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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Igbos Are the Descendants of King Solomon and Queen Sheba of Ethiopia

Written by: Ifeduba Tochukwu

It is no longer in question that the Igbos are the original Hebrew people from Israel  as many abundant historical cultural facts and literally works have pointed out earlier hence this write up will not dwell on such already concluded issue.

In this work we shall explain how the Igbo people migrated to their current location in south east Nigeria and environs over 2000 years ago from the Holy Land of Israel. Very few people are actually aware that the Igbos are not only Hebrews but in fact a direct descendant of King David through his son Solomon a royal bloodline. 

How they came around to their present location is what we shall discuss extensively here.

King Solomon had sexual Intercourse with Queen Sheba of Ethiopia, the union resulted to a son called Menelik. Facially Majority of fair skin Igbo women look like Queen Sheba and Ethiopians which is also a pointer to common historical ties with Ethiopian rather than their immediate west African neighbors who are mostly dark skin.

The Igbos migrated from Ethiopian cross the desert pass Chad and Northern Nigeria down to the East Across the River Niger where the eventually settled . When the colonial master first came to the North they were told that Great Jewish people dwell across the River Niger a direct reference to the Igbo people. 

In principles the Igbo Jews Migrated from Ethiopia Jewish community to their current location in South East Nigeria just along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, they brought several Jewish relics and custom with them which is still noticeable until this very day. Majority of Igbos left Ethiopia in the 4th century.

The Ethiopian Jews, also called the "Beta Israel" (House of Israel), termed "Falashas" (The Outsiders) by their neighbors, always remembered the hills of Jerusalem even as they lived in the mountains of Gonder. One of the core tenets of Ethiopian Jewish belief, prayer and day-today life was the desire to return to "Zion" - to once again look upon those hills. The journey from exile to redemption however, was one fraught with isolation and danger along the way.

Our story begins with the rise of Christianity in the 4th century. Conversion was forced upon the Jews of Ethiopia and those who maintained their faith and identity were persecuted, forcing them to withdraw to the mountainous region of Gondar. There they settled, built communities and lived for over 2000 years.

In the 10th Century the status of the Ethiopian Jews changed drastically with the rise of Queen Judith, who led them in a popular revolt that overthrew the Axum dynasty and sought to uproot Christianity throughout the land. A new royal dynasty was established and the Jews of Ethiopia held much influence for the next 350 years - often acting as a balance between Christian and Muslim groups in the land.

In 1270 the Axum dynasty returned to the throne once again, ushering in 400 years of tribal warfare and bloodshed. The end of that war in 1624 marked the end of Jewish freedom in Ethiopia. Jewish forces were defeated in a final battle by the Portuguese-backed Ethiopians and a long period of oppression began. Jewish captives were sold into slavery or forcibly baptized. Their lands were confiscated, their writings and religious books were burned and the practice of any form of Jewish religion was forbidden in Ethiopia.

Over the next couple of hundred years, despite some encounters with explorers and missionaries, the community remained fairly isolated. For centuries the world Jewish community remained unaware of the existence of Jews in the northern Ethiopian province of Gonder. Slowly however, recognition of Jews living in persecution in Ethiopia came to their attention.

A large part of the history of Ethiopia is centered on the legend of the Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia and King Solomon of Israel. Many Ethiopians believe that the relationship between Sheba and Solomon resulted to a son who founded the Solomonic Dynasty in Aksum. 

According to Ethiopian traditional history the Queen of Sheba learned about the wisdom of King Solomon from a merchant called Tamrin, how he worshiped God and his skills building a great Temple in Jerusalem. The Queen of Sheba decided to visit and see for herself King Solomon's wisdom, how he worshiped God and his many skills. 

Visit of Queen Sheba of  Ethiopia
When the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem she gave him many gifts and she asked him many questions, which he was able to answer.
According to the legend of the Ethiopian history, while she was with him; King Solomon made Queen Sheba promise not to take anything from his house. King Solomon went to bed one night on one side of the chamber and Queen Sheba went to bed at the other side of the chamber. Before King Solomon slept, he placed a bowl of water near Queen Sheba's chamber.

As she was thirsty, Queen Sheba woke up at the middle of the night and found the water, which she drank. At this point Solomon heard noises, woke up and found her drinking the water. He accused her of having broken her oath not to take anything from his house. Nevertheless the beauty of Queen Sheba attracted King Solomon and the relationship between King Solomon and Queen Sheba was consummated, resulting in the birth of a son named Ibn-al-Malik (known as Menelik), the founder of Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty.

Whilst it cannot be proved that the Queen of Sheba had a son with King Solomon, but there is evidence of the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem, in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the First Book of Kings, chapter 10, verses 1 - 10 says:

When Menelik grew up (about 22 years old), he asked his mother who his father was and told him that it was King Solomon of Israel. Menelik told his mother that he wanted to go to visit his father in Jerusalem. He went to Jerusalem to visit his father and Solomon received him with great honour.

Menelik stayed with his father in Jerusalem and learnt the Law of Moses for 3 years. Menelik looked very like his father, which confused the Israelites as they had difficulty in telling the difference between Solomon and Menelik. Because of this confusion they complained to King Solomon and asked him to send Menelik home.

King Solomon said if they wanted him to send his son back home the high priests would have to send their oldest son and 1000 people from each tribe of Israel with Menelik. The high priests agreed to send their oldest son and 1000 people from each tribe with Menelik.

Menelik then returned to Aksum, amongst those accompanying him was Azariah the son of the high priest (Zadok) of the temple of Jerusalem. Before the journey Azariah had a dream that told him to take the Ark of the Covenant with him to Ethiopia. Azariah did what the dream told him to do and he stole the Ark from the Temple, putting in its place a copy. 

Azariah told Menelik what he had done and Menelik was angry with him but Azariah convinced Menelik to take the Ark with them. Zadok, the high priest of the Temple, discovered the Ark's disappearance and informed King Solomon. King Solomon and his army followed Menelik but could not catch him. Whilst this was taking place Solomon dreamt that his son should have the Ark and he returned to Jerusalem and ordered his high Priests to keep its disappearance a secret.

On his return to Ethiopia, Menelik founded the "Solomonic Dynasty" and the Aksumite kingdom adopted Judaism and the Law of Moses. The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon as mentioned in the Holy Bible signifies to the Ethiopians their claim to be direct descendants of the "Solomonic Dynasty". 

This shows that Judaic culture was established and followed in Ethiopia since the reign of King Menelik. When the Aksumite kingdom accepted the arrival of Christianity, during the reign of King Ezana in the fourth century, the Felashas (Beta Israel or Ethiopian Jews) refused to accept Christianity and continued to practice Judaism, which they still do today.

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