Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems –
Zechariah 8:20-22,23 – Take Firm hold of the Robe of a Jew (w14 11/15 p27 para 14)
The reference makes the bold assumption that the application of these verses both in Zechariah and those in Isaiah 2:2,3 apply “in this time of the end.”
However, there is no need for a modern-day application and there is certainly no requirement for such from the context of these scriptures. Isaiah 2:2,3 states “Many peoples will go and say: Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah…He will instruct us about his ways….For law will go out of Zion and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem.”
When Isaiah talks about “many peoples”, he is referring to non-Jews. Galatians 6:2 reminds us to “fulfill the law of the Christ” which went forth out of Zion.
When did the word of Jehovah go out of Jerusalem (as capital of Israel/Judah)? Was it not in the first century when Jesus was teaching; and later, as the fulfillment of his role as Messiah was preached to not only Jews but non-Jews radiating out from Jerusalem? Did not fledgling Christianity come to be called “The Way”, because of its emphasis on principles that Jesus had introduced? Had not the Gentiles seen that God was truly with the early Christians as they changed their personalities to be Christ-like, and salvation through faith in Jesus’ ransom was preached around the then-known world?
The cross reference from Zechariah 8 is Isaiah 55:5 which talks about “a nation that you do not know you will call”. This fits the “nation” of Gentiles that were called to be Christians, because of the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews. Zechariah 8:23 says “In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’” As with Isaiah 55:5, this fits the first century with the joining of the Gentiles to the Christian Jews.
In the reference (w16/01 p. 23), the very last sentence says, “Jesus is our Leader”. So, why is it that we are expected to obey men (specifically the Governing Body) as our leaders?
In the reference (w09 2/15 27 par. 14). the first cited scripture is Matthew 25:40. This verse is describing how Christ’s brothers were treated, yet the reference then jumps subject to “Principally by helping them with the Kingdom preaching work”. Even if those claiming to be anointed are indeed Christ’s brothers (and that is a separate discussion) how is “principally helping them in the Kingdom preaching work” anything to do with how one treats a person, i.e. whether one is kind, hospitable, shows love, etc.?
Additionally, the claim that “the number of anointed ones on the earth has decreased over the decades,” while “the number of the other sheep has increased” is disingenuous. While it is true that the numbers claiming to be anointed is now lower than say in the early 1930’s, it has been increasing again in recent years. Also, the number of “other sheep” has increased over decades, but there are periods when they decreased, and certainly it seems that growth has stalled over the previous few years.[i]
Finally the last point of issue on this reference: The regular prodding for financial contributions to the Organization. Yes, they couldn’t let it be “overlooked” to mention “the opportunities to support this work by making financial contributions”.
Zechariah 5:6-11 – What is our responsibility regarding wickedness today?
Never was a truer statement made: “Wickedness in any form does not belong in a spiritual paradise“. Sadly, it does exist in the Organization. Also, it is not being rooted out. So how can it be a spiritual paradise on those grounds alone? As we have stated many times before, if “wickedness in any form does not belong in a spiritual paradise“, then why is no attempt made to improve the handling of child sexual abuse cases? Why the refusal to reappraise the so-called scriptural position which is anything but scriptural?
Zechariah 6:1 – What do the two copper mountains represent?
Why is there a need to interpret something that is not clear as to its meaning? There is also the repeating of the unsupported claim for Jesus enthronement in autumn 1914. (See amongst many scriptures 1 Peter 3:22.)
Alternative Bible Highlights:
This is a prophecy about the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is the sprout (see Isaiah 11:1). He built the temple or tabernacle or tent of Jehovah by bringing Christians out of both Jews and Gentiles to serve both Jesus and Jehovah.
Zechariah wrote this in the 11th month of the 2nd year of Darius the Great. This was 520 BC according to scholars. The temple had not yet been rebuilt at that time. Hence the question, “How long will you yourself not show mercy to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, whom you have denounced these seventy years?” Seventy years before 520 BC was 589 BC. According to the Organization Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 607 BC. Something doesn’t fit.
Jeremiah 52:3,4 tells us that in the 9th year of Zedekiah in the 10th month, Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon came and besieged Jerusalem. From 520 BC, 11th month, we add 69 years = 589 BC 11th month. Hence 589 BC, 10th month is in the 70th year from the event recorded in Zechariah 1:12. The Bible is proved accurate without any attempt to force an interpretation.
The events written about here took place in the 4th Year of Darius the Great. This was 518 BC according to scholars. The Jews were still weeping in the fifth month (for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple). Note Zechariah 7:5 “When you fasted and there was a wailing in the fifth month and in the seventh month, and this for seventy years, did you really fast to me, even me?”
So when did this event happen? In 518 BC, in the 9th month (Babylonian). So where does 70 years take us? 69 years takes us to 587 BC in the 9th month. When was the destruction of Jerusalem? In the 5th month, 4 months earlier, which takes us into the 70th year. Once again the Bible agrees with secular history. It also shows that the two mentions of a period of 70 years were referring to different time periods.
Kingdom Rules (chapter 22 para 17-24)
Nothing of note.
[i] Just compare the Annual Report’s from the Yearbooks for the last five plus years for evidence.