THE AFRICANS IN THE BIBLE

1568307998234350287588732800503.jpgGod declares to African people in Psalm 68:31 that “Cush shall reach out arms to God as early Church loved this promise, saw a black man help Jesus carry Cross. considered Cush to be a metaphor for the Gentile Bride of Christ. The Psalms predicted that one day people would recognize the spirituality of the Cushites, and declare that they had been born anew in Zion in Psalm 87:3-6. Isaiah said God will bring remnant from Cush in Psalm 11:11, redeemed people bring gifts to Zion in Psalm 18:1-8. Zephaniah said from beyond rivers of Cush, God’s people bring offerings in Zephaniah 3:10. Amos expresses God’s concern for Cush: “‘Are you not like Cushites to me people of Israel?’ says the LORD” Zephaniah 9:7.15683073793472425722686661667645.jpg

Biblical scholars are aware ‘Cush’ refers to all of Africa, sometimes to all Africa except Egypt, and sometimes to ancient Nubia, stretching from modern Aswan in the north to Khartoum in south. Most of this area lies in the Sudan. But how is the general reader to understand Cush and Cushite used 57 times in Hebrew Bible are in a designation for an African nation and people? Some versions of the Bible translate “Cush” as “Ethiopia,” but this does not ordinarily designate the modern country of that name. David Adamo suggested the best translation is simply “Africa.” All of us have a right to know and applaud important biblical role played by Africans. People of the African descent claim the deep roots of their ancestors in the Bible.15683069277985189522243142459692.jpgAfrica is in Old Testament from Genesis one of rivers of Eden is around whole land of Cush, and another encircled land of Havilah that yielded gold, onyx and bdellium in Genesis 2:10-13. These products found in antiquity in the area known as the Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia. Tigris and Euphrates rivers located in Babylonia, shows good reason to believe rivers of Eden lay in Africa. We are told oldest human remains may be traced to Africa. Hagar, the Egyptian concubine of Abraham, derived her ancestry from south of Egypt. She alone of all the Bible characters gives God a name in Genesis 16:13. Like Abraham, she meets God in and is given a promise her progeny will become a great nation in Genesis 21:18.15683105750826963769477824241236.jpgmmmmmMoses’ Cushite wife aroused jealousy of sister Miriam in Numbers 12:11-16. Miriam, who resents her black sister-in-law, becomes white with leprosy until she mends her ways. This Cushite wife Zipporah is Moses’ father-in-law Jethro the priest, who instituted  judicial, administrative and sacrificial patterns of Israel in Exodus 18:1-27. He and his family received the exiled Moses during Moses’ forty years as shepherd in Sinai. Zipporah had understood importance of circumcision and performed the ritual on their sons in Exodus 18:1-27. Cushite wife helps Moses looks to father-in-law for guidance and direction in Numbers 10:29-32; Judges 1:16.15683067809035397664470500877270.jpgWhen Israelites settled land of Canaan there were Africans among them. Some  left Egypt with Israelites at the time of Exodus; others came military invaders in 1 Kings 14:25-28; 2 Chronicles 12:2-3; 14:9-15; cf. 16:8. The Ethiopian colony at Gerar buffer between Egypt and Judah. Ethiopians became permanent residents in Palestine, remaining there until time of Hezekiah in 715-685 BCE. “Journeyed to entrance of Gedor, the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, where they found rich, good pasture the land was broad, quiet, peaceful, former inhabitants of Ham in 1 Chronicles 4:39 -40. Group of Philistines, Arabs, settled near Ethiopians in 2 Chronicles 21:16.15683060779121682956306936306740.jpgPersons of African descent appear took active role in Israel’s social and political life. A bride in Song of Solomon is black and beautiful in Songs 1:5. A Cushite who possessed tact, discretion and high position in the royal court appeared as a trusted courtier sent to tell David news of Absalom’s death in 2 Samuel 18:19-32. Africans enjoyed royal favour, as Solomon married an Egyptian princess in 1 Kings 9:16, 24; 2 Chronicles 8:11 and received Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-2. Influential queen ruled African peoples both sides of the Red Sea. Queen Sheba, may well have come to Solomon to negotiate and trade treaty with his growing maritime power. Tested him with hard questions, in the end she told him all that was in her heart. It appears that in this black woman Solomon found a kindred spirit with whom he could discourse freely.15683118638493056538262816214734.jpgThat relationship was sexual evidenced alliance did indeed produce children as the ruling class black Jews. Zephaniah, a descendant of Hezekiah, is called son of Cushi and brings the special prophecies of Cush in Zephaniah 1:1; 3:10. Jehudi, a courtier sent to Jeremiah with message from Baruch to King Zedekiah had the  Cushite ancestor in Jeremiah 36:14. And Baruch stands before the king, reading the words of God but king slashes scroll cast into fire in Jeremiah 21, 23. Ebed-Melek, confidential advisor of the king, is identified as Cushite four times in Jeremiah 38:7, 10, 12; 39:16. Believing Jeremiah was bringing God’s authentic voice to Judah, Ebed-Melek risked his life to rescue the prophet from cistern and secure for him a hearing with the king. Jeremiah commends the courtier’s faith in Jeremiah15-18, proclaims to him special covenant of God’s protection.156833171072865783293502443737.jpgIn Genesis 16 Hagar meets God who has promised to provide for her and son. 15683285280597530140274396867836.jpgIMG-20190912-WA0008.jpgIMG-20190912-WA0009.jpg15683283082642766521076979514161.jpg15683284047696941858969006489791.jpg15683969308308576360979223589953.jpg15683063656013498788289630592015.jpgCushite pharaohs ruled over Egypt, they contracted military alliances with both Israel and Judah, especially during the time of Twenty-fifth or Cushite Dynasty. Sabacho in 716-701 BC, is So in 2 Kings 17:4 contracted an alliance against Assyria with Hoshea, king of Israel, while Tirhakah (690-664) came to aid Hezekiah as Jerusalem was beseiged in 2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9. A mortuary figurines of Tirhakah reveal his African features of enormous statue still towers above great temple complex at Karnak.15670948767161078613926685946495.jpgThe kingdom of Cush continues to play a role in New Testament we read of the conversion of the Candace’s Ethiopian treasurer in Acts 8:26-39. Candace was the royal title of Queen Mother of Nubia powerful African nation located in what is Sudan. Greek was spoken in the court, so the chamberlain would have had no problem reading a Septuagint version of the prophet Isaiah; and Philip, a Greek-speaking Jew, easily communicated the Gospel to him. Candace wielded the real political, military power from capitol city in Meroe while her son served as a religious figurehead. Royal mother gifts to God on behalf of the kingdom sent by her chamberlain with gift to Jerusalem.Tirhakah_artTirhakah

Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9) and drove him from his intention of destroying Jerusalem and deporting its inhabitants, according to blacksinthebible.org. God used this African king to protect the Jews as HIS chosen people. Also the Arts civilization flourished at high level throughout her realm, twice her forces engaged the Roman army in battle.15683124595885667631283936059650.jpgTo the north Cyrene, capital city of the Roman province Cyrenaica famous for three schools of philosophy and native sons excelled in medicine, mathematics, rhetoric and literature. Most famous or illustrious of these was the astronomer Eratosthenes, who in approximately 200 BC computed circumference of earth with remarkable accuracy. The brilliant Hellenistic poet Callimachus, director of library at Alexandria acquired the great reputation for versatility of aptitudes. And the athletes from Cyrene excelled in Olympic competition especially in horse chariot racing. Ships carried corn, oil, wool from fertile fields of Cyrene and contraceptive sylphium to Rome. Cyrene maintained a monopoly on the herb until became extinct over harvest in AD 200. Citizens of Cyrene roamed far and wide through Mediterannean world merchants, athletes, philosophers and orators, mercenaries, entertainers. The Jewish community of the city had a deep interest in Judaism and produced an important literature including a five-book history of Maccabees by Jason the Cyrenian in 2 Maccabees 2:43. The close ties with Jerusalem is Simon of Cyrene Libya helped carry the Cross of Jesus. A devout Jew goes to Passover, Jerusalem. He became a believer his sons known to Christian community in Mark 15:21; cf. Romans 16:13.1568307998234350287588732800503.jpgAn African synagogue of the Cyreneans and Alexandrians, first objected to the preaching of Stephen in Acts 6:9, other natives of Cyrene were early adherents of Christianity and carried good news to Cyprus in Acts 11:19-26. The Cyrenians and Cyprians travelled to Antioch with innovated Gospel approach to the non-Jewish Greeks. The revolutionary action drew attention of the Jerusalem Council, and Barnabas was dispatched to assess this new development. Convinced of the authenticity of the mission, Barnabas strategized with the leaders and went to Tarsus to seek out Paul. Implementation of African’s dream require involvement of multinational and multicultural task force. As the church at Antioch prayed, searched the Scriptures and strategized for a full year core of leaders developed. Of the five named, two Africans Lucius of Cyrene and Simon called the Black in Acts 13:1-2. Translations fails to inform us “Niger” is Latin for “Black” Simon of Cyrene. Missionary agency in large part initiated, strategized, promoted directed by Africans. The story of Acts tells us Paul and Barnabas promptly sent to Cyprus, home of some members of the Antiochene community in Acts 13:4-12. Archaeological evidence of arrival of the Gospel in Cyrene by the end of first century AD Christian burials inside the Jewish cemetery at Cyrene.15684580861912112964805784651956.jpgByzantine writer on interpretations of Biblical questions in the first half of the third century of the common era. Suidas (s.v. Ἀφρικανός) says Africanus was a Libyan philosopher supported by Julius’ works written in Greek shows author’s knowledge of Latin. He was a native of Latin North Africa the son of Christian parents from a noble family. Took part in expedition with Septimius Severus  against Osrhoene in 195. Is a friend of Abgar VIII. of Edessa whose materials from his works in archives of city. These relations reveal Oriental knowledge of Syriac, fourth chapter of his Κεστοί, he gives Syrian name of a fish. Familiar with conditions of Jews in Babylon in the Susanna Epistle Jews were living under their own jurisdiction in Exile. His works in Biblical criticism Hebrew language known. He was presbyter and bishop of Emmaus (Nicopolis) Palestine headed embassy to Rome on behalf of city. He was contemporary and friend of Origen lived in emperors Heliogabalus and Alexander Severus times. Africanus highly valued in Christianity of interest to Judaism. These works are: five books, founder of Church history, predecessor of Eusebius, source and pattern for the Byzantine chronographers for extracts from his work preserved fragments. His history of world seven epoch weeks like Jewish “Lepto Genesis” Jubilees, earliest history of human race, Jewish history synchronised general history. Put Moses 1,020 years before first Olympic date of Justus of Tiberias. Africanus source are traced various facts found in Africanus’ history parallel Josephus. In Biblical stories Africanus legends origin found in the Apocalypses and the Midrashim.15683064907397689947182494053598.jpgAFRICANS IN THE EARLY CHURCH15684524981767689343288530996876.jpg1568453317180494040346684595245.jpgClement of Alexandria in 150-215 was a Christian philosopher with keen desire to win pagan intellectuals to Christ. He directed catechetical school, Alexandria and wrote important exhortations to the heathen and Christians calling them to a more perfect life in Christ. Another African, Origen in 185-254, became the director of a catechetical school at age 18 was finest mind the church produced in 300 years. Origen highly successful in debating Jews, pagans, Gnostics credited with destroying Gnosticism. Important biblical scholar, theologian, an exegete, pioneer in biblical criticism produced Hexapla comparing six version of Bible.15684526730534572263193667551376.jpg15684528353382475705494581185241.jpg15684525396155447266077609462099.jpg15684527520384885477447801125455.jpg1568452774226694314850693388142.jpgIMG-20190913-WA0002.jpgHe influenced theological thought for centuries. Tertullian in 160-225 a pagan lawyer converted to Christianity. He authored the apologetic and theological, controversial works, first theologian to write in Latin. He formulated doctrine of Trinity, and coined nearly a thousand new words to explain Christian truths. Athanasius in 296-373, was Bishop of Alexandria and a major theologian and writer. He was the chief upholder of the doctrine Christ was both man and God and principle opponent of the Arian doctrine Jesus was man not God. As a very young deacon, he was influential at the Council of Nicea. And opponents referred to him as the “black dwarf.” He was repeatedly exiled and persecuted, but his principles ultimately prevailed at the Council of Constantinople in 381.15683136550409031563494505743307.jpgCyril, who died in 444 was a Bishop of Alexandria. He brilliantly represented, systematized teachings of Athanasius and Alexandrians. He was a vigorous opponent of heresy. Perpetua, Felicitas two martyrs died in Carthage arena in 202. Their story was widely used in the winning of others to Christ. Cyprian Bishop of Carthage died martyr in 258. Possessed profound knowledge of Scriptures, wrote important theology, fought heresy, and insisted on unity of the Church. Lactantius in AD 317 is best known for his Institutes, described as the “most comprehensive apology Christianity created before the end of the time of persecution.” The major theme of Institutes is justice. Lactantius insisted that God had given humanity a way of life open to all people regardless of race, education, sex, colour or creed. St. Maurice of Aganum born about 287, a Roman general who refused to kill Christians during a slave revolt in Gaul. He told the emperor Maximian: We cannot obey you without denying God, Creator of all things is our Master and yours if you acknowledge it or not. He was slaughtered by imperial decree with his regiment for defense of slaves.15683063971748743997771719083155.jpgG. Marius Victorinus in 280-363 was a neoplatonist professor of rhetoric with a brilliant record philosopher scholar. Educated in Africa but taught in Rome, wrote theological, devotional works, led to conversion of Augustine. Augustine in 354-430, Bishop of Hippo, was one of the Doctors of the Church. A profoundly influential theologian, he dealt with three heresies: Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism. Augustine remarkable insight into the human heart and soul. His most famous work is Confessions, describing his conversion to win others to Christ by detailing the philosophical basis for Christianity. And Monica in 331-387 was Augustine’s prayerful and powerful mother. Zeno of Verona was the bishop of Verona from 362 to 375. Over hundreds of his tractates survive and collection of sermons. Optatus of Melevis was Bishop in North Africa. He worked to reconcile Christians during Donatist Schism, and was influential in the East and West as well as in Africa. He died before 400 AD. By 480 Victor of Vita Bishop in the province of Byzacena. He described survival of Church during invasion of vandals. Saw persecution as religious and political. Bishop Vigilius of Thapsus participated in religious synod between Arians and Orthodox in 484. Produced important theological and ecclesiastical works.15683134503836206460010102808726.jpgFulgentius of Ruspe in 467-533 a Roman civil servant resigned his post to enter priesthood. In 507 was elected bishop of Ruspe. Later driven out of Africa by the Vandals, instrumental in popularizing Augustine’s work. Three early African popes: Are Pope Victor I in AD 189-199 popularized Latin as common language of church making  Christianity more democratic and accessible to ordinary people. Pope Melchaides in 311-314, also known as Meltiades persecuted prior to reign as pope, considered one of African Christian martyrs. Pope Gelasius I in A.D. 492-496 worked to settle conflicts in church and believed “civil and sacred powers of divine origin is independent each in its own sphere.”15683136036864992702812355303110.jpgLet us thank God for the important role played by Africans in Bible and early Church. Let us share Good News Christ died to redeem people of all races and nationalities. Let us proclaim that God’s love knows no boundaries. And let us affirm the amazing diversity of God’s creation! CBE advances the Gospel by equipping Christians to use their God given talents in leadership and service regardless of gender, ethnicity, or class. Together with supporters and ministry partners from 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE works to inspire and mobilize women and men with Bible’s call to lead serve as equals in Christ.IMG-20190913-WA0001.jpgIMG-20190913-WA0000.jpgPaul says in Colossians 4:9 “Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you and Paul says in Philemon 1:10 Onesimus has become a son to him. Why did Jesus and Hebrews turn white in history books of Albinoes as Hebrews and Blacks originally lived and ruled in countries taken by thirty years war on continent and British civil wars of the 1600s. These race wars with religion are focal points Europe’s ancient Black and Catholic Rulers. Albinos chased out of homeland in Asia by Mongols into Black lands of Europe brought massive influx of millions of Albinos changed Europe in over two thousand years. Since then they portray Jesus and Hebrews white in books to impersonate history.

Some Black Verses In The Bible

Job 30:30, “My skin is black.
Song of Solomon 1:5, “I am black, lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Solomon 1:6,“Don’t stare at me because I am black for sun burns me. Mother’s  sons angry with me made me caretaker of their vineyards but I must take care of my own vineyard.

Job 30:28, “I mourn for comfort, I stand in the assembly and cry out for help.
Lamentations 4:8, Appearance is black like soot, They are not recognized in the streets; Their skin is dark, their bone is like that of wood.

Africans In Bible And Early Church

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