Phi in the Bible
Although perhaps not immediately obvious, phi and the golden section also appear in the Bible. Also see the Theology page.
The Ark of the Covenant is a Golden Rectangle
In Exodus 25:10, God commands Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant, in which to hold His Covenant with the Israelites, the Ten Commandments, saying,
“Have them make a chest of acacia wood-
two and a half cubits long,
a cubit and a half wide,
and a cubit and a half high.”
The ratio of 2.5 to 1.5 is 1.666…, which is as close to phi (1.618 …) as you can come with such simple numbers and is certainly not visibly different to the eye. The Ark of the Covenant is thus constructed using the Golden Section, or Divine Proportion. This ratio is also the same as 5 to 3, numbers from the Fibonacci series.
In Exodus 27:1-2, we find that the altar God commands Moses to build is based on a variation of the same 5 by 3 theme:
“Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.”
Note: A cubit is the measure of the forearm below the elbow.
Noah’s Ark uses a Golden Rectangle
In Genesis 6:15, God commands Noah to build an ark saying,
“And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.”
Thus the end of the ark, at 50 by 30 cubits, is also in the ratio of 5 to 3, or 1.666…, again a close approximation of phi not visibly different to the naked eye. Noah’s ark was built in the same proportion as ten arks of the covenant placed side by side.
The Number 666 is related to Phi
Revelation 13:18 says the following:
“This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is a man’s number. His number is 666.”
This beast, regarded by some as the Anti-Christ described by John, is thus related to the number 666, one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible.Curiously enough, if you take the sine of 666º, you get -0.80901699, which is one-half of negative phi, or perhaps what one might call the “anti-phi.” You can also get -0.80901699 by taking the cosine of 216º, and 216 is 6 x 6 x 6.
The trigonometric relationship of sine 666º to phi is based on an isosceles triangle with a base of phi and sides of 1. When this triangle is enclosed in a circle with a radius of 1, we see that the lower line, which has an angle of 306º on the first rotation and 666º on the second rotation, has a sine equal to one-half negative phi.
In this we see the unity of phi divided into positive and negative, analogous perhaps to light and darkness or good and evil. Could this “sine” be a “sign” as well?
In addition, 666 degrees is 54 degrees short of the complete second circle and when dividing the 360 degrees of a circle by 54 degrees you get 6.66… The other side of a 54 degree angle in a right angle is 36 degrees and 36 divided by 54 is .666.
Phi appears throughout creation, and in every physical proportion of the human body. In that sense it is the number of mankind, as the mysterious passage of Revelationperhaps reveals.
Also see the Theology page.
The colors of the Tabernacle are based on a phi relationship
The PhiBar program produces the colors that the Bible says God gave to Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle.
As it says in Exodus 26:1, “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman.”
Set the primary color of the PhiBar program to blue, the secondary color of the PhiBar to purple and it reveals the Phi color to be scarlet.
This reference to the combination blue, purple and scarlet in the construction of the tabernacle appears 24 times in Exodus 25 through 39, describing the colors to be used in the curtains, waistbands, breastpieces, sashes and garments.
See the Color page for additional information.
Insights on the Ark of the Covenant and 666 contributed by Robert Bartlett.
Insights on the Altar in Exodus 27 contributed by Sir Hemlock.
Insights on the Tabernacle colors contributed by J.D. Ahmanson.