Questions From Readers
● What does Daniel 12:4 mean when it says, “Many will rove about”? Does this mean Jehovah’s witnesses will rove about the earth, preaching and teaching the knowledge of God’s truth, or does it mean roving about in the Scriptures?—C. F., England.
This verse Da 12:4, spoken by God’s angel to Daniel, reads: “As for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” The critical Hebrew word here, shūt, in itself does not have the meaning of “to examine or to scrutinize,” as consultation of several Hebrew-English dictionaries will disclose. The basic meaning of the verb is “to move about.” The Lexicon for the Old Testament Books by L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner shows the Hebrew verb to mean “rove about,” and this is the way it is rendered in the New World Translation in Job 1:7; 2:2; Jeremiah 5:1; 49:3; Amos 8:12; Zechariah 4:10 and ; 2 Chronicles 16:9. Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament Scriptures, in its 1859 edition published in London, defines the word to mean “to run quickly, to run up and down, to run about (which many men do, as if they lashed the air with their arms, as oars).” Regarding the Pilel form of the verb, this Lexicon says that the verb means, metaphorically, “to run through a book, that is, to examine thoroughly, Daniel 12:4.”
Thus the New World Translation is consistent with itself in rendering Daniel 12:4, “Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” The Septuagint Bible, translated by Charles Thomson, revised by C. A. Muses, reads: “As for thee, Daniel, shut up these words and seal the book till the time of accomplishment; until many be taught and knowledge abound.” Some, however, take the roving about in a bad sense, and thus An American Translation reads: “For many shall prove disloyal, and troubles shall be many.”
However, the verse refers to a good work. In harmony with the facts of the day, the verse appears to indicate that Jehovah’s faith-acquiring people would dig for the truth by carefully examining the Scriptures, and He would reward them with an abundance of true knowledge, which, of course, they would share with others.
Righteousness, which is a peaceable fruit that results from accepting godly discipline, leads one to fruitful activity. During May Jehovah’s witnesses will share in such fruitful activity by directing all persons to Jehovah’s Word and helping them to appreciate his righteous ways. They will do this by giving Bible sermons and by offering the new book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, together with a Bible-study booklet, on a contribution of 75c.
“FAITH . . . IS THROUGH THE WORD”
The apostle Paul said: “Faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:17) Yet there are so many differing ‘things heard’ about Christ that many persons are confused. How can you be sure? You should get an accurate knowledge of the Bible itself so that you can prove everything by the Bible. Do this with the book “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial.” It is not an interpretative study. It is designed to familiarize you with the Bible as a book and to help you use it with greater benefit to yourself. Send for your copy today. It is $1.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
June 21: The Unity of God’s Family, and Maintaining Unity in Difficult Times, ¶1-3. Page 297.
June 28: Maintaining Unity in Difficult Times, ¶4-25. Page 304.