says: “A voice will keep singing in the window,” which could be a reference to any bird that would perch in the deserted window or to the sound of wind. The “voice” does not refer back to the pelican or the porcupine, neither of which can be said to have “singing” voices.
The bittern also does not have a singing voice but a booming cry, and this wading bird is not likely to fit in with Nineveh’s foretold “waterless region like the wilderness.” The porcupine and the pelican, however, would fit in here. The pelican, though being a flying water fowl, is also a bird of the wilderness, as the psalmist wrote: “I do resemble the pelican of the wilderness.” (Ps. 102:6) The pelican, an unclean bird according to Leviticus 11:18, not infrequently retires inland to a wilderness spot and sits in a melancholy attitude, its head sunk on its shoulder and its bill resting on its breast. The pelican also selects desert islands and rocky shores remote from the haunts of men as breeding places. The intent of the prophecy is that Nineveh would become utterly desolate. New York, London and Paris would need to become utterly desolate before the pelican and the porcupine could be at home in the midst of these places.
So for both the wilderness of Nineveh and the ruins of Babylon, the porcupine would be a fitting denizen. Indeed, The Imperial Bible Dictionary says of the porcupine: “It is abundant throughout Palestine, Syria, and the Euphrates valley. It is a nocturnal animal, and therefore fit to associate with the ‘doleful creatures’ which are the companions of the kippod. It habitually conceals itself in dark and lonely places, and, as a matter of fact, is found in the ruins of Idumea [Isa. 34:11] and of Babylon. Mr. Rich [a former British resident of Baghdad] expressly says in his attempts to explore the burned mounds of ancient Babylon, which are full of passages and galleries, ‘I found quantities of porcupine quills.’”
Porcupines, the inhabitants of Babylon’s ruined palaces—how fitting! What a terrible end for so great a city! By reason of its habits and its quill-bristling armament the creeping porcupine is a fitting creature to express what has befallen Babylon, as well as Nineveh, in harmony with Jehovah’s prophetic Word—absence of man, utter desolation.
During June Jehovah’s witnesses will continue to share unitedly in the ministry, so cooperating together to maintain their spiritual maturity. As they do so they will be aiding others to acquire the Scriptural knowledge they need in order to serve God. This they will do by offering the modern-English New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, with a free Bible study booklet, on a contribution of $1. To those who read Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish, they will offer the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures for just 50c.
1964 DISTRICT ASSEMBLIES
This year the Watch Tower Society will sponsor a series of “Fruitage of the Spirit” Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses in many cities. This arrangement will make it possible for you to attend, because one of these district assemblies is certain to be near your home. At each assembly the program will begin on Thursday afternoon and conclude on Sunday at about 6 p.m. Plan now to attend and receive the rich benefits in store for all. For further details write Watch Tower Convention in care of the publishers of this magazine.
In addition to the “Fruitage of the Spirit” Assemblies scheduled for the United States, Canada and the British Isles in coming months, as listed in the May 1 issue of The Watchtower, conventions will also be held by Jehovah’s witnesses in Jamaica, W.I., at the following locations: Government Primary School, South Race Course, Mandeville, August 6-9; Little Ascot Race Course, Old Harbour, August 13-16; Standard Wharf, Oracabessa, August 20-23.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
July 19: Jehovah, the God of Progressive Revelation. Page 360.
July 26: Keeping Abreast with Revealed Truth. Page 366.