true that the Hebrew text contains the word Sheol for only 65 times that we can be sure of, but the case in Isaiah 7:11 may be similar to the Hebrew expression that occurs in Genesis 37:35; 42:38; 44:29; 44:31; Numbers 16:30; 16:33; Ezekiel 31:15; 31:16; 31:17, where sheólah does occur in the Hebrew text. But whereas we are only sure of 65 occurrences of Sheol in the old Hebrew text, we are obliged to say that in the New World Translation and other modern English translations the word Sheol occurs, not 65 times, but 66 times.
● According to the Bible record, Ishmael was well along in his teens when Abraham sent his mother Hagar and Ishmael away because of Ishmael’s poking fun at Isaac. In view of this fact, how are we to understand the words found at Genesis 21:14, 15?—G. M., United States.
The texts in question read: “So Abraham got up early in the morning and took bread and a skin water bottle and gave it to Hagar, setting it upon her shoulder, and the child, and then dismissed her. And she went her way and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. Finally the water became exhausted in the skin bottle and she threw the child under one of the bushes.”
That Ishmael was well along in his teens at this time is apparent when we note that Abraham his father was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born and a hundred years old when Isaac was born, and it was some years later that Isaac was weaned, at which time Ishmael poked fun at the child Isaac.—Gen. 16:16; 21:5, 8, 9.
Of course, from the record we cannot tell just what was the physical stature or strength of Ishmael. He may have been of slight build and weak by nature and may have given out first because of this, necessitating his mother’s lifting him up and carrying him. Women in those days were accustomed to carrying heavy burdens in everyday life, especially a slave woman such as was Hagar, so this would not be inconceivable. But it appears that in time Hagar also gave out, making it necessary for her to deposit him, perhaps unceremoniously, under the nearest sheltering bush.
Everyone who has a knowledge of God’s Word has the responsibility to share its message with others. During February Jehovah’s witnesses will carry out that responsibility by offering to all persons a subscription for The Watchtower, with three booklets, for $1.
WHOSE WILL WILL WIN OUT?
Since the days of Jesus Christians have prayed, “Thy will be done on earth.” But today, it would seem that many have completely forgotten the meaning of those words. The individual will of men and nations seems far more important to most persons, especially to those who have to do with shaping the future of men’s affairs. In these days of struggle for supremacy of will, this prayer of sincere Christians is not forgotten, and God’s Word reveals God’s purpose to make his own will known in this generation. How is it to be done? Read “Your Will Be Done on Earth.” It is a fascinating book of history in the making, based on Bible prophecy. Send only 50c.
LORD’S EVENING MEAL
The date for observing the Lord’s evening meal in 1963 is Monday, April 8, after 6 p.m. Standard Time. Each congregation should start now to make arrangements so that all of Jehovah’s witnesses and other persons of goodwill can gather together for this occasion. A qualified speaker, one of the remnant of Christ’s anointed followers, if available and capable, should be assigned to deliver the discourse.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
March 31: Walking with God, ¶1-33. Page 105.
April 7: Walking with God, ¶34-40, and Talking with God. Page 111.