The Black African Hebrews ofEgypt ad EthiopiaFrom what period can we certify the existence of black Hebrews in Egypt and Ethiopia? It is certain that Israelites were in Egypt and Ethiopia during the period of King Takelot of Egypt (Twenty-third Tanite Dynasty. about 725 B.C.) and the prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem; because we read in Isaiah 11:11 that: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros (Upper Egypt), and from Cush (Ethiopia) . . . " In Isaish 27:13, we get the understanding that the outcasts of Judah are in the land of Egypt; in 19:18 the prophet is positive that five cities (with Jews and Egyptian converts) will accept the God of Israel and will speak the language of Canaan (Hebrew). About seventy years after Isaiah, the Prophet Zephaniah (3:10) says "From beyond the river of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring my offerings." Many authorities have agreed that Zephaniah was speaking concerning the Jews who were dispersed and who colonized the region in and around Ethiopia.Since the Hebrew prophets and historians, for example, Josephus, that Jews were in Egypt and Ethiopia, the next question is, what are some of the theories concerning their arrival in these countries? The theories are as follows:King Solomon married the daughter of the king of Egypt. Obviously, this marriage was for economical and political reasons (1st Kings11:1). Solomon wanted to maintain international peace, security, and commerce. It is probable that he arranged with Pharaoh, his father-in-law, to establish Jewish trade colonies on the Nile River. By the way, Solomon married the daughters of many kings to keep them under his economic and political control.In 1st Kings 9: 26 we read that "King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. And Hiram [the king of Tyre or Phoenicia] sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. "And they came to Ophir and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to King Solomon." Many scholars have postulated that the land of Ophir is on the east coast of Africa, this would be in Ethiopian territory. It would appear highly probable that Solomon would establish trade colonies along the east and west coast of the Red Sea. Ancient Ethiopia had excessive gold deposits to satisfy Solomon's needs. As has been mentioned previously, the Persian troops of Cambyses "the prisoners in Ethiopia wore fetters of gold."The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon. The fact that her visit occured after the voyage of Solomon-Hiram's navy to Ophir suggests that, in the mind of the writer, Ophir was associated with the territory of that rich Queen of Sheba.Apparently, when the navy of Solomon came to Ophir, the Queen of Sheba heard about the greatness of Solomon. Josephus, the Jewish historian, certified the fact that the Queen of Sheba was the Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia. This would mean that Hebrew trade colonies were established in her territory. Josephus also says that the royal city of the Ethiopians was Saba (or Sheba-the two words are interchangeable).According to the Ethiopians and the black Jews of this country, the Queen of Sheba gave birth to a son of whom they say Solomon was the father; moreover, they say that other black Jews accompanied the Queen back to Ethiopia. The name of the child to whom she gave birth was Menilek. Years later, as the story is related, Menilek returned to Jerusalem for his education. On his return trip to Ethiopia, Solomon sent along with him some leading priests and officers. All of these events occurred during the tenth Century B.C. This was probably the first organized Hebrew colony in Ethiopia.

From Babylon to Timbuktu

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