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Switch to Forum Live View Strangers and Temporary Residents in The Land
2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 6:11PM #1
Ed_3
Posts: 500

This isn't really a debate thread, but more of a curiosity/discuss thread...but Hebrews 11:13 in the NWT says:

In faith all these died, although they did not get the [fulfillment of the] promises, but they saw them afar off and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land.




Therefore, what I would like to ask JWs is: Since JWs only believe that 144,000 are going to heaven and that the rest of righteous mankind(which are suppose to include those mentioned in Hebrews 11) are going to live on earth...then why does Hebrews 11:13 describe the faithful ones from the Old Testament as being 'strangers' and 'temporary residents' in the land?

Also, verse 15 says:

And yet, if they had indeed kept remembering that [place] from which they had gone forth, they would have had opportunity to return.




Therefore, if the faithful ones in Hebrew 11 are going to be resurrected back to earth, then doesn't that mean that they are 'returning' to earth or to 'that place from which they had gone forth'?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2012 - 12:38AM #2
Newtonian
Posts: 11,974

Ed - good questions.  See the 11/15/11 Wt article entitled "Temporary residents in a wicked world,"  pp. 16-20.


For example, Abraham was promised the promised land but did not see the fulfillment:


(Hebrews 11:8-10) . . .By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed in going out into a place he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, although not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. 10 For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and maker of which [city] is God.


That would be heavenly Jerusalem, as per Hebrews 12:22.  Which contains New Jerusalem as in Revelation 21. 


Which comes to earth, in a sense - and this is what Abraham was awaiting though all he knew was the promised land - which will be the new earth.


This is all good news - part of the good news of God's Kingdom.


Two of many Scriptural accounts on this:


(Revelation 21:1-4) . . .And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”


(Daniel 2:35) At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.


See also Daniel 2:44,45; Isaiah 2:2-4 - note the two mountains of God - the original mountain out of which the stone is cut - God's universal Kingdom; and the stone which becomes a mountain - the new Messianic kingdom.   In the symbolic drama in Galatians 3 & 4, the first mountain involves Sarah, the Jerusalem above - while the messianic kingdom involves Rebecca or the adopted seed of Abraham - the new Jerusalem.


The point of these accounts is that the messianic kingdom comes down out of heaven to bring about the new heavens and new earth.   It is under the new heavens, the city, that Abraham will enjoy the promised land, the new earth.   In effect, this new mountain fills the whole earth!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2012 - 12:56AM #3
Newtonian
Posts: 11,974

Ed - On your second question:


(Hebrews 11:15) And yet, if they had indeed kept remembering that [place] from which they had gone forth, they would have had opportunity to return.


As our 7/1/89 Wt. p. 20 notes, when there was a famine, Abraham could have remembered Ur and did have opportunity to return - since Ur was not dependent on rainfall being on the Euphrates.   But Abraham went in the opposite direction to Egypt - deliberately not remembering Ur.


The article points to the prophetic drama in Galatians 3 & 4 - did you want me to go into depth?


Sarah pictured the barren woman at that time - see Isaiah 54:1-8 and Galatians.


While Egypt pictures the world, Abraham was later blessed in the promised land.


Sarah had to wait over 4,000 years from the promise in Genesis 3:15 to produce the seed!   Again see Galatians!


Btw - God's woman in Gen.3:15 is Sarah in Galatians, e.g. 4:26 the Jerusalem above.


Not to be confused with the bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem - Revelation 21.   Obviously Sarah is not Rebecca!


I hoped that helped.  


And you are welcome!


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2012 - 1:02AM #4
Newtonian
Posts: 11,974

Ed - simply, they do not return to Ur - rather they return from Egypt to the promised land.


They are temporary residents in this world (Egypt) but will return, not to Ur, but to the promised land (the New world/new earth).


The 1989 Wt. article also points to the account in Genesis - which see, of course!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 20, 2012 - 3:55AM #5
Ed_3
Posts: 500

Thank you, Newtonian.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2012 - 11:10AM #6
Kemmer
Posts: 16,343

Sarah had to wait over 4,000 years from the promise in Genesis 3:15 to produce the seed!



4000 years!  That must have been one hellish preganacy!  Yell

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2012 - 4:22PM #7
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Jun 22, 2012 -- 11:10AM, Kemmer wrote:


Sarah had to wait over 4,000 years from the promise in Genesis 3:15 to produce the seed!



4000 years!  That must have been one hellish preganacy!  Yell




A theologian once told me in no uncertain terms that Aristotle was a Thomist. And that's what the Great Unwashed Hoi Polloi simply don't understand about theology, which is that words don't describe reality. They create it.

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