Questions From Readers
● How does one account for the apparently barbarous treatment that David, a man after God’s own heart, meted out to the Ammonites, as recorded at 2 Samuel 12:31 and; 1 Chronicles 20:3?—J. C., Lisbon, Portugal.
At 2 Samuel 12:31 it states that David “put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln”. At 1 Chronicles 20:3 it says he “cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes”. Modern translations bring out the true sense of these passages, showing that David merely put the Ammonite captives to work. Hence Moffatt’s translation renders these two texts as follows: “He also brought away the spoil of the town, a vast amount, and the townsfolk, whom he set to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them labour at brick-making.” “The townsfolk, whom he set to work with saws and iron picks and axes.”
● Will children who have not reached the age of accountability and who die at Armageddon have a resurrection?—Ohio reader.
We cannot be dogmatic about this matter, as God is the judge. However, if Jehovah God expresses an adverse judgment against certain individuals, and does this through his King Christ Jesus at Armageddon, there must be some sort of finality to God’s decision. If so, those destroyed by the judgment of God in the battle of Armageddon are really destroyed. Ezekiel chapter 9 appears to refer to Armageddon, and verse 6 states, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark.” Those unmarked by a favorable reception of God’s warning receive no mercy from him. This is no injustice on God’s part. If it were a case of absolute justice he would spare no one, as everyone, young or old, is an imperfect sinner. It is only through the exercise of his love and mercy that anyone is preserved through Armageddon or is resurrected.
Children are affected by the course of their parents, and parents are warned that their iniquity is visited on their offspring unto the third and fourth generation. (Ex. 20:5, 6) Parents are commanded to instruct their children in God’s way, and if in these last days parents refuse to heed the divine instruction and warning they bring destruction upon themselves and their small children at Armageddon. (Deut. 6:6, 7; Eph. 6:4) According to justice God can leave such children dead, for, as Ezekiel showed, all die in their iniquity. (Ezek. 3:17-19; 33:1-6) Parents should remember that their wrong course unfavorably affects their children and may bring their offspring to destruction at Armageddon, just as a right course on the part of parents may put their small children in the way of preservation during Armageddon and opportunity for eternal life in the new world to follow.
Addenda On 1 John 5:7, 8
CUT THIS OUT AND PASTE IT
in your copy of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in the blank space on page 786:
ADDENDA ON 1JOHN 5:7, 8:
Since release of the New World Translation on August 2, 1950, at the international assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, there has been widely published religious criticism over its rendering of 1 John 5:7, 8. Therefore we append the following as a suitable footnote to those verses appearing on page 700:
1 John 5:7, 8: “For there are three witness bearers, the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement.”
This rendering is according to the Greek texts by Westcott and Hort (1881) and by D. Eberhard Nestle (18th edition of 1948) and by José María Bover, S.J. (1943) and by Augustinus Merk, S.J. (6th edition of 1948).
After “witness bearers” the cursive Manuscripts No. 61 (of 15th or 16th century) and No. 629 (in Latin and Greek, of 14th to 15th century) and Vg C.S add the words: “In heaven, the Father, the Word and the holy spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three witness bearers on earth.” But these words are omitted by אֹBASymost MSS. Vgmany MSS. and the Latin New Testament according to the edition of St. Jerome, by Wordsworth and White, edition of 1911.