According to the Bible (New World Translation), a generation dies away in forty years

by dgp 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • dgp

    I was reading "The Heathens Guide to World Religions" ( and found an interesting thing.

    I am sure all of you know that the Israelites supposedly had to wander in the desert for 40 years, because of their "wickedness" that resulted in Jehovah's angry decision that "none of them would enter the Promised Land". This is the text, from Deuteronomy 1, 36-40:

    34 “All the while Jehovah heard the voice of YOUR words. So he became indignant and swore, saying, 35 ‘Not one among these men of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give to YOUR fathers, 36 except Ca'leb the son of Je·phun'neh. He will see it, and to him and to his sons I shall give the land upon which he trod, by reason of the fact that he has followed Jehovah fully. 37 (Even against me Jehovah got incensed on YOUR account, saying, ‘You too will not go in there. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who is standing before you, is the one who will go in there.’ Him he has made strong, because he will cause Israel to inherit it.) 39 As for YOUR little ones of whom YOU said: “Plunder they will become!” and YOUR sons who today do not know good or bad, these will go in there, and to them I shall give it, and they will take possession of it. 40 As for YOU yourselves, change your direction and pull away for the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.’

    It is clear that Jehovah acted in the understanding that the time of one generation would conclude within the lifetime of two men who were at least old enough to go to war and be military leaders at the time, namely Joshua and Caleb.

    The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years.

    Deuteronomy 2, verses 7-8:

    He well knows of your walking through this great wilderness. These forty years Jehovah your God has been with you. You have not lacked a thing.”’ 8

    So, how come these days Jehovah thinks that a generation lasts a lot longer than 40 years?

    Also, as to overlapping generations, how come the contemporaries of Joshua and Caleb formed "one generation", but their children who were alive at the time were not?

    39 As for YOUR little ones of whom YOU said: “Plunder they will become!” and YOUR sons who today do not know good or bad, these will go in there, and to them I shall give it, and they will take possession of it.

    It is also interesting that the generation was measured considering the children "who today do not know good or bad".

    It only follows that Joshua and Caleb were not part of the same "generation" as their parents, either. If their children "who today do not know good or bad" were not part of Joshua and Caleb's generation, how could Joshua, Caleb and their contemporaries be part of the same generation as their parents?

  • Wonderment

    Thought provoking questions!

    Certainly, the word "generation" is used here differently from the WTS' own definition which has been butchered by its writers. It has become a "laughing-stock" of our generation.

  • Ding

    If the GB wanted to stress how SHORT a generation is, they would be making this very point using this very scripture!

    In fact, they used to say that the 1914 generation meant not just people who were alive in 1914, but people who were old enough to see the events of 1914 with understanding.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Looking for WT commentary on Deut. 1: is like looking for rocking horse doodoos.

    All I have found so far is some commentary in the 1961 'Let Your Name be Sanctified' page 117, but then they didn't use the term 'generation'.

  • dgp

    The Watchtower could argue that the time of one "generation" is longer than 40 years, since Joshua, Caleb and the rest of the "evil generation" were already adults and had children, and all that Jehovah did was waiting for them to die. They cannot, however, claim that people live "longer" these days, or else they have to explain Methuselah. But what is clear is that "a generation" does not encompass those living now, until the very oldest one of them dies, and the youngest alive when the last of the old dies.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    The JWs I have asked, haven't had much enthusiasm for talking about this noo lite.

    They are still keen to recruit me, but they don't want to have to do any explaining about anything.

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