Tablet of Joseph

A translation of the Tablet of Joseph appears in a 1904 compilation of the writings. The details of the publication in which the translation appears and an approximate facsimile of the translation are at the Baha'i Library Online at

Because the translation is an early one and has been done by someone for whom English is a second language, it is difficult to pick out the meaning in places. Therefore, I have edited it a bit to make it easier to read. I have changed the paragraphing, spelling and punctuation and edited a few words. The English is still a bit odd in places.

Tablet of Joseph
by Baha'u'llah

Translated by Anton Haddad

[1] The Tongue of God utters (this) in Persian words: O Joseph! My demonstration was brought to its fullness and completion for all who are in heaven and on earth before I made Myself known, because it appeared in such a wonderful condition that no one could find a way to delay or oppose.

[2] Meditate upon the nations of former ages and why they were excluded from approaching the shore of God and prevented from [approaching?] the Beauty of His Eternal Majesty. If thou lookest with clear insight (iron sight), thou wilt perceive that all are deprived of the bounty of God on account of the veils of words, imaginations, and invented proofs. In the Day of God, though the Beauty of God was like the sun in heaven, shining and radiating, still they were veiled on account of their superstitions and imaginations. Notwithstanding that they had been commanded in all the tablets not to cling to anything created between earth and heaven in the time of the Manifestation, but to adhere only to the root of the Cause and that which is manifested through Him, yet they deviated from the right path and adhered to the idea that the way to know God (Who is exalted and holy above all) depends upon believing or disbelieving the people. Woe upon them, being remote from God because of their willingness to know God through that which is beside Him! This is impossible because the Ancient Essence is known (only) by Himself, and all things that are known are made possible (only) through that which flows from the Pen of His command. Exalted is He, that He should be known through that which is beside Him, because, verily, all else but Him was created as thou art.

[3] In this Day, all those on earth and in heaven are viewed (by God) as being in one region. Every soul that is wholly cut from all else save God and is soaring to the heaven of the knowledge of God is, and will be, of those who are faithful to God and of His saints, even though they should not be known by others. And the soul that rejects will be considered as one of the lowest of the creatures in the sight of God, even though he should be of the chiefs among the people, because God (exalted is His mention) hath never been and never will be related or attributed to any one of the creatures. All people were created alike by the breath of His order, and loftiness, exaltation and abasement appeared among the people after they had been created. Every soul who accepts the Word of God while hearing it, verily, is of the inhabitants of the Supreme Kingdom and of the confirmed ones in the Paradise of Abha, and those who do not (accept) are mentioned as the people of Hades.

[4] In this Day, he who desires to be in relationship with the Tree of the Cause must withdraw himself from all that is in heaven and upon earth and advance toward the great Aspect with a pure and shining heart and a sanctified soul. If any soul desires to know God (exalted is His majesty) through other means, he will never succeed and will never understand, because all beside Him are limited with (evident) limitations of possibilities and are brought into existence by (His) power of creation. Through that which is created and limited, the Essence of the Ancient was not and never will be known.

[5] Hear the lordly commandments and the tones of the Eternal Holiness and turn from the left hand of uncertainty and superstition to the right hand of assurance. Ponder carefully with thine insight upon the godly Manifestations and the conditions of Eternal Holiness. Cleanse the eye from unsatisfying views that thou mayest see the Manifestations of the Majestic Oneness in everything. Purify thine ear from the saying[s] of all the people, that thou mayest hear the holy and godly tones from all directions. Sanctify thy heart from the confused, wordy allusions of the past, that thou mayest perceive the plain, direct, wonderful words revealed and victoriously succeed to the stream of Eternal Holiness and the pure wine that has no likeness. This is the command of Jamal el Quedam (The Beauty of the Ancient) to thee.

[6] Concerning what thou hast asked as to the beginning of the creation, its end, assembling, resurrection, path, paradise and fire, know verily that all are true and there is no doubt about them. He who is faithful and has clear insight can see with his inward and outward eyes all these ranks and stations in every time, because such a one will not be, in any time, prevented from the bounty nor excluded from what he wishes. If thou soarest unto the heaven of godly bounty, thou shalt see the Sign of God manifested in all manners of things brought into existence in every time, whether of the past or the future, because, verily, the bounty of God hath never been nor ever will be specialised in any one thing.

[7] The explanation of what God intended by the (words) 'assembling', 'resurrection', 'paradise', 'fire', etc, which are mentioned in the godly tablets, is found only and especially at the time of the Manifestation. For example, at the time of the Manifestation, the Tongue of God utters the Word and, through the Word that comes forth from his mouth, the paradise, fire, assembling, resurrection, oath, and all that thou hast asked, and that which thou hast not, will be disclosed and manifested. Every soul who sincerely accepts the Word (of God) hath, verily, passed through the (right path) and succeeded in approaching the paradise of (God's pleasure) and hath assembled with those who are near to God --- the chosen ones. He, in the presence of God, will be considered as one of the inhabitants of the paradise and of the confirmed ones of the Supreme Kingdom. Every soul that rejects is in [the] fire and considered as one of those who is in relationship with denial and Sejjin (Hades) and assembled in the shadow of the polytheists. That which has (just) been mentioned represents all these stations, which in the time of the Manifestation appear through the Word.

[8] But the souls who succeed in attaining the pleasure of God and believing in His Cause will gain the reward for their deeds in the world to come, after their spirits leave their bodies. Because all seen things in this world are not ready (nor able) to bear more than that (which has been given to them). Though the worlds of God are circulating around this world, yet for each soul in any of these worlds (there is) a fixed and preordained command. Do not think (or imagine) that anything mentioned in the Books of God is false or foolish; (verily), God is exalted above all that.

[9] I swear by the Sun of the horizon of the meanings that there are forever and ever many godly paradises that have no equal nor comparison. In (this), the first life, the meaning of 'paradise' is pleasing God and (believing) entering His Cause! But after departing from this world, the faithful ones will enter into paradises that have no likeness and will enjoy winning graces that are beyond comprehension. Verily, those paradises are the fruits of their deeds, which they have accomplished in this world. Dost thou not see that if any one of God's creatures serves another or performs work for him, he receives his reward and compensation for it? Then how can it be said that the All-Generous commandeth his creatures (to do according to) His ordinances and, after that, excludeth them from His mercy? Praised is He, and praised is He about [above?] that; exalted is He and exalted is He above what the creatures imagine about Him! In this Day, all these ranks (asked about) are witnessed. Therefore, the soul is blessed who victoriously succeedeth in attaining the Paradise of Abha, which is, was and ever will be the supreme of all paradises.

[10] If purified ears and matured souls shall be found, then continuous mention shall be made of that which is from the wonderful bounty of God, that all may be purified and emptied of all that they perceived, understood or witnessed and advance toward the highest Aspect. But of what benefit is this! Since, through all the training of the Point of the Bayan (the souls of all beside Him be a sacrifice for Him!), these creatures have not progressed from the seed to the first station of the embryo. Therefore, when will they reach the condition of the body? And beside all these, there are several stations that have not been mentioned. Woe upon those who changed the grace of God that was bestowed upon them so that, by their being in existence, the heaven of meanings was prevented from mentioning them (the stations) and their conditions! Thus, ponder carefully upon the condition of these creatures and be one of the witnesses.

[11] The paradise and the fire in the apparent life were and will ever be the acceptance and the rejection. After the ascension of the spirit, there are paradises that have no equal and also fire that has no likeness, which are the fruits of the deeds of the advancer and the opposer, who will be in such condition. But no soul understood or ever will understand these stations save God. And for the faithful one (the believer), many stations were created above what was heard. This is from the wonderful gifts of God, which are prepared in the Paradise of Everlasting Majesty. In the same way, stations were created for the denier of eternal and everlasting torment beyond what was heard.

[12] Hereby, We bear witness that the path is lifted up in truth, the balance is laid in justice, the Manifestations assembled, the hidden issues disclosed, the clarion pealed, the trumpet sounded, the fire burst forth, the paradise brought nearer, the proclaimer announced, the heavens rolled together as a scroll, the ground leveled, the breeze of God wafted, the spirit of God sent, the beauteous damsels adorned, the youths beautified, the mansions assured, the securities of the upper apartments (of paradise) inlaid with precious stones, the waters spilt over, the fruits hung low (so as to be easily gathered), the fruits plucked, the texts revealed, the deeds of the deniers effaced, the deeds of the advancers confirmed, the tablet that was kept in heaven manifested in truth, the written tablet pronounced with authority, and the Desired One of all existence, the Beloved of all creatures, the Worshipped of those on earth and in heaven, hath been manifested in the Temple of a Youth, while the tongue of everything declares, "Verily, blessed is God, the Creator of the creators."

[13] O My servant! O Joseph! hear the tones of God and do not compare this Day with any other day, neither the wonderful sweet words of God with any other words. Look to the apparent matters with thine own eye and do not follow anyone in knowing the greatest and brilliant Orb.

[14] In this Day, the beloved of God must not hesitate or delay an instant in teaching the Cause of the Manifestation and must summon the people continually, with good admonitions and conciliatory words, to the religion of Majestic Oneness. Because, verily, in this Day, for the soul who is the cause of guidance to another soul, the recompense of a martyr in the way of God will be assuredly recorded by the Pen of the Cause for his deed. This is from the bounty of God unto the (servants) teachers. Do according to what thou hast been commanded and do not be of those who tarry.

[15] El-Baha is upon thee and upon those who are with thee, if thou art steadfast in this sublime and most exalted Cause.

Go to the original blog entry...