ISAIAH and MICAH by Joel Smith

Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith, explicitly claimed to be the "redeemer" whose coming was foretold in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. Baha’u’llah (pronounced: ba HA’ oh LAH) wrote:

"I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned."-The Promised Day is Come, page 34

Is there any evidence to support such a claim? Is Baha’u’llah truly the Promised One? Let’s take a closer look at what Isaiah actually wrote to see how closely Baha’u’llah fits the description that Isaiah gives of the "redeemer".

The Old Testament Prophets Isaiah and Micah both lived in Israel sometime during the sixth century BC. Each wrote a book of prophecy. The Book of Isaiah and the Book of Micah are both so similar to each other in style and content that it almost seems that they were written by the same pen.

For example, speaking of the "last days" Micah 4:1 says: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains... and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more."

Compare this Micah passage with Isaiah 2:4 where it says: "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord... and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths... and he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

As you can see, these two statements are so similar that it would almost seem that they were written by the same person. It is for this reason that, in addition to the Book of Isaiah, I also am going to examine related material from the Book of Micah.

 The Books of Isaiah and Micah are two of the greatest books of prophecy in the Bible. Isaiah and Micah both lived in Israel sometime during the sixth century BC during one of the most turbulent times in the history of Israel. This was when Israel was about to conquered by a succession of foreign empires and most of the inhabitants of the Jewish kingdom were about to be dispersed among the nations.

In their books, these two Prophets of God looked beyond the tragic events that Israel was soon to face to a more hopeful time, far in the future, when God would send a "redeemer". They promise that this "redeemer" will gather the dispersed Jews back to Israel, "will magnify the law, and make it honorable" and will bring new teachings which will create a new system of government which will establish peace "even forever."

When the prophecies of the books of Isaiah and Micah are compared side by side we can see that they offer us an almost unmistakable picture of what the coming of the "redeemer" will be like.

Micah 7:2 laments: "The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men... the best of them is as a brier". Isaiah 2:21 wonders: "How is the faithful city become a harlot!" This is a sad commentary on the decline of the character of the people at a time when the religion of Judaism had become corrupted to the point that Isaiah refers to it as a "harlot".

When we compare these passages with Matthew 24 in the New Testament we can see that Jesus repeats these warnings. Jesus warns that because of "false teachers" arising from within the Church even the "elect" of Christianity shall become "deceived" by the last days.

These passages all speak of a people who had been led astray, a people who had lost the true teachings of God and who had violated the Covenant of God. Isaiah reassures us that God will not allow this violation of God's Covenant to continue forever. "The former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare... sing unto the Lord a new song... he will magnify the law, and make it honorable... I will do a new thing... shall ye not know it?" -Isaiah 42 (KJV)

Jesus affirms Isaiah’s promises by assuring us that the "redeemer" will make "all things new" and that He will give us a whole "new Jerusalem." All three promise that, like He has so many other times in the past, God will again send a redeemer. "As for our redeemer the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel." -Isaiah 47:4 (KJV)

The following section is a collection of some of the major themes found in Isaiah and Micah which help us to recognize when, where and how the "redeemer" will appear.

Both Isaiah and Micah identify the general time when this redeemer will appear.

Isaiah 2 promises: "It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established... and all nations shall flow unto it."

In Micah 4:1 we read: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains... and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths..."

These sentiments are echoed in the Book of Job where it says: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth..." -Job 19:25 (KJV)

"The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see..."-Isaiah 40:5

"The excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord ... [when] the ransomed of the Lord [the Jews] shall return." -Isaiah 35 (KJV)

Isaiah continues in this same passage by next identifying the "redeemer's" family line. He wrote: "there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse... and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding... with righteousness shall he judge..."-Isaiah 2 (KJV)

The "redeemer", "the glory of the Lord" will appear at Carmel and Sharon in the "last days". He will come from the family line of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

Isaiah continues by next describing an event which will unmistakably identify the time of the coming of the "redeemer". He wrote: "it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people... and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."-Isaiah 11 (KJV)

The redeemer will begin to "recover", "assemble" and "gather" the "dispersed" Jews back to Israel when he appears in the "last days."

We can be certain that the time we live in right now is the "last days" referred to in the prophecies because we know that the Jews have already returned to Israel. These prophecies have already been fulfilled! Their fulfillment began in the mid-1800s with the coming of Baha'u'llah, who is a direct descendant of Jesse and David and whose name, when translated into English, is "the Glory of God".

Isaiah continues by next telling us the direction from which the Messiah will come. He wrote: God "raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings..."-Isaiah 41:2 (KJV)

He continues: "I am God... calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man who executeth my judgment from a far country." -Isaiah 46 (KJV)

Similar statements can be found elsewhere in the Bible. For example, in Ezekiel 43 it says: "the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east... and the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east".

Baha'u'llah, the "glory of God", literally came to Israel from "the east" at the "time of the end" when the "dispersed of Judah" were beginning to return to Israel "from the four corners of the earth."

Isaiah next promises that the "redeemer" will appear with a "new name." He wrote: "I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." -Isaiah 56

Again he promises: "thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name." -Isaiah 62 And again he warned: "ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee and call his servants by another name." -Isaiah 65 (KJV)

Some Christians assert that the redeemer's new name is Jesus. This might have been true if it weren't for the fact that Jesus did not appear in the "last days" at a time when the Jews began to return to Israel. And also if for the fact that Jesus also promised that he too will have a "new name" when he returns.

Jesus promised: "Him that overcometh... I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." -Revelation 3:12 (KJV) Jesus repeats this same promise of a "new name" two other times in this same book. (See Rev 2 and Rev 19)

When the "redeemer" comes to Israel from the "east" he will have a "new name." His "servants" shall be called "by another name." He will make "all things new." We will get a "New Jerusalem" which will also come with a "new name."

Baha'u'llah, whose name in English, is translated as "the glory of God", came to Israel from the "east" at a time when the "dispersed" Jews began to return to Israel and his voluminous writings have created a "New Jerusalem"... a new system of religious belief and practice.

Isaiah began by telling us where the Messiah will come from. He wrote that the redeemer would come to Israel from the east. Next, Isaiah continues by telling us the place where the Messiah will come to.

He wrote: "The excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord ... [when] the ransomed of the Lord [the Jews] shall return." -Isaiah 35 (KJV)

In another place in his book Isaiah repeats this same promise: "Sharon shall be a fold of flocks and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in for my people that have sought me." -Isaiah 65 (KJV)

In these two passages, Isaiah has described a very specific area of Israel. He says that "the glory of the Lord" will come to "Carmel", "Sharon" and "Achor". The city which was known in ancient times as Achor (also spelled Acre), today is called Akka. The city of Akka is located at the foot of Mt. Carmel in Israel and both Akka and Mt. Carmel are situated on the plain of Sharon. As you can see, Isaiah was very specific about where the Messiah will appear. He said that the redeemer will come to Akka and Mt. Carmel.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus reveals that the great conflict, which will rage around the Messiah in the "last days", will take place at Armageddon. In the Hebrew language the word for mountain is HAR, while the word MEGEDDON refers to the city of Megiddo. In other words the word Armageddon literally means the mountain of Megiddo. The city of Megiddo is located just a couple of miles inland from the city of Akka. The mountain which is located right next to Megiddo is Mt. Carmel. Mt. Carmel is the Armageddon... the mountain of Megiddo and, according to Jesus, this is where the Messiah is supposed to appear.

In Islam there is an ancient prophecy which states: "Ere long God will shine from the face of the Glory of the most Glorious with the name of Baha on the day of absolute in the plain of Akka." -Dala'il'u'l-Irfan

According to this explicit Islamic prophecy, the Promised One will come to "Akka" and his name will be "Baha" The name Baha means Glory. So, according to these prophecies, the Promised One with the "new name" of "Baha" will come to "Akka," "Mt. Carmel" and the "plain of Sharon". Each of these prophecies, point by point, were explicitly fulfilled by Baha'u'llah.

Isaiah warned that, just like every other time God has sent his "manifestation" in the past, in this age also (the "last days") there will again be people who will oppose the Messiah when he appears. Isaiah wrote: "Woe to the rebellious children... that take counsel, but not of me... this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord. Which say... Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; Get you out of the way... cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." -Isaiah 30 (KJV)

When Baha'u'llah began to teach, the rulers and religious leaders opposed him. They caused the "Holy One of Israel to cease from before" them by sending Baha'u'llah to the prison city of Akka in Israel.

The city of Akka, in the middle of the 1800s (at the time when the Jews began to return to Israel) , was the most desolate prison of the Ottoman Empire. The entire city was a prison. Life there was so disease infested and so harsh that there was a saying that a bird who flew over Akka would die. Similarly, people who were sent to this hellhole usually also died.

Akka was where Isaiah said the "redeemer" would come... apparently as a prisoner. Isaiah wrote of the treatment that the Messiah would receive in this prison. He wrote: "many were astonished at (him), his visage was so marred." -Isaiah 52 (KJV)

"He is despised and rejected of men... he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities... he was taken from prison (Akka) ... for he was cut off out of the land of the living... thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed (his children), he (God) shall prolong his days." -Isaiah 53 (KJV)

According to these passages, the Messiah will suffer greatly in prison... so greatly that his friends and family will be astonished by his bruises, his wounds and his marred appearance. Isaiah promises, however, that despite his sufferings, the Messiah will live to see his children and that God "shall prolong his days"... the "redeemer" will have a long life.

Did Baha'u'llah do these things? Yes, he did!

At this point I am going to temporarily depart from this commentary on Isaiah to examine related messianic prophecies found in the book of Micah.

In the last chapter of his book, Micah gives us one of the most detailed and explicit descriptions of the coming of the Promised One ever recorded.

Micah 7:12 promises: "In that day also he (the Promised One) shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river , and from sea to sea , and from mountain to mountain . Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvelous things."

This passage explicitly foretold Baha'u'llah's coming to Israel. Micah told us where he will come from, where he will go to, the route that he will take on his way to Israel, what he will do when he gets there and even the length of time that he will teach.

As we begin to take a look at this prophecy point by point, keep in mind that it was given approximately 2700 years before these events actually happened.

Next, Isaiah promises that the Messiah will both renew religion and reveal "new things." He wrote: "the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare... sing unto the Lord a new song... he will magnify the law, and make it honorable... I will do a new thing... shall ye not know it?" -Isaiah 42-3 (KJV)

In the Book of Revelation we find a scene where the Messiah is pictured as unsealing a scroll sealed with seven seals. The prophet Daniel similarly wrote that the "books are sealed unto the time of the end" at which time the Messiah will come to unseal them. According to this prophecy, religion will be renewed, new things will be revealed and the meanings of the books and the prophecies will be "unsealed." This unsealing, renewing of God's religion and the revealing of "new things" is what is meant by the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven. Baha'u'llah, in his writings, has done all of these things.


Isaiah tells us that this new era which will be ushered in by the Messiah will, on one hand, be characterized by turmoil, upheaval, wars and great suffering. But, he also promises that these birth pangs will culminate in a world where: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" -Isaiah 2 (KJV)

Isaiah continues by speaking of the people who formerly were wandering blind by saying: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light... for unto us a child is born... and his name shall be called... The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace... and the government shall be upon his shoulder... of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end..." -Isaiah 9 (KJV)

Isaiah concludes his book by announcing: "I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory... all flesh (shall) come to worship before thee." -Isaiah 66 (KJV)

Baha'u'llah explicitly claimed to be the redeemer whose coming was foretold by Isaiah. He wrote:

"I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned." -The Promised Day is Come, page 34

Although the Books of Isaiah and Micah were written over 2600 years ago, they clearly foretold the life and the teachings of Baha'u'llah. Baha'u'llah came with a "new name." Baha'u'llah's name in English means the "Glory of God." (His name is pronounced bah HA' oh LAH) Baha'u'llah's people are called by a new name. They are called Baha'i... followers of Baha.

Baha'u'llah was born to the "east" of Israel in the land of Persia. He is a member of one of the oldest royal families in the world and he is descended from both the Persian kings (as foretold by the prophet Zoroaster) and from Abraham and Jesse, the father of King David. Baha'u'llah was royalty. He literally was a prince- the Prince of Peace.

The fanatical Islamic clergy and government leaders- the "beast" of the Book of Revelation, despised Baha'u'llah and conspired to destroy him. Even though he committed no crime, they had him arrested. He was beaten until he was bruised and bloody. He was thrown into a black pit dungeon-- an underground prison almost unimaginable in its disgusting circumstances. It was dark, cold, vermin infested and it had no sanitary facilities. His enemies placed Baha'u'llah in special chains that were reserved for the worst criminals of the realm. These chains weighed over one hundred pounds apiece. They cut deeply into Baha'u'llah's shoulders and neck and scarred him for life. Baha'u'llah's health deteriorated so much in the dungeon that he almost died. His visage was so marred that his young son had difficulty recognizing him.

The Islamic clergy, at this time, had decreed that membership in this new religion was a crime punishable by death. The Islamic clergy and government leaders not only conspired to kill the Bab, Baha'u'llah's forerunner, but they eventually killed more than 20,000 innocent believers. Many were put to death in the most fiendishly imaginative ways. And yet, despite these persecutions, Baha'u'llah's fame increased and this new religion continued to grow.

As a result, Baha'u'llah's enemies, in an attempt to limit his growing popularity, exiled him away from his home country. Baha'u'llah eventually was forced to travel over 3000 miles on these exiles. His enemies eventually sent him to the most foul and desolate prison in the Ottoman Empire. They sent him to the prison city of Akka, in Israel. It was their hope that Baha'u'llah would die in this horrible prison and that he would be forgotten. Instead, by sending Baha'u'llah to Israel, his enemies unknowingly fulfilled the ancient Bible prophecies of Isaiah, Micah and the other Prophets. Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God, came to Akka, Israel from the east involuntarily as a prisoner and an exile.

Life was extremely harsh in the prison city. Baha'u'llah's young son and several of Baha'u'llah's companions died from the conditions of Akka. Baha'u'llah himself suffered terribly and at times, it seemed that he too would perish. This, however, was not to happen. After all, if you recall, Isaiah promised that the Messiah would endure these hardships, come out of the prison, live to see his seed (children) and live to an old age. After spending years in Akka, Baha'u'llah eventually did come out of this prison. He and his children then pitched his tent on Mt. Carmel overlooking Akka to the north and the plain of Sharon to the south. Baha'u'llah spent the rest of his forty year long ministry as a prisoner near Akka. As Isaiah promised, God prolonged Baha'u'llah's days. Baha'u'llah lived to be 75 years old.

It was as a prisoner that Baha'u'llah wrote the new teachings that magnify the law and make it honorable. He also created the new government whose increase will see no end as promised by Isaiah. The supreme governing body of Baha'u'llah's new world order is called the Universal House of Justice.

When we compare the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah with the life story of Baha'u'llah, we can see that Baha'u'llah clearly fulfills each and every one of them. And this is just a small fragment of the prophecies which were fulfilled by Baha'u'llah.

Ask yourself, what are the mathematical odds that a man could appear at the exact time that was predicted, that he could literally fulfill dozens of specific prophecies concerning his life and his teachings and that he could give birth to a religion which today encompasses all the nations, races and tribes of the earth... what are the odds that Baha'u'llah could do all of these things and yet still be false?

Could Baha'u'llah truly be the Promised One whose coming was foretold by Isaiah, Micah and the other Hebrew Prophets? Is he the One who, as Jesus said, was supposed to come unexpectedly as a "thief in the night"? This is a question that each individual needs to carefully consider and to answer for themselves. Keep in mind though that Micah prophesied that people would initially turn a deaf ear to the redeemer's message. Consider also Isaiah’s statement: "I will do a new thing... shall ye not know it?" -Isaiah 43 (KJV)

If this story is true... "shall ye not know it?"

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Joel Smith is a member of the Baha'i Faith living in the United States. The opinions expressed in this article constitute his own personal understanding and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Baha'i Faith or its teachings.