any who had a good record of faithful Christian service were really destitute, the congregation provided material assistance for these.—Pp. 438-440.
● In giving gifts what practice do Christians avoid?
They do not ‘blow a trumpet’ announcing their generosity by putting their name on a gift given when a group is gathered, nor do they give to make a “showy display” of their own economic circumstances.—P. 472.
● What associations should Christian children avoid?
Associations with worldly persons who have no love for Jehovah God or respect for the godly standards set out in his Word.—P. 491.
● What group of people were responsible for the development of the papyrus codex, the forerunner of the modern-day book?
The early Christians.—P. 502.
Questions From Readers
● What was kept in the ark of the covenant? According to 2 Chronicles 5:10, “there was nothing in the Ark but the two tablets that Moses had given at Horeb, when Jehovah covenanted with the sons of Israel while they were coming out from Egypt,” and 1 Kings 8:9 reads almost the same. Yet Hebrews 9:4 says: “This had a golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid all around with gold, in which were the golden jar having the manna and the rod of Aaron that budded and the tablets of the covenant.”—T.R., U.S.A.
The words of Paul at Hebrews 9:4 are based on the following scriptures, which show what was placed in the ark of the covenant: “Moses said to Aaron: ‘Take a jar and put in it an omerful of manna and deposit it before Jehovah as something to be kept throughout your generations.’ Just as Jehovah had commanded Moses, Aaron proceeded to deposit it before the Testimony as something to be kept.” Although Aaron no doubt did gather the manna and put it into a jar, it is evident that the depositing of it before the Testimony could not have taken place until the ark of the covenant or ark of the testimony was made and the tablets of the law were received. (Ex. 16:33 34) Later Moses himself related: “I turned and went down from the mountain and placed the tablets in the ark that I had made, that they might continue there, just as Jehovah had commanded me.” (Deut. 10:5) “Subsequently Jehovah said to Moses: ‘Put Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony as something to be kept for a sign to the sons of rebelliousness, that their murmurings may cease from against me, that they may not die.’” (Num. 17:10) From these texts it is clear that the ark of the covenant at one time contained the things mentioned by Paul, and so obviously he was writing about the time when this was so.
However, far from there being a contradiction between his words and those found at 2 Chronicles 5:10, the very fact that this text states that at the time of the dedication of Solomon’s temple “there was nothing in the Ark but the two tablets that Moses had given at Horeb” implies that at some time prior thereto the Ark did contain other things, making it noteworthy that it did not now.
The reason given for placing before Jehovah Aaron’s rod that budded, that is, as a witness against the rebels, would seem to suggest that at least for the length of the wilderness journey, or so long as those rebels lived, this rod remained in the ark of the covenant. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that it was some time after the Israelites entered the land of promise and before the dedication of Solomon’s temple that the golden jar and Aaron’s rod were removed. But it does not seem reasonable that Jehovah would have permitted these sacred things to fall into the hands of the Philistines at the time they took the Ark in the days of High Priest Eli, otherwise the two tablets of the law would also have been missing. Apparently the golden jar of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded had served their purpose; so Jehovah permitted them to be removed.
Interestingly, there is more than one ark that is mentioned in connection with the tablets. The ark of which Moses speaks in Deuteronomy 10:1-5