Pi Day: the 14th day of the 3rd month, at about the 15th hour, which would be 3 PM…

Consider 1 Kings 7:23

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to the other: it was round all about, and its height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did circle it round about.

What’s the value of pi here? Just plain old 3.0. Apparently the Babylonians used pi = 3 1/8 and the Egyptians used pi = 3 13/81. Although nobody seems to know how the Babylonians and the Egyptians got as close as they did, it is even more mystifying that the ancient Israelites were so far off! I mean, you’ve gotta know that it isn’t exact.

So did they really not know the value of pi? Were they uninterested in anything other than whole numbers? Or was the molten sea not hemispherical? We were discussing this at lunch today, and no one could think of an instance where the OT uses a fractional number. I can think of one instance in the NT — the corpses of the two witnesses lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days in Rev 11:11 (ooohhhh, spooky), but that’s about it.

Anybody else?