Le Système des Poids, Mesures et Monnaies des Israélites d'après la Bible

    Abstract

    THE first part of this work consists of an inquiry respecting the numerical value adopted by the Israelites at the time of Solomon for the constant π, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. M. Moors obtains the greater part of his material for this investigation from the dimensions of the “molten sea” in Solomon's temple, as stated in I. Kings, vii., 23–26, and II. Chronicles, iv., 2–5. These dimensions have led some writers—notably Spinoza and Hoefer—to the opinion that the Israelites knew of no nearer approximation to π than the whole number 3. The specification of the molten sea is not, however, sufficiently complete to determine its shape with any degree of certainty. Some commentators have considered it as cylindrical others have followed Josephus in ascribing to it a hemispherical form, whilst Zuckermann suggests a combination of cylinder and parallelepiped. The author of this work, who is firmly of opinion that the Israelites accepted a value for π very close to 3.142, has found it necessary in support of his argument to assume that the molten sea had the form of a lipped cylinder. Adopting the description given in I. Kings, which differs somewhat from that of II. Chronicles, M. Moors has deduced for the cubic contents of the bath, a measure of capacity frequently met with in the Old Testament, the relation

    Le Système des Poids, Mesures et Monnaies des Israélites d'après la Bible.

    By B. P. Moors. Pp. 62 + 1 plate of figures and 6 tables. (Paris: A. Hermann, 1904.)

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    Le Système des Poids, Mesures et Monnaies des Israélites d'après la Bible . Nature 72, 506–507 (1905). https://doi.org/10.1038/072506b0

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