Concerning this expression George M. Lamsa, an authority on Syrian (Aramaic) customs and languages, states: “This phrase is an Orientalism, especially among Aramaic-speaking people. It means ‘my father is an old man and I must take care of him until death.’ Or, ‘My father is on the side of the grave,’ which means, my father may die any day. A man seventy years old is considered ‘dead’ in the Orient because he is non-productive. As they have no insurance companies or banks for protection in old age, an aged man naturally became dependent upon his son for a living. The highest desire of a father, moreover, is to have his son at his death bed to close his eyes at the last hour, when he also pronounces his benediction upon his family. . . . Eastern people are noted for their generosity and hospitality. They not only share food but also bury the dead of the community, and look after the aged.”—Gospel Light, page 62.
So we see that there is no conflict between the call Elijah issued to Elisha and that which Jesus gave to a certain disciple.
● Why does the New World Translation at Philippians 3:11 have the word “earlier”? I do not find it in any other translation.—M. C., United States.
Philippians 3:11, according to the New World Translation, reads: “To see if I may by any means attain to the earlier resurrection from the dead.” The Diaglott, in its interlinear, reads: “If possibly I may attain to the resurrection out of the dead ones.” Marshall’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, which is based on Nestle’s text, renders the expression in question in its interlinear, “the out-resurrection.” And the Emphasized Bible by J. Rotherham reads: “If by any means I may advance to the earlier resurrection, which is from among the dead.” The footnote thereon reads, “More literally: ‘the out-resurrection.’”
The Greek word here used is not anástasis, the word almost invariably appearing in the Greek when an English translation reads “resurrection,” and which appears upward of forty times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Rather, it is the word exanástasis a word, incidentally, that appears only in this text. Basically, in Greek exanástasis means a getting up early in the morning, so it suggests earliness and therefore an earlier rising from the dead. With out doubt Paul had in mind here the “first resurrection,” years later mentioned by John at Revelation 20:6: “Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection.”
By making a distinction between anástasis and exanástasis the New World Translation again gives proof of its exactness and accuracy. Of course, to those that do not appreciate that there is not only a first and heavenly resurrection but also a later and earthly resurrection this distinction would not seem to be important, but it is for those who do appreciate it, even though this is the only instance in the writings of Paul where he uses this word.
Faithful service to Jehovah God requires courage. (Ps. 27:14) Throughout December Jehovah’s courageous and faithful witnesses will carry out their ministry by offering the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, with a Bible-study booklet, on a contribution of $1.
1963 YEARBOOK AND CALENDAR
Once more a thrilling year of service activity is ended to Jehovah’s praise. Once more the record of zealous preaching for one year is a matter of permanent record. You will want to review that stimulating record in detail and learn what part each land or island of the sea had in adding to the grand total. After December 15 the 1963 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses containing this report will be available. Obtain your copy for only 50c. Send also for the 1963 calendar, beautifully illustrating the year’s text. It is only 25c.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
January 13: Benefiting by Subjection to Authorities, also Conscience and Subjection to Authorities, ¶1-12. Page 709.
January 20: Conscience and Subjection to Authorities, ¶13-48. Page 716.