“that a great famine was about to come upon the entire inhabited earth [Greek, oikouméne].” (Acts 11:27, 28) Concerning the use of the word oikouméne in this text, Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament states: “The word here used . . . usually denotes the inhabitable world, the parts of the earth which are cultivated and occupied. It is sometimes limited, however, to denote an entire land or country, in contradistinction from the parts of it; thus, to denote the whole of the land of Palestine in distinction from its parts, or to denote that an event would have reference to all the land, and not be confined to one or more parts, as Galilee, Samaria, etc.” An example of the use of this word in its limited scope, to denote an entire realm or kingdom, is Luke 2:1: “Now in those days a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited earth to be registered.”
It appears that the Christians in Antioch understood the prophecy of Agabus as applying to the land of Palestine, since the next Ac 11 verse (29) states that they determined “to send a relief ministration to the brothers dwelling in Judea.” As the account states, the famine “did take place,” the prophecy being fulfilled during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 C.E.). (Acts 11:28) The Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, XX, 2, 5; 5, 2) refers to this “great famine” and indicates that it lasted for three or more years.
The thirty-second chapter 32 of Isaiah calls attention to God’s Kingdom rule as the means that will bring peace. Even now, as foretold in that Isa chapter 32, peace exists among the Christian congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses. They are desirous of preserving their possession of Christian peace and inviting others to share it with them. To extend this invitation to others, during September Jehovah’s witnesses will be offering in their house-to-house ministry the fine Bible-study books Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God and “Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie,” either one, along with a booklet, for 50c.
ANNUAL MEETING OF PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania will hold the annual meeting of the members of the corporation on Sunday, October 1, 1967. In view of the fact that the annual meeting does fall on Sunday this year it is anticipated that the attendance may be larger than usual, thus making it advisable for the meeting to be held where we believe there will be sufficient room for all who wish to come. Therefore, the plans are for the annual meeting to be held at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the doors to the Civic Arena will be open well in advance of program time.
Formal letters of notice will be sent to the members of the corporation. Mention is made of the annual meeting here as a reminder to the members to provide the Society’s Secretary with their mailing address and also to inform the readers of The Watchtower who desire to attend that they will be welcome and that the meeting will be held this year at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE WORTH?
What would a man give for his life? Time? All his wealth? Yet God’s gift of life to man is free, according to the Bible. It is free, that is, in the sense that it cannot be bought. But there are requirements that God has set for those who will receive it—requirements that can be met by anyone. Learn what you must do. It will take a little time and effort on your part, but what would you give for your life? Send for the book Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, and receive the free booklet God’s Way Is Love. Postpaid, 50c.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
September 24: Keeping the Tongue Under Control. Page 528. Songs to Be Used: 55, 100.
October 1: The Tongue—A Power for Good or for Bad. Page 534. Songs to Be Used: 81, 89.