Book of Certitude - Noah

J_B
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Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby J_B » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi all, question for you.

“Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace. None, however, heeded His call.”
Baha'u'llah, Book of Certitude

What is Baha'u'llah saying here? That Noah actually lived 950 years or that His Dispensation lasted that long? Also, no one heeded His call? His family did correct? He had some who believed in Him yes? Baha'u'llah is not in the practice of overstating things, so what is He saying exactly? Thank you friends!

MontanaDon
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby MontanaDon » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:53 pm

950 years is the traditional age of Noah for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

As to the number of followers, not that He also says - - -
Finally, as stated in books and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His followers. At last from the depth of His being He cried aloud: “Lord! Leave not upon the land a single dweller from among the unbelievers.”†

Don C
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Understood properly, all man's problems are essentially spiritual in nature.

brettz9
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby brettz9 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:07 pm

While the Baha'i Writings indicate that while we cannot say for certain that the age of Noah refers to the years of His dispensation, they do confirm that the years are not as we count them/symbolical:

"The years of Noah are not years as we count them, and as our teachings do not state that this reference to years means His dispensation, we cannot interpret it this way."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 25, 1950; quoted in Lights of Guidance, no. 1659)


"Then the Master asked Esmael: "How old was Moses?"
"One hundred and twenty years," he replied. "But the patriarchs, such as Noah and others lived many hundreds of years."
"The Master said: "The age of those ancient prophets as recorded in the Old Testament is symbolic. It has a spiritual interpretation. Wert thou informed of the science of anatomy thou wouldst realize that this human mechanism and these material organs cannot last more than one hundred and twenty years.""

(Attributed to 'Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, volume 13, issue 6, p. 152)



So too is the Flood seen as symbolic:

"The statement in 'Seven Days of Creation' certainly cannot be considered authoritative or correct. The Ark and the Flood we believe are symbolical."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 28, 1949: Baha'i News, No. 228, February 1950, p. 4; quoted in Lights of Guidance, no. 1716)


"The crossing of the Red Sea has a spiritual meaning. It was a spiritual journey, through and above the sea of corruption and iniquity of the Pharaoh and his people, or army. By the help of God through Moses, the Israelites were able to cross this sea safely and reach the Promised Land (spiritual state) while Pharaoh and his people were drowned in their own corruption."

('Abdu'l-Bahá: Daily Lessons Received at Akka, p. 45, 1979 ed.; quoted in Lights of Guidance, no. 1678)


Also note that just because Baha'u'llah repeats the traditions and understandings of the people of the time does not mean He is necessarily in agreement with them:

"It is noteworthy that at both the beginning and end of this section of the Tablet, Bahá'u'lláh indicates that He is quoting "some accounts of the sages". These would have been the historical accounts familiar to the person whom He is addressing in the Tablet. The fact that Bahá'u'lláh makes such statements for the sake of illustrating the spiritual principles that He wishes to convey, does not necessarily mean that He is endorsing their historical accuracy. In this connection it is interesting to note the answer given by the beloved Guardian's secretary on his behalf to a question about the "fourth heaven" mentioned in the Kitáb-i-Íqán. The translation of the passage is as follows:

"As to the ascent of Christ to the "fourth heaven" as revealed in the glorious Book of Íqán, he [the Guardian] stated that the "fourth heaven" is a term used and a belief held by the early astronomers. The followers of the Shí'ah sect likewise held this belief. As the Kitáb-i-Íqán was revealed for the guidance of that sect, this term was used in conformity with the concepts of its followers."

(Baha'i World Centre, Research Department, at http://bahai-library.com/uhj_letters_behalf_guardian )


Best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby brettz9 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:11 pm

'Abdu'l-Baha also spoke to the symbolic and non-literal meaning of years and time in other part of the Bible:

"As to the record in the Bible concerning Adam's entering paradise, His eating from the tree and His expulsion through the temptation of Satan: These are all symbols beneath which there are wonderful and divine meanings not to be calculated in years, dates and measurement of time. Likewise, the statement that God created the heaven and the earth in six days is symbolic. We will not explain this further today. The texts of the Holy Books are all symbolical, needing authoritative interpretation."

(Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 219-220)

J_B
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby J_B » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:29 pm

Oh my goodness! Great find Brett. Thank you so much!

brettz9
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby brettz9 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:16 pm

Glad to hear it, J. B. If you are referring to the latter quote, btw, did you see my other post before it?

J_B
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Re: Book of Certitude - Noah

Postby J_B » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:56 pm

Both!


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