Questions From Readers
● Since Genesis 7:4 shows that Noah was advised seven days in advance of the exact day that the Flood would come, does this mean that God’s people will be advised in advance as to exactly when Armageddon will break out?—E. G., United States.
Genesis 7:4 reads: “In just seven days more I am making it rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will wipe every existing thing that I have made off the surface of the ground.” Noah had worked for years and years building the ark, and now, just seven days before the Flood was due to come, God told him the exact date. Why? So as to satisfy his curiosity or give him encouragement? No, but so that he could start bringing in the animals. Those seven days were just long enough to let Noah do that.
We therefore cannot construe Genesis 7:4 to mean that sometime in the future, yet well before Armageddon, Jehovah God will advise his people on earth as to when Armageddon will begin. Besides, Jesus long ago said about it: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.”—Matt. 24:36.
Of course, Jesus did not say that no one ever would know. To the extent that it would be necessary for Jesus, some time in the future, to know the starting time for Armageddon so as to muster his heavenly armies for that battle, he no doubt will be advised.
But there would be no reason for those on earth to be so notified. So what is prophetic is what took place during those seven days, the entering into the ark of Noah and his family, together with all the lower animals to be spared and the bringing in of all the provisions needed for the year and ten days that they were to spend in the ark. It has been particularly since 1931 that God’s people have been sharing in the work of gathering all those of goodwill toward God into the antitypical ark, the new system of things.
When Noah and his family began gathering the animals into the ark during those last seven days it was a notification to all the onlookers that the Flood he had been preaching about was due. So today, the ingathering work of itself serves notice to an ungodly world that the battle of Armageddon is very near and will strike within this generation. Until Armageddon does strike there is much for God’s people to do in aiding men of goodwill to take their stand and enter the modern ark. So, rather than to be concerned as to just when it will begin, let all dedicated Christians heed Peter’s counsel: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt!”—2 Pet. 3:11, 12.
● What is the meaning of Genesis 2:19?—W. B., United States.
Genesis 2:19 reads: “Now Jehovah God was forming from the ground every wild beast 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 it, each living soul, that was its name.” Some have construed this text to be a résumé of what was stated in chapter one of Genesis. However, it seems to refer to something in addition to the account there rather than to the same thing. From this text it appears that even after Jehovah God had created Adam, but before he created Eve, He kept on creating lower animals and bringing them to Adam to be named. Not only Adam but also Eve was formed before the end of the sixth creative day; therefore these animals were also created before the seventh day, God’s rest from creation, began.
● Who are the kings mentioned at Isaiah 60:3?—L. H., United States.
Isaiah 60:3, which is addressed to God’s “woman,” or organization, as appears from verse one of this chapterIsa 60:1, states: “Nations will certainly go to your light, and kings to the brightness of your shining forth.” This text is quite similar to Revelation 21:24, which reads: “The nations will walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.”
These prophecies could not refer to worldly kings, political or otherwise, for it is not these who are coming to or recognizing God’s organization, neither do they have any true glory that they could bring to it. They are not rejoicing in the spiritual prosperity of God’s organization. Rather, the kings in these texts must be the ones on earth in line to become heavenly kings, kings from God’s standpoint, who will rule as kings with Christ for a thousand years, sitting with him on his throne, even as he sits with his Father on His throne. (Rev. 3:21; 20:6) At the present time a remnant of this number, which totals 144,000, is still on earth and it is to these that the words of these prophecies refer.—Rev. 14:1, 3.
The nations referred to likewise would not be the political nations, for none of these as such are coming to God’s organization. Rather, these nations are the men of goodwill from all these worldly nations, those referred to at Revelation 7:9, the “great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.”—See also Zechariah 8:23.
● When Elisha prayed for God to strike the Syrian army with blindness, what actually happened to them?—K. K., United States.
The account in 2 Kings 6:18, 19 sheds light on the matter, when it says: “Elisha went on to pray to Jehovah and say: ‘Please, strike this nation with blindness.’ So he struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Elisha now said to them: ‘This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and let me conduct you to the man you look for.’ However, he conducted them to Samaria.” If the entire army had been smitten with physical blindness they would all have had to be led by hand, but the account simply says that Elisha told them: ‘This is not the way. Follow me.’ Apparently what happened was that they were struck with mental blindness so they could not recognize Elisha or where he was taking them.
This mental blindness is recognized by psychologists. For example, William James in his Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1, page 48, states: “A most interesting effect of cortical disorder is mental blindness. This consists not so much in insensibility to optical impressions, as in inability to understand them. Psychologically it is interpretable as loss of associations between optical sensations and what they signify; and any interruption of the paths between the optic centres and centres for other ideas ought to bring it about.”