Questions From Readers
● Has anyone on earth ever heard Jehovah’s voice?—N. P., U.S.A.
The inspired apostle John says, at John 1:1-3, that Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence was known as the Logos or Word, the official spokesman of Jehovah God. It is understood, then, that in the great majority of cases throughout the Bible where Jehovah is mentioned as speaking to his people, he did so representatively and not directly. God spoke primarily through his chief spokesman, the Word.
Thus when Jehovah appeared to Moses in the burning bush and spoke to him, he did so by means of an angelic messenger, as pointed out in Exodus 3:2 and confirmed in Acts 7:30, 35. Moses also reminded the Israelites of their experience at Mount Sinai: “Jehovah began to speak to you out of the middle of the fire. The sound of words was what you were hearing, but no form were you seeing—nothing but a voice. And he proceeded to state to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform—the Ten Words, after which he wrote them upon two tablets of stone.” (Deut. 4:12, 13) Both Stephen and Paul made it clear that this was done representatively, saying that the Law was “transmitted by angels.” At Hebrews 2:2 the point is specifically made that it was “spoken through angels.”—Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19.
However, there are three occasions mentioned in God’s Word when Jehovah’s only-begotten Son or chief spokesman was down here on earth and when Jehovah God spoke to him. In these three places both the context and the circumstances indicate that the voice heard was that of Jehovah God himself. For example, at the time of Jesus’ baptism the account tells us: “Look! also, there was a voice from the heavens that said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’” (Matt. 3:17) When Peter, James and John accompanied Jesus Christ into the mountain and witnessed the transfiguration scene, the voice of Jehovah was heard, saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.” (Matt. 17:5) On another occasion Jesus petitioned: “Father, glorify your name.” The account then tells us: “Therefore a voice came out of heaven: ‘I both glorified it and will glorify it again.’”—John 12:28.
To those who did not love Jehovah and would not acknowledge Jesus’ messiahship, Christ said on one occasion: “Also the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time nor seen his figure, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because the very one whom he dispatched you do not believe.” (John 5:37, 38) Jehovah God is a spirit and thus invisible to human eyes. Consequently, no human of flesh and blood has ever been able to see Jehovah’s speech organs in operation, but some humans have heard his voice. Those unbelievers, however, the ones to whom Jesus was speaking, had themselves never heard the voice of Jehovah.—Ex. 33:20.
● At Daniel 11:37 (AS) we read concerning the “king of the north”: “Neither shall he regard . . . the desire of women.” Who are the “women” referred to here?—J. H., U.S.A.
Repeatedly in the Scriptures, from Genesis through Revelation, a woman is used to represent a city or an organization. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 62:2; Gal. 4:26; Rev. 12:1) Even as God gave Adam a woman, Eve, as “a helper for him,” so organizations have served as helpers or handmaids to those who formed them or who came to control them. This has not only been true of Jehovah God, as noted in the foregoing references, but also of Satan the Devil, for he also has his woman: “And the woman that you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.”—Rev. 17:18.
The term “women” at Daniel 11:37 must apply in a symbolic sense, since the “king of the north” is not a single man but refers to the ruling factors of a modern totalitarian world power. The “women” therefore would refer to all those groups or organizations that serve as weaker vessels or handmaids to the king of the north within his domains. These are the cultural, scientific, religious and like bodies or organizations that have certain desires, forms of worship or “gods” of their own but that are ignored by the king of the north in his worship of the “god of fortresses.” Also included among these “women” are the satellite countries, particularly their heads, that have certain ambitions or desires of their own regarding their own lands but which are ignored by the king of the north if they do not coincide with his ambitions, as was particularly the case in Hungary and as has been noted to some extent in the press recently regarding Poland. It might be said that Marshal Tito drew his Yugoslavia out from under Communist Russia because of not wanting to subordinate his desires; he did not want to play the role of a woman or handmaid to Communist Russia. All of those that do submit are like “women” to the domineering king of the north.