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Various Letters and Addresses : Explanation of Tablet of Wisdom - to Rosenburg
Abdu'l-Bahá to Ethel Rosenberg

Authorized translation of unpublished Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

to Ethel

Rosenberg in 1906 in reply to her questions about the Tablet of Wisdom. Research

Department, Bahá'í World Centre. Published pp 78-81 in Ethel Jenner

Rosenberg, the Life and Times of England's Outstanding Bahá'í Pioneer

Worker, by Robert Weinberg (George Ronald, Oxford,

The Rosenberg Tablet
He is God!
O thou dear handmaid of God!

Thy letter dated 6 April 1906 hath been received. Thou hast written that

Mrs______ hath regained her health. God be praised, this daughter of the

Kingdom hath attained unto spiritual health. A disaster to the body, when

spiritual health is present, is of no importance. That is the main thing.

God be thanked, she hath attained that great bestowal; she hath taken on

immortal life.

It is to be regretted, however, that her husband is still wrapped in the

veils of his idle imaginings. If her dear daughter _______be trained

according to the instructions of God, she will grow to be a peerless

plant in the garden of the heart. It is incumbent upon the father to

choose for his daughter the glory that dieth not. Nevertheless, this is

up to him; he may educate her in any way he desireth.

As to what thou didst ask regarding the history of the philosophers:

history, prior to Alexander of Greece, is extremely confused, for it is a

fact that only after Alexander did history become an orderly and

systematized discipline. One cannot, for this reason, rely upon

traditions and reported historical events that have come down from before

the days of Alexander. This is a matter thoroughly established, in the

view of all authoritative historians. How many a historical account was

taken as fact in the eighteenth century, yet the opposite was proven true

in the nineteenth. No reliance, then, can be placed upon the traditions

and reports of historians which antedate Alexander, not even with regard

to ascertaining the lifetimes of leading individuals.

Wherefore ye should not be surprised that the Tablet of Wisdom is in

conflict with the historical accounts. It behoveth one to reflect a while

on the great diversity of opinion among historians, and their

contradictory accounts; for the historians of East and West are much at

odds, and the Tablet of Wisdom was written in accordance with certain

histories of the East.

Furthermore, the torah, held to be the most ancient of histories,

existeth today in three separate versions: the Hebrew, considered

authentic by the Jews and the Protestant clergy; the Greek Septuagint,

which was used as authoritative in the Greek and other eastern churches;

and the Samaritan Torah, the standard authority for that people. These

three versions differ greatly, one from another, even with regard to the

lifetimes of the celebrated figures.

In the Hebrew Torah, it is recorded that from Noah's flood until the

birth of Abraham there was an interval of two hundred and ninety-two

years. In the Greek, that time span is given as one thousand and

seventy-two years, while the Samaritan, the recorded span is nine hundred

and forty-two years. Refer to the commentary by Henry Westcott [the

transliteration of this name is not certain] for tables are supplied

therein which show the discrepancies among the three Torahs as to the

birthdate of a number of the descendants of Shem, and thou wilt see how

greatly the versions differ from one another.

Moreover, according to the text of the Hebrew Torah, from the creation of

Adam until Noah's flood the elapsed time is recorded as one thousand six

hundred and fifty-six years, while in the Greek Torah the interval is

given as two thousand two hundred and sixty-two years, and in the

Samaritan text, the same period is said to have lasted one thousand three

hundred and seven years.

Reflect now over the discrepancies among these three Torahs. The case is

indeed surprising. The Jews and Protestants belittle the Greek Torah,

while to the Greeks the Hebrew version is spurious, and the Samaritans

deny both the Hebrew and the Greek versions.

Our purpose is to show that even in Scriptural history, the most

outstanding of all histories, there are contradictions as to the time

when the great ones lived, let alone as to the dates related to others.

And furthermore, learned societies in europe are continually revising the

existing records, both of East and West. In spite of this, how can the

confused accounts of peoples dating from before Alexander be compared

with the Holy Text of God? If any scholar expresses astonishment, let him

be surprised at the discrepancies in Scriptural history.

Nevertheless, Holy Writ is authoritative, and with it no history of the

world can compare, for experience hath shown that after investigation of

the facts and a thorough study of ancient records and corroborative

evidence, all establish the validity of God's universal Manifestation;

once His claim proveth true, then whatsoever He may choose to say is

right and correct.

The histories prior to Alexander, which were based on oral accounts

current among the people, were put together later on. There are great

discrepancies among them, and certainly they can never hold their own

against the Holy Writ. It is an accepted fact among historians themselves

that prior to this time history was transmitted by word of mouth. Note

how extremely confused was the history of Greece, so much so that to this

day there is no agreement on the dates related to the life of Homer,

Greece's far-famed poet. Some even maintain that Homer never existed at

all, and that the name is a fabrication.

It is my hope that through the favour and grace of the Abha Beauthy,

thou wilt fully recover thy health, and engage in serving the Cause with

all thy might. I am aware that thou art much afflicted, and in extreme

distress; but if we taste a drop from affliction's cup, the Blessed

Beauty drank down a sea of anguish, and once we call this to mind, then

every hardship turneth into peaceful rest, and toil into merciful bliss.

Then will a draught of agony be but a refreshing wine, and the tyrant's

wound only a friend's most gentle balm. Greetings be unto thee, and

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