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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 216-217

The Glory of God

The title “Bahá’u’lláh” is the Arabic for “Glory of God,” and this very title is frequently used by the Hebrew prophets for the Promised One Who is to appear in the last days. Thus in the 40th chapter of Isaiah we read:—
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Isa. xl, 1–5.
Like the former prophecy, this has also been partly fulfilled in the advent of Christ and His forerunner, John the Baptist; but only partly, for in the days of Christ the warfare of Jerusalem was not accomplished; many centuries of bitter trail and humiliation were yet in store for her. With the advent of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, however, the more complete fulfillment dawned for Jerusalem, and her prospects of a peaceful and glorious future seem now to be reasonably assured.
Other prophecies speak of the Redeemer of Israel, the Glory of the Lord, as coming to the Holy Land from the East, from the rising of the sun. Now Bahá’u’lláh appeared in Persia, which is eastward from Palestine, towards the rising of the sun, and He came to the Holy Land, where He spent the last twenty-four 217 years of His life. Had He come there as a free man, people might have said that it was the trick of an impostor in order to conform to the prophecies; but He came as an exile and prisoner. He was sent there by the Sháh of Persia and the Sulṭán of Turkey, who can hardly be suspected of any design to furnish arguments in favor of Bahá’u’lláh’s claim to be the “Glory of God” Whose coming the Prophets foretold.