Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Paragraph 67

Among the Prophets was Abraham, the Friend of God. Ere He manifested Himself, Nimrod dreamed a dream. Thereupon, he summoned the soothsayers, who informed him of the rise of a star in the heaven. Likewise, there appeared a herald who announced throughout the land the coming of Abraham.

This morning, as we are writing this, we have the wonderful bounty of Samuel's fiancee joining us. And with her fresh perspective, for she hasn't really read this blog yet, she has pointed out a key that we have overlooked. Or if we haven't overlooked it, it was implicit, and she has made it explicit. She has pointed out to us that the very underlying essence of Baha'u'llah's message is unity. Of course, we knew this, but she has applied it here.

Baha'u'llah is reminding us, in this section about the various Messengers, that there is an essential unity between all the religions. Whatever we think is unique to our religion is actually found in all faiths.

In Jewish tradition these signs, Nimrod's dream, the new star, and the herald, are all there, but we don't often focus on them. Baha'u'llah is, in a very simple way, reminding us that they are there, even so far back.

It's interesting, actually, that Baha'u'llah does not mention Noah in this context. Why? We think it is because He is drawing upon recorded tradition, reminding us, once again, of those things that we already know. We may have forgotten these little details, because we don't often dwell on them, but they are there, if we only look. Noah, however, has not had these traditions recorded about Him. Of course, we are certain that they were there, but as there is no record of it, it would not add to Baha'u'llah's argument here, for He could be seen as just making it up.

It's also worth noting that He could have talked about Buddha here, too. We know from the Buddhist texts that there was a star, a dream by the king, a herald, and so on, but all of this would have been irrelevant to the Uncle of the Bab, who was Muslim, and had little or no knowledge of Buddhism. Why do we mention this? Because this book is supposed to be a guide to how we are to teach the Faith, and this is an important lesson to us: keep it relevant to the listener.

On another note, today, a Nimrod is someone who is considered an idiot. Why? We think it is because Nimrod denied the signs of the coming Messenger, Abraham. Similar to Pharaoh and Herod, Nimrod ignored these signs and did all he could to hold on to temporal, or worldly, power. And really, doesn't that just make him... well... an idiot?

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