[b-hebrew] Ktiva & Kria

belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr
Fri Nov 2 15:20:12 EDT 2007

Dear Karl,

The ideas you mention are certainly valuable, and they are pursued, in  
one or another form, in some other essays to explain why the Tanakh  
explicitly advances only such a poor approximation Pi=3 (you can find  
the references on the Net, by going to Google with the query "number  
Pi, Bible", or similar words).

My approach has been solely inspired by the Ktiva and Kriva story. It  
does not pretend to be the best one, and even the right one. It was a  
good occasion for me to learn things and to show to interested people,  
in their majority foreign to all exegesis, to the rabbinical one in  
particular, that the Hebrew Bible has a hidden treasure of  
information, besides the obvious one which is also risking to be  
deformed if not destroyed by poor translations to other languagues  
(this is why I respect so much the research which is reflected on this  

No, I do not regret that the Bible does not provide more information  
on the subject, the Scriptures have obviously more exalted messages to  

Best regards,


> Dear Edward:
> On 11/2/07, belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr <belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr> wrote:
>> (B)
>> > While the 10 cubit measurement referred to an external measurement of
>> > the vat, did the circle of 30 cubits refer to an external measurement,
>> > or to an internal one (external minus the thickness of the metal)? If
>> > to an internal one, how close would it be to pi?
>> >
> In verse 26 the thickness of the metal used to make the vat (sea) is
> listed as one handbreadth. How many of those were in a cubit?
> If you take it that there were 4 or 5 handbreadths to a cubit, then
> the inside measurement of the circumference comes very close to 30
> cubits.
> Another possibility is that the diameter may have been measured to
> include the decorations on the outside, while to get a smooth
> measurement of the vat would omit those decorations, resulting in a
> measurement of 30 cubits.
> Have you considered other possibilities such as these?
> Don't you wish the Biblical writers gave us more details?
> Karl W. Randolph.

Edward G. Belaga
Institut de Recherche en Mathématique Avancée
Universite Louis Pasteur
7, rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
tel.: 333 90 24 02 35, FAX: 333 90 24 03 28
e-mail : edward.belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr

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