Watchman's Teaching Letter #229 May 2017

This is my two hundred and twenty-ninth monthly teaching letter and begins my twentieth year of publication. I have resolved to do a series of lessons providing clarifying criticism of Howard B. Rand’s books, tracts and articles published in his Destiny Magazine, which includes several guest writers of varying degrees in excellence. Although I rate Rand and his associate writers only 50%, some of their articles are simply outstanding.

With this lesson, I will continue this critical review of a series entitled “The Book Of The Kingdom” found in Destiny magazines from January, 1949 until April, 1952, in 24 chapters.

With WTL #228, I completed chapters VI & VII of “The Book Of The Kingdom”, Destiny, June 1949: With this lesson, I will cite chapters IX & X of XXIV, entitled “Boaz And Ruth”, plus “Birth And Dedication of Samuel”, (edited to improve clarity):

Boaz And Ruth:

The Bookof Ruth opens with the statement that at one time during the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in Israel’s land. Because of its severity, a certain man of Bethlehem Judah, with his wife and two sons, went to sojourn in the land of Moab, for the famine did not extend into that country. The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife was Naomi. Naomi’s husband died and her two sons married two women of Moab. Finally the two sons also died, leaving Naomi with her two daughters-in-law.

Ruth’s Decision

When Naomi found out that the famine conditions had been relieved in her homeland, she made preparations to return with her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. As they commenced their journey down the road, Naomi advised the two girls to return to their former homes in Moab. They had probably talked this over many times and this was her final insistence that the young widows find other husbands in Moab instead of remaining with her. Orpah returned but Ruth refused to leave her, saying:

“‘... Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy Almighty my Almighty. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17.)

Therefore, the two, Naomi and Ruth, went on together to Bethlehem where Naomi received a warm welcome. However, she told her relatives not to call her Naomi, which means pleasant, but rather to call her Mara, meaning bitter, for she said, ‘The Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.’ She had left her native land with a husband and two sons; now she was returning empty handed.

Gleaning in the Field

Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. In the vicinity lived Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s husband, who was a man of wealth. Naomi and her daughter-in-law had no means to provide for themselves so Ruth asked permission of her mother-in-law to go and glean in the field after the reapers. Naomi told her to go and it so happened that she went into the field belonging to Boaz:

Under the Israel law the corners of the field, with the gleanings of the harvest, were to be left for the poor. If a sheave fell from the load, the owner of the field was not to return for it; it was to be left for the poor to gather. Following this custom, Ruth was in the field gleaning with the others so that she might gather grain for Naomi and herself. While Ruth was working there Boaz arrived from Bethlehem to see how the reapers progressed. He asked the man who had charge of the reapers about Ruth, wanting to know whose damsel she was. His servant informed him she was a Moabitish damsel who had returned from Moab with Naomi. He told Boaz that Ruth had requested the privilege of gleaning after the reapers and he had granted her request.

Boaz’ Counsel

At the close of the day Ruth tarried awhile in the house. Boaz spoke to her and told her not to go into any other field to glean. She was to remain among his maidens and follow them wherever they reaped. Boaz also told her he had informed the young men not to molest her. When she was thirsty she was to drink from the buckets of water which had been provided for his servants. Ruth wanted to know why he paid so much attention to her since she was a stranger. Boaz replied that he was doing so because he had heard about all that she had done for Naomi. Also, he said, he knew she had left her father and mother and the land of her birth and had come to live among a people she did not know. If he had another reason, he did not mention it then. Boaz concluded his remarks:

“‘Yahweh recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Yahweh Almighy of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.’ (Ruth 2:12.)

Ruth Favored

Ruth admitted to Boaz that his words were a comfort to her and Boaz invited her to eat at the table and partake of the food and drink provided for his workers. After that Boaz ordered his men to let a sheave drop in front of Ruth as she gleaned and they were to find no fault with her in whatever part of the field she might decide to glean. When evening came Ruth had gathered an ephah, or a little over a bushel, of barley. She brought the grain to her mother-in-law who asked her where she had been gleaning and if anyone had taken notice of her.

Ruth told her about Boaz and his kindness and Naomi explained to Ruth that Boaz was a near relative. As one of their next kinsmen, he had the power to redeem their possessions. Naomi advised Ruth it would be a good thing for her to stay with the maidens of Boaz, so Ruth gleaned in the field until the end of the harvest.

Naomi’s Advice

Ruth’s future was a matter of concern to Naomi and she later told her daughter-in-law that her one desire was for her comfort and happiness. The two women were handicapped in providing for their future because they did not have a man in their immediate household to look out for their interests. Naomi knew that Boaz was winnowing barley that night in the threshingfloor so she discussed a plan with Ruth that was according to custom in Israel. Ruth was to bathe and tidy up, putting on her best garments. Then she was to go to the place where Boaz winnowed grain, but she was not to make her presence known until he was through eating and drinking. She was to take notice of the place where Boaz lay down to sleep and later she was to go and lay down at his feet.

Ruth followed the instructions and at midnight Boaz awoke and asked who was there. Ruth replied that she was his servant and that he was a near kinsman. Under the law this signified that, as the next of kin to her husband, it was his obligation to marry her. If her late husband’s estate had been mortgaged, which was evidently the case, then it also became his obligation to redeem it for her.

Boaz’ Assurance

Boaz praised Ruth for not going after the young men, whether poor or rich, and he declared that all the city of his people knew that she was a virtuous woman. He said it was true that he was a kinsman but there was another closer than he. Boaz declared that if this man would not fulfill the requirements to redeem her and her husband’s estate, then he would do what was required of a kinsman. Ruth was then told to leave quietly so that it would not be known that she had been present. When Ruth reported to Naomi what had taken place she was satisfied, for she said Boaz would not rest until he had finished the matter.

Witness of Redemption

Boaz took his position at the gate of the city in accordance with the requirements of the law, waiting for the kinsman of whom he had spoken to come along. When the man appeared Boaz called to him to sit down and talk over the situation. Ten men, elders of the city, were summoned as witnesses to the conversation. Boaz informed the kinsman about the land that had belonged to Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, that had been sold, and that it was his place to redeem this inheritance. If he was willing to do so, he was to indicate it in the presence of the witnesses. If he was unwilling to do so, then Boaz, as next in order of kinsmen, must redeem the land. The next of kin then said that he would redeem the land. But Boaz informed him that at the same time he redeemed the land, he must also marry Ruth and raise up children to her husband as was the custom. This caused the kinsman to change his mind:

And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.’ (Ruth 4:6-8.)

The Prophecy of the Elders

Boaz turned to the elders and said that they were witnesses that day that he had bought all that was Elimelech’s and he had also purchased the right to take Ruth the Moabitess as his wife. All the people who were there at the gate said that they were witnesses. Then they said:

“‘... Yahweh make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give thee of this young woman.’ (Ruth 4:11-12.)

Boaz Redeems Inheritance

Boaz promptly redeemed the inheritance and married Ruth. The prophecy of the elders concerning the greatness that was to come to Boaz and Ruth was later fulfilled in their posterity. Ruth bore a son who was named Obed and Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. Thus, Ruth’s son was the grandfather of King David in Israel. The Almighty established the House of David forever, declaring through Jeremiah the Prophet that David would never lack a man to sit upon the Throne of the House of Israel. Through the descendants of this House there has come a long line of royalty.

A Great Posterity

Thus, the Book of Ruth contains one of the Bible’s best loved romances, and while it is not specifically stated, none can deny that the hand of Yahweh guided the affairs of all those mentioned in the account. For by her marriage to Boaz, Ruth married into the line of Judah and became not only an ancestor of King David but of our Redeemer as well. Yahshua Christ is a descendant of the House of David and He is also referred to by Isaiah as a rod out of the stem of Jesse (Ruth’s grandson) and a branch out of his roots (Isa. 11:1). Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi was amply rewarded and a name and place was made for her in the land of Israel, as well as a glorious inheritance through her royal posterity.”

[Critical note by Clifton A. Emahiser: Before leaving the story of Ruth, it would be well to demonstrate how Ruth was an Israelite rather than a Moabite, as she was only a Moabite by geographic area! Here are a couple of quotations from my own writings:

It’s the same type of mistake we make today with Ruth being called a Moabite, during the judges period, because she came from a land once known as Moab before Moab was conquered and absorbed by the Amorites, and in turn, the Amorites were conquered and destroyed by the Israelites and then Moab was resettled by them during the Joshua period. It is recorded at Joshua 18:7 that half of the tribe of Manasseh, along with the tribes of Gad and Reuben, moved into the former land of Moab east of the Jordan. Therefore, Ruth was an Israelite lady living in a former geographic area known as Moab. To state it another way:

To understand the chronological order of events, one must fathom that: firstly, Sihon, king of the Amorites, had conquered and occupied the kingdom of Moab. Secondly, that after Sihon had absorbed the Moabites, Israel destroyed both the Amorites as well as the Moabites whom Sihon had conquered and brought under his rule. Upon driving the Amorites (+ absorbed Moabites) out of the promised land, it is recorded at Joshua 18:7 that half of the tribe of Manasseh, along with the tribes of Gad and Reuben, moved into the former land of Moab east of the Jordan. It was later, during the Judges period, that an Israelite lady from the conquered land of Moab by the name of Ruth journeyed with her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem.”

Furthermore, Boaz would have been under no obligation whatsoever to redeem a racial Moabite! Deut. 23:3, Neh. 13:1. He could not be expected to break the law in order to fulfill the custom, and make himself a fornicator.

Next, I will cite the “The Book Of The Kingdom”,Destiny, October 1949: chapter X of XXIV, entitled:

Birth And Dedication of Samuel:

Therewas a man in Israel whose name was Elkanah. He had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah, and Peninnah had children while Hannah was childless. Elkanah went up yearly from his village to worship and sacrifice to Yahweh of Hosts in the Temple at Shiloh where Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of Yahweh.

At the annual feast in Shiloh Elkanah gave to Peninnah and all her sons and daughters shares of the sacrifice meat but, though he loved Hannah, he gave her only a single share because she was without children. Evidently Peninnah taunted Hannah because she was childless and year after year, as they went up to Shiloh, Hannah had to endure vexation and anguish because she had not been blessed with a family.

Hannah’s Vow

On one of the occasions when Elkanah and his family were at Shiloh presenting their sacrifices, Hannah wept and refused to eat. Her husband inquired about the cause of her trouble asking, ‘Am I not better to thee than ten sons?’ But Hannah refused to be comforted and after the family had eaten she went and stood before Yahweh while Eli, the priest, was sitting by the doorposts of the Temple. Weeping bitterly, Hannah made a solemn vow:

“‘... O Yahweh of Hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto Yahweh all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.’ (1 Sam. 1:11.)

Eli saw Hannah’s lips moving, but he heard no sound for she was speaking softly. Thinking that she was in an intoxicated condition, he commanded her to leave. But Hannah replied that she had not drunk too much wine but that she was depressed in spirit and under great stress. In her grief she had been speaking before Yahweh. Eli then told her:

“‘... Go in peace: and the Almighty of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.’ (1 Sam. 1:17.)

Prayer Answered

Hannah, no longer sad, went her way and was at peace. Eli had given her assurance that her prayers would be answered and she accepted that assurance by faith, believing it would become an accomplished fact as promised. Thereafter, in due course of time, Hannah bore a son and she named him Samuel. Hannah refused to go with Elkanah to offer the yearly sacrifice then, stating that when the child was weaned she would go to Shiloh and fulfill her vow....”

Samuel Presented to Yahweh

When finally Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him to Shiloh with a sacrifice and present for Yahweh. There she presented her son to Eli, telling him of the answer to her prayer:

“‘Therefore also I have lent him to Yahweh [returned him, whom I have obtained by petition, to Yahweh]; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to Yahweh ...’ (1 Sam. 1:28.)

Hannah offered a prayer of rejoicing over her foes and for the great goodness of Yahweh. Then she left Samuel to serve always before Yahweh in the Temple at Shiloh where he ministered to Eli, the Priest.

Eli’s Sons

The sons of Eli were very wicked. They violated the sanctity of the priestly office by taking all that was best for themselves from the offerings of the people, using violence when necessary to accomplish their purposes. They were also known to have corrupted women who came to worship and the report of their evil doings brought forth the statement:

“‘Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh ...’ (1 Sam. 2:17.)

Samuel Comforts Eli

Samuel continued to minister before Yahweh and his mother came up each year to Shiloh for the customary sacrifice, bringing with her a robe made each year for her son. Eli was evidently well pleased with Samuel’s service, evidenced by his blessing upon Elkanah and his wife, for he said:

“‘... Yahweh give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the Yahweh ...’ (1 Sam. 2:20.)

Yahweh favored Hannah and she bore three sons and two daughters but Samuel grew up serving in the presence of Yahweh at Shiloh.

Rebellious Sons of Eli

Eli grew very old and when he was told of the evil doings of his sons he informed them of the evil reports he had heard. Eli cautioned them that when a man sins against another, the judge will judge between them, but when a man sins against the Almighty, there is no judge for him. But the arrogant sons of Eli refused to pay attention to counsel and did not follow their father’s advice:

However, they would not listen to what their father said, for the Eternal was resolved to slay them.’ (1 Sam. 2:25, Moffatt Trans.)

As a parent who had been too lenient in restraining his sons in their youth, Eli now found it impossible to control them after they had reached maturity. Any parent who fails to discipline his children is responsible to that extent for the evil they may do later, just as the Almighty held Eli responsible for the evil acts of his two sons.

A Man Of The Almighty

A man of the Almighty came to Eli with a special message from Yahweh. Eli was reprimanded for having failed to discipline his sons and because he allowed them to run wild and commit crimes against Yahweh. Parents have a definite responsibility to properly bring up their children and, because Eli had not done so with his sons, judgment was pronounced upon Eli’s house. He was told that many of his household would die by the sword of men. Specific judgment was then passed upon his two sons as an omen of the fulfillment of the judgment to come upon his entire household. Both of his sons were to die in one day. Though Eli remonstrated with his sons because of their evil-doing, he did nothing to prevent them from continuing in their wickedness. Moreover, because he did try to warn them about the consequences of their evil conduct, his sons had also become presumptuous sinners and there is no forgiveness for those who, knowing the law, despise that law and deliberately break its requirements. Those who do so hold Yahweh in contempt and there is nothing else facing them but the stern realities of judgment to come.

The Anointed King

A promise was made by Yahweh that He would raise up a faithful priest who would walk before Him and before the anointed king whose House Yahweh would establish forever. Thus, the priest would no longer be judge, but he would become subordinate to the king.

Eli’s House

Of Eli’s house Yahweh declared that He would not cut it off entirely from His altar, but those who survived of his household would bow to the anointed king and beg him to give them a priestly position so that they might have food to eat. Eli’s sons had appropriated to themselves the best of foods by unrighteous means so now Eli’s household was to have difficulty in securing bread to eat.

Yahweh Speaks to Samuel

Samuel continued to minister to Eli at Shiloh. It was a time when messages from Yahweh were very rare and visions were not common. One day after Eli had retired to his bed (his eyes had begun to grow dim so that he was nearly blind) and the lamp of the Almighty (the seven-branched candlestick) was still burning but growing dim, Samuel had retired in the Temple, lying down near the Ark of the Almighty. Yahweh called to Samuel and he answered, ‘Here am I.’ Then he ran to see what Eli wanted. But Eli told Samuel to go back to bed for he had not called him. Samuel was called a second time and went to Eli, who again said that he had not called him.

Samuel did not know Yahweh in a personal way; neither had He yet communicated with the young priest. The third time the call came Samuel went to Eli and said, ‘Here am I; for thou didst call me.’ Eli then realized that Yahweh was calling Samuel so he gave him instructions:

... Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Yahweh; for thy servant heareth ...’ (1 Sam. 3:9.)

The Message of Yahweh

Yahweh called as at other times and Samuel answered, ‘Speak; for thy servant heareth.’ Samuel was then told by Yahweh that he was about to do a deed in Israel that would make the ears of all who heard it ring:

In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.’ (1 Sam. 3:12-14.)

Here we have an indictment of a godly parent because he did not restrain his sons. He could have at least demoted them from the priestly office and refused them access to the temple because of their evil ways, but he did not even do that. Parents are charged with the responsibility of restraining their children, and if they will not be subject to discipline and refuse to walk in the paths of righteousness, then the parents must do everything in their power to prevent them from being placed in positions of responsibility where they can do harm. Eli failed to act in this manner to prevent his two sons from pursuing their ways of wickedness, so the Almighty passed judgment upon his household.

Samuel Tells Eli

After Yahweh had spoken, Samuel lay down until morning and then arose and opened the doors of the House of Yahweh. He feared to disclose to Eli what Yahweh had said, but Eli asked him:

... What is the thing that the Almighty hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: Yahweh do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.’ (1 Sam. 3:17.)

Samuel thereupon told Eli all there was to tell, withholding nothing of all that Yahweh had said to him. Eli replied, ‘It is Yahweh: let him do what seemeth him good.’

Samuel grew up and Yahweh was with him so that none of his counsel proved a failure. All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was a true teacher and an accredited prophet of Yahweh. Samuel was the first of the prophets and the last of the judges before a change came in the government when Israel came under the rule of kings.” End of the “The Book Of The Kingdom”,Destiny, October 1949: chapter X of XXIV, entitled “Birth And Dedication of Samuel”.

To give the reader a sample of Howard B. Rand’s mind-set in the late 1930s and early 1940s, I will quote some of his Destiny’s Forecast Of The News, which I don’t entirely agree with, as follows:

DESTINY for January 1941:‘Now the secret of atomic power is near solution. It is significant that 1821-2 A.D. began the period of discovery. Sixty years later (1881-2 A.D.) began the period of application and use. Sixty years later is 1941-2 A.D., which will begin a sixty-year period destined to see the third and final stage in this process of the discovery and use of God’s great bounties reserved for man’s comfort and happiness. With the opening of this new year of 1941 A.D. the probability has now become a possibility amounting almost to a certainty that the greatest of all the discoveries of the age is about to be given to man. The very fact that God is now opening His storehouse of power and energy for man’s unlimited use is in itself prima facie evidence that we are rapidly approaching the terminal period of this present world order of chaos and trouble.’ (June, 1948)

The world knows now that in 1941 the progress of atomic research had reached the point where it was possible to develop the atomic bomb and on August 6, 1945 it was shocked to its very foundations by the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Subsequent events leave no doubt that we have indeed entered the third stage mentioned above. Can any doubt linger but that the final statement of this forecast will also have an exact fulfillment? –Ed.”

DESTINY for November 1939:‘The very tactics for which both France and Great Britain Condemn Hitler are now being practiced by Stalin. Chamberlain demands, as a requisite to peace, that Germany restore Poland. Does he think for one moment that Stalin will give up that which he has seized? Both France and England failed to move against Hitler until too late to stop him in his ruthless acts. Are they not now making the same tactical error in their dealings with Russia? It was impossible to placate Hitler. Is there any reason to think such methods will be more successful with Stalin? ‘The march of events has answered these questions.’ –Ed.”

DESTINY for January 1940: ‘Russia is on the move. For many years keen prophetic students have been watching for the day when a great army directed from Moscow would move in unprovoked warfare against neighboring states. The Russian Bear is now aroused and marching. At present the attack is toward the West, but the main drive is to develop later and will be toward the South and East. – ‘It is becoming increasingly clear now that the Middle East is a major Russian objective’. –Ed.”

DESTINY for December 1940: ‘We have repeatedly stated in DESTINY that the war would not be settled in the so-called ‘Battle of England’ but that the final phase of the present conflict for world domination would be in the Near East. – ‘Who today can deny this statement?’ –Ed.”

DESTINY for December 1940: ‘The strategic value of Palestine – which in the wars between the Empires of the past was recognized as being of tremendous importance – once again looms up before the eyes of the world. It is because of this, as well as the potential wealth of this comparatively small country, that from the ordinary, material point of view this land will be the scene of the final struggle in this war which will yet engulf all nations.’ – ‘See Subtle and Dangerous Propaganda, page 197 of this issue, which confirms the accuracy of this forecast. –Ed.”

DESTINY for January 1941: ‘Before Anglo-Saxon supremacy will be assured the sacrifice of wealth in labor, services and goods, as well as the lives of many, will be great. It cannot be otherwise with a people who are refusing to awaken to spiritual values – an awakening which would preserve the principles of equity, justice and peace inherent in Anglo-Saxon economy without the tremendous sacrifices we are about to be called upon to make.’ – ‘Watch the progress and results of ECA and United State’s commitments by UN deliberations.’ –Ed.”

DESTINY for July 1941: ‘Let us recall that the Anglo-Saxon nations assisted Hitler financially and otherwise in his rise to power, with the hope that he would stem Soviet aggression. Hitler turned on them! Now that Hitler is moving against Russia, will our leaders make a further mistake and go to the assistance of Russia against Germany? If they do, it will be to place at the disposal of Russia weapons and means which will later be turned against us after Germany and Russia have settled their differences. This is only the first phase of the war which will later result in central Europe and all the Russians moving against Anglo-Saxon-Israel, and will likely witness great internal upheavals which may bring America to the verge of despair as subversive forces, now under cover, are let loose in this country. Will the present attack upon Russia by Germany bring a later agreement, giving Russia a commanding position; will German technical and military leadership be used to lead the Russian hordes against a common enemy? Is this new turn but a trap on the part of the evil forces – a trap to draw the United States and Great Britain into assisting a godless, Communistic organization to the later discomfiture of Anglo-Saxondom? If ever it was imperative for America to refuse to assist a nation, this is certainly true in regard to Russia in the light of her future, definite moves as outlined. If American and British leaders become so foolish as to furnish Russia with military information and assistance, they will have only themselves to blame when, at a later date, it is used against them! – ‘In the light of present Russian tactics, this needs no further elucidation.’ –Ed.

DESTINY for May 1940: ‘The international sky is taking on the hue of a setting sun as nation rises against nation. Yet in the lengthening shadows is written the coming end of oppression for those who now groan with heavy burdens, as with aching hearts and longing eyes they press on with unfaltering faith. Though it is eventide, there is light –for soon, very soon, will come the dawn of a bright and glorious tomorrow. In that day, ‘They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.’ – ‘The Purpose of DESTINY is to point out this hope.’ - Ed.” [Resume The Book of the Kingdom in WTL #230]