(Investigator 83, 2002 March)


Comfort for the Jews (1925) was an official book of the Watch Tower Society – the legal and publishing channel of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The author, Joseph F Rutherford (1869-1942) was the president of the WTS at the time, hence the leader of JWs.

Rutherford claimed in Comfort For The Jews:

This volume…is the first unbiased presentation of the subject from the Scriptural point of view.
(Introduction p. 3)

The proof herein submitted…is based upon prophecy…as recorded in the Holy Scriptures and upon the physical facts in fulfilment. (p. 10)

The rebuilding of Palestine is now beginning and is well under way. This is being done clearly in fulfilment of prophecy uttered as promises from Jehovah. (p. 12)

The mere fact that the Lord said he would overturn it until a set time, is conclusive proof that it is God's purpose to restore Israel to his favor upon certain conditions. (p. 45)

Starting late in 1925 Israel would become: "…a mighty nation, even greater than in the past." (pp. 86-97)  And:
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the faithful prophets had the spirit of Jehovah… Those faithful ones shall come forth from the graves and be established in the land of Palestine. (p. 96)
Israel's restoration has the support of Jesus:
The testimony of Jesus therefore is a complete corroboration of what has heretofore been proven by the prophets of old and by the physical facts in fulfilment of those prophecies. (p. 73)
It is:
"in fulfilment of prophecy" (pp. 12, 67, 125)
"absolutely certain of fulfilment" (19)
"promised" (pp. 53, 55)
Why do some people disagree that Israel will be restored?:
Because the promises of God are not always fulfilled at the time when men think they should be fulfilled, many lose faith in his promises made. Let each one settle it in his own mind for all time that when God Almighty makes a promise that promise is absolutely certain of fulfilment in God's due time. (p. 12)
It must be apparent to every Jew who has followed the argument herein set forth, which has been based exclusively upon the Holy Scriptures, that God intends Israel, the Jews, to have the land of Palestine; that he promised the land to Abraham and to his seed after him, and that he purposes to keep that promise… (p. 125)


A subsequent book by Rutherford was equally dogmatic:

LIFE (1929) says:

Have these things come about by chance? Can any Jew who is familiar with the history of his people, and particularly with God's dealing with that people, have any doubt about what the present activities in Palestine mean? The return of the Jews to that land…is but in fulfilment of prophecy. (p. 141)

It was exactly at the proper time, to wit, 1878, that the first favor toward the Jew was manifested. A short time thereafter there began in Russia, Roumania and Germany a great persecution of the Jews. Undoubtedly the Lord permitted this persecution to create in the Jews themselves a desire to return to Palestine. (p. 155)



In 1931, Rutherford changed the interpretation – what was previously of God and true became of Satan and false.

In three volumes titled VINDICATION (1931; 1932; 1932) the Bible prophecies of Israel's restoration were reinterpreted. Rutherford applied the prophecies to his own cult, the JWs.

In 1918 the Russellites – as the early JWs were often called – came close to disintegration when prophecies of world destruction around 1918 failed. Rutherford and seven supporters went to prison. In 1919 they were released and revived the movement under Rutherford's leadership.

This 1919 revival of Russellism and of the WTS under Rutherford's leadership is the fulfilment claimed Rutherford – of the Bible's prophecies of the restoration of Israel.

This 1919 revival of Russellism and of the WTS under Rutherford's leadership is the fulfilment – claimed Rutherford – of the Bible's prophecies of the restoration of Israel. 

From the publication of VINDICATION in 1931 onwards, the JW interpretation of Old Testament prophecies about Israel can be summarized by two principles:

1 When the Old Testament refers to Israel and Jerusalem favourably as restored, or as otherwise approved of by God, it applies to the JWs;

2 When Israel is referred to negatively – as wicked, rebellious and facing destruction – it applies to 20th-century Christendom i.e. to all the Christian religions.

VINDICATION II, for example, says:

Heretofore even God's people have overlooked the fact that the affairs of God's kingdom with reference to the things of earth are of far greater importance than the rehabilitation of that little strip of land on the eastern side of the Mediterranean sea. The Jews have received more attention at their hands than they have really deserved. Therefore this prophecy must have its chief fulfilment upon the true people of God's kingdom which are now on the earth. (p. 258)
Thus the prophecies that Israel would be restored were thrown away and Rutherford predicted:
It therefore follows and the Scriptures conclusively prove that the nation of Israel or Jews will never be restored as a nation…
(Consolation November 29, 1939 p. 17, Australian edition)
"Never" lasted only nine years and became a false prediction in 1948 when the nation of Israel was founded.


The post-1930 JW approach to the Old Testament prophecies of the destruction of Israel and Jerusalem by Babylon (in 586 BC) was that such prophecies would have a second fulfilment upon Christianity.

This approach, coupled with calculations that 6000 years from Adam and Eve terminate in the 1970s, led JW leaders to predict stuff like:

Shortly, within our 20th century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom.
(The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah – How? 1971 p. 216)
The "battle in the day of Jehovah" is, to JWs, synonymous with Armageddon. It is world destruction that starts with the destruction of Christendom and merges into the destruction of all other religions and all nations and all people who aren't JWs.

Anyone who looks around will observe that this prophecy is false.


The JW leadership have, since the sect began in the 1870s, discarded, changed or reinterpreted every doctrine they call "major" and most of the interpretations they call "minor" – thousands of points and thousands of Bible verses.

It's as if the slander of the JW leaders against the clergy applies to themselves:

Few if any of those of the clergy class have real faith in the Word of God, because they have become wise in their own conceits, feeding themselves and not the people, and have repudiated the Word of the Lord… (Comfort For The Jews p. 8)
Clearly, the JWs do not provide genuine "Comfort For The Jews" nor for anyone.

JWs are often untruthful about their failed prophecies and altered doctrines
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Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: