The Mystery of 40 and 72
The Family of Noah

"Finally, as stated in books and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His followers." 1 - Baha'u'llah -

"In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark" 2 - Genesis 7:13 -

This gives eight as the number of persons within the Ark during the Great Deluge.

"The number nine, which in itself is the number of perfection, is considered by the Bahá'ís as sacred, because it is symbolic of the perfection of the Bahá'í Revelation which constitutes the ninth in the line of existing religions, the latest and fullest Revelation which mankind has ever known. The eighth is the religion of the Báb and the remaining seven are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the religion of the Sabaeans. These religions are not the only true religions that have appeared in the world, but are the only ones still existing. There have always been Divine Prophets and Messengers, to many of whom the Qur'án refers, but the only ones existing are those mentioned above." 3 - Shoghi Effendi -

Therefore, eight perfect persons saved by God tells us:
8 X 9 = 72

"The most important of these Tablets, together with the celebrated Suriy-i-Haykal (the Surih of the Temple), He, moreover, ordered to be written in the shape of a pentacle, symbolizing the temple of man, and which He identified, when addressing the followers of the Gospel in one of His Tablets, with the "Temple" mentioned by the Prophet Zechariah, and designated as "the resplendent dawning-place of the All-Merciful," and which "the hands of the power of Him Who is the Causer of Causes" had built." 4 - Shoghi Effendi -

Hence, the pentacle, a pentalpha, having five points, signifies man, giving us:
8 X 5 = 40.

Therefore, written within our Holy Texts, there is no contradiction shown between the number of persons saved within the ark, the Ark of His Covenant, whether spoken as eight, forty, or seventy-two.

- Zoharo DeTafalla - 158 B.E.

1.The Kitab-i-Iqan (The Book of Certitude) by Baha'u'llah, p. 7-8
2.King James Bible, Genesis 7:13
3.Directives from the Guardian, #141 NINE (Number), Shoghi Effendi p. 51
4.God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi, p. 212 - 213