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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 213-214

Prophecies about Christ

Through failing to understand the meaning of the prophecies about the dominion of the Messiah, the Jews rejected Christ. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says:—
The Jews still await the coming of the Messiah, and pray to God day and night to hasten His advent. When Jesus came they denounced and slew Him, saying: “This is not the One for Whom we wait. Behold, when the Messiah shall come, signs and wonders shall testify that He is in truth the Christ. The Messiah will arise out of an unknown city. He shall sit upon the throne of David, and behold, He shall come with a sword of steel, and with a scepter of iron shall He rule. He shall fulfill the Law of the Prophets. He shall conquer the East and the West, and shall glorify His chosen people the Jews. He shall bring with Him a reign of Peace during which even the animals shall cease to be at enmity with man. For behold, the wolf and the lamb shall drink from the same spring … and all God’s creatures shall be at rest. …”

Thus the Jews thought and spoke, for they did not understand the Scriptures nor the glorious truths that were contained in them. The letter they knew by heart, but of the life-giving Spirit they understood not a word.

Hearken, and I will show you the meaning thereof: Although Christ came from Nazareth, which was a known place, He came also from heaven. His body was born of Mary, but His Spirit came from heaven. The sword He carried was the sword of His tongue, with which He divided the good from the evil, the true from the false, the faithful from the unfaithful, and the light from the darkness. His Word was indeed a sharp sword! The throne 214 upon which He sat is the Eternal Throne from which Christ reigns forever, a heavenly throne, not an earthly one, for the things of earth pass away but heavenly things pass not away. He reinterpreted and completed the Laws of Moses and fulfilled the Law of the Prophets. His Word conquered the East and the West. His kingdom is everlasting. He exalted those Jews who recognized Him. They were men and women of humble birth, but contact with Him made them great and gave them everlasting dignity. The animals who were to live with one another signified the different sects and races, who, once having been at war, were now to dwell in love and charity, drinking together the Water of Life from Christ the Eternal Spring.
Most Christians accept these interpretations of Messianic prophecies as applied to Christ; but with regard to similar prophecies about the latter-day Messiah, many of them take up the same attitude as the Jews, expecting a miraculous display on the material plane which will fulfill the very letter of the prophecies.