Baha'u'llah's Family Line

Bible prophecy clearly states that the Messiah of the "last days" will be descended from David, the king of ancient Israel. Students of the Baha'i Faith will be interested to learn that Baha'u'llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith, is indeed descended from both the kings of ancient Persia and from the kings of ancient Israel.

The well known early Baha'i scholar, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, wrote that in his investigations of Baha'u'llah's family line he was impressed to learn that even the "severe and unsympathetic" critic of the Baha'i Faith Rida-Quli Khan-i-Hidayat had admitted in his book, "The Book of Ancestry", that Baha'u'llah was descended from Chosroes I, the renowned Sasananian monarch known as Adil (the Just). At another time Mirza Rida-Quli, Baha'u'llah's half brother, related to Mirza Abu'l-Fadl that their family possessed a genealogical chart which traced their family back to "Yasdigird the Sasanian" of the ancient Persian Empire.

The story of the Sasanian dynasty of kings can be easily found in the histories of ancient Persia. For example, among the genealogies published by the meticulous Moslem historian at-Tabari in his comprehensive history of prophets and kings was that of the Sasanian dynasty of Persian kings. It traces their lineage back to Sasan the Great, son of the legendary king, Bahman, and then further back to King Lohrasb, who lived shortly before the time of the Persian Prophet Zoroaster.

Of particular interest to Baha'is is at-Tabari's description of the mother of Sasan. He describes her as a descendant of the kings of Judah. At-Tabari wrote:

"the mother of Bahman's sons was the slave Rahab bint Pinchas, of the children of Rehoboam b. Solomon b. David. Bahman appointed Rahab's brother Zerubabel b. Shealtiel king over the Israelites... and returned him to Palestine, upon Rahab's request."

The details of Zerubabel's appointment allow us to unmistakably identify who Bahman really was. According to chapters 1 & 2 of the Book of Ezra the Persian king who appointed Zerubabel and ordered his return to Jerusalem was Cyrus the Great.

A Christian scholar of a later period confirmed the accuracy of at-Tabari's statement. Bar-Hebraeus who became the assistant patriarch of the Eastern Jacobite Church in Ahharbayjan wrote in 1264 AD:

"Cyrus the Persian reigned thirty one years, and conquered Iraq, Khurasan, Armenia, Syria and Palestine, and invaded India, killing their king. This Cyrus married the sister of Zerubabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah. And after he married her, she became highly esteemed in his sight, and he said to her, 'Ask of me whatever you want,' so she asked for the return of the children of Israel to Jerusalem and that he grant them permission to rebuild it..."

Furthermore, it was as a result of this intermarrying of Cyrus with the offspring of David that prompted Isaiah, the great Hebrew prophet, to write: "God said to his anointed (the word "anointed" in Greek is Christ) one, Cyrus, by whose right hand I have been strengthened..."

Another Arab historian named Mas'udi, noted for his impartiality in his writings, also affirmed that the mother of Sasan was Jewish. He wrote:

"The mother of Sasan the Great was from the captured children of Israel..."

In another place at-Tabari recorded the genealogy of Sasan's mother in even more detail:

"Sasan's mother was the daughter of Shealtiel b. Jochanan b. Oshia b. Amon b. Manasseh b. Hezekiah b. Ahaz b. Jotham b. Uzziah b. Joram b. Jehoshaphat b. Abijah b. Rehoboam b. Solomon b. David..."

This genealogy of Zerubabel agrees with the one found in the New Testament. Matthew 1:6-12 clearly establishes that Sasan's mother was both a direct descendant of King David of Judah and a direct descendant of Abraham.

To conclude, Sasan the Great's father was the Persian king Cyrus the Great and his mother was Rahab, a descendant of King David. Baha'u'llah, is a direct descendant of Sasan, and as a result his ancestry from the Sasananian kings of Persia, the Davidic line of kings of Israel and from the Hebrew patriarch Abraham can clearly be demonstrated.

The Jewish prophecies further predict that this King Messiah will be descended from King David. (see: Isaiah 11)

Baha'u'llah clearly fulfills the Messianic requirements of these religions. Most of the Zoroastrians of modern Persia have already become Baha'is. When will the followers of Judaism and the other religions realize that their Promised One has already come and follow their example?

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Joel Smith is a member of the Baha'i Faith living in the United States. This article has been adapted from an article written by Phil Turner. The opinions expressed in this article constitute Joel Smith's own personal understanding and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Baha'i Faith or its teachings.