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37

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 ...


10

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

The choices seem to be: We correctly understand the text and it was a miracle. Two million or so people left Egypt and (mostly) died in the desert, where their bones were never found (looking would be a huge archeological task). If we can accept the miracles of the plagues, the crossing of the sea of reeds, the giving of torah, and sustaining everybody ...


8

Short Answer: The numbers are accurate as they have been translated. There were ~600,000 Israelites in the Wilderness (and in Egypt). Count and re-count These are those who were numbered of the sons of Israel, 601,730. -Numbers 26:51 Earlier in the chapter we are given the counts of each individual tribe. They are recorded as follows: 1) 43,730 from ...


7

The argument I have read is that the word often translated thousands means "fighting units" and the number after is the number of soldiers in those units. Thus, it would be "64 units, 400 soldiers from the tribe of Dan." While the Lexicons and word books such as Gesenius and Strong point out that eleph can mean "a company of troops fighting under one ...


7

Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea, and as the stars of heaven. These two metaphors are in direct apposition to each other, and explain each other. The ...


7

These 3 enigmas or problems can only be solved if fatherhood and childhood (life) are calculated from conception forward. Otherwise the math won't work. The 3 problems above require certain information in order to reach 2 key facts. Then the math issues can be resolved. Who entered and who left the ark? How long did the flood last? (How long was Noah ...


6

In the original post Gen 11:10 is only partially cited, like this - Gn 11:10 When Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arpachshad… although in the OP answer, the rest of the verse is quoted: Gen 11:10 ...Shem was 100 years old, and begat Arpachshad 2 years after the flood. Of course, that end phrase ("two years after the flood") solves ...


6

Genesis 5:32 does not say that Noah was 500 years old exactly when he had Shem, it says: And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (KJV) with the colon in there it disconnects the births from his age. The five hundred years is there to note when God gave him his marching orders. It shows us in concert with Genesis ...


6

ψηφίζω (Strongs G5585) - to count with pebbles, to compute, calculate, reckon; to give one's vote by casting a pebble into the urn; to decide by voting. This is the same word used in Luke 14:28 in which the builder of a tower will "count the cost" to ensure he has enough to complete it. As for its usage in this passage, J. Hampton Keathley, III, the author ...


5

I asked this question on Mi Yodeya and this answer says that these were different measuring utensils (standard weights). This answer is based on the Targum, an early translation into Aramaic; I don't have the linguistic skills to evaluate that myself, but it's generally held to be a faithful translation + clarifications (like this). When transactions were ...


5

Although it's an interesting argument, I would say no. For one thing, this supposed tablet being pre-Babel, all bets are off as to what language and number system it would have been written in. It could have been Mesopotamian, but I do not see why it has to be. More importantly, however, even assuming the hypothetical tablet was not originally in Hebrew, ...


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 ...


4

One half: Half the people Jos 8:33 See also Dt 27:12-13; 1Ki 16:21; Ne 4:16; Ne 12:31-32,38; Ne 13:24 The half-tribes of Manasseh Dt 3:13 See also Nu 32:33; Nu 34:13-14; Dt 29:8; Jos 13:29-31; Jos 22:10; 1Ch 5:23 Halves in offering sacrifices Ge 15:10 See also Ex 24:6; Ex 30:13; Lev 6:20 Significant examples of halves 2Sa 10:4 pp 1Ch 19:4 David’s men and ...


4

Below are charts to help visually facilitate understanding of this enigma in exploration of various solutions: One difficulty that must be addressed is that Genesis 7:6 says, "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth." If this is taken chronologically then the phrase in the 600th year of Noah's life cannot refer to the year ...


4

From a Christian Perspective, there is a lineage from Adam to Yeshua (Jesus) in which we find righteous men who sought after and followed God; this forms a red line of redemption from Adam (and Eve) whose seed God promised would crush the serpents head, to Jesus who it is believed will fulfill that prophecy. Generally, the way the book of Genesis is ...


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

I believe the better explanation is the common practice of rounding numbers. Shem was ca. 100 years old when the flood began, though his exact age may have been 98. Similarly, David reigned 7 1/2 years over Judah, 33 years over all Israel, and 40 years total (2Sam 5:5): unless one assumes one of these numbers are rounded, one has a serious problem. ...


3

Although Niobius' answer is good, it misses a bit of the point. G-d gives a childless Avram two metaphors to understand (a) that he would have a lot of progeny, and (b) that they had both tremendous potential to achieve great heights and also to suffer great lows. First, let me give you a fascinating look into how the Jewish Midrashic tales from the Torah ...


3

In Gen 15:5 God promises Avram that his seed shall be as numerous as the stars. It doesn't say "his seed living at any one time"; the straightforward reading is that it means all of them. The 603,550 men counted in the desert census (Num 1:46) are from but one generation. Since descendants of Avraham continue to be born to this day, we have not yet ...


3

In "Living by the Book" (chapters 19-23), Howard Hendricks emphasizes several points used in observation of a passage: What things are emphasized? What things are repeated? What things are related? What things are alike? What things are unalike? What things are true to life? A literary device like this allows us to see aspects of all of these. The ...


2

In the last 5 verses of Genesis it seems Joseph’s age at death is given twice. Joseph dies at about 110 That isn’t done for anyone else, which made me believe the authors define “life” as one thing and “lifetime” (i.e. same as “years old” and “age”) as another. Looking at this question of whether or not Arphaxad was born on the ark from a math perspective ...


1

If you look at the exact wording it is all very simple. Gen 5:32 says that Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth at the age of 500 years (Hebrew: “the son of 500 years“). If he begat three sons in the same year he must have had at least two wives at that time, but let us leave that out of consideration. Let us assume that Noah was born on the first day of the ...


1

Genesis 7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. I don't know if anyone can prove the 2-year aspect or not. He could not have had three boys simultaneously. However Shem was the first-born... so it is reasonable to infer he was born (i.e. within 9 months) in Noah's 500th year. Thus Shem certainly could have ...


1

Noah’s age is not the only detail in the story that gets repeated. In fact many of the points of the story are repeated. The parallels between 7:6 and 7:11 may not be anything specific to Noah’s age. For example, the story repeats: The number of animals taken into the ark (7 clean and 2 unclean in verse 7:2f, then 2 clean and 2 unclean in verse 7:8f) ...


1

Ussher provides answer half of your question in his work, Annuls of the World: Jacob was ninety-one years old when Joseph was born, and consequently, seventy-seven years old when he first began to serve Laban. This may be deduced, for Jacob was a hundred and thirty years old when he first stood before Pharaoh at the time when the seven years of ...


1

This is not precisely an answer to the question, but it is a requisite concept. (It also didn't fit into a comment well.) Margin of Error When Linking "When X was Y years" Statements When I say "error" here, I'm not referring to errors in the text, only inaccuracies in measuring lengths of time. Linking ages statements together has a necessarily large ...


1

Bible allusions are simpler than that. In my opinion, it is a simple reference to the numbers of bars of gold collected by Solomon in his first year, breaking one of the three Mosaic laws for Israelite kings (Deuteronomy 17) thus beginning Solomon's, and Israel's, downfall: Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, ...



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