Here’s an old article I put together while in college that was worth reviving…
An Analysis of π in the Bible
Mathematics is the one truly universal language as it spans time and space. We find in the Hebrew Bible that there is a mathematical anomaly involving PI that is remarkably simple and accurate.
At 1 Kings 7:23 there is a unique spelling of an otherwise common word. It is the word circumference, translated “line”, and is usually spelled with two Hebrew letters. But in this case it is spelled with an extra third letter.
“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.” – 1 Kings 7:23
Hebrew Numbering System
Hebrew uses an ancient numbering system in which each letter is assigned a value, and a number is indicated by a group of letters by adding their values. Today it is Hebrew tradition to use this numbering system in dates and in numbering items. Numbers can be made similarly to Roman Numerals in that XI = 10 + 1 = 11 (but Hebrew is read right to left). See this Hebrew Numbering chart for each character’s value.
Analysis of PI
Hebrew uses letters to represent numbers. There is an extra letter in this spelling of line as apposed to the normal two lettered word of line. We simply add the numerical values of the normal and specially spelt words individually, take the ratio, and multiply by three to obtain an incredibly accurate representation of PI.
Radio of 111/106 = 1.04716981
Multiplied by 3 = 3.14150943
Actual PI = 3.14159265
Difference: 0.0000832 = 0.00026%
Note that this occurs specifically when the verse is referring to line as in circumference. Since the pool/bath was ten cubits in diameter and the verse said it was 30 cubits in circumference (which is close to 10*3.14~30), it would appear that the author wanted to emphasize more precise accuracy to the acute reader.
This unique spelling occurs three times in the Bible, each time in reference to something round (a bath, a hill, a city). See the unique rounded spelling in Strong’s Concordance, or the ‘normal’ straight line spelling found 21 other times.
Below are the best known values of PI that the Babylonians and Egyptians used (at least that I could find). Their cultures had been around far longer than King Solomon and they are generally accredited with a superior understanding of mathematics and science.
Ratio Value Difference
Babylon : 3 1/8 = 25/8 = 3.125 0.0165926 Egypt : 3 13/81 = 256/81 = 3.16049382... 0.0189012 "Solomon": 3 * 111/106 = 333/106 = 3.14150943... 0.0000832
By the way, the letters used in these verses are the only letters in Hebrew that will reveal this ratio with the difference between the geometrical value of 3 letters and 2 letters. In other words this is the lowest mathematical sequence in Hebrew to produce this ratio.
Personal Note: I had heard of this years back from a source long forgotten. I was impressed, but waited until I had time to research it myself to share my findings here. cheers