The Black Jews Of Africa (Part 1) –
Introducing the Hebrew Tribes of Africa
By Jide Uwechia
Proto-Hebrew tribes and historical Jewish communities have existed in Africa over thousands of years. This series of essays on Africa`s Black Jewish communities has been written to highlight a part of Africa`s heritage that is rarely if ever acknowledged by the stage managed account of history promoted by the mafia-like western educational establishemnts which control the institutions of learning and research.
That the roots of the Hebrews lie in Africa is attested to by this famous saying in Numbers Chapter 22 verse 5 (often distorted beyond recognition) to wit: “There is a people comeout from Egypt: behold they cover the face of the earth…” Another biblical verse goes: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called him out of Egypt”. Hosea Chapter 11 verse 1.
Even before the advent of Abraham, it appears that a body polity known as the tribe of Dan existed in Kushitic Africa for the book of Genesis narrates in Chapter 14 verse 14 that Abraham pursued some Caananite army until he arrived at a place known as Dan. Prof Ben Johanan has aruged that the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia are part of the ancestral tribe of Dan. See Ben Johanan, “We the Black Jews.”
During the sojourn of Abraham (the pilgrim from Chaldees) to Kushitic North Africa, the book of Genesis Chapter 13 verse 1 suggested that Abram left Egypt and headed south (which geographically speaking points into Africa) towards the place of “his original tent” (a term which indicates original home land). This verse appears to propose that Chaldeans were originally from the land of Africa, and Abram seemed to have made somesort of pilgrimage into the land of his origin.
This should not be too confusing if one recalls that the first King of Mesopotamia was Nimrod the great, acknowledged in the bible and the Quoran as a black man from Africa. Nimrod famously laid the foundations of one of the earliest civilizations of man known as Sumeria or Shinar in the bible. Nimrod’s black African kingdom later morphed into the kingdom of the Chaldees, from where Abraham is said to have commenced his many journeys. See Genesis Chapter 10 verse 8 – 11.
Thus the first geographical location where one encounters the tribe of the Israelites as a nation or a nationalistic expression was in Egypt, Africa. The traditions of the ancient Israelites who supposedly left Egypt for the land of Caanan were a codified strain of the ancient traditions of the Egyptians who had maintained the ways of their first ancestors who lived inside Africa, around the head waters of River Nile. Moses was reputedly very learned in Kemitic science, arts and traditions as noted in Acts Chapter 7 verse 22.
Chapter 19 of the book of Exodus makes it abundantly clear that the God YHVW the god of the Hebrews was originally an African based diety whose special abode was on top of an African mountain known as Mountain Sinai in North East of Africa.
Thus this ancient Israelite presence in Egypt and the ancient Kingdom of Kush suggests that this African tribe rose from the depths of Africa and has maintained an unbroken continuity in Africa since the beginning of living memory.
Even after the so called exodus from Egypt and their settlement in the land of Israel, the Israelite tribes retained certain numerous thriving communities throughout Africa including the ones mentioned in the varous books of the bible such as Exodus, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.
Moses’s father in law Jethro the Midianite whom traditions regard as an Ethiopian appears as the real founder intellectual and spiritual founder of the Israelites. He thought Moses and inspired him to fight for the freedom of his people. He introduced him to his God and gave him the basic laws which governed the lives of the Israelites and formed the basis of all their later laws and traditions.Â See Exodus Chapter 3 and Exodus Chapter 18 verse 23.
The Midianites, a prototypic Israelite tribe of Ethiopia remained behind in Africa during the so-called migrations to Caanan. See Exodus Chapter 18. The original Danites of the South who introduced Abram to the tenets of Hebrewism remained in Africa, they did not migrate to Caanan.
As well, many Israelites refused to leave Egypt with Moses whereas many others returned back to their African food basket as they quickly tired of the rigours of frontier life on the edges of the Sinai desert. There were also those who had ideological disagreements with Moses, some of who were among the many implicated in the carving of the golden calf (i.e. Horus). Those ones equally did not proceed with Moses to the so-called promised land because they were not willing to modify their ancient African ways and norms to match the version Moses was supposedly seeking to propagate.
Exile and Diapora
By the 10th and the 9th centuries B.C.E., Hebrew communities had thrived for many centuries and was widespread in Africa. It was a veritable network of traders and craftsmen.
Various potentates sought to use this network to further their interest. Kings David and Solomon purportedly sought to utilize this network of different communities to further the trading interests of the Israelite state. Often, in joint venture with the Caananites (i.e. Phoenicians) trade contacts were opened or consolidated in Africa through the mediation of some of those old African Hebrew communities. In addition to this older segment, many relatively recent Israelite immigrants settled in communities found throughout Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Eriteria, Kenya, Tanzania, Mocambique and Southern Africa.
These settlements were intermittenly augmented with new influx of migrant refugees from the so-called holy land driven by insecurity, famine and regional conflicts. Following the conquest of Israel in the 8th century B.C.E. by the Assyrians, and the 6th century destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, even more Jewish refugees fled into their older communities in Africa. At this time, black Kingdoms in and around Africa were overflowing with migrant Jews. Kingdoms like Yemen, Ethiopia, and the North African Punic Kingdoms up to Mauritania had substantial Jewish settlement.
If one were to pause and ask at this point: What ethnicity were those refugee Jews and why flee to Africa of all places? The response to these queries immediately underline the deep roots of Africa relative to the Hebrew tribes. Those fleeing Jews of the 8th and the 6th century B.C.E. were clearly depicted as Black African men and women with tight curly hair (the hair type of a typical west African) in the Assyrian and Babylonian bas-reliefs commemorating the respective conquests. For example, a sculptured wall relief excavated at ancient Nineveh illustrates the fall of Lachish by the army of king Sennacherib of Assyria. The Hebrews depicted therein were all black men. See image: http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/assyria/jewish-captives-lachish.html.
Salman Rushdie citing Indian history books claims in a book Last Sigh of Moor published in 1995, that three waves of Jewish refugees has landed in India in the past. The first Jewish refugees, that had settled in India, arrived after Nabuchadonezer, king of Babylon conquered their land in the 6th century BC and expelled some and enslaved the others. They were dark skinned people, probably of the AFROCOIDAL RACE.
It then becomes clear why segments of that population would seek refugee in Africa…because that was the home land…the motherland…the baseline. It was only within the protective embrace of the African motherland that the harried Jew could be safe from the Babylonian depredations. As an aside, the significance of this epoch must be recognized. This was the first group of Black people in history ever taken and sold into chattel slavery outside their territory.
To be continued…
August 7, 2007.