver was a perfect circle and I am sure it was, then the laver was either 31.4 cubits around and 10 cubits across or it was 30 cubits around and 9.55414 cubits across not 10.
Before someone gets sweaty about the Bible not being perfectly accurate please let me point out the function of Scripture. It is not and was not intended to be a scientific or mathematical record of God’s dealings with His people. The Books of I and II Kings and other books were historical records of God’s interactions with Israel. In them we find stories of His guiding and often His frustration with humans. In II Timothy 3 Paul said this about Scripture. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
The Bible is all about Jesus and grace and redemption and love and forgiveness and character building and nobility and hope and unselfishness. It was never intended to be a math or science book.
Written by Roger Bothwell on August 12, 2015
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