Some Answered Questions
10: TRADITIONAL PROOFS EXEMPLIFIED FROM THE BOOK OF DANIEL
Today, at table, let us speak for a little of proofs. If you
had come to this blessed place in the days of the manifestation
of the evident Light,
if you had attained to the
court of His presence, and had witnessed His luminous
beauty, you would have understood that His teachings
and perfection were not in need of further evidence.
Only through the honor of entering His presence,
many souls became confirmed believers; they had no need
of other proofs. Even those people who rejected and hated
Him bitterly, when they had met Him, would testify to
the grandeur of Bahá'u'lláh, saying, "This is a magnificent
man, but what a pity that he makes such a claim! Otherwise,
all that he says is acceptable."
But now, as that Light of Reality has set, all are in need
of proofs; so we have undertaken to demonstrate rational
proofs of the truth of His claim. We will cite another
which alone is sufficient for all who are just, and which no
one can deny. It is that this illustrious Being uplifted His
Cause in the "Greatest Prison";
from this Prison His light
was shed abroad, His fame conquered the world, and the
proclamation of His glory reached the East and West.
Until our time no such thing has ever occurred.
If there be justice, this will be acknowledged; but there
are some people who, even if all the proofs in the world be
adduced before them, still will not judge justly!
Thus nations and states with all their strength could not
resist Him. Verily, single and alone, imprisoned and oppressed,
He accomplished whatever He desired.
I do not wish to mention the miracles of Bahá'u'lláh, for
it may perhaps be said that these are traditions, liable both
to truth and to error, like the accounts of the miracles of
Christ in the Gospel, which come to us from the apostles,
and not from anyone else, and are denied by the Jews.
Though if I wish to mention the supernatural acts of
Bahá'u'lláh, they are numerous; they are acknowledged in
the Orient, and even by some non-Bahá'ís. But these narratives
are not decisive proofs and evidences to all; the
hearer might perhaps say that this account may not be in
accordance with what occurred, for it is known that other
sects recount miracles performed by their founders. For
instance, the followers of Brahmanism relate miracles.
From what evidence may we know that those are false and
that these are true? If these are fables, the others also are
fables; if these are generally accepted, so also the others are
generally accepted. Consequently, these accounts are not
satisfactory proofs. Yes, miracles are proofs for the
eyewitness only, and even he may regard them not as a
miracle but as an enchantment. Extraordinary feats have
also been related of some conjurors.
Briefly, my meaning is that many wonderful things
were done by Bahá'u'lláh, but we do not recount them, as
they do not constitute proofs and evidences for all the
peoples of the earth, and they are not decisive proofs even
for those who see them: they may think that they are
Also, most of the miracles of the Prophets which are
mentioned have an inner significance. For instance, in the
Gospel it is written that at the martyrdom of Christ darkness
prevailed, and the earth quaked, and the veil of the
Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and
the dead came forth from their graves. If these events had
happened, they would indeed have been awesome, and
would certainly have been recorded in the history of the
times. They would have become the cause of much
troublings of heart. Either the soldiers would have taken
down Christ from the cross, or they would have fled.
These events are not related in any history; therefore, it is
evident they ought not to be taken literally, but as having
an inner significance.
Our purpose is not to deny such miracles; our only
meaning is that they do not constitute decisive proofs, and
that they have an inner significance.
Accordingly, today, at table, we will refer to the explanation
of the traditional proofs which are in the Holy
Books. Until now, all that we have spoken of are rational
The state in which one should be to seriously search for
the truth is the condition of the thirsty, burning soul desiring
the water of life, of the fish struggling to reach the
sea, of the sufferer seeking for the true doctor to obtain the
divine cure, of the lost caravan endeavoring to find the
right road, of the lost and wandering ship striving to reach
the shore of salvation.
Therefore, the seeker must be endowed with certain
qualities. First of all, he must be just and severed from all
else save God; his heart must be entirely turned to the supreme
horizon; he must be free from the bondage of self
and passion, for all these are obstacles. Furthermore, he
must be able to endure all hardships. He must be absolutely
pure and sanctified, and free from the love or the
hatred of the inhabitants of the world. Why? because the
fact of his love for any person or thing might prevent him
from recognizing the truth in another, and, in the same
way, hatred for anything might be a hindrance in discerning
truth. This is the condition of seeking, and the
seeker must have these qualities and attributes. Until he
reaches this condition, it is not possible for him to attain to
the Sun of Reality.
Let us now return to our subject.
All the peoples of the world are awaiting two Manifestations, Who must be contemporaneous; all wait for the
fulfillment of this promise. In the Bible the Jews have the
promise of the Lord of Hosts and the Messiah; in the Gospel
the return of Christ and Elijah is promised.
In the religion of Muhammad there is the promise of the
Mihdí and the Messiah, and it is the same with the
Zoroastrian and the other religions, but if we relate these
matters in detail, it would take too long. The essential fact
is that all are promised two Manifestations, Who will
come, one following on the other. It has been prophesied
that in the time of these two Manifestations the earth will
be transformed, the world of existence will be renewed,
and beings will be clothed in new garments. Justice and
truth will encompass the world; enmity and hatred will
disappear; all causes of division among peoples, races and
nations will vanish; and the cause of union, harmony and
concord will appear. The negligent will awake, the blind
will see, the deaf will hear, the dumb will speak, the sick
will be cured, the dead will arise. War will give place to
peace, enmity will be conquered by love, the causes of
dispute and wrangling will be entirely removed, and true
felicity will be attained. The world will become the mirror
of the Heavenly Kingdom; humanity will be the Throne
of Divinity. All nations will become one; all religions will
be unified; all individual men will become of one family
and of one kindred. All the regions of the earth will become
one; the superstitions caused by races, countries, individuals,
languages and politics will disappear; and all
men will attain to life eternal, under the shadow of the
Lord of Hosts.
Now we must prove from the Holy Books that these
two Manifestations have come, and we must divine the
meaning of the words of the Prophets, for we wish for
proofs drawn from the Holy Books.
A few days ago, at table, we put forth rational proofs
establishing the truth of these two Manifestations.
To conclude: in the Book of Daniel, from the rebuilding
of Jerusalem to the martyrdom of Christ, seventy weeks
are appointed; for by the martyrdom of Christ the sacrifice
is accomplished and the altar destroyed.
This is a
prophecy of the manifestation of Christ. These seventy
weeks begin with the restoration and the rebuilding of
Jerusalem, concerning which four edicts were issued by
The first was issued by Cyrus in the year 536 B.C.; this
is recorded in the first chapter of the Book of Ezra. The
second edict, with reference to the rebuilding of Jerusalem,
is that of Darius of Persia in the year 519 B.C.; this is
recorded in the sixth chapter of Ezra. The third is that of
Artaxerxes in the seventh year of his reign--that is, in 457
B.C.; this is recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra. The
fourth is that of Artaxerxes in the year 444 B.C.; this is recorded
in the second chapter of Nehemiah.
But Daniel refers especially to the third edict which was
issued in the year 457 B.C. Seventy weeks make four
hundred and ninety days. Each day, according to the text
of the Holy Book, is a year. For in the Bible it is said: "The
day of the Lord is one year."
Therefore, four hundred
and ninety days are four hundred and ninety years. The
third edict of Artaxerxes was issued four hundred and
fifty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and Christ
when He was martyred and ascended was thirty-three
years of age. When you add thirty-three to four hundred
and fifty-seven, the result is four hundred and ninety,
which is the time announced by Daniel for the manifestation
But in the twenty-fifth verse of the ninth chapter of the
Book of Daniel this is expressed in another manner, as
seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; and apparently this
differs from the first saying. Many have remained
perplexed at these differences, trying to reconcile these
two statements. How can seventy weeks be right in one
place, and sixty-two weeks and seven weeks in another?
These two sayings do not accord.
But Daniel mentions two dates. One of these dates begins
with the command of Artaxerxes to Ezra to rebuild
Jerusalem: this is the seventy weeks which came to an end
with the ascension of Christ, when by His martyrdom the
sacrifice and oblation ceased.
The second period, which is found in the twenty-sixth
verse, means that after the termination of the rebuilding of
Jerusalem until the ascension of Christ, there will be
sixty-two weeks: the seven weeks are the duration of the
rebuilding of Jerusalem, which took forty-nine years.
When you add these seven weeks to the sixty-two weeks,
it makes sixty-nine weeks, and in the last week (69-70) the
ascension of Christ took place. These seventy weeks are
thus completed, and there is no contradiction.
Now that the manifestation of Christ has been proved
by the prophecies of Daniel, let us prove the manifestations
of Bahá'u'lláh and of the Báb. Up to the present we
have only mentioned rational proofs; now we shall speak
of traditional proofs.
In the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, verse thirteen,
it is said: "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another
saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How
long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and
the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary
and the host to be trodden under foot?" Then he answered
(v. 14): "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed"; (v. 17) "But he said unto
me ... at the time of the end shall be the vision." That is
to say, how long will this misfortune, this ruin, this
abasement and degradation last? meaning, when will be
the dawn of the Manifestation? Then he answered, "Two
thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary
be cleansed." Briefly, the purport of this passage is that he
appoints two thousand three hundred years, for in the text
of the Bible each day is a year. Then from the date of the
issuing of the edict of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem
until the day of the birth of Christ there are 456 years, and
from the birth of Christ until the day of the manifestation
of the Báb there are 1844 years. When you add 456 years
to this number it makes 2300 years. That is to say, the
fulfillment of the vision of Daniel took place in the year
A.D. 1844, and this is the year of the Báb's manifestation
according to the actual text of the Book of Daniel. Consider
how clearly he determines the year of manifestation; there
could be no clearer prophecy for a manifestation than this.
In Matthew, chapter 24, verse 3, Christ clearly says
that what Daniel meant by this prophecy was the date of
the manifestation, and this is the verse: "As He sat upon
the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately,
saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and
what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the
world?" One of the explanations He gave them in reply
was this (v. 15): "When ye therefore shall see the abomination
of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)."
In this answer He referred them to the eighth
chapter of the Book of Daniel, saying that everyone who
reads it will understand that it is this time that is spoken of.
Consider how clearly the manifestation of the Báb is spoken
of in the Old Testament and in the Gospel.
To conclude, let us now explain the date of the manifestation
of Bahá'u'lláh from the Bible. The date of
Bahá'u'lláh is calculated according to lunar years from the
mission and the Hejira of Muhammad; for in the religion
of Muhammad the lunar year is in use, as also it is the lunar
year which is employed concerning all commands of worship.
In Daniel, chapter 12, verse 6, it is said: "And one said
to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of
the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the
waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his
left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for
ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and that
when He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of
the holy people, all these things shall be finished."
As I have already explained the signification of one day,
it is not necessary to explain it further; but we will say
briefly that each day of the Father counts as a year, and in
each year there are twelve months. Thus three years and a
half make forty-two months, and forty-two months are
twelve hundred and sixty days. The Báb, the precursor of
Bahá'u'lláh, appeared in the year 1260 from the Hejira of
Muhammad, by the reckoning of Islám.
Afterward, in verse 11, it is said: "And from the time
that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination
that maketh desolation be set up, there shall be a
thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that
waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and
five and thirty days."
The beginning of this lunar reckoning is from the day of
the proclamation of the prophethood of Muhammad in the
country of Hijáz; and that was three years after His mission,
because in the beginning the prophethood of
Muhammad was kept secret, and no one knew it save
Khadíjah and Ibn Nawfal.
After three years it was announced.
And Bahá'u'lláh, in the year 1290 from the
proclamation of the mission of Muhammad, caused His
manifestation to be known.
3. [Cf. "Miracles," p. 100.]
4. [See Dan. 9:24]
5. [Cf. Num. 14:34]
6. [Cf. Dan. 12:6-7]
7. [The reference appears in verses 11 and 12.]
8. [Varaqat-Ibn-Nawfal, Khadíjah's cousin.]
9. [The year 1290 from the proclamation of the mission of Muhammad was the year 1280 of the Hejira, or 1863-64 of our era. It was at this epoch (April 1863) that Bahá'u'lláh, on leaving Baghdád for Constantinople, declared to those who surrounded Him that He was the Manifestation announced by the Báb.
It is this declaration which the Bahá'ís celebrate by the Feast of Ridván, this name being that of the garden at the entrance of the city, where Bahá'u'lláh stayed during twelve days, and where He made the declaration.]