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All References Week Starting February 24
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WEEK STARTING FEBRUARY 24
of the Bible
Highlights of the Bible
Gen 32:6 - *** it-1 p. 760 Esau ***
(Genesis 32:6) 6 In time the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: “We met your brother E′sau, and he is now on his way to meet you, and there are 400 men with him.”
When Jacob returned to Canaan, he became quite alarmed upon receiving word from the messengers he had sent that Esau, along with 400 men, was on his way to meet him. Esau’s reason for coming with a band of 400 men may have been to impress his brother with his superior strength or possibly to show that he was a mighty chieftain. Jacob, after praying to Jehovah, sent ahead a generous gift of more than 550 head of livestock. On seeing Esau, Jacob, in humility, “proceeded to bow down to the earth seven times until he got near to his brother.” Esau then went running to meet him, embraced Jacob, fell upon his neck, and kissed him. Both of them burst into tears. Esau at first refused to accept Jacob’s gift of livestock, saying: “I have a great many, my brother. Let continue yours what is yours.” However, at Jacob’s urging, Esau finally accepted the gift. He then offered to accompany Jacob, but his brother tactfully declined this as well as Esau’s later proposal to place some of his men at Jacob’s disposal, likely for protection. Esau and his men then departed and returned to Seir. The Bible record mentions that, about 23 years later, at the death of Isaac, Esau and Jacob buried their father.—Ge 32:6, 7, 10-15; 33:1-3, 8, 9, 11-16; 35:29.
Gen 32:24 - *** w03 8/15 p. 25 Are You Earnestly Seeking Jehovah? ***
(Genesis 32:24) 24 Finally Jacob was left by himself. Then a man began to wrestle with him until the dawn broke.
The Scriptures abound with examples of those who put forth concerted efforts in seeking Jehovah. One such person was Jacob, who strenuously grappled with God’s materialized angel till dawn. As a result, Jacob was given the name Israel (Contender with God) because he “contended,” or “persisted,” “exerted [himself],” “persevered,” with God. The angel blessed him for his earnest endeavor.—Genesis 32:24-30, footnote.
Gen 32:25 - *** it-1 p. 1245 Jacob ***
(Genesis 32:25) 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed over him, he touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated during his wrestling with him.
Why did the angel with whom Jacob wrestled cause Jacob to limp?
During the night that Jacob’s household crossed the Jabbok on the way S to meet Esau, Jacob had the most unusual experience of wrestling with an angel, and because of his perseverance his name was changed to Israel, meaning “Contender (Perseverer) With God; or, God Contends.” (Ge 32:22-28) Thereafter both names often appear in Hebrew poetic parallelisms. (Ps 14:7; 22:23; 78:5, 21, 71; 105:10, 23) In this struggle the angel touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh joint, and Jacob limped for the rest of his life—perhaps to teach him humility; a constant reminder not to be overly exalted because of his God-given prosperity or for having grappled with an angel. In commemoration of these momentous events Jacob called the place Peniel or Penuel.—Ge 32:25, 30-32.
Gen 32:26 - *** w02 8/1 p. 29 Earnest Effort—When Is It Blessed by Jehovah? ***
“LET me go, for the dawn has ascended.” “I am not going to let you go until you first bless me.” “What is your name?” “Jacob.”
“Your name will no longer be called Jacob but Israel, for you have contended with God and with men so that you at last prevailed.”—Genesis 32:26-28.
That intriguing dialogue was the result of a remarkable demonstration of athletic agility by 97-year-old Jacob. Though the Bible does not describe him as an athlete, he wrestled, or grappled, all night long with an angel. Why? Jacob was deeply concerned about Jehovah’s promise to his forefather—his heritage.
Many years earlier Jacob’s brother Esau forfeited to him the right of firstborn in exchange for a bowl of stew. Now word reaches Jacob that Esau is approaching with 400 men. Understandably anxious, Jacob seeks confirmation of Jehovah’s promise that his family will prosper in the land across the Jordan River. In harmony with his prayers, Jacob takes decisive action. He sends generous gifts to the advancing Esau. He also makes defensive moves, dividing his camp in two and transporting his wives and children across the ford of Jabbok. With strenuous effort and many tears, he now exerts himself further by grappling all night with an angel so that “he might implore favor for himself.”—Hosea 12:4; Genesis 32:1-32.
Gen 32:29 - *** it-1 pp. 106-107 Angel ***
(Genesis 32:29) 29 In turn Jacob inquired: “Tell me, please, your name.” However, he said: “Why is it that you ask my name?” With that he blessed him there.
Personality. Some may deny distinct personality of individual angels, claiming they are impersonal forces of energy dispatched to accomplish the will of God, but the Bible teaches otherwise. Individual names imply individuality. The fact that two of their names, Michael and Gabriel, are given establishes the point sufficiently. (Da 12:1; Lu 1:26) The lack of more names was a safeguard against giving undue honor and worship to these creatures. Angels were dispatched by God as agents to act in his name, not in their own name. Hence, when Jacob asked an angel for his name, he refused to give it. (Ge 32:29)
Gen 33:14 - *** w05 11/1 p. 18 pars. 11-12 Jehovah Is Our Shepherd ***
11 In leading us, Jehovah is tender and patient. A shepherd considers the limitations of his sheep, so he leads “according to the pace of the livestock.” (Genesis 33:14) Jehovah likewise leads “according to the pace of” his sheep. He considers our abilities and circumstances. In effect, he adjusts the pace, never asking more than we can give. What he does ask is that we be whole-souled. (Colossians 3:23) But what if you are older and cannot do what you used to? Or what if you have a serious illness that limits you? Therein lies the beauty of the requirement that we be whole-souled. No two souls are exactly alike. Serving whole-souled means using all your strength and energy to the fullest extent possible for you in God’s service. Despite the frailties that may affect our pace, Jehovah values our wholehearted worship.—Mark 12:29, 30.
12 To illustrate that Jehovah leads “according to the pace of” his sheep, consider what is said about certain guilt offerings in the Mosaic Law. Jehovah wanted fine offerings that were prompted by grateful hearts. At the same time, the offerings were graded according to the offerer’s ability. The Law said: “If . . . he cannot afford enough for a sheep, then he must bring . . . two turtledoves or two young pigeons.” And if he could not afford even two pigeons? Then he could bring some “fine flour.” (Leviticus 5:7, 11) This shows that God did not demand what was beyond the offerer’s reach. Since God does not change, we can find comfort in knowing that he never asks more than we can give; rather, he is pleased to accept what is within our reach. (Malachi 3:6) What a pleasure it is to be led by such an understanding Shepherd!
Gen 34:1 - *** w01 8/1 pp. 20-21 Let Force of Habit Work for Your Good ***
In contrast, Dinah fared poorly because of a bad habit. She “used to go out to see the daughters of the land,” who were not worshipers of Jehovah. (Genesis 34:1) This seemingly innocent habit led to disaster. First, she was violated by Shechem, a young man considered “the most honorable of the whole house of his father.” Then, the vengeful reaction of two of her brothers led them to slaughter all the males in an entire city. What a terrible outcome!—Genesis 34:19, 25-29.
Gen 34:2 - *** lv chap. 9 pp. 102-103 pars. 13-14 “Flee From Fornication” ***
(Genesis 34:2) 2 When She′chem, the son of Ha′mor the Hi′vite, a chieftain of the land, saw her, he took her and lay down with her and violated her.
In the eyes of Canaanite men, including Shechem—“the most honorable” of his father’s household—Dinah seemed to be legitimate prey.—Genesis 34:18, 19.
14 Dinah probably did not have sexual relations in mind when she saw Shechem. He, though, did what most Canaanites would have considered natural when sexually aroused. Any last-minute resistance on Dinah’s part meant little, for he “took her” and “violated her.” It seems that Shechem later “fell in love” with Dinah, but that did not change what he had done to her. (Genesis 34:1-4) And Dinah was not the only one to suffer as a result. Her choice of associates triggered events that brought disgrace and reproach on her whole family.—Genesis 34:7, 25-31; Galatians 6:7, 8.
Gen 34:12 - *** it-1 p. 627 Dinah ***
(Genesis 34:12) 12 You can demand from me a very high bride price and gift. I am willing to give whatever you may say to me. Just give me the young woman as a wife.”
At the time Jacob and his family were tenting outside the city of Shechem, young Dinah unwisely made it a practice to visit the Canaanite girls there. On one of these visits she was violated by Shechem the son of the Hivite chieftain Hamor. Shechem fell in love with her, and Dinah remained in his home until avenged by her full brothers Simeon and Levi. (Ge 34:1-31) Some contend that Dinah must have been just a child when she was violated. However, it must be borne in mind that before coming to Shechem, Jacob built a house and booths at Succoth, indicating that he resided there for some time. (Ge 33:17) At Shechem he bought a tract of land and apparently became established there for a while. All of this, together with the fact that Shechem fell in love with Dinah, the “young woman,” would argue that Dinah, though still young, was not a mere child at the time of her association with Shechem.—Ge 33:18, 19; 34:12.
Gen 34:30 - *** w04 1/15 p. 28 par. 10 Highlights From the Book of Genesis—II ***
(Genesis 34:30) 30 At this Jacob said to Sim′e•on and to Le′vi: “You have brought great trouble on me in making me a stench to the inhabitants of the land, to the Ca′naan•ites and the Per′iz•zites. I am few in number, and they will certainly gather together to attack me and I will be annihilated, I and my house.”
34:1, 30. The trouble that “brought ostracism” upon Jacob started because Dinah made friends with people who did not love Jehovah. We must choose our associates wisely.
Gen 35:18 - *** w07 7/15 pp. 4-5 Do You Have an Immortal Soul? ***
But what about Bible texts that speak of the going out and the coming back of the soul? Concerning what happened to Rachel when she gave birth to a son, the Bible says: “As her soul was going out (because she died) she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.” (Genesis 35:18) And referring to the resurrection of a widow’s son, 1 Kings 17:22 states: “Jehovah listened to Elijah’s voice [in prayer], so that the soul of the child came back within him and he came to life.” Do these passages indicate that the soul is some invisible, shadowy part that can escape from or enter a body?
Well, remember that one meaning of the word “soul” is “life.” Hence, Rachel’s soul was going out in that her life was going out. In fact, some Bibles render the phrase “her soul was going out” as “her life was ebbing away” (Knox) and “she breathed her last” (Jerusalem Bible). Similarly, in the case of the widow’s son, it was life that returned to the boy.—1 Kings 17:23.
Theocratic Ministry School
Week of Feb 24 – Mar 2, 2014
TMS Study References
Theocratic Ministry School Schedule:
Bible Reading: Genesis 32-35
Theocratic Ministry School Review
#1 – What did Satan get Eve to focus on, and what did Eve show by eating from the forbidden tree? (Gen. 3:6)
(Genesis 3:16) To the woman he said: “I will greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in pain you will give birth to children, and your longing will be for your husband, and he will dominate you.”
*** w11 5/15 pp. 16-17 par. 5 Who Is the Most Important Person in Your Life? ***
5 Satan also distorted the facts. He implied that God was unfair in demanding that Adam and Eve “must not eat from every tree of the garden.” Next, Satan got Eve to think about herself and how she could supposedly improve her lot in life, becoming “like God.” Eventually, he got her to focus on the tree and its fruit rather than on her relationship with the One who had given her everything. (Read Genesis 3:6.) Sadly, by eating of the fruit, Eve showed that Jehovah was not the most important Person in her life.
#2 – How may Abel have developed his strong faith, and in what did it result? (Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4)
(Genesis 4:4) But Abel brought some firstlings of his flock, including their fat. While Jehovah looked with favor on Abel and on his offering,
(Hebrews 11:4) By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than that of Cain, and through that faith he received the witness that he was righteous, for God approved his gifts, and although he died, he still speaks through his faith.
*** w13 1/1 p. 12 “He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks” ***
The apostle Paul was inspired to say this about Abel: “Through it he, although he died, yet speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4) Through what does Abel speak? Through faith. Abel was the first human ever to develop that sterling quality. So powerfully did he demonstrate faith that his example is alive, a vibrant standard that we can apply today. If we learn from his faith and seek to imitate it, then the record of Abel is speaking to us in a very real and effective way.
*** w13 1/1 pp. 14-15 “He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks” ***
ABEL’S SACRIFICE—WHY IT EXCELLED
As Abel’s faith in Jehovah grew, he wanted to find a way to express that faith in action. Yet, what could a mere man give to the Creator of the universe? God surely did not need any gift or help from humans. In time, Abel came to grasp a profound truth: If—with the right motive—he simply offered Jehovah the best of what he had, his loving heavenly Father would be pleased.
So Abel prepared to offer up some sheep from his flock. He selected the best, the firstlings, and offered up what seemed to be the choicest pieces. Meanwhile, Cain too sought God’s blessing and favor, preparing an offering from his crops. But his motives were not like those of Abel. The difference became apparent when the brothers presented their offerings.
Both sons of Adam may have used altars and fire for their offerings, perhaps within sight of the cherubs, who were the only living representatives of Jehovah on earth at that time. Jehovah responded! We read: “Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering.” (Genesis 4:4) How God made his favor evident, the account does not say. But why did he favor Abel?
Was it the offering itself? Abel did offer a living, breathing creature, shedding its precious lifeblood. Did Abel realize how valuable such a sacrifice would be? Many centuries after Abel’s time, God used the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb to picture the sacrifice of His own perfect Son, “the Lamb of God,” whose innocent blood would be shed. (John 1:29; Exodus 12:5-7) However, much of that surely lay well beyond Abel’s knowledge or understanding.
What we know for certain is this: Abel offered up the very best of what he had. Jehovah looked with favor not only on the offering but on the man himself. Motivated by love for Jehovah and by genuine faith in him, Abel acted.
#3 – How can parents protect their children from admiring worldly “mighty ones” and “men of fame”? (Gen. 6:4)
(Genesis 6:4) The Neph′i•lim were on the earth in those days and afterward. During that time the sons of the true God continued to have relations with the daughters of men, and these bore sons to them. They were the mighty ones of old times, the men of fame.
*** w13 4/1 p. 13 He “Walked With the True God” ***
Parents today may well sympathize with Noah and his wife. Our world is likewise poisoned by violence and rebelliousness. Even entertainment directed at children may be saturated with such themes. Wise parents do all they can to counter such influences by teaching their children about the God of peace, Jehovah, who will one day bring all violence to an end. (Psalm 11:5; 37:10, 11) Success is possible! Noah and his wife succeeded. Their boys grew up to be good men, and they married wives who were likewise willing to put the true God, Jehovah, first in their lives.
#4 – What can we learn from the account about Lot and his wife, as recorded at Genesis 19:14-17 and 26?
(Genesis 19:14-17) So Lot went out and began to speak to his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters, and he kept saying: “Get up! Get out of this place, because Jehovah will destroy the city!” But to his sons-in-law, he seemed to be joking. 15 As dawn was breaking, the angels became urgent with Lot, saying: “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here with you, so that you will not be swept away in the error of the city!” 16 When he kept lingering, then because of Jehovah’s compassion for him, the men seized hold of his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, and they brought him out and stationed him outside the city. 17 As soon as they had brought them to the outskirts, he said: “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you and do not stand still in any part of the district! Escape to the mountainous region so that you may not be swept away!”
(Genesis 19:26) But Lot’s wife, who was behind him, began to look back, and she became a pillar of salt.
*** w03 1/1 pp. 16-17 Now More Than Ever, Stay Awake! ***
A Lesson From Lot
20 Of course, even faithful servants of God can momentarily lose their sense of urgency. Think of Abraham’s nephew Lot. He learned from two angelic visitors that God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. The news could not have surprised Lot, who “was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct.” (2 Peter 2:7) Still, when the two angels came to escort him out of Sodom, he “kept lingering.” The angels almost had to drag him and his family out of the city. Subsequently, Lot’s wife ignored the angels’ warning not to look back. Her lax attitude cost her dearly. (Genesis 19:14-17, 26) “Remember the wife of Lot,” Jesus warned.—Luke 17:32.
#5 – How did Abraham demonstrate his faith both in the resurrection and in Jehovah’s promise that an offspring would be through Isaac? (Gen. 22:1-18)
“This scripture was excluded due to length…Please look up on your own”
*** w09 2/1 p. 18 The Greatest Proof of God’s Love ***
A three-day trip followed, giving time for somber reflection. But Abraham’s resolve did not weaken. The words he spoke revealed his faith. Upon seeing the selected mountain in the distance, he told his servants: “You stay here . . . , but I and the boy want to go on over there and worship and return to you.” When Isaac asked where the sheep was for the offering, Abraham said: “God will provide himself the sheep.” (Verses 5, 8) Abraham expected to return with his son. Why? Because “he reckoned that God was able to raise him [Isaac] up even from the dead.”—Hebrews 11:19.
#6 – What important truths can we learn from the prophecy recorded at Genesis 25:23, which states that “the older will serve the younger”?
(Genesis 25:23) And Jehovah said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will be separated from within you; and the one nation will be stronger than the other nation, and the older will serve the younger.”
*** w03 10/15 p. 29 Jacob Appreciated Spiritual Values ***
In no way did Jacob usurp Esau’s inheritance. Before the boys were born, Jehovah said that ‘the older would serve the younger.’ (Genesis 25:23) ‘Would it not have been easier if God had caused Jacob to be born first?’ someone might ask. What followed taught important truths. God does not reserve blessings for those who feel that they have a claim on them, but he does show undeserved kindness to those whom he chooses. The birthright thus went to Jacob, not to his older brother, who did not appreciate it. Similarly, because the natural Jews as a nation showed the same attitude as Esau, they were replaced by spiritual Israel. (Romans 9:6-16, 24) Good relations with Jehovah today never come by effortless inheritance, even if one is born into a God-fearing family or environment. All who would have divine blessings must strive to be godly, truly appreciating spiritual things.
#7 – What was the significance of Jacob’s dream involving what some translations call a ladder? (Gen.28:12,13)
(Genesis 28:12, 13) Then he had a dream, and look! there was a stairway set on the earth, and its top reached up to the heavens; and there were God’s angels ascending and descending on it. 13 And look! there was Jehovah stationed above it, and he said: “I am Jehovah the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you are lying, to you I am going to give it and to your offspring.
*** w04 1/15 p. 28 Highlights From the Book of Genesis—II ***
Scriptural Questions Answered:
28:12, 13—What was the significance of Jacob’s dream involving “a ladder”? This “ladder,” which may have looked like a rising flight of stones, indicated that there is communication between earth and heaven. God’s angels ascending and descending on it showed that angels minister in some important way between Jehovah and humans who have his approval.
#8 – Why was Laban so anxious to retrieve the stolen teraphim? (Gen. 31:30-35)
(Genesis 31:30-35) Now you have gone because you have been longing to return to the house of your father, but why have you stolen my gods?” 31 Jacob answered La′ban: “It was because I was afraid, for I said to myself, ‘You might take your daughters away from me by force.’ 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods will not live. Before our brothers, examine what I have, and take what is yours.” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33 So La′ban went into the tent of Jacob and into the tent of Le′ah and into the tent of the two slave girls, but did not find them. Then he came out of Le′ah’s tent and went into Rachel’s tent. 34 Meanwhile, Rachel had taken the teraphim statues and put them in the woman’s saddle basket of the camel, and she was sitting on them. So La′ban searched through the whole tent but did not find them. 35 Then she said to her father: “Do not be angry, my lord, because I am not able to get up before you, for the customary thing with women is upon me.” So he searched on carefully but did not find the teraphim statues.
*** it-2 p. 186 Laban ***
Laban was very concerned about retrieving the teraphim, or household idols, which Rachel, unknown to Jacob, had stolen. These he was unable to find, for Rachel kept them concealed. Laban may have become influenced in his religious ideas by the moon-worshiping people among whom he dwelt, and this may be indicated by his use of omens and his possession of teraphim. However, it should be noted that it was likely more than merely religious reasons that made Laban so anxious to locate and retrieve the teraphim. Tablets unearthed at Nuzi near Kirkuk, Iraq, reveal that, according to the laws of patriarchal times in that particular area, possession of such household idols by a woman’s husband could give him the right to appear in court and claim the estate of his deceased father-in-law. Hence, Laban may have thought that Jacob himself stole the teraphim in order to dispossess Laban’s own sons later. This may explain why, on failing to locate the household gods, Laban was anxious to conclude an agreement with Jacob that would ensure that Jacob would not go back with the household gods after Laban’s death to deprive his sons of their inheritance.—Ge 31:30-35, 41-52.
9. What do we learn from the angel’s response to Jacob at Genesis 32:29?
(Genesis 32:29) In turn Jacob inquired: “Tell me, please, your name.” However, he said: “Why is it that you ask my name?” With that he blessed him there.
*** w13 8/1 p. 10 Why Are Some Bible Characters Left Unnamed? ***
OUR READERS ASK . . .
Why Are Some Bible Characters Left Unnamed?
In the Bible book of Ruth, a man who refused to perform his duty according to the Mosaic Law is simply called So-and-so. (Ruth 4:1-12) Should we conclude that all unnamed Bible characters are likewise marred by bad traits or are too insignificant to be named?
No. Consider a different example. To prepare for his final Passover meal, Jesus told his disciples to “go into the city to So-and-so [“a certain man,” The New English Bible]” and get things ready at his home. (Matthew 26:18) Are we to assume that the man referred to as “So-and-so” in this verse was a bad man or that he was too insignificant to be named? Not at all; the “certain man” mentioned here no doubt was a disciple of Jesus. Since his name was not vital to the account, it was omitted.
Furthermore, the Bible record contains the names of many wicked individuals; it also contains examples of many faithful people who go unnamed. For instance, the name of Eve, the first woman, is well-known. Yet, her selfishness and disobedience contributed to the sin of Adam, which cost us all a terrible price. (Romans 5:12) By contrast, Noah’s wife goes unnamed in the Scriptures, but we owe much to her selfless, obedient spirit in supporting her husband in his vital work. Clearly, the omission of her name is no indication of insignificance or of divine disfavor.
There are other unnamed individuals in the Bible record who played important—even heroic—roles in Jehovah’s purpose. Think of the little Israelite girl who was a slave in the house of Naaman, a Syrian army chief. She boldly spoke to her mistress, Naaman’s wife, about Jehovah’s prophet in Israel. This led to a great miracle. (2 Kings 5:1-14) The daughter of the Israelite judge Jephthah also set an outstanding example of faith. She willingly gave up the prospect of marriage and childbearing in order to fulfill a vow that her father had made. (Judges 11:30-40) Similarly, there are composers of over 40 psalms who are left unnamed as well as unnamed prophets who faithfully carried out prominent assignments.—1 Kings 20:37-43.
Perhaps an even more impressive example is that of the faithful angels. There are hundreds of millions of them, yet only two are named in the Bible—Gabriel and Michael. (Daniel 7:10; Luke 1:19; Jude 9) The rest go unnamed in Bible accounts. For instance, an angel was asked by Manoah, the father of Samson: “What is your name, that when your word comes true we shall certainly do you honor?” The response? “Just why should you ask about my name?” Modestly, that angel refused to accept honor that was due only to God.—Judges 13:17, 18.
The Bible does not explain in each case why some individuals are named and others are not. But we can learn much from faithful individuals who served God without any prospect of fame or prominence.
#10 – What is one way to avoid consequences like those that befell Dinah? (Genesis 34:1,2)
(Genesis 34:1, 2) Now Di′nah, Jacob’s daughter by Le′ah, used to go out to spend time with the young women of the land. 2 When She′chem, the son of Ha′mor the Hi′vite, a chieftain of the land, saw her, he took her and lay down with her and violated her.
*** w01 8/1 pp. 20-21 Let Force of Habit Work for Your Good ***
Dinah fared poorly because of a bad habit. She “used to go out to see the daughters of the land,” who were not worshipers of Jehovah. (Genesis 34:1) This seemingly innocent habit led to disaster. First, she was violated by Shechem, a young man considered “the most honorable of the whole house of his father.” Then, the vengeful reaction of two of her brothers led them to slaughter all the males in an entire city. What a terrible outcome!—Genesis 34:19, 25-29.
How can we be sure that our habits will benefit us and not harm us?
Congregation Bible Study
SONG 101 - Making Known the Kingdom Truth
(Deuteronomy 33:2) He said: “Jehovah—from Si′nai he came, And he shone upon them from Se′ir. He shone forth in glory from the mountainous region of Pa′ran, And with him were holy myriads, At his right hand his warriors.
(Jude 14) Yes, the seventh one in line from Adam, E′noch, also prophesied about them when he said: “Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads
(John 6:68, 69) Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
(Isaiah 57:15) For this is what the High and Lofty One says, Who lives forever and whose name is holy: “I reside in the high and holy place, But also with those crushed and lowly in spirit, To revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of those being crushed.
(Leviticus 24:16) So the abuser of Jehovah’s name should be put to death without fail. The entire assembly should stone him without fail. The foreign resident should be put to death the same as the native for his abusing the Name.
(Matthew 6:9) “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.
(Genesis 3:1-5) Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. 3 But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.”
(John 8:44) You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.
(John 12:31) Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
(Revelation 12:9) So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.
(Genesis 1:2) Now the earth was formless and desolate, and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep, and God’s active force was moving about over the surface of the waters.
(Luke 11:13) Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”
(Romans 1:4) but who with power was declared God’s Son according to the spirit of holiness by means of resurrection from the dead—yes, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Mark 3:29) But whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit has no forgiveness forever but is guilty of everlasting sin.”
(Isaiah 63:15) Look down from heaven and see From your lofty abode of holiness and glory. Where are your zeal and your mightiness, The stirring of your compassions and your mercy? They are withheld from me.
(Ezekiel 1:25-28) There was a voice above the expanse over their heads. (When they stood still, they would let their wings down.) 26 Above the expanse that was over their heads was what looked like a sapphire stone, and it resembled a throne. Sitting on the throne up above was someone whose appearance resembled that of a human. 27 I saw something glowing like electrum that was like a fire radiating from what appeared to be his waist and upward; and from his waist down, I saw something that resembled fire. There was a brilliance all around him 28 like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. That was how the surrounding brilliant light appeared. It was like the appearance of the glory of Jehovah. When I saw it, I fell facedown and began to hear the voice of someone speaking.
(Revelation 4:2, 3) After this I immediately came to be in the power of the spirit, and look! a throne was in its position in heaven, and someone was seated on the throne. 3 And the One seated had the appearance of a jasper stone and a sardius stone, and all around the throne was a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.
(Isaiah 6:5) Then I said: “Woe to me! I am as good as dead, For I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of armies himself!”
(Isaiah 6:6, 7) At that, one of the seraphs flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth and said: “Look! This has touched your lips. Your guilt is removed, And your sin is atoned for.”
Service Meeting Schedule:
Song: 965 Min: Start a Bible Study on the First Saturday. Talk. Outline local arrangements for ﬁeld service on the ﬁrst Saturday in March. Demonstrate the sample presentation on page 4.
15 Min: The Importance of Persistence. Discussion based on the 2013 Yearbook, page 45, paragraph 1, to page 46, paragraph 1; and pages 136-137. Invite audience to comment on the lessons learned.
10 Min: “Memorial Invitation Campaign Starts March 22.” Talk by the service overseer. Distribute a copy of the invitation, and discuss its contents. Review applicable points from the letter of instruction sent to the elders, and outline local arrangements for covering the territory.
5 Min - Start a Bible Study on the First SaturdayLocal Arrangements:
To Start Bible Studies on the First
Saturday in March
“We’re visiting brieﬂy because of something that will occur on April 14. That date is the anniversary of Jesus’ death. Some will commemorate the occasion because they feel that his death was important. Others are not sure of the significance of Jesus’ death. Do you think that Jesus’ death beneﬁts you and me?” Allow for response. Show the back of the March 1 Watchtower, and consider together the material under the ﬁrst question and at least one of the cited scriptures. Oﬀer the magazines, and arrange to discuss the next question.
15 Min - The Importance of Persistence2013 Yearbook, page 45, paragraph 1, to page 46
‘Would It Be Possible to Speak With Him?’
A circuit overseer in Ethiopia was preaching from house to house with another brother. At one door, they met the housemaid and asked her if they could speak to the man of the house. When she replied that this was not possible, they asked her if they could leave some literature for him. She went to ask his permission, returned, and said that he wanted to see it first.
So the brothers gave her a magazine to show him. After a few minutes, she came back and said that he agreed to read it. Then one of the brothers said, “If he can’t come out, would it be possible for us to go in and speak with him?” Again, the maid went to ask him. This time she stayed away longer than before, and the brothers wondered whether she would come back at all. Eventually she returned and invited them inside. Now the brothers learned that the householder, Yirgu, was an elderly man who had been bedridden for ten years, unable to get out of bed or even to sit up. The reason the housemaid had taken so long was that she had helped him to get dressed and had tidied up the room.
The brothers presented the good news. Pleased with what he heard, Yirgu accepted a Bible study. As the study progressed, his health improved. After a while, he was able to get out of bed and move around in a wheelchair. Soon he began attending meetings and was baptized at a recent district convention.
2013 Yearbook, pages 136-137
Kindness Broke Down My Resistance
PROFILE A former drug dealer and opposer of the truth whose heart was touched by Christian kindness.
WHEN Lu Mai, my wife, started to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I bitterly opposed her. I threw her Bible literature down the toilet and drove the Witnesses from my home.
Later, I started dealing drugs, which led to my being thrown into prison. After my first night there, Lu Mai sent me a Bible along with an encouraging letter filled with scripture references. I received other spiritually upbuilding letters from her as well. I soon realized that if I had followed the Bible’s counsel, I would not have ended up in prison.
While in prison, I received two unexpected visitors. The men, Jehovah’s Witnesses, explained that my wife had asked them to visit and encourage me. They had traveled for two days to reach me. I was deeply moved by their visit. None of my many relatives had come to visit me—only the people whom I had once bitterly opposed did so.
Soon afterward, I was hospitalized with typhoid and could not afford to pay for the treatment. About that time, I received another unexpected visitor—a Witness sent by my wife. Moved with pity, he paid for my treatment. Humbled and shamed, I vowed to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Five years later, when I was released from prison, I kept my promise.
Today I remain faithful to my “vow” by serving Jehovah to the fullest extent possible
10 Min – “Memorial Invitation Campaign Starts March 22.”This year our campaign to invite others to attend the Memorial begins on Saturday, March 22. All are encouraged to have a full share. On the weekends we will also oﬀer the current magazines when appropriate. On the ﬁrst Saturday in April, we will focus on distributing invitations rather than on starting Bible studies. However, if we encounter some- one who shows special interest, we may still try to start a Bible study. The service overseer can determine whether distributing invitations through public witnessing will help the congregation to reach more people in its territory. Make a list now of relatives, workmates, schoolmates, return visits, and other acquaintances whom you wish to invite, and give them an invitation when the campaign begins. We hope that many will join us as we commemorate the two greatest expressions of love.—John 3:16; 15:13.
(John 3:16) “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.
(John 15:13) No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.
Week of Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2014
‘Do This in Remembrance of Me’
“After giving thanks, he broke [the loaf] and said: ‘This means my body which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.’”—1 Cor. 11:24.
Dec 15, 2013 - Page 22
(Matthew 19:1) When Jesus had finished speaking these things, he departed from Gal′i•lee and came to the borders of Ju•de′a across the Jordan.
(Matthew 20:17) While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the 12 disciples aside privately and said to them on the road:
(Matthew 20:29) As they were going out of Jer′i•cho, a large crowd followed him.
(Mark 10:1) From there he got up and came to the borders of Ju•de′a across the Jordan, and again crowds gathered to him. As he was accustomed to do, he again began teaching them.
(Mark 10:32) Now they were going on the road up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going ahead of them, and they were astonished, but those who followed began to fear. Once again he took the Twelve aside and started to tell them these things that were about to happen to him:
(Mark 10:46) They then came into Jer′i•cho. But as he and his disciples and a considerable crowd were going out of Jer′i•cho, Bar•ti•mae′us (the son of Ti•mae′us), a blind beggar, was sitting beside the road.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-25) For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body, which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 25 He did the same with the cup also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
(Mark 14:12-16) Now on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, when they customarily offered up the Passover sacrifice, his disciples said to him: “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 With that he sent two of his disciples and said to them: “Go into the city, and a man carrying an earthenware water jar will meet you. Follow him, 14 and wherever he goes inside, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says: “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Prepare it for us there.” 16 So the disciples went out, and they entered the city and found it just as he said to them, and they prepared for the Passover.
(Matthew 26:26) As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it, and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”
(Exodus 12:8) “‘They must eat the meat on this night. They should roast it over the fire and eat it along with unleavened bread and bitter greens.
(Deuteronomy 16:3) You must not eat anything leavened along with it; for seven days you should eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that you may remember the day you came out of the land of Egypt as long as you live.
(Matthew 26:27, 28) And taking a cup, he offered thanks and gave it to them, saying: “Drink out of it, all of you, 28 for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.
(1 Corinthians 11:23, 24) For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body, which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”
(John 2:19-21) Jesus replied to them: “Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said: “This temple was built in 46 years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was talking about the temple of his body.
(John 4:13, 14) In answer Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. 14 Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”
(John 10:7) So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep.
(John 15:1) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the cultivator.
(Ephesians 4:12) with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, to build up the body of the Christ,
(Romans 12:4, 5) For just as we have in one body many members, but the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ, but individually we are members belonging to one another.
(1 Corinthians 10:16, 17) The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ? The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body, for we are all partaking of that one loaf.
(1 Corinthians 12:27) Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you individually is a member.
(1 Peter 2:21-24) In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely. 22 He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. 23 When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins in his own body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds you were healed.”
(1 Peter 4:1) Since Christ suffered in the flesh, you too arm yourselves with the same mental disposition; because the person who has suffered in the flesh has desisted from sins,
(John 19:33-36) But on coming to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers jabbed his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And the one who has seen it has given this witness, and his witness is true, and he knows that what he says is true, so that you also may believe. 36 In fact, these things took place for the scripture to be fulfilled: “Not a bone of his will be broken.”
(Hebrews 10:5-7) So when he comes into the world, he says: “‘Sacrifice and offering you did not want, but you prepared a body for me. 6 You did not approve of whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.’ 7 Then I said: ‘Look! I have come (in the scroll it is written about me) to do your will, O God.’”
(1 Corinthians 11:25) He did the same with the cup also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
(Mark 14:24) And he said to them: “This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many.
(Matthew 26:28) for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.
(Ephesians 1:7) By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his undeserved kindness.
(Romans 5:8-10) But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more, then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. 10 For if when we were enemies we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more we will be saved by his life, now that we have become reconciled.
(Luke 12:32) “Have no fear, little flock, for your Father has approved of giving you the Kingdom.
(Luke 22:19, 20) Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body, which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 20 Also, he did the same with the cup after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.
(Revelation 14:1) Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.
(Matthew 6:10) Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.
(Isaiah 11:6-9) The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, And with the young goat the leopard will lie down, And the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; And a little boy will lead them. 7 The cow and the bear will feed together, And their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull. 8 The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake. 9 They will not cause any harm Or any ruin in all my holy mountain, Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah As the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 35:5, 6) At that time the eyes of the blind will be opened, And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 At that time the lame will leap like the deer, And the tongue of the speechless will shout for joy. For waters will burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert plain.
(Isaiah 65:21-23) They will build houses and live in them, And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 22 They will not build for someone else to inhabit, Nor will they plant for others to eat. For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full. 23 They will not toil for nothing, Nor will they bear children for distress, Because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah, And their descendants with them.
(Matthew 26:26) As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it, and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”
(Matthew 26:27, 28) And taking a cup, he offered thanks and gave it to them, saying: “Drink out of it, all of you, 28 for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.
(Luke 22:28-30) “However, you are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials; 29 and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the 12 tribes of Israel.
(2 Timothy 4:18) The Lord will rescue me from every wicked work and will save me for his heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 7:9) After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.
(Revelation 7:14-17) So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, 17 because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”
(1 Corinthians 11:24) and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body, which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”