Insight on the News
“Being Given in Marriage”
Not only is marriage on the increase in the United States—up 16 percent from a decade ago—but so is its cost. The average outlay for a wedding and a reception (wedding feast) has skyrocketed past $6,000, with some so luxurious as to merit a $50,000-plus price tag. Is it any wonder that last year’s wedding expenses rang up a bill of $20 thousand million—a growth of 152 percent since 1975? On what was the money spent? On just about everything “from rings and flowers to music, limousines, and honeymoon trips,” reports Fortune magazine.
Weddings are to be joyous occasions. Yet, Jesus Christ pointed to an aspect of marriage as a characteristic of the generation that would live during ‘his presence and the conclusion of this wicked system of things.’ (Matthew 24:3, 34) He said: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:37-39) Jesus did not mean that it is wrong for people living in “the last days” to marry. (2 Timothy 3:1) Rather, he warned that many would become so absorbed in marriage, which has now come to include extremely elaborate and costly weddings, that they would ignore the urgency of the times.
“Who Hid the Dead Sea Scrolls?”
Under that title, in Biblical Archaeologist, Norman Golb, professor of Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic Studies at the University of Chicago, sets out to reveal who really hid the Dead Sea Scrolls. At the same time, he seeks to disprove a theory more than three decades old. In the spring of 1947, ancient Hebrew Scripture scrolls and non-Biblical texts were discovered in caves along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. That discovery was hailed as “the greatest find ever made in the field of biblical archaeology.” The scrolls include the oldest known manuscripts of any books of the Bible and date back to the second century B.C.E.
Until now, scholars have attributed the manuscripts’ origin to the Essenes, a Jewish religious sect. But Golb believes that subsequent discoveries of additional ancient Hebrew texts in Masada, Jericho, and elsewhere in the Judean desert point to Jerusalem as the place of the scrolls’ origin. Not the Essenes but the Jews fleeing from the Roman armies between 66 and 70 C.E. “brought the bundles or sackfuls of texts from the capital to the desert caves for hiding,” asserts Golb.
Regardless of further archaeological evidence that may be uncovered, the Biblical scrolls found in those caves underscore the purity of the Bible’s text and Jehovah’s ability to preserve his Word. “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a blossom of grass; the grass becomes withered, and the flower falls off, but the saying of Jehovah endures forever,” says 1 Peter 1:24, 25.
Godly Wisdom for World Leaders?
As world peace becomes more elusive, the ever-present threat of war continues to dominate the minds of world leaders. Time magazine reports that Soviet party leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev lamented: “Surely, God on high has not refused to give us enough wisdom to find ways to bring us an improvement . . . in relations between the two great nations on earth, nations on whom depends the very destiny of civilization.” Similarly, when ending his controversial Durban speech on August 15, South African President P. W. Botha said out of concern for the peace of his nation: “We undertake to do all that man can possibly do. . . . I pray that Almighty God would grant us the wisdom and the strength to seek to fulfil His will.”
It is interesting that noted governmental leaders speak of a need for godly wisdom in connection with their peacemaking efforts. However, according to the Bible, global peace and security will be realized only through God’s Kingdom. (Daniel 2:44; compare Isaiah 9:6, 7.) Thus, only those who align themselves with this heavenly Kingdom can hope to find lasting peace.