There's something about Gabriel

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Ahanu, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    What's going on with Gabriel? How did this angel become associated with the Holy Spirit and revelation?

    Thus at the hour when Muḥammad, that divine Beauty, purposed to unveil one of the mysteries hidden in the symbolic terms “resurrection,” “judgment,” “paradise,” and “hell,” Gabriel, the Voice of Inspiration, was heard saying: “Erelong will they wag their heads at Thee, and say, ‘When shall this be?’ Say: ‘Perchance it is nigh.’"
    -Baha'u'llah

    Look at the Mosaic cycle: The Lord, and Moses, and the Fire (i.e., the burning bush), the Intermediary; and in the Mohammedan cycle: The Lord, the Apostle (or Messenger, Mohammed), and Gabriel (for, as the Mohammedans believe, Gabriel brought the Revelation from God to Mohammed).
    -Abdu'l-baha

    Henry Corbin provides a clue:

    See Angelmorphic Christology for details:

    The name of the other well-known principal angel, Gabriel, means "Man of God" or "Power of God" or "God has shown himself mighty".28 The last six chapters of Daniel are central to discussions of Gabriel and undoubtedly contributed to the growth of traditions about this angel. Although Michael is mentioned in these chapters, it is Gabriel who is prominently visible and active as the angelus interpres for the visions that Daniel receives (7.16-18, 23-27; 8. 15-26; 9.21-27; 10.4- 12.13). Gabriel is not specifically identified as the one with whom Daniel talked in Dan 7. 16-27 and 10.5-12.13. Nevertheless, because of his interpretations and appearance in Daniel 8-9 where he is identified by name (8.16; 9.2 1), it is reasonable to conclude that he is the interpreter of these scenes as well.29

    Because the angel in Daniel 10- 12 can be identified as Gabriel, the exalted description given of him at the beginning of this vision deserves special attention:

    [ 1 0.4] On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, [5] I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz. [6] His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the noise of a multitude.

    This is a very special angelomorphic figure. On account of the indisputable links with the appearance of the Glory in Ezek 1.26-28 and 8.2, Gabriel may appear like the Glory in Ezekiel in order to emphasize his exalted status or he may have been understood to be the Glory of Ezekiel.3° One of the primary descriptions of Gabriel in Daniel 10-12, however, is his linen clothing ( 10.5; 12.6, 7). This is the distinguishing feature of the angelomorphic figure with the writing case in Ezekiel 9- 10 who supervises the six destroying angels (9.2, 3, 1 1; 10.2, 6, 7). Perhaps the best way to understand Gabriel's splendor in Daniel 10 is to see it as a phenomenon similar to Ezek 8.2. There a very exalted angelomorphic figure, which one would expect to see upon the divine throne, functions as a revealer.31 This understanding of Gabriel being identified as the Glory has led to the possibility of the rather controversial interpretation identifying Gabriel as the "one like a son of man" of Dan 7.13.32.

    Gabriel's role as a revealer in Daniel is performed in response to Daniel's fervent prayer and fasting. Gabriel's revelatory activity is related to his role as an intercessory angel because he is one of the archangels. Gabriel is entrusted, however, with a unique activity according to 1 Enoch:

    [ 40.6] And the third voice I heard interceding and praying on behalf of those who dwell upon the earth and supplicating in the Name of the Lord of the Spirits. [ 40.9] The third, who is set over all exercise of strength, is Gabriel [ ... ].

    One may feasibly argue that Gabriel became known as the angelus interpres who responded to prayer with revelation. If he was the angel who gave interpretation to Daniel, he would understandably be looked upon as the spiritual being who had revealed prophecy to other prophets of God. We see Jewish traditions about Gabriel developed in this particular manner in Jewish Christianity, Mandeism, Manicheism, and Islam.33
     
  2. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Here is part of the hadith describing Muhammad's meeting with earlier prophets:

    "While I was lying down at alHatim [a wall on the northwest side of the Kaaba] someone came to me and made a split from here to here (meaning from the pit of his cheat to the hair below his navel), then took out my bean. I was next brought a gold dish full of faith, and my heart was washed, then filled up and put back.... I was then brought a beast smaller than a mule and larger than a donkey, which was white, was called alBuraq, and stepped a distance equal to the range of its vision. I was mounted on it, and Gabriel went with me till he came to the lowest heaven. He asked that the gate be opened. When he was asked who he was, he replied that he was Gabriel. He was asked who was with him. He replied that it was Muhammad. He was asked whether he had been sent for. When he replied that he had been, the words were uttered, "Welcome; his coming is good," and the gate was opened. When I entered Adam was there, and Gabriel said, "This is your father Adam, so give him a salutation." I did so, and when he had returned my salutation he said, "Welcome to the good son and the good prophet." Gabriel then took me up till he came to the second heaven."
    According to this text, Muhammad meets Jesus is in the second heaven.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  3. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    In the above hadith Gabriel acts as a guide to heaven.

    More on angels as guides in ascents to heaven

    "In the first-century CE Apocalypse of Abraham 10.3,8, Yahoel is the angel whom God sends to Abraham after he rejects the idol-worship of his father; he ultimately guides his ascent to heaven."
    -Rebecca Lesses, "Supernatural Beings"

    In Islam the angel Gabriel is said to be the Holy Spirit. Note the Holy Spirit at times displays angel-like characteristics in early Christianity.

    And see how the Holy Spirit is described in early Syriac Christianity with Aphrahat the Persian Sage:

    The Persian Sage was later criticized for his views concerning the Holy Spirit:

     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Abdul-Baha is quoted in the magazine "Star of the West" explaining the trinity:

    "Then he explained in detail the puzzling question of the "Trinity" and demonstrated from both a scientific and religious standpoint that "trinity" not only exists in every religion, but in philosophy as well. In the Mosaic dispensation there was (1) Elohim, the " I AM", (2) the burning bush and (3) Moses; in Christianity, (1) the Father, (2) the Holy Ghost and (3) the Son; in Islám, Alláh, Gabriel and Muhammad. In philosophy we say, the mover, the motion and the moved; the cause of causes, the cause and the effect; the Illuminator, the illumination and the illuminated; the Creator, the creation, the created; the teacher, the knowledge, the student; the Giver of bounty, the bounty, and the recipient of the bounty. In principle, every religionist believes in this explanation in so far as it applies to the founder of his own faith; but when this same principle is applied to the founder of another religion, he refuses to accept it. Thus, while they are agreed as to reality, they disagree in mere names and historical personalities."

    (SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 7)

    Another reference is found in the "Dawn Breakers":

    'This Revelation, so suddenly and impetuously thrust upon me, came as a thunderbolt which, for a time, seemed to have benumbed my faculties.[1] I was blinded by its dazzling splendour and overwhelmed by its crushing force. Excitement, joy, awe, and wonder stirred the depths of my soul. Predominant among these emotions was a sense of gladness and strength which seemed to have transfigured me. How feeble and impotent, how dejected and timid, I had felt previously! Then I could neither write nor walk, so tremulous were my hands and feet. Now, however, the knowledge of His Revelation had galvanised my being. I felt possessed of such courage and power that were the world, all its peoples and its potentates, to rise against me, I would, alone and undaunted, withstand their onslaught. The universe seemed but a handful of dust in my grasp. I seemed to be the Voice of Gabriel personified, calling unto all mankind: "Awake, for lo! the morning Light has broken. Arise, for His Cause is made manifest. The portal of His grace is open wide; enter therein, O peoples of the world! For He who is your promised One is come!"

    Mulla Husayn reflecting on the night of the Declaration of the Bab in 1260 AH/1844

    (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 63)
     
  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Some sources in Islam identify Gabriel as a Christian named Bahira:

    “The Imam of the period into which Muhammad was born is identified as Bahira, a figure known in Islamic sources as a Christian monk who saw Muhammad while he was a youth on a trading mission with his uncle in Syria and recognized that he would become a Prophet… The Imam Bahira commanded the Prophet to undertake the mission on behalf of the Messiah (al-masih). When Muhammad successfully garnered seventy male missionaries and one female from the Tihama and Ethiopia, Bahira surrendered the command to him. Thus the legacy of prophecy that was his bequest from Isaac was transferred to him from a Christian monk, just as Muhammad had received the legacy of Imamate originating from Isma‘il through his uncle, Abu Talib… Now, according to the logic of Isma‘ili hiero-history, it is perfectly correct for Muhammad to have been reared in the mission of Jesus, for it is Jesus who was the previous speaker-prophet, and his law was still operative. Still, it is surprising that Ja‘far’s account goes to some length to emphasize that Muhammad began his career as a disciple of Jesus. In one ta’wil Ja‘far mentions that Muhammad studied with Bahira for twenty years, and that Bahira was referred to in the sources as the Angel Gabriel.”

    – David Hollenberg, Beyond the Qur’ān (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2016), 97-98​

    This may be Islam's connection to Jesus' successor: James the brother of Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  6. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Though arthra would find compelling...
    excerpt:
    At one point, though, something that India rejected took hold in the West. This something accounts for the major differences between Western and Vedic theology. This something is Zoroastrianism. It is at once the tie that binds the Western religious heritage and Vedic dharma, and the point at which they departed from one another.

    Zoroastrianism is an ancient doctrine of “theological dualism” propagated in Persia at some unknown date by the prophet Zarathushtra. Theological dualism means any religious doctrine in which God is thought to have a rival in the person of an anti-God like Satan. As a religious faith Zoroastrianism is almost extinct. But its dualism lives on to a recognizable degree in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The teachings of Zarathushtra were not unknown in ancient India. He is named Jarutha in several passages of the Rg Veda . However, these references are not flattering. Rg Veda 7. 9. 6 indicates that Jarutha’s theology was opposed by the sage Vasistha.

    In the Zoroastrian scripture called Zend Avesta, Vasistha is named Vahishtha. He is said to be a person of harmful intellect who opposed Zarathushtra. Srimad-Bhagavatam 6. 18. 5-6 states that Vasistha was fathered by the demigods Varuna and Mitra; 9. 1. 13 confirms that he was a worshiper of Varuna. Rg Veda, Mandala Seven, has much to say about Vasistha’s devotion to Varuna. It appears that Vasistha and Zarathushtra were rival priests of Varuna, who is called Asura-maya in the Rg Veda. continued at

    https://www.bhakticharuswami.com/2014/01/the-origin-of-western-religions/
     

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