Questions From Readers
● What is the “scroll of life” referred to at Revelation 20:12? How is one’s name written in that scroll, and when?—B. F., United States.
The “scroll of life” is not a literal one; it is symbolic. It could not refer specifically to the Bible, because the scripture refers to just one scroll or book of life. Yet in the days of the apostle John, who recorded The Revelation, there were already in existence many scrolls, the contents of which were inspired by God and in which were discussed the divine requirements for life. These scrolls had not then been incorporated into one scroll or one book, the Bible, as we have it today. The account does not speak of many scrolls of life, just one. The “scroll of life” refers to Jehovah’s list that he will make up of those human creatures who meet his requirements during the millennium in order to be approved for life everlasting on earth.
Those divine requirements are contained in the other “scrolls” that were opened first, for “the dead were judged out of those things [requirements] written in the scrolls according to their deeds.” (Rev. 20:12) So the names are written into the “scroll of life” at the end of the thousand-year judgment day, when Jehovah justifies those who have met his requirements.—1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rom. 8:33.
● Why does Proverbs 8:24, 25 speak of wisdom as being “brought forth as with labor pains”?—B.G., United States.
Wisdom is there spoken of as being “brought forth as with labor pains” because the Hebrew text here uses a word that is applied to women at the time of childbirth. This Hebrew word lays special emphasis on the matter of pain, indicating the writhing that a woman does when laboring to bring forth a child. Thus the New World Translation shows that Wisdom personified, or the only-begotten Son of God, was brought forth as by birth, as when a woman gives birth to a child. (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 1:13-15) For all the labor that is entailed, a woman is to be given credit for having given birth to a child. She has reason to rejoice thereafter, as Jesus said. (John 16:21) In Hebrew, by using this word in connection with the bringing forth of Wisdom personified, it shows that God is to be given credit for his production of his only-begotten Son, that his first creation is a work on which much divine consideration was expended. Hence Wisdom personified is to be highly appreciated as the Son of God, the “beginning of his way.”