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Highlights of the Bible

Highlights of Genesis 36-39

(Genesis 36:9) 9 And this is the history of E′sau the father of E′dom in the mountainous region of Se′ir.
A third possibility is that Moses obtained much of the information for Genesis from already existing writings or documents. As far back as the 18th century, the Dutch scholar Campegius Vitringa held this view, basing his conclusion upon the frequent occurrence in Genesis (ten times) of the expression (in KJ) “these are the generations of,” and once “this is the book of the generations of.” (Ge 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2) In this expression the Hebrew word for “generations” is toh•le•dhohth′, and it is better rendered “histories” or “origins.” For example, “generations of the heavens and of the earth” would hardly be fitting, whereas “history of the heavens and the earth” is meaningful. (Ge 2:4) In harmony with this, the German Elberfelder, the French Crampon, and the Spanish Bover-Cantera all use the term “history,” as does the New World Translation. There is no doubt that even as men today are interested in an accurate historical record, so they have been from the start.
For these reasons, Vitringa and others since have understood each use of toh•le•dhohth′ in Genesis to refer to an already existing written historical document that Moses had in his possession and that he relied upon for the majority of the information recorded in Genesis. They believe that the persons named in direct connection with such ‘histories’ (Adam, Noah, Noah’s sons, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob) were either the writers or original possessors of those written documents. This, of course, would still leave unexplained how all such documents came to be in the possession of Moses. It also leaves unexplained why documents obtained from men who were not distinguished as faithful worshipers of Jehovah (such as Ishmael and Esau) should be the source of much of the information used. It is entirely possible that the expression “This is the history of” is simply an introductory phrase serving conveniently to divide off the various sections of the long overall history. Compare Matthew’s use of a similar expression to introduce his Gospel account.—Mt 1:1; see WRITING.

Gen 37:5 - *** w87 5/1 p. 12 par. 11 Death-Dealing Famine in a Time of Plenty ***
(Genesis 37:5) 5 Later Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, and they found further reason to hate him. . .
11 Joseph’s father, Israel, came to love him more than all his brothers and favored him by having a long, striped shirtlike garment made for him. Because of this, Joseph’s half brothers “began to hate him, and they were not able to speak peacefully to him.” They found further reason to hate him when he had two dreams that they interpreted to mean he would dominate over them. In like manner, the leaders among the Jews came to hate Jesus because of his loyalty, his persuasive teaching, and Jehovah’s obvious blessing upon him.—Genesis 37:3-11; John 7:46; 8:40.

Gen 37:22 - *** it-1 p. 561 Custody ***
(Genesis 37:22) 22 Reu′ben said to them: “Do not shed blood. Throw him into this waterpit in the wilderness, but do not harm him.” His purpose was to rescue him from them in order to return him to his father.
When a shepherd or herdsman said he would keep or guard a flock or herd, he was indicating legal acceptance of the custody of these animals. He was guaranteeing the owner that they would be fed and not stolen, or else compensation would be paid. However, his responsibility was not absolute, for the above law absolved the guardian of liability in the case of an occurrence beyond normal human control, such as attack by wild beasts. To be relieved of the responsibility of custody, though, he had to submit evidence to the owner, as, for example, the torn carcass. The owner, on examination of such evidence, was bound to return a verdict of innocence on the part of the custodian.
The same principle applied in general to any entrusted property, even in family relationships, for example, the oldest brother was considered the legal guardian of his younger brothers and sisters. Hence, we can understand the concern that Reuben as an eldest son had for Joseph’s life, as recorded at Genesis 37:18-30, when the other brothers spoke of killing him. “He said: ‘Let us not strike his soul fatally.’ . . . ‘Do not spill blood. . . . do not lay a violent hand upon him.’ His purpose was to deliver him out of their hand in order to return him to his father.” And when Reuben discovered Joseph’s absence, his anxiety was so extreme that “he ripped his garments apart” and exclaimed: “The child is gone! And I—where am I really to go?” He knew that he could be held accountable for the loss of Joseph.

Gen 37:27, 28 - *** w92 7/15 p. 4 Does the Bible Contradict Itself? ***
▪ Who sold Joseph into Egypt?
Genesis 37:27 says that Joseph’s brothers decided to sell him to some Ishmaelites. But the next verse states: “Now men, Midianite merchants, went passing by. Hence they [Joseph’s brothers] drew and lifted up Joseph out of the waterpit and then sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silver pieces. Eventually these brought Joseph into Egypt.” Was Joseph sold to Ishmaelites or to Midianites? Well, the Midianites may also have been called Ishmaelites, to whom they were related through their forefather Abraham. Or Midianite merchants may have been traveling with an Ishmaelite caravan. At any rate, Joseph’s brothers did the selling, and later he could tell them: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.”—Genesis 45:4.

Gen 37:33,34 - *** w10 8/15 p. 15 par. 14 How the Ransom Saves Us ***
(Genesis 37:33, 34) 33 Then he examined it and exclaimed: “It is my son’s robe! A vicious wild animal must have devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” 34 With that Jacob ripped his garments apart and put sackcloth around his waist and mourned his son for many days.
14 The cost of the ransom can also be illustrated by an incident in the life of Jacob. Of all his sons, the one Jacob loved most was Joseph. Sadly, Joseph’s brothers envied and hated him. Yet, Joseph was willing to be sent by his father to see how his brothers were faring. At the time, they were shepherding Jacob’s flock some 60 miles [100 km] north of their home in Hebron. Imagine how Jacob felt when his sons returned with Joseph’s garment covered with blood! “It is my son’s long garment!” he exclaimed. “A vicious wild beast must have devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” All of this had a great impact on Jacob, who mourned over Joseph for many days. (Gen. 37:33, 34) Jehovah does not react to situations exactly as imperfect humans do. Yet, meditating on this incident in the life of Jacob may help us to grasp, to some extent, how God must have felt when his beloved Son was mistreated and cruelly put to death as a man on earth.

Gen 38:15,16 - *** w04 1/15 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***
(Genesis 38:15, 16) 15 When Judah caught sight of her, he at once took her for a prostitute, because she had covered her face. 16 So he turned aside to her by the road and said: “Allow me, please, to have relations with you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. However, she said: “What will you give me that you may have relations with me?”
What circumstances caused Judah to have sexual relations with a woman he thought was a harlot, as stated at Genesis 38:15, 16?
While Judah did have sexual relations with a woman he thought was a harlot, in reality she was not a harlot. According to Genesis chapter 38, this is what happened.
Before Judah’s firstborn son had any sons by his wife, Tamar, he was put to death because he “proved to be bad in the eyes of Jehovah.” (Genesis 38:7) At that time, the custom of brother-in-law marriage was practiced. This required that when a man died without an heir, his brother was to provide the widow with the basis for an heir. But Judah’s second son, Onan, refused to fulfill his obligation. Hence, he died as a result of divine judgment. Judah then sent his daughter-in-law Tamar back to her father’s home until such time as Judah’s third son, Shelah, was old enough to be united with her. As the years went by, however, Judah failed to give Shelah in marriage to Tamar. So when Judah lost his wife in death, Tamar devised a plan to get an heir by Judah, the Israelite who had been her father-in-law. This she did by disguising herself as a temple prostitute and seating herself on the road along which she knew Judah would be passing.
Not knowing who Tamar was, Judah had relations with her. For her favors, she shrewdly obtained tokens from him, and by these she later proved that she had become pregnant by him. When the truth came out, Judah did not blame her but humbly said: “She is more righteous than I am, for the reason that I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And most fittingly, “he had no further intercourse with her.”—Genesis 38:26.
Judah acted wrongly in that he did not give Tamar to his son Shelah as promised. He also had relations with a woman he thought was a temple prostitute. This was contrary to God’s purpose, which was for a man to have sexual relations only in the marriage arrangement. (Genesis 2:24) In reality, though, Judah did not have relations with a harlot. Rather, he unwittingly took the place of his son Shelah in performing brother-in-law marriage and thus fathered legal offspring.
As for Tamar, her course was not an immoral one. Her twin sons were not considered to be the sons of fornication. When Boaz of Bethlehem took the Moabitess Ruth in brother-in-law marriage, the elders of Bethlehem spoke favorably of Tamar’s son Perez, saying to Boaz: “May your house become like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, from the offspring that Jehovah will give you out of this young woman.” (Ruth 4:12) Perez is also listed among the ancestors of Jesus Christ.—Matthew 1:1-3; Luke 3:23-33.

Gen 38:18 - *** si p. 17 par. 26 Bible Book Number 1—Genesis ***
(Genesis 38:18) 18 He continued: “What security should I give you?” to which she said: “Your seal ring and your cord and your rod that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her and had relations with her, and she became pregnant by him.
26 Chapter 38 digresses momentarily to give the account of the birth of Perez to Tamar, who, by strategy, causes Judah her father-in-law to perform the marriage due toward her that should have been performed by his son. This account again underlines the extreme care with which the Scriptures record each development leading to the production of the Seed of promise. Judah’s son Perez becomes one of the ancestors of Jesus.—Luke 3:23, 33.

Gen 38:26 - *** w04 1/15 p. 29 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Genesis—II ***
(Genesis 38:26) 26 Then Judah examined them and said: “She is more righteous than I am, because I did not give her to She′lah my son.” And he had no further sexual relations with her after that.
38:26. Judah was wrong in his dealings with his widowed daughter-in-law, Tamar. However, when confronted with his responsibility for her pregnancy, Judah humbly admitted his error. We too should be quick to acknowledge our mistakes.
Gen 39:4 - *** it-2 p. 107 Joseph ***
(Genesis 39:4) 4 Joseph kept finding favor in his eyes, and he became his personal attendant. So he appointed him over his house, and he put him in charge of all that was his.
As Joseph had been diligent in furthering his father’s interests, so also as a slave he proved himself to be industrious and trustworthy. With Jehovah’s blessing, everything that Joseph did turned out successfully. Potiphar therefore finally entrusted to him all the household affairs. Joseph thus appears to have been a superintendent, a post mentioned by Egyptian records in association with the large homes of influential Egyptians.—Ge 39:2-6.

Gen 39:9 - *** w13 11/1 p. 9 Talk to Your Teenager—Without Arguing ***
The Bible tells us about Joseph, a young man who had a strong sense of identity. For example, when Potiphar’s wife urged him to have sex with her, Joseph replied: “How could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) Even though a law forbidding adultery had not yet been given to the Israelites, Joseph perceived God’s view of the matter. More than that, the words “how could I” indicate that he had made God’s view his own—a part of his very identity.—Ephesians 5:1.

Gen 39:10 - *** it-2 p. 107 Joseph ***
(Genesis 39:10) 10 So day after day she spoke to Joseph, but he never consented to lie with her or to remain with her.
Consequently Potiphar’s wife became infatuated with him. Repeatedly she asked him to have relations with her. But Joseph, trained in the way of righteousness, refused, saying: “How could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?” This, however, did not end the danger for Joseph. Archaeological evidence indicates that the arrangement of Egyptian houses appears to have been such that a person had to pass through the main part of the house to reach the storerooms. If Potiphar’s house was laid out similarly, it would have been impossible for Joseph to avoid all contact with Potiphar’s wife.—Ge 39:6-10.

Gen 39:21 - *** w02 5/15 pp. 14-16 pars. 11-12 Benefiting From Jehovah’s Loving-Kindness ***
(Genesis 39:21) 21 But Jehovah continued with Joseph and kept showing loyal love to him and granting him favor in the eyes of the chief officer of the prison.
11 Next, let us consider Genesis chapter 39. It centers on Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt. Nevertheless, “Jehovah proved to be with Joseph.” (Verses 1, 2) In fact, even Joseph’s Egyptian master, Potiphar, concluded that Jehovah was with Joseph. (Verse 3) However, Joseph faced a very serious test. He was falsely accused of sexually assaulting Potiphar’s wife and was imprisoned. (Verses 7-20) It was “in the prison hole” that “with fetters they afflicted his feet, into irons his soul came.”—Genesis 40:15; Psalm 105:18.
12 What happened during that particularly trying experience? “Jehovah continued with Joseph and kept extending loving-kindness to him.” (Verse 21a) A particular act of loving-kindness set in motion a series of events that later led to relief from the troubles Joseph was experiencing. Jehovah granted Joseph “to find favor in the eyes of the chief officer of the prison house.” (Verse 21b) Consequently, the officer assigned Joseph a responsible position. (Verse 22) Next, Joseph met the man who eventually brought him to the attention of Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. (Genesis 40:1-4, 9-15; 41:9-14) In turn, the king elevated Joseph to the position of second ruler in Egypt, resulting in his performing a life-saving work in the famine-stricken land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:37-55) Joseph’s suffering began when he was 17 years old and lasted for more than a dozen years! (Genesis 37:2, 4; 41:46) But throughout all those years of distress and affliction, Jehovah God manifested his loving-kindness toward Joseph by protecting him from utter calamity and by preserving him for a privileged role in the divine purpose.

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Theocratic Ministry School

Talk #2 – Why Resurrected Ones Will Not Be Condemned for Their Past Deeds

*** rs p. 338 Resurrection ***
Will some be raised simply to have judgment pronounced and then be consigned to second death?
What is the meaning of John 5:28, 29? It says: “All those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” What Jesus said here must be understood in the light of the later revelation that he gave to John. (See Revelation 20:12, 13, quoted on page 337.) Both those who formerly did good things and those who formerly practiced bad things will be “judged individually according to their deeds.” What deeds? If we were to take the view that people were going to be condemned on the basis of deeds in their past life, that would be inconsistent with Romans 6:7: “He who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” It would also be unreasonable to resurrect people simply for them to be destroyed. So, at John 5:28, 29a, Jesus was pointing ahead to the resurrection; then, in the remainder of verse 29, he was expressing the outcome after they had been uplifted to human perfection and been put on judgment.

Talk #3 – Abigail—Display Qualities That Honor Jehovah

*** it-1 pp. 20-21 Abigail ***
(Ab′i•gail) [(My) Father Has Made Himself Joyful].
1. A wife of David. Originally, the wife of wealthy Nabal from Maon, a city on the edge of the Wilderness of Judah, W of the Dead Sea. (1Sa 25:2, 3; Jos 15:20, 55) She was “good in discretion and beautiful in form,” while her first husband, whose name means “Senseless; Stupid,” was “harsh and bad in his practices.”
Following the prophet Samuel’s death, David and his men moved into the area where the flocks of Abigail’s husband were pastured. David’s men thereafter were like a protective “wall” around Nabal’s shepherds and flocks, night and day. So, when shearing time came, David sent some young men up to Carmel to call Nabal’s attention to the good service rendered him and to request an offering of food from him. (1Sa 25:4-8, 15, 16) But miserly Nabal screamed rebukes at them and insulted David as if he were an inconsequential person, and all of them as if they were possibly runaway slaves. (1Sa 25:9-11, 14) This so angered David that he girded on his sword and led about 400 men toward Carmel to wipe out Nabal and the men of his household.—1Sa 25:12, 13, 21, 22.
Abigail, hearing of the incident through a disturbed servant, showed her wise perception by immediately rounding up an ample supply of food and grain and then sent these ahead of her in care of her servants, much as Jacob had done before making contact with Esau. (1Sa 25:14-19; Ge 32:13-20) Without saying anything to her husband, she rode to meet David, and in a long and fervent plea, which manifested wisdom and logic as well as respect and humility, she convinced David that her husband’s senseless words did not justify the unrighteous shedding of blood or the failure to trust in Jehovah to settle the matter in a right way himself. (1Sa 25:14-20, 23-31) David thanked God for the woman’s good sense and quick action.—1Sa 25:32-35; compare Pr 25:21, 22; 15:1, 2.
Returning home, Abigail waited for her husband to sober up from a drunken feast and then informed him of her actions. Now “his heart came to be dead inside him, and he himself became as a stone,” and after ten days Jehovah caused him to expire. When the news reached David, he sent a marriage proposal to Abigail, which she did not hesitate to accept. She shared David’s affections along with Ahinoam, a Jezreelitess, whom David had previously taken as wife. David’s first wife, Michal, had already been given by her father Saul to another man.—1Sa 25:36-44.
Abigail was with David in Gath on the western edge of the Shephelah and later down in the NW Negeb at Ziklag. During David’s absence a raiding party of Amalekites from the S burned Ziklag and carried off all the women and children, including Abigail and Ahinoam. Assured by Jehovah of success, David led his men in pursuit and, in a surprise attack, overcame the Amalekites and retrieved the captives and possessions.—1Sa 30:1-19.
Back at Ziklag, three days later, the news of Saul’s death arrived. (2Sa 1:1, 2) Abigail now accompanied her husband to Hebron of Judah, where David was first anointed as king. Here she gave birth to a son, Chileab (2Sa 3:3), also called Daniel at 1 Chronicles 3:1. David’s wives increased to six in Hebron, and neither Abigail nor her son receive further mention in the account.—2Sa 3:2-5.

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Congregation Bible Study

Week of March 3-9, 2014

“Draw Close to Jehovah”

cl chap. 3 ¶19-21, box on p. 34

Opening Song: 112

Paragraph 19
(Hebrews 9:11-14) However, when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have already taken place, he passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 He entered into the holy place, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time, and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us. 13 For if the blood of goats and of bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who have been defiled sanctifies for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of the Christ, who through an everlasting spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we may render sacred service to the living God?
(1 John 2:2) And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.
(1 Peter 1:16) for it is written: “You must be holy, because I am holy.”
(Psalm 103:13, 14) As a father shows mercy to his sons, Jehovah has shown mercy to those who fear him. 14 For he well knows how we are formed, Remembering that we are dust.
(Ephesians 5:1) Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children,
(2 Corinthians 7:1) Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Paragraph 20
(Habakkuk 1:13) Your eyes are too pure to look on what is evil, And you cannot tolerate wickedness. Why, then, do you tolerate the treacherous And keep silent when a wicked man swallows up someone more righteous than he is?
(Amos 5:15) Hate what is bad, and love what is good, Let justice prevail in the city gate. It may be that Jehovah the God of armies Will show favor to the remaining ones of Joseph.’
(1 Peter 2:21) In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.
(Isaiah 6:5-8) 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!” 6 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.” 8 Then I heard the voice of Jehovah saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said: “Here I am! Send me!”
Paragraph 21
(Genesis 1:26) Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.”

Questions for Meditation

(Leviticus 19:1-18) Jehovah spoke further to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the entire assembly of the Israelites and tell them, ‘You should be holy, because I, Jehovah your God, am holy. 3 “‘Each of you should respect his mother and his father, and you should keep my sabbaths. I am Jehovah your God. 4 Do not turn to worthless gods or make for yourselves gods of cast metal. I am Jehovah your God. 5 “‘Now if you offer a communion sacrifice to Jehovah, you should sacrifice it in such a way that you gain approval for yourselves. 6 It should be eaten on the day of your sacrifice and on the next day, but what is left over until the third day should be burned in the fire. 7 If, though, any of it is eaten on the third day, it is an offensive thing that will not be accepted with approval. 8 The one eating it will answer for his error because he has profaned a holy thing of Jehovah, and that person must be cut off from his people. 9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not reap the edge of your field completely and you must not pick up the gleaning of your harvest. 10 Also, you must not gather the leftovers of your vineyard or pick up the scattered grapes of your vineyard. You should leave them for the poor and the foreign resident. I am Jehovah your God11 “‘You must not steal, you must not deceive, and you must not deal falsely with one another. 12 You must not swear to a lie in my name and thus profane the name of your God. I am Jehovah. 13 You must not defraud your fellow man, and you must not rob. You should not withhold the wages of a hired worker all night until morning. 14 “‘You must not curse a deaf man or put an obstacle before a blind man, and you must be in fear of your God. I am Jehovah. 15 “‘You must not be unjust in your judgment. You must not show partiality to the poor or show preference to the rich. With justice you should judge your fellow man. 16 “‘You must not go around spreading slander among your people. You must not stand up against the life of your fellow man. I am Jehovah. 17 “‘You must not hate your brother in your heart. You should by all means reprove your fellow man, so that you will not bear sin along with him. 18 “‘You must not take vengeance nor hold a grudge against the sons of your people, and you must love your fellow man as yourself. I am Jehovah.
(Deuteronomy 23:9-14) “When you are encamped against your enemies, you should avoid anything bad. 10 If a man becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he should go outside the camp and not reenter the camp. 11 When evening falls, he should wash with water, and then he may return to the camp at sunset. 12 A private place should be designated for use outside the camp, and there is where you should go. 13 A peg should be part of your equipment. When you squat outside, you should dig a hole with it and then cover your excrement. 14 For Jehovah your God is walking about within your camp to deliver you and to hand over your enemies to you, and your camp must be holy, so that he does not see anything indecent in you and turn away from accompanying you.
(Romans 6:12-23) Therefore, do not let sin continue to rule as king in your mortal bodies so that you should obey their desires. 13 Neither go on presenting your bodies to sin as weapons of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, also your bodies to God as weapons of righteousness. 14 For sin must not be master over you, seeing that you are not under law but under undeserved kindness. 15 What follows? Are we to commit a sin because we are not under law but under undeserved kindness? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thanks to God that although you were once the slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over. 18 Yes, since you were set free from sin, you became slaves to righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh; for just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness leading to lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free as to righteousness. 21 What, then, was the fruit that you used to produce at that time? Things of which you are now ashamed. For the end of those things is death. 22 However, now that you were set free from sin and became slaves to God, you are producing your fruit in the way of holiness, and the end is everlasting life. 23 For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 12:1-3) Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. 2 And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For through the undeserved kindness given to me, I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think, but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has given to him a measure of faith.
(Hebrews 12:12-17) Therefore, strengthen the hands that hang down and the feeble knees, 13 and keep making straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but, rather, may be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all people and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord. 15 Carefully watch that no one fails to obtain the undeserved kindness of God, so that no poisonous root springs up to cause trouble and many are defiled by it; 16 and watch that among you there is no one who is sexually immoral nor anyone who does not appreciate sacred things, like E′sau, who gave up his rights as firstborn in exchange for one meal. 17 For you know that afterward when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for although he earnestly tried to bring about a change of mind with tears, it was to no avail.

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Service Meeting

Service Meeting Schedule:

Song: 117

10 Min: Offer the Magazines During March. Discussion. Start by demonstrating how the magazines may be offered using the sample presentations on this page. Then analyze each sample presentation from beginning to end. Conclude by inviting suggestions on how the magazines could be offered along with the Memorial invitation on the last two weekends of the month.
10 Min: Local needs.
10 Min: How Did We Do? Discussion. Invite publishers to comment on how they benefited by applying points from the article “Improving Our Skills in the Ministry—Making a Record of the Interest.” Ask the audience to relate good experiences.

10 Min - Offer the Magazines During March

“Many people wonder why God doesn’t act to end the injustice and suffering in the world. Do you think it’s because God doesn’t care or because he feels that it’s good for humans to suffer? [Allow for response. Then read John 3:16.] Although many quote this verse to show that God cares, they are not sure how the death of God’s son actually benefits them. This magazine explains how Jesus’ death makes possible the end of injustice and suffering on earth.”
(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.
Awake! March
“We’re visiting briefly to try to clear up a misconception that many have about this Bible verse. [Read Genesis 1:1.] Some believe this, that the universe was created, while others do not. May I ask what your opinion is? [Allow for response.] Many have trouble believing in creation because religious leaders teach something that the Bible really doesn’t say. This magazine presents the Bible’s logical and credible explanation of the beginning of the universe.”
(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

10 Min - Local needs.

20 Min – How Did We Do?

“Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching.” (1 Tim. 4:16) This inspired counsel from the apostle Paul to Timothy indicates that, whether we are new or experienced, we should endeavor to make progress. To help us do that, a new series entitled “Improving Our Skills in the Ministry” will appear in Our Kingdom Ministry. Each article will discuss an important skill and provide some suggestions on how to develop it. During the month, all are encouraged to give that skill special attention. After the month concludes, a Service Meeting part will give us an opportunity to comment on how we benefited from concentrating on that skill. This month we are encouraged to work on making a record of the interest.
Why Important: To fulfill our commission, we must do more than preach. We must return to those who show interest and teach them, watering the seeds of truth that we have planted. (Matt. 28:19, 20; 1 Cor. 3:6-9) This requires finding the person again, talking about his concerns, and building on our previous conversation. Therefore, when we find interest, it is necessary to make a record of it.
How to Do It:
• Make sure that you have tools in your witnessing case for recording interest. Keep your records neat, well-organized, and up-to-date. Make a record as soon as you finish the call.
• Write down information about the householder. What is his name and contact information, such as his address, phone number, or e-mail address? What did you observe about him and his family that may be significant?
• Write down the details of your conversation. What scriptures did you read? What did he say about his beliefs? What literature did you leave? Record the time, the day of the week, and the date of the visit.
• Write down what you plan to do next time. What did you promise to discuss? When did you say you would return?
• Update your record each time you return. No harm is done if you write down more information than you need.
Try This During the Month:
• When making a record, tell those with whom you are working what you are writing down.

Song 95

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“Watchtower” Study

Worship Jehovah, the King of Eternity

(1 Tim. 1:17)

“To the King of eternity… be honor and glory forever.”

Par. #1
(Ps. 10:16) Jehovah is King forever and ever. The nations have perished from the earth.
Par. #2
(Ps. 103:8) Jehovah is merciful and compassionate, Slow to anger and abundant in loyal love.
(Ps. 103:19) Jehovah has firmly established his throne in the heavens; And his kingship rules over everything.
Par. #3
(Col. 1:15-17) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,

(Ps. 103:20-22) Praise Jehovah, all you his angels, mighty in power, Who carry out his word, obeying his voice. 21 Praise Jehovah, all his armies, His ministers who do his will. 22 Praise Jehovah, all his works, In all the places where he rules. Let my whole being praise Jehovah.
(Job 38:7) When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, And all the sons of God began shouting in applause?
Par. #4
(Gen. 1:26-28) Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.” 27 And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.”
READ: (Gen. 2:15-17) Jehovah God took the man and settled him in the garden of E′den to cultivate it and to take care of it. 16 Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Par. #5
(Gen. 1:26) Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.”
(Gen. 2:19, 20) Now Jehovah God had been forming from the ground every wild animal of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man would call each living creature, that became its name. 20 So the man named all the domestic animals and the flying creatures of the heavens and every wild animal of the field, but for man there was no helper as a complement of him.
(Gen. 2:21, 22) So Jehovah God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. 22 And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman, and he brought her to the man.
Par. #6
(Gen. 3:1-6) 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.” 6 Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it.
(Gen. 3:16-19) 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.” 17 And to Adam he said: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”
(Rom. 5:12) That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned—.
(Gen. 3:23, 24) With that Jehovah God expelled him from the garden of E′den to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. 24 So he drove the man out, and he posted at the east of the garden of E′den the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning continuously to guard the way to the tree of life.
READ: (Gen. 3:15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
Par. #7
(Gen. 6:11) But the earth had become ruined in the sight of the true God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Par. 8
(2 Pet. 2:5) And he did not refrain from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a flood upon a world of ungodly people.
(Gen. 7:17-24) The flooding continued for 40 days on the earth, and the waters kept increasing and began carrying the ark, and it was floating high above the earth. 18 The waters became overwhelming and kept increasing greatly upon the earth, but the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 19 The waters overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains under the whole heavens were covered.20 The waters rose up to 15 cubits above the mountains. 21 So all living creatures that were moving on the earth perished—the flying creatures, the domestic animals, the wild animals, the swarming creatures, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 So He wiped every living thing from the surface of the earth, including man, animals, creeping animals, and the flying creatures of the sky. They were all wiped off the earth; only Noah and those with him in the ark survived. 24 And the waters continued overwhelming the earth for 150 days.
Par. #9
(Gen. 8:20-9:1) Then Noah built an altar to Jehovah and took some of all the clean animals and of all the clean flying creatures and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And Jehovah began to smell a pleasing aroma. So Jehovah said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground on man’s account, for the inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up; and never again will I strike down every living thing as I have done. 22 From now on, the earth will never cease to have seed-sowing and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night.”
9 God went on to bless Noah and his sons and to say to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.
Par. #10
(Gen. 10:8-12) Cush became father to Nim′rod. He was the first to become a mighty one on the earth. 9 He became a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah. That is why there is a saying: “Just like Nim′rod, a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Ba′bel, E′rech, Ac′cad, and Cal′neh, in the land of Shi′nar. 11 From that land he went into As•syr′i•a and built Nin′e•veh, Re•ho′both-Ir, Ca′lah, 12 and Re′sen, between Nin′e•veh and Ca′lah: This is the great city.
(Gen. 11:1-9) Now all the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words. 2 As they traveled eastward, they discovered a valley plain in the land of Shi′nar, and they began dwelling there.3 Then they said to one another: “Come! Let us make bricks and bake them with fire.” So they used bricks instead of stone, and bitumen as mortar. 4 They now said: “Come! Let us build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered over the entire face of the earth.” 5 Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. 6 Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. 7 Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.” 8 So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. 9 That is why it was named Ba′bel, because there Jehovah confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth.
Par. #11
(Gen. 11:31) Te′rah then took A′bram his son and Lot his grandson, the son of Ha′ran, and Sar′ai his daughter-in-law, the wife of A′bram his son, and they went with him out of Ur of the Chal•de′ans to go to the land of Ca′naan. In time they came to Ha′ran and began dwelling there.
(Heb. 11:8, 9) By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, although not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise.
(Ps. 105:13, 14) They walked about from nation to nation, From one kingdom to another people. 14 He did not allow any man to oppress them, But on their account he reproved kings,
(Gen. 17:6) I will make you very, very fruitful and will make you become nations, and kings will come from you.
(Jas. 2:23) and the scripture was fulfilled that says: “Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he came to be called Jehovah’s friend.
Par. #12
(Gen. 26:3-5) Reside as a foreigner in this land, and I will continue with you and bless you because to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will carry out the oath that I swore to your father Abraham: 4 ‘I will multiply your offspring like the stars of the heavens; and I will give to your offspring all these lands; and by means of your offspring, all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves,’ 5 on account of the fact that Abraham listened to my voice and continued to keep my requirements, my commands, my statutes, and my laws.”
(Gen. 35:11) God further said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and become many. Nations and a congregation of nations will come from you, and kings will descend from you.
READ: (Ex. 14:13, 14) Then Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and see the salvation of Jehovah that he will perform for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you will never ever see again. 14 Jehovah himself will fight for you, and you will keep silent.”
Par. #13
(Ex. 15:18) Jehovah will rule as king forever and ever.
(Deut. 33:5) And He became king in Jesh′u•run, When the heads of the people gathered together, Along with all the tribes of Israel.
(1 Sam. 8:5) They said to him: “Look! You have grown old, but your sons are not walking in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the other nations.”
Par. #14
(1 Chron. 16:31) Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be joyful; Declare among the nations: ‘Jehovah has become King!’
(2 Sam. 7:12, 13) When your days come to an end and you are laid to rest with your forefathers, then I will raise up your offspring after you, your own son, and I will firmly establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will firmly establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Par. #15
(Matt. 3:2) saying: “Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”
(Matt. 3:17) Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.”
Par. #16
(John 17:4) I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do.
(Luke 4:43) But he said to them: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent.”
(Matt. 6:10) Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.
(Luke 17:21) nor will people say, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”
READ: (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.
Par. #17
(John 16:32) Look! The hour is coming, indeed, it has come, when each one of you will be scattered to his own house and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
(Col. 1:13) He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,
(Ps. 110:1) Jehovah declared to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand Until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”

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