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Old 07-26-2018, 09:58 AM   #1
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Reflections on Jonah

“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish…”
Jonah 1:1-2

I was reading the book of Jonah recently, and it got me thinking about Baha’i community life. It seems to me that there are times when the House of Justice addresses us: “Go to Nineveh, oh you lovers of the Blessed Beauty!” However, we prefer our own fancies and go to Tarshish instead. As an example, consider the response of some to the call to the Institute processes where we want to focus our energies somewhere else even though the call to the institutes is from the Supreme body, and therefore considered a call from God himself.

When Jonah finally went to Nineveh after being called a second time and after being delivered from the belly of the fish, he complained to God that going to Nineveh had basically been a terrible waste of time, since the people of Nineveh were too easy to repent and too easily forgiven by God. Jonah himself, apparently, felt justice demanded punishment of the people of Nineveh for their wickedness. As for us, sometimes when we answer to our calling, we are also not satisfied with the results and perhaps complain in our hearts to God. It seems to me, that the dissatisfaction comes from having our sights on the wrong target. For example, perhaps we think the object of teaching is for us to convince someone to enroll in the faith. If this doesn’t happen on our timeline, we feel frustrated and perhaps blame the methods or the recipient of the message and want to abandon them for something else. We lack patience and demand results.

Consider the message taught to Jonah by God. When the vine (or gourd) which God had caused to grow to shelter Jonah from the sun withered Jonah complained to God for the loss of it. God said to him:

“Thou has pity on the vine for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
And should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand;”
Jonah 4: 10-11

I thought about that, and wondered, how can we ever lose patience with people or with the plan? Relative to God, we really have so little invested and so little to lose in the grand scheme of things, whereas God has nurtured and provided for all infinitely and absolutely. How great must be the grief of a parent at the loss of even a single child… Perhaps we are wrong to think about so much of what we do logically and with our reason, when, at least from the perspective of God, it is a matter of love and of heart. Love is patient, not demanding, but our intellect is ever demanding and impatient.

Just some thoughts and musings...


Cheers
 
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Very good thoughts luqman. It is funny this story was the sermon at the local church here in Normanton Last week. It was about the rebellion of Jonah.

It appears it is time to read Jonah

I do know there is a 40 day period mentioned in this book as well. We know that 40 days has great meaning in the Bible.

Your thoughts have rung true to my wife and I in our current situation. We have been 2 years in our community with little happening. We have not found a way to introduce the community building activities.

The good thing is we are able to make a difference at work as Baha'u'llah gifted us both work in old age care and community work. It appears activities will unfold when there is an ability for these activities to be sustained.

As our area has no priority in the current plans. We do not see other Baha'i unless we travel the 600 km to the nearest community. We are invited to functions held 1000km away...ha ha, the world is a crazy place.

I do wonder if moving to such a remote place was wise in light of this quote from Abdul'baha;

“‘Those who are working alone are like ants, but when they are united they will become as eagles.’” Well at least my wife and I have found our unity!

The question we then ask is when are we a Jonah and when are we listening to God and His Wisdom? This could very well be what we all face.

Regards Tony
 
Old 07-26-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Very good thoughts luqman. It is funny this story was the sermon at the local church here in Normanton Last week. It was about the rebellion of Jonah.

It appears it is time to read Jonah

I do know there is a 40 day period mentioned in this book as well. We know that 40 days has great meaning in the Bible.

Your thoughts have rung true to my wife and I in our current situation. We have been 2 years in our community with little happening. We have not found a way to introduce the community building activities.

The good thing is we are able to make a difference at work as Baha'u'llah gifted us both work in old age care and community work. It appears activities will unfold when there is an ability for these activities to be sustained.

As our area has no priority in the current plans. We do not see other Baha'i unless we travel the 600 km to the nearest community. We are invited to functions held 1000km away...ha ha, the world is a crazy place.

I do wonder if moving to such a remote place was wise in light of this quote from Abdul'baha;

“‘Those who are working alone are like ants, but when they are united they will become as eagles.’” Well at least my wife and I have found our unity!

The question we then ask is when are we a Jonah and when are we listening to God and His Wisdom? This could very well be what we all face.

Regards Tony
I can completely understand that! It is not always easy to know one's place in the plan, especially when you are an international pioneer in somewhere remote. Although, pioneering is certainly grounded in the plan, isn't it? But I guess we always need to reassess our bearing and know our location in life. If, however, you should find out you are roaming somewhere in Tarshish, you should really make an effort to get thyself to Nineveh...


Cheers
 
Old 07-26-2018, 12:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post
I can completely understand that! It is not always easy to know one's place in the plan, especially when you are an international pioneer in somewhere remote. Although, pioneering is certainly grounded in the plan, isn't it? But I guess we always need to reassess our bearing and know our location in life. If, however, you should find out you are roaming somewhere in Tarshish, you should really make an effort to get thyself to Nineveh...
Cheers
It is a wisdom far beyond my understanding.

To date I have learnt by error. the trials come after the error...he he.

The funny thing, well funny in a way, is that the Jehovah Witnesses that live here have a never ending supply of support. Personally I see that as a lesson for all us Baha'i, after all they started after us

In the end, its all good.

God bless every one, regards Tony
 
Old 07-26-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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The story seems to also describe a man not content with the way things are.

He desires easy ministry, instead he is told to go to a place he wants to avoid, and he actively resists going there.

He desires the city be destroyed, and is upset when it is instead forgiven.

He finds comfort in the plant, but is again angered when it is taken away.

Jonah, at least in the Quranic narrative, goes on to repent and accept the Will of God for what it is instead of resisting and fighting at every step due to his own prejudices and preferences.
 
Old 07-27-2018, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
The story seems to also describe a man not content with the way things are.

He desires easy ministry, instead he is told to go to a place he wants to avoid, and he actively resists going there.

He desires the city be destroyed, and is upset when it is instead forgiven.

He finds comfort in the plant, but is again angered when it is taken away.

Jonah, at least in the Quranic narrative, goes on to repent and accept the Will of God for what it is instead of resisting and fighting at every step due to his own prejudices and preferences.
Excellent insights! You have, I think, encapsulated the essence of it. There was another aspect of this story that I find very useful but forgot to mention.

As you know, Jonah is very important to Christians in particular, as a metaphor for the crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ:

38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."

Mathew 12:38-42


It occurs to me when I read the above passage that if "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign" then sign seeking is an attribute of evil itself, since those who are pure see with spiritual eyes and believe without a sign. But if Jonah being three days in the belly of a fish is a metaphor for Christ being dead for three days prior to resurrection, then perhaps the metaphor of the fish's belly and death is applicable and operating in the original narrative of Jonah as well. I know this might raise some eyebrows with our Christian friends, but I am not speaking of the Jonah story as a historical account but as spiritual narrative. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the literal person of Jonah or the historicity of the story. However, let us look at this way. Jonah was disobedient to God and broke his commandment. It was this act that caused all the troubles that followed. The tempest, the complaining of the men for Jonah's reckless act that now imperiled them all, his being cast overboard and devoured by the fish, which was literally his death because only his repentance and returning to God is was delivered him out of the fish restored him to life. So we see that obedience to God is the source of life, and disobedience the source of death.

Jonah's prayer that delivered him out of the belly of the fish:

2 I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

Jonah 2:2-9


We see that the rebelliousness and disobedience of Jonah was like death with words such as his soul was "fainted" and his life lost to "corruption" and that it was "remembrance of God (awareness, turning to in obedience) that "brought him up" from that death like state.

Juxtapose the prayer of Jonah with this one of Baha'u'llah:

"My God, my Adored One, my King, my Desire!
What tongue can voice my thanks to Thee?
I was heedless, Thou didst awaken me.
I had turned back from Thee, Thou didst graciously aid me to turn towards Thee.
I was as one dead, Thou didst quicken me with the water of life.
I was withered, Thou didst revive me with the heavenly stream of Thine utterance..."

Baha'i Prayers.


Notice that heedlessness, back turning (disobedience), "witheredness" (Jonah's vine?) are likened to death and "awakedness", turning towards God, are associated with revivedness, quickening, and life. So it seems to me that there is a deep connection with the Baha'i , Jewish, and Christian writings on this theme where obedience to God is the source of our salvation. I know some Christians disagree, saying that it is through faith that we are saved, however, what is the meaning of faith without deeds? Jonah clearly believed in God, but it was his deeds that showed the worth of his faith and caused him to be lost, and it was deeds that proved his faith restored and saved him.

This is why, in my opinion, Baha'u'llah has revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (verse 1) that recognition of and obedience to the Manifestation of God are twin and inseparable duties enjoined upon us.

Cheers
 
Old 07-28-2018, 08:19 AM   #7
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I really enjoyed reading the story and your thoughts on it Fadl. As for the first part of it that you said sometimes the Universal house tells us to do something and we do something else instead, It came to my mind that it is also true about all the aspects of God. Sometimes we know the rules of God and sometimes we feel in our hearts what God wants us to do, but because of fear or lack of faith or whatever, we chose our own will over the Will of God. Your thoughts on the subject made me think again, and I hope I can remember your beautiful analyses when I am going the wrong way of my own desires

Now, I also have a question. How is it that a manifestation of God, that is Jonah, made so many mistakes? I would like to know your thoughts about this, if you would please
 
Old 07-28-2018, 10:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
As for the first part of it that you said sometimes the Universal house tells us to do something and we do something else instead, It came to my mind that it is also true about all the aspects of God. Sometimes we know the rules of God and sometimes we feel in our hearts what God wants us to do, but because of fear or lack of faith or whatever, we chose our own will over the Will of God.
Oh, just read the exhortations to the community from Abdul-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the UHJ of the last 100 years, and compare them to what was done! Food for thought!

gnat
 
Old 07-28-2018, 09:51 PM   #9
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Oh, just read the exhortations to the community from Abdul-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the UHJ of the last 100 years, and compare them to what was done! Food for thought!

gnat
thanks a lot for the suggestion, Gnat
is there a book that gathers them all or should I find and read them one by one separately?
 
Old 07-29-2018, 06:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
I really enjoyed reading the story and your thoughts on it Fadl. As for the first part of it that you said sometimes the Universal house tells us to do something and we do something else instead, It came to my mind that it is also true about all the aspects of God. Sometimes we know the rules of God and sometimes we feel in our hearts what God wants us to do, but because of fear or lack of faith or whatever, we chose our own will over the Will of God. Your thoughts on the subject made me think again, and I hope I can remember your beautiful analyses when I am going the wrong way of my own desires

Now, I also have a question. How is it that a manifestation of God, that is Jonah, made so many mistakes? I would like to know your thoughts about this, if you would please
Jonah is a minor prophet, he is not a Manifestation of God. A minor prophet can sin and make mistakes.
 
Old 07-29-2018, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
I really enjoyed reading the story and your thoughts on it Fadl. As for the first part of it that you said sometimes the Universal house tells us to do something and we do something else instead, It came to my mind that it is also true about all the aspects of God. Sometimes we know the rules of God and sometimes we feel in our hearts what God wants us to do, but because of fear or lack of faith or whatever, we chose our own will over the Will of God. Your thoughts on the subject made me think again, and I hope I can remember your beautiful analyses when I am going the wrong way of my own desires

Now, I also have a question. How is it that a manifestation of God, that is Jonah, made so many mistakes? I would like to know your thoughts about this, if you would please
Hi Maryamr,

It is a very good question! There are actually several explanations one could consider, each with a different significance and importance. I will start with the one that seems most relevant to me.

Look at the story structure, and consider:

How does it read?

Does it resemble a historical description?

Does it read like a page from a biography?

A fable?

Who seems to be the author? I.e. does it seem to be Jonah writing about himself in the third person? If not Jonah, then who?

Obviously none but Jonah could have witnessed every detail of such an account including the prayer uttered when he was alone in the bottom of a fish and yet, we do not generally write about ourselves in the third person. I posit another possibility: It was written by someone who was not Jonah and a person who was using Jonah to tell us a story.

For me, the structure resembles that of a fable or a myth. Please note that I am note saying Jonah is himself a myth, nor am I saying he was not. I am only suggesting that in connection to this story, the story of Jonah resembles a myth or a fable, written to communicate a spiritual teaching to us. Whether or not there was or was not a Jonah, and what was or was not his station is therefore irrelevant to the purpose of the story which seems to be to communicate and teach the cause and effect relationship of obedience and disobedience to God in an impactful and memorable way. Please realize that I am not saying Jonah was himself a fiction. I am only suggesting that stories of this kind are vehicles of teaching morals and virtues, rather than historical facts.

To ask about Jonah's status as a messenger in this story, therefore, may be the wrong type of question. For example, if one were to relate the Aesop's fable of the fox and the grapes, and the student were to ask, "Does a fox eat grapes?" How can a fox speak, and which species of fox was it?" Are poor questions and signs of an inattentive student. Aesop's fables are stories of truths not stories of facts. The difference is significant, but I would posit to you that the word of God is much more concerned with the former. The book of Jonah Book of Jonah is read every year during Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement so the connection of the message and occasion are strong. It is the Jewish concept of Teshuva: the ability to repent to and be forgiven by God.

The second answer, which I feel is less relevant in this context concerns the station of messengers. The prophet Jonah, according to Jews, is of the twelve minor prophets as recorded in the Tanakh. In the Islamic and Baha'i teachings there is the concept of ulu al‑`azm (cf. Qur'ān 46:34) or prophets "endowed with constancy" (the Manifestations, i.e. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, etc.) which would not include a lesser prophet such as Jonah. Therefore, if for sake of argument the book of Jonah were entirely factual as well as true, the errors of Jonah could be attributed to his lower station.

Cheers

Last edited by Luqman; 07-29-2018 at 07:25 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2018, 12:50 AM   #12
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than you Duane and thank you Fadl
 
Old 07-31-2018, 11:05 AM   #13
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All Bible Stories need a goofy modern cartoon

I thought I'd find this one pertinent to this subject:

 
Old 07-31-2018, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
I thought I'd find this one pertinent to this subject:
I wonder, why is it necessary to bring every topic off the rails? I put some considerable time and thought in what I wrote in this thread as I felt it was important and worthwhile for me. Perhaps it is not worthy of serious discussion for you; that is fine with me. I don't need people to discuss it who aren't interested. So why is it that, if you don't think it is worth your time to contribute something in a thoughtful and considerate way, you feel the need to deprive me of that? I only ask to you consider this question; No need to reply, since I hope the keep the thread on topic. Please allow me a space to discuss this seriously with others who are inclined to do so if you could be so kind.

Thanks for your consideration
 
Old 07-31-2018, 12:30 PM   #15
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Bible stories along with a lot of old texts are weird ancient metaphors and parables. Who seriously has direct "Voice of God" talk and can survive getting swallowed by a g-d whale these days? No one I know. There should always be a certain grain of salt of ridicule and lampoon to deal with the absurdity of some story. Why are these old ancient times parables in a book that could very well be something lost in translated and distorted taken so literal and important to you?

I was once a Bahai youth who thought ooh ahh I'm part of team Bahai. I know who the greatest latest manifestation of God is so therefore that must mean I have my $h*t together in ways most people don't? Why not? They and those sinner folk living their hedonistic yuppy content complacent lives must be the ones who have a problem. Afterall, I'm doing all these pious obligatory prayers everyday so therefore I must be blessed and am not cursed like these people are. And so then a lot like jonah I'm wondering why people who don't give a damn about Baha'u'llah can get away with some much crap and I can barely function around them? I'm surrounded by them. I don't have a refuge to stay away from some godless country let alone have and prowesss or power to teach them Baha'u'llah's great Kitab'i'-Aqdas moral code. It was never my job to begin with.

But in this bible thumper story its like Oh Jonah gets a direct line with this talking sun in the sky that He has the capacity to teach the infidel hedonistic mean people right from wrong. Jonah is gifted and given a task to give a message directly by a talking Sun God in the Sky. No such thing really happens to me or many people.

Its too weird for me to take the story of Jonah as serious as you. No one could survive inside a live whale's stomach.



Good for you to make it so important.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post
I wonder, why is it necessary to bring every topic off the rails? I put some considerable time and thought in what I wrote in this thread as I felt it was important and worthwhile for me. Perhaps it is not worthy of serious discussion for you; that is fine with me. I don't need people to discuss it who aren't interested. So why is it that, if you don't think it is worth your time to contribute something in a thoughtful and considerate way, you feel the need to deprive me of that? I only ask to you consider this question; No need to reply, since I hope the keep the thread on topic. Please allow me a space to discuss this seriously with others who are inclined to do so if you could be so kind.

Thanks for your consideration
 
Old 07-31-2018, 12:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post

Its too weird for me to take the story of Jonah as serious as you. No one could survive inside a live whale's stomach.


Good for you to make it so important.
Maybe it seems weird for you because you saw the title of the discussion being "Jonah" and then rushed to contribute before reading. No one here even alluded to the belief that someone survived inside the body of a fish (you said whale but the story says fish, despite the popular misconception).

You seem intelligent, and certainly skepticism is always valuable in a discussion. Why not read the posts here and discuss the topic with us? Maybe you have something valuable to contribute to the actual discussion. Nobody besides you was talking about the science behind--or the miracle of-- literally surviving inside another animal.

Cheers
 
Old 07-31-2018, 12:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
Bible stories along with a lot of old texts are weird ancient metaphors and parables. Who seriously has direct "Voice of God" talk and can survive getting swallowed by a g-d whale these days? No one I know. There should always be a certain grain of salt of ridicule and lampoon to deal with the absurdity of some story. Why are these old ancient times parables in a book that could very well be something lost in translated and distorted taken so literal and important to you?
The only one taking the extreme literal approach here is you.

Luqman/Fadl even used the word metaphor in his analysis at one point in time.

Again, the first and only person to bring up the topic of this story being literal is ... YOU. No one else has brought up the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
Its too weird for me to take the story of Jonah as serious as you. No one could survive inside a live whale's stomach.
No one here made the claim that someone could. So you're either arguing with a strawman of Fadl or a figment of your own imagination.

And... don't you believe in literal astrology??

The motion of the planets having a literal and direct influence on people's personalities isn't too out there for you to believe in, but ideas like God talking to a person or the idea that there could be a supernatural reason a person could survive within a big fish is a step too far, eh??

I for one have never thought the question of whether-or-not ancient stories actually happened literally is a question of much importance. Whether he was actually swallowed by a fish or whether the story was just a metaphor to tell the inner meaning of Jonah's mystical teachings isn't a question I find important or even interesting.

The more interesting questions are surely the meaning of the story and the story's mystical dimension, not the boring, mundane details such as the question of literal occurrence. Barring the discovery of time travel no such details can be proved conclusively anyways.

Again, for a guy who apparently believes in such mystical topics as astrology and alchemy, I find it rather ridiculously odd that you get so very, very hung up on the literal meanings of things, when basically every mystical or occult practice has the skill of looking deeper as one of the first lessons.

Last edited by Walrus; 07-31-2018 at 01:02 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2018, 03:10 PM   #18
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Biblical timeline

Quote:
You seem intelligent, and certainly skepticism is always valuable in a discussion. Why not read the posts here and discuss the topic with us? Maybe you have something valuable to contribute to the actual discussion. Nobody besides you was talking about the science behind--or the miracle of-- literally surviving inside another animal.

Quote:
The more interesting questions are surely the meaning of the story and the story's mystical dimension, not the boring, mundane details such as the question of literal occurrence. Barring the discovery of time travel no such details can be proved conclusively anyways.
All right just encourage my facetious attitude some more while contributing.

In the Bahai Writings Abdu'l-Baha Writes:
Quote:
The downfall of the Jews began when, after the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king, the Jews splitting into two factions or kingdoms, one of which, the kingdom of Judah remained loyal and offered allegiance to Rehoboam, while the other, the Kingdom of Israel, elected for its sovereign Jeroboam from the descendants of Joseph who lived in Mesopotamia.
This first split divided their power, creating enmity, suspicion and hate, and wars resulted to the extent that Jeroboam declared that it was just as good to worship a bull as to go to Jerusalem, the holy city, and worship God, because he did not want his people to go and become acquainted with the other king, the son of Solomon. When that discord took place and wars had begun between the two factions, other nations attacked and crushed them. Then the Romans, Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians came and destroyed them, the Jews falling into degeneration and slavery. The Assyrians annihilated the kingdom of Israel, and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, attacked Judea, taking captive and burning Jerusalem. The kingdom of Israel was utterly annihilated and the remnants of the kingdom of Judea were saved by the mercy of the Persian kingdom. Later the Jews were divided into the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Publicans, etc.

(SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 6)

Here's the timeline context https://biblehub.com/timeline/#complete

931 BC Solomon's Death 1 Kings 11:40
760 BC Jonah Sent to Nineveh Jonah 1 - 4

This was over 200 years after Solomon died and the Israel was split into rival factions.
 
Old 07-31-2018, 03:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post

I was once a Bahai youth who thought ooh ahh I'm part of team Bahai. I know who the greatest latest manifestation of God is so therefore that must mean I have my $h*t together in ways most people don't? Why not? They and those sinner folk living their hedonistic yuppy content complacent lives must be the ones who have a problem. Afterall, I'm doing all these pious obligatory prayers everyday so therefore I must be blessed and am not cursed like these people are. And so then a lot like jonah I'm wondering why people who don't give a damn about Baha'u'llah can get away with some much crap and I can barely function around them? I'm surrounded by them. I don't have a refuge to stay away from some godless country let alone have and prowesss or power to teach them Baha'u'llah's great Kitab'i'-Aqdas moral code. It was never my job to begin with.
I think I was guilty of something I accused you of, which was not reading attentively before replying. I apologize for that.

When I reconsider the above part of what you said before, I realize that you were actually very much on point and particularly to the part you object about.

I am certainly not making a claim to something miraculous, but, tell me: what is it like inside the fish, my rebellious brother? Because that's actually where you are, if I understand the story of Jonah rightly.

Perhaps you will object to it, but I think you are demonstrating exactly how it is possible for a man to survive inside the belly of a fish. I look forward to part two when you are delivered from it, and I sincerely hope you will, because I believe you are a person of immense value.

Cheers

Last edited by Luqman; 07-31-2018 at 05:55 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2018, 03:32 PM   #20
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re: inside another creature's digestive area

RE: Luqman

Go find this instead:

"South Park Lemmiwinks"


LOL
 
Old 08-01-2018, 06:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
RE: Luqman


LOL
Have you wondered about the significance of being imprisoned within a fish?

A fish plunges the depths of the earth, and so it is immersion in worldliness, materialism. It is a place of darkness, where, even though the light is shining in full glory, one is cut off and veiled from it. It is a caustic place full of bile, therefore a place of heat and anger, disintegration, perishing and decay.

Cheers

Last edited by Luqman; 08-01-2018 at 07:15 AM.
 
Old 08-01-2018, 07:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post
Excellent insights! You have, I think, encapsulated the essence of it. There was another aspect of this story that I find very useful but forgot to mention.

As you know, Jonah is very important to Christians in particular, as a metaphor for the crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ:
This got me thinking... could it then also work symbolically as a metaphor for the Occultation??
 
Old 08-01-2018, 07:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
This got me thinking... could it then also work symbolically as a metaphor for the Occultation??
It's an interesting idea, but I don't think the metaphor works, since:


1 Jonah is there as a consequence of rebellion and remoteness from God

2 It is a metaphor for the tomb of Jesus (in the Gospels) ie death


Interestingly, Baha'u'llah gives a description of the place of Occultation in this way:


"the Imáms of the Faith have fixed His abode in the city of Jábulqá...by Jábulqá is meant none other than the treasure-houses of eternity in the all-highest heaven and the cities of the unseen in the supernal realm. We bear witness that Muḥammad, the son of Ḥasan, was indeed in Jábulqá and appeared therefrom." -Gems of Divine Mysteries, v.48-9


In light of these words, and, reflecting on the condition of Jonah in the fish and how, if such a literal thing were to occur it would be a hellish caustic and darkened place (which I think necessarily alludes to the spiritual meaning of the metaphor), I wouldn't think of it as a holy realm. Note that Muhammad son of Hasan is the Twelfth (Occulted, hidden) Imam.

Cheers

Last edited by Luqman; 08-01-2018 at 07:34 AM.
 
Old 08-01-2018, 07:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post
It's an interesting idea, but I don't think the metaphor works, since:


1 Jonah is there as a consequence of rebellion and remoteness from God

2 It is a metaphor for the tomb of Jesus (in the Gospels) ie death


Interestingly, Baha'u'llah gives a description of the place of Occultation in this way:


"the Imáms of the Faith have fixed His abode in the city of Jábulqá...by Jábulqá is meant none other than the treasure-houses of eternity in the all-highest heaven and the cities of the unseen in the supernal realm. We bear witness that Muḥammad, the son of Ḥasan, was indeed in Jábulqá and appeared therefrom." -Gems of Divine Mysteries, v.48-9


In light of these words, and, reflecting on the condition of Jonah in the fish and how, if such a literal thing were to occur it would be a hellish caustic and darkened place (which I think necessarily alludes to the spiritual meaning of the metaphor), I wouldn't think of it as a holy realm. Note that Muhammad son of Hasan is the Twelfth (Occulted, hidden) Imam.

Cheers
Oh, in my thoughts it would be mankind in the place of Jonah in the metaphor, not the Twelfth Imam.

IE, due to the sins of specifically the Abbasids, mankind was forced into the darkness of the belly of the fish due to being deprived of direct access to the Imam.

Though I could see why you'd think I was talking about it from the perspective of the Twelfth Imam in the place of Jonah, since both essentially became hidden from the world.
 
Old 08-01-2018, 08:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Oh, in my thoughts it would be mankind in the place of Jonah in the metaphor, not the Twelfth Imam.

IE, due to the sins of specifically the Abbasids, mankind was forced into the darkness of the belly of the fish due to being deprived of direct access to the Imam.

Though I could see why you'd think I was talking about it from the perspective of the Twelfth Imam in the place of Jonah, since both essentially became hidden from the world.
That is really clever. Yes, I like it. We are all, in a sense, in the belly of the fish, in need of deliverance.

Were you thinking the fish's belly is a similar metaphor to Plato's cave, or something else?

I was thinking of it as very much a metaphor of death, even hell, since it was a consequence of retreat, turning away from God, and choosing one's own desires over the desires of God:

"They say: ‘Where is Paradise, and where is Hell?’ Say: ‘The one is reunion with Me; the other thine own self" Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p118



So in this way, I see the fish as a metaphor of hell, but, certainly this world can be a metaphor for hell too, if it leads us to selfishness and remoteness from God.

Thanks for your insights!
 
Old 08-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post
Were you thinking the fish's belly is a similar metaphor to Plato's cave, or something else?
I wasn't, but I am now, haha.
 
Old 08-01-2018, 09:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luqman View Post

Were you thinking the fish's belly is a similar metaphor to Plato's cave, or something else?
Always thought that!
 
Old 08-02-2018, 02:32 PM   #28
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Isn't Wales the Fish with biggest features in the ocean?

 
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