Chapter 21: The Divine Civililization of New Jerusalem

 

21.1At this, I saw a new sky and a new earth, for the first sky and the first earth had passed away.
At this, I see God’s new spiritual law and His new material law, for His old spiritual and old material laws are transcended.
Nor does the sea exist any longer.
Nor do divisive doctrines exist any more.
2Then I saw the holy city New Jerusalem landing from the sky from God, as a bride prepared for her groom.
Then I see the unique new divine civilization coming from God, as Baha’u’llah promised to his partner the Bab.
3Next, I heard a loud voice from the Throne announcing:
Next, I hear Baha’u’llah as Proclaimer of his Baha’i Faith announcing:
Behold the Presence of God among human-beings.
Behold myself as God’s Shechinah among believers.
His Presence shall be manifest among them. They themselves shall be His own peoples. God Himself shall be with them as their God.
His Shechinah is myself manifest among you. You yourselves are His own peoples. God Himself is with you as myself mirroring your God.
4He shall wipe every tear from their eyes. Even death shall exist no longer. Neither shall grief, nor screaming, nor pain exist any longer—for those first things have passed away.
I shall soothe away your sorrows and kindle light in your eyes. Even atheism shall exist no more. Neither shall anguish, nor uproar, nor agony exist any more—for those old laws and divisions have been transcended.
5Now the Enthroned-One said:
Now the Founder Baha’u’llah says:
Behold, I am making everything new!
Behold, I am making everything new!
Continuing, he says:
Continuing, he says:
Record that these same Words are trustworthy and true.
John, publish that we same Divine Speakers, the Bab and I, are true and genuine.
6Now he told me:
Now he tells me:
These visions have come to be!
These events are being fulfilled!
I myself am the A and the Z, the Beginning and the Ending.
I myself am the Founder and the Fulfiller of the One Religion of God, the Opener of His new Cycle of Fulfillment and the Closer of His old Cycle of Prophecy.
I myself shall supply the thirsty person from the source of the water of life, freely.
I myself have supplied you truth-seekers with myself as your source of teachings about life, for free.
7The victor shall inherit these things. For him or her I shall be as God. For me, he or she shall be an heir.
You folk who prevail spiritually deserve these teachings. For you I mirror God. For me, you are heirs.
8But as for the cowards, traitors, vile persons, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and all the liars, their fate is in that pool that burns with fire and sulfur—the one that is the second-death.
But as for you cowards, traitors, vile persons, killers, exploiters, drug-dealers, profiteers, and all the liars, your fate is in that isolation in unbelief that devastates with despair—the one that is spiritual death.
9Now a certain of the seven Angels bearing the seven pitchers, packing the seven last afflictions, came and spoke with me, saying:
Now Baha’u’llah as the first of the seven Middle East Messengers bearing God’s sevenfold influence, packing its seven 1800–1900s afflictions, comes and speaks to me, inviting:
Come! I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Ram.
Come! I shall show you the Promised-One as myself, the perfect partner of the Bab.
10At this, he soared me in spirit over a large and lofty mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem landing from the sky from God:
At this, he soars my spirit over magnificent and majestic Mount Carmel and shows me his unique divine diamond civilization blossoming its Baha’i Revelation from God:
11Possessing the Glory of God;
Possessing himself, Baha’u’llah;
Its brilliance shining like most precious gemstone, like a gemstone of crystallizing diamond,
Its brilliance shining most superb strength, the strength of excellent justice;
12Possessing a broad and high wall;
Possessing a liberal and lofty Law;
Possessing 12 gates;
Possessing the Faiths’ ways of loving wisdom;
Over these gates, 12 angels;
Sustaining these ways of loving wisdom, the Faiths’ Founders;
With names engraved that are the names of the 12 tribes of sons of Israel;
With virtues endorsed that are the virtues of Baha’i heirs of the Jews who first saw God;
13Three gates from and to the East, three gates from and to the North, three gates from and to the South, and three gates from and to the West;
Ways of loving wisdom from and for the East, ways of loving wisdom from and for the North, ways of loving wisdom from and for the South, and ways of loving wisdom from and for the West;
14The wall of the city possessing 12 foundations, and upon them the 12 names of the 12 Apostles of the Ram.
The Law of divine civilization possessing the Faiths’ teachings, and in them the Faiths’ virtues of the Sons of Jacob, Apostles of Jesus, and Imams of Muhammad via the Bab.
15The person speaking with me held a gold rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.
Baha’u’llah speaking with me comes forward as a glorious guide to reveal the divine diamond civilization, its ways of loving wisdom, and its Law.
16This city is laid out as a square, its length equal to its breadth.
His divine civilization is founded squarely on justice, as profound as it is liberal.
With the rod he measured the city at 12,000 furlongs.
With his guidance he reveals divine civilization as the hard work of the Faiths’ many followers.
Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
Its justice is as lofty as it is profound and liberal.
17He measured its wall at 144 cubits—a measuring unit of a human-being (the one that is an Angel’s);
He reveals its Law as the Faiths’ many followers progressively perfecting standards, as the revelation of a believer (the one that is Baha’u’llah’s);
18Diamond the matrix of its wall,
Brilliant enduring justice the essence of its Law,
The city pure gold like clear glass,
Divine civilization shining the pure splendor of clear truth,
19The foundations of the wall of the city arrayed with all kinds of precious gemstone:
The basic teachings of the Law of divine civilization emanating teachings full of all kinds of superb strength:
The first foundation diamond,
Its 1st teaching, THE ONENESS OF HUMANITY, shining the enduring justice of brilliant diamond,
The second sapphire
Its 2nd teaching, THE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF TRUTH, freely soaring the true blue sapphire sky,
The third chalcedony,
Its 3rd teaching, THE UNITY OF SPIRITUAL REALITY, embracing the seven Faiths’ rainbow-colors in the purity of white chalcedony,
The fourth emerald,
Its 4th teaching, ALL TRUE RELIGIONS HAVE ONE FOUNDATION, uniting as flower colors with the leaf-green of emerald,
20The fifth sardonyx,
Its 5th teaching, RELIGION MUST ACCORD WITH SCIENCE, bonded as the layers of red and brown in sardonyx,
The sixth ruby,
Its 6th teaching, THE EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN, united as wings of the human bird with the loving ardor of red ruby,
The seventh chrysolite,
Its 7th teaching, THE ABANDONMENT OF ALL PREJUDICES,uniting the whole human spectrum through the green of chrysolite,
The eighth beryl,
Its 8th teaching, UNIVERSAL PEACE, through the harmony-green and the loyalty-blue of beryl,
The ninth topaz,
Its 9th teaching, UNIVERSAL EDUCATION, emanating the glory of global wisdom through the gold of topaz,
The tenth chrysoprase,
Its 10th teaching, MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM, cooperating in the harmony of all colors with the gray-green of chrysoprase,
The eleventh jacinth,
Its 11th teaching, A UNIVERSAL AUXILIARY LANGUAGE AND SCRIPT, connecting folk with the clarity of pink jacinth,
The twelfth amethyst;
Its 12th teaching, AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL,healing nations and ending war with the majesty of purple amethyst;
21The 12 gates as 12 pearls, each single gate from a single pearl;
The Faiths’ ways of loving wisdom their founders’ knowledge, each specific way bearing specific knowledge;
And the main-square of the city pure gold like transparent glass.
And the public domain of divine civilization shining the pure splendor of transparent truth.
22Yet within it I saw no Temple, for its Temple is the Almighty Lord God and the Ram.
Yet within it I saw no formal Religion of God, for its One Religion of God is the Almighty Lord God and the Bab.
23This city needs no sun or moonto light it, for the Glory of God has shone on it and its lamp is the Ram.
This divine civilization needs no Priests or rabbis, Bishops or priests, Ulema or cadis to teach it, for Baha’u’llah is teaching it, and its Revelator is the Bab.
24Nations shall walk by its light, and the rulers of the world shall bring their glory into it.
Nations shall progress through its teaching, and the leaders of the world shall bring their splendor into it.
25Its gates shall never close in 24 hours, for no night shall exist there.
Its ways of loving wisdom shall never fade in this Millennial Day, for no ignorance shall exist here.
26These gates shall draw the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
These ways of loving wisdom are beginning to draw the splendor and the honor of the nations into it.
27Nothing at all defiling and nobody doing anything vile or false shall ever enter it—just those listed in the Book of Life of the Ram.
Nothing at all impure and nobody dealing in anything vile or crooked shall ever live it—just folk known to be morally decent per the Bab.
Comments:
21.1–2: Divine Civilization’s New Heaven and New Earth: Heavenly Jerusalem is none other than divine civilizationThe first heaven and earth signify the former Law.…The teachings and the Law of God will entirely spread over the earth, and all men will enter the Cause of God, and the earth will be completely inhabited by believers; therefore, there will be no more sea, for the dwelling place and abode of man is the dry land.…The field of that Law will become the pleasure-ground of man…solid; the feet do not slip upon it.[1]. The new heaven and the new earth are come. By the term ‘earth’ is meant the earth of understanding and knowledge, and by ‘heavens’ the heavens of divine Revelation.
21.2: The Bride of New Jerusalem: The bride of Zion has appeared. The holy City, new Jerusalem, hath come down from on high in the form of a maid of heaven, veiled, beauteous, and unique…acclaiming, ‘This is the City of God and his Abode’. Behold the New Jerusalem…the great City of God.[2]
21.2, also 21.9–10, 22.17 & 19.7–9: Again, the promised bride Baha’u’llah marries his groom the Bab as his perfecting partner wife.[3] Further, when writ big as the Shechinah and Millennial Sabbath-Bride, the symbols of bride and New Jerusalem, overlap.
21.3: God Himself shall be with them calls up the traditional title EMANUEL(EM–ANU–ELmeaning God-With-Us), read as Jesus by Christians.
21.3 & 7: The God (HO THEOS) is the normal Greek phrase for God. Yet twice here, its respectful honorific The (HO) goes missing. Accordingly these occurrences of God render specially as “as God” and interpret Baha’u’llah mirroring God.[4]
21.4–5: God Omnipotent hath…made all things new.In this Day¼the earth is renewed.¼The time of former things is past and a new time has become manifest.[5]
21.4–5: He hath wiped away their tears, kindled their light, rejoiced their hearts and enraptured their souls. Death shall no more overtake them neither shall sorrow, weeping or tribulation afflict them.[6] The interpretive phrase kindle light is imported.
21.6: The seas of Divine wisdom and Divine utterance have risen and the Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life.…Hasten to drink your fill. How numerous are the thirsty ones who have panted after the fountain of Thy living waters,athirst of the fountain of the water of life.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.[7]
21.7: The victors who prevailed spiritually in Chapters 2–3 now receive their most glorious heritage. The Sabaean was already fed with the wisdom of later Faiths. The Jew is no longer hurt. The Zoroastrian learns the new name of Ahura Mazda. The Hindu assumes authority over nations. The Buddhist is honored for worthy deeds. The Christian promotes the Baha’i Faith. The Muslim opens Allah’s Baha’i Era.[8]
21.8 & 17: The one that is (ho estin) is an indeclinable idiom that qualifies nouns of any gender.[9]
21.9: Packing (masc.) qualifies Angels not pitchers (fem.).
21.10: As the falcon on the hand of the Almighty, Baha’u’llah teaches the knowledge of soaring to the heaven of truth.[10]
21.10: Isaiah hath announced…get thee up into the high mountain, where the Great City hath descended from heaven and Zion is re-vivified and rejoiced, by the appearance of the Manifestation of God.[11]
21.10–17: Truth…sheddeth its bounties through twelve stations of holiness…‌stainless and unsullied personages…proclaiming the oneness of God.…In the days of…Moses…twelve…leaders of the twelve tribes.…In the dispensation of…Christ…‌twelve Apostles.…In the days of Muhammad…twelve dawning-points of holiness [Imams].…Accordingly did Saint John the Divine tell of twelve gates…souls who are as guiding stars, as portals of knowledge and grace; and within these gates there stand twelve angels. By ‘angel’ is meant the power of the confirmations of God.… ‌The candle of God’s confirming power shineth out from the lamp-niche of those souls.…These twelve gates surround the entire world and are a shelter for all creatures.[12]
21.12, etc:The number 12 codes for Faiths generally and for specific aspects of them as 12 tribes, 12 stars, 12 Angels, 12 gates, 12 foundations, 12 thousand furlongs, 12 gemstones, and 12 pearls.
21.13The ambiguous apo before the gates, translating as from and to, describes loving wisdom leading both from and into divine civilization.
21.15: Baha’u’llah styled himself as the expected Builder of the Temple.[13]
21.16: 12,000 furlongs (1500 miles) not only acts as code but also proclaims the grandeur of the divine civilization of New Jerusalem.
21.17, also 7.4, 14.1 & 3: 144 cubits (72 yards, thickness not height) not only acts as code but also sounds the strength of divine civilization’s wall of Law, as well as being code.
21.18–19, also 12, 14–15 & 17: The Law of God protects the divine civilization of New Jerusalem, just as a wall of stone protects the city of Jerusalem.
21.19–20: These 12 gemstones and their teachings come close to those of Waite (diamond and ruby [14]replace her jasper and carnelian).
21.21, etc.: Pearls portray hidden knowledge. In the ocean of wordsare pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths, divinely revealed verses as a treasury of divine pearlsof [Baha’u’llah’s] knowledge and wisdom.Immerse yourself in this ocean of…words…unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom.[15] In vv. 17.4, 18.12 & 16 pearls depicted hidden negative knowledge interpreting as slickness.
21.22: The Temple has grown into New Jerusalem and is too vast to be seen.[16]
21.22–23: Baha’u’llah urges Jews to reflect upon the words of John, wherein he hath prophesied of the Holy City: ‘And I saw no Temple therein.…And the City had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it for the Glory of God (Baha’u’llah) did lighten it’.[17]
21.23: The Baha’i Faith has no clergy or communal prayer (except for the dead).
21.26, also 24: Baha’i monarchs include Queen Marie of Rumania and King Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa.


[1] Heavenly Jerusalem, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 102; the new heaven, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 3.12; by the term, Baha’u’llah KI 47–48; Quran 14.48; the first heaven, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 13.67
[2]The bride of Zion, Abdu’l-Baha, PUP20; the holy city, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 3.12; behold, the New Jerusalem, Baha’u’llah, Scriptures, Tablet to the Jews 47.116–17
[3] Baha’u’llah, Aqdas 141.70
[4] Incidentally, the third-person Greek HO (THE) is echoed by the old English vocativehonorific O, for example, in O God
[5] God Omnipotent, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 16 July, 1896 SWA 3.12, One of First General Messages to the Baha’is of America. SW 14.12.358 1924/3; in this Day, Baha’u’llah, Scriptures, Tablet to the Jews 47.117, originally to Eliahu Cohen, Taaje Wahhaj 28, compiled by Zabihullah Azizi; Amr va’l-Haqq 2.242–243; Bishaarat compiled by Hosaam Noqabaa’ee, also Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures 117
[6] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 16 July, 1896 SWA 3.12, One of First General Messages to the Baha’is of America. SW 14.12.358 1924/3
[7] The seas of, Baha’u’llah, PB 117 & Aqdas 2.20; how numerous, Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations 29.33; athirst of the, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Traveler’s Narrative 4, SWA 3.13; the state in which, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 10.38
[8] Most glorious heritage, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA3.13; The Sabaean was, Rev. 2.7, 11, 17, 26–28, 3.5, 12 & 21
[9] Aune, 52C 1112.8c–c
[10] Baha’u’llah, Scriptures 50.132
[11] Baha’u’llah, Scriptures, Tablet To An Oriental Jew 48.120
[12] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 142.165–66
[13] Baha’u’llah, Tablet to Hardegg 3.5–7
[14] Barstow-Lovejoy Archives manuscript #485–H: Shahnaz Waite, Lesson 10 of Twelve Lessons
[15] Baha’u’llah, KI 204; GWB 153.327; & PB 118–19, Aqdas 182.85
[16] Swete Apocalypse of St. John: Greek Text 286–92
[17] Baha’u’llah, Scriptures, Tablet to the Jews 47.117