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38

It's hard to get inside the minds of people from other cultures, especially when we are separated by time as well as distance. And the main problem here is cultural: We have an expectation of greater precision than ancient people did. The other answers hint at this, but IMO they don't fully appreciate the divide between modern and ancient levels of ...


31

Many different explanations have been proposed. The best article I've read on the subject is The Number Pi in the Bible by Abarim Publications. I'll begin with what I think is the obvious and correct explanation, then mention some other explanations (mentioned e.g. in the article above). 10 ≠ 10.0 (rather, "10" means (10.0 ± 0.5)) 1 Kings 7:23 says ...


11

To start with, compare the circle the diameter we're given would make with the circle the circumference we're given would make: Since a circumference is π times the diameter, a 'pure' circle of 10 cubits in diameter as we describe the sea as having would be 10π cubits in circumference, or roughly 31.4 cubits. Now, since the circumference attributed to ...


10

Read in isolation, 2 Kings 4:38-41 can be understood as a story about a foul tasting soup that Elisha improved by adding a new flavor. However, the context in II Kings is miracles performed by Elisha to save people from death by famine. From within that context it seems that the "death in the pot," was an actual danger that required Elisha's intervention. ...


9

According to the Talmud, certain things specifically associated with the king’s person (his horse, e.g.) are forbidden ever to be used by a commoner. Specifically, the widow of a king is forbidden to marry anyone but another king. And if the next king is his son, she can’t marry him either—the laws in Leviticus still apply. Avishag was not married to David, ...


6

NASA interprets the passage: ...tells of an "accidental" sundial, in which the number of steps covered by the Sun's shadow on a staircase was used to measure the passage of time. In that story, the shadow miraculously retreated ten steps on the staircase built by King Ahaz. The word translated "steps" also is translated as "degrees" (likely ...


5

From a post by Cecil Adams, aka The Straight Dope In 150 A.D. a Hebrew rabbi and scholar named Nehemiah attempted to explain away the anomaly in Chronicles by saying that the diameter of the tub was 10 cubits from outer rim to outer rim, whereas the 30 cubit circumference was measured around the inner rim. In other words, the difference between the ...


5

At the outset 1 Kings, King David is near death and he hasn't explicitly chosen a successor. David's first three children, Amnon, Absalom, and the unnamed child from II Samuel 12 are dead, so Adonijah is next in line for the throne. Adonijah thinks he will be king and he has an entourage, but he doesn't have the support of the whole nation (1 Kings 1:5-10). ...


4

we don't even know what the real numerical value of pi is. When written out as a number, it will always be rounded. The question is: At which decimal place will you believe God's Word is true? The hundredth decimal place, the thousandth decimal place? I'm guessing for most, there will never be enough decimal places. For me pi = 3 is close enough.


3

The word in Hebrew, verse 40, is maveth. It means death, as in pestilence. It is used in the Bible where death and destruction is conveyed as a meaning. It's not talking about bitterness. The message is, the prophet intervenes for these men due to Yahweh's mercy. Ref.: Gesenius's Lexicon of Hebrew and English and my knowledge of Hebrew.


2

A wild gourd is just that. A gourd which grows in the wild. It would be difficult to say which species of gourd it might be though. "There was no more death in the pot" has also been translated "there was no more bitterness in the pot" or "there was no more harm in the pot". Starch, by my understanding, does have the ability to mitigate certain bitterness ...


1

Great question! The short answer is: It depends on what you mean by "reign." If you count a co-regency then Jehoram king of Judah began ~1 year prior. If you only count the years he reigned as head honcho, then Jehoram king of Israel began ~5 years prior. It was very common in those days for a king to hand off his reign to his son through a co-regency. ...


1

There is no way possible that the 36th year was during the reign of Asa, since Baasha only reigned 24 yrs (1 Ki 15:33), and that reign had only begun when Asa was already sitting as king in Judah for about 4-5 years. In other words, "in the 36th year" refers to the time when the person was king since the kingdom divided, which is the preference of the ...



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