Questions From Readers
● Do Jehovah’s witnesses believe in doctors?
Yes, Jehovah’s witnesses avail themselves of the various medical skills to assist them with their health problems. They love life and want to do whatever is reasonable and Scriptural to prolong it. Like Luke, the Christian in the first century who was a physician, some Witnesses today are doctors, in many fields of health. (Col. 4:14) However, they do not accept therapy that conflicts with Bible requirements, such as a blood transfusion. The Bible specifically forbids the taking of blood to nourish the body.—Gen 9:4; Lev. 17:1-14; Acts 15:28, 29.
Jesus and the apostles often miraculously cured the sick and infirm with the power of the holy spirit as a sample of what will be done in a complete sense in Jehovah’s new system of things. After the death of the apostles near the close of the first century, the gifts of miraculous healing on the part of God’s servants ceased, and thus Jehovah’s witnesses today do not expect a miracle to restore them to health. They do, however, look to God to bless and direct their efforts to care for their health in a reasonable manner. Yet they know that, even as occurred with the apostles, God still allows death to take faithful ones whose bodies have reached the point where they cannot sustain themselves with good food and adequate rest or with the help of physicians.
There are, of course, various theories on the treatment of disease. The Watch Tower Society does not advocate one method over another; individually each witness of Jehovah is left to choose whatever treatment he or she feels best. From time to time our publications discuss the different healing arts and methods employed, doing so as a matter of interest to our readers, but letting each one decide what may be beneficial.
We recognize that there are sometimes wide differences of opinion among those who deal with health matters. But there is no reason for one Christian having feelings in one direction to criticize those whose inclinations are toward other forms of treatment, as long as what is decided upon is not prohibited by God’s Word. It is important to recognize, too, that, as the facts show, the treatment that results in good for one person may have no beneficial effect on another and may actually work to his harm.
Jehovah’s witnesses, while being grateful for whatever relief from sickness and disease the medical profession can provide, appreciate that such relief is at most temporary and that we must look to God for permanent relief from sickness. In Jehovah’s new system, now very near, human creatures will be cured of their sicknesses, and even death will be eliminated on the basis of the ransom of Christ Jesus.
● I find Exodus 4:24-26, about the circumcision of Moses’ son, hard to understand. Whose life was in danger, and what occurred?
This passage appears in the account about Moses’ return to Egypt, along with his wife Zipporah. Exodus 4:24-26 literally reads: “Now it came about on the road at the lodging place that Jehovah [that is, Jehovah’s angel] got to meet him and kept looking for a way to put him to death. Finally Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and caused it to touch his feet and said: ‘It is because you are a bridegroom of blood to me.’ Consequently he let go of him. At that time she said: ‘A bridegroom of blood,’ because of the circumcision.”
This is an obscure passage and we cannot at this time be conclusive about its entire meaning. Other scriptures, though, do shed considerable light on it. So we offer the following suggestion:
The law earlier given to Abraham regarding circumcision stated: “An uncircumcised male who will not get the flesh of his foreskin circumcised, even that soul must be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.” (Gen. 17:14) It being, not Moses, but his son who was uncircumcised, the boy’s life was evidently the one threatened by Jehovah’s angel. Then, too, Moses had received a divine commission from God through his angel to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. (Ex. 3:10) So it does not seem reasonable to conclude that Moses himself would be threatened with death by an angel of God while Moses was on his way to fulfill that commission.
It was the angel of Jehovah that had the power from God to kill Moses’ son for not being in accord with the covenant of circumcision. Logically, therefore, Zipporah would have caused the foreskin (the evidence of having complied with the covenant) to touch the angel’s feet and thus show that there was now no reason for her son to die.
Zipporah’s unusual expression, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me,” was evidently made because circumcision involved a covenant. The author of that covenant was Jehovah God as here represented by His angel. Hence, in addressing Jehovah through his representative angel as a “bridegroom of blood,” Zipporah appears to have been, not speaking critically, but acknowledging her own submission now to the terms of that covenant. It was as if she had accepted a wifely position in the circumcision covenant, with Jehovah God as the husband. By this act of obedience to God’s proper requirement, the life of her son was no longer in danger.