God Reveals Himself To Africans, Part 2 of 4

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Exodus 6:6-7 says, “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgements.”

“And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”

Biblical Israelites Are Africans

Genesis 32:28 says, And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

Jacob, now called Israel, entered Egypt with 70 members of the house of Jacob. The 70 included Jacob, his 12 sons, 51 grandsons, four great-grandsons, one daughter and one granddaughter (Genesis 46:27).

The house of Jacob, now Israel, numbers more than a million people, who have been enslaved in Egypt. God raised up Moses to lead Israel to freedom and the promised land.

And, as stated in part 1 of this article, the people who left Egypt with Moses were all Egyptian nationals. Their physical appearance would have been no different from that of the Egyptians.

Egypt is in Africa, making it clear that the Hebrew story is an African story that takes place in Africa over a period of 430 years.

What needs to be made clear is that African blood flowed in the veins of Hebrews-Israelites-Jedahites-Jewish people; who in every way resembled Black people who live in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora.

 

Jewish People

 

Egyptian/Hebrew Culture

The Israelites became a people in Africa, and the African influence upon the Hebrews/Israelites cannot be overstated. Hebrew culture is derived from African culture.

Charles F. Aling’s book “Egypt and Bible History From Earliest Times to 1000 B.C.”, asserts that Israel owes a great debt to Egypt. “Among the things borrowed are linguistic borrowing; proper names; wisdom literature such as Proverbs 22:17-23; social and political institutions such as governmental structure by Solomon; scribal schools in Jerusalem to train young men for government service; titles found in the Israelite bureaucracy going back to the time of David.

And, Laperrugue of France, in the essay “The Bible and the Civilizations of the Nile Valley, published in “Black Africa and the Bible,” says Hebrews borrowed from Egyptians the rite of circumcision, worship of the golden calf, the solar cult, the cult of the trees, worship on high places, and the temple of Solomon to name a few (Dr. Charles B. Copher; Black Biblical Studies).

And on this point the prophet Ezekiel would agree. Ezekiel 23:27 says, “Thus I will make you cease your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt, so that you will not lift your eyes to them. Nor remember Egypt anymore.”

Egypt/Hebrew Beliefs

Scriptures confirm that the Israelites were familiar with Egyptian theology. In Exodus 3:14, God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites that, “I Am hath sent me.” One of the names of the supreme deity of Egypt was Nuk Pu Nuk, which means “I Am the I Am.” Jesus also refers to himself as “I Am,” when he was challenged by certain Jews (John 8:58), for which they tried to stone him.

“The use of “I Am” as an identifier of who Moses was representing would make perfect sense to an Egyptian, but is vaguely understood by modern Christians” (James Anyike; Historical Christianity).

The use of “Amen” in the Bible and at the end of prayers is an expression of Egyptian theology. “Amen” is commonly defined as meaning “so let it be.” In ancient Egypt, Amen or Amon is the name of one of the facets of the supreme God.

Amen is also the creator of the other facets of God, which are called “Netcherw.” It was sacred tradition that every Egyptian ruler should be a son of Amen. That is why many of the Pharaohs prefixed their names with “Amen” (i.e., Amenemhet and Amenhotep).

Revelations 3:14 says, “And to the angle of the church of Laodiceans write, “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.”

Here, Jesus is identified as “the Amen,” the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.”

Ancient traditions identify the Israelites as Egyptian or Ethiopian people. Tacitus, a first century Roman historian reported that, “Many assert that the Jews are an Ethiopian race. Strabo identifies the Jews as a people originally from Egypt.

In Book 17, chap.1, par. 29, Strabo writes: “The Egyptians are especially careful in raising all their children and circumcise the boys and even the girls, a custom common to the Jews, a people originally from Egypt.

The Israelites, their faith, beliefs and culture have their being in Africa, the part of the country know as Egypt. Egyptians were Black people, who’s historical presence has all but been erased by dishonest white scholars, educators, historians and governments.

It is because of their dishonesty, that the origin of modern Judaism, and Christianity are taught using mythology and ideology to fill in historical spaces created by the genocide of the Black presence in ancient history.

God Intervenes

Going back to our text, God told Moses, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”  The Hebrew people lived in bondage; they were oppressed and marginalized in much the same way Blacks in American were enslaved, oppressed and marginalized.

God does something that only God can do in His response to the suffering of the Hebrew people. God initiated a plan of intervention, wherein God revealed Himself to a new generation of Hebrews and the world.

Exodus 6:2-3 says, “And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord.” I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My name Lord (Yahweh) I was not know to them.

After being in Egypt 430 years, the Israelites were indoctrinated, acculturated and assimilated in Egyptian culture and theology. Consequently, God made it clear to the Hebrews/Israel that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This takes us back to Genesis 17:1-5, When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.”

The covenant God made with Abraham stands forever. So that, as He speaks to Moses, He alludes to His covenant with Abraham when He says to Moses, “I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers”(Exodus 6:4).

And so, God is faithful to His covenant. God’s faithfulness to His covenant and His covenant people is the impetus of His intervention. In His intervention, God reveals Himself, doing what only God can do.

Exodus 3:7 says, “And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.”

As God intervenes, God, not Moses begins the process of lifting burdens and setting Israel free from bondage. God takes Israel to Himself as a people, to be their God.

 

Egyptian People

 

Reflection:

The people and nations present in the scriptures used in this article are Black people. I could easily say none of the people mentioned above are European, i.e., white people. But, that argument would be germane to European polemics.  Europeans have worked overtime to include themselves in these narratives, and when it became too difficult, they simply excluded Black people.

Africa is the ancestral home of Jewish people, and while their were other races of people among the people who left Egypt with Moses, most were people of African decent. What is often glossed over is that thousands of Hebrew/Israelites/Jews who migrated to the Southern part of Africa, instead of Near East Africa (Middle East/Canaan).

Consequently, many of the Black people who were Enslaved by Arabs and Europeans were the descendants of the Hebrew/Israelites/Jews. Of the millions of Black people who comprise the African Diaspora, many are descendants of the ancient Hebrew/Israelites/Jews.

Slavery, bondage, suffering, displacement; nothing has been able to diminish God’s covenant with His people. Black people know that they are God’s people, and that there is only one God; i.e., God who chose to reveal Himself to the descendants of Africa.

In many ways that is why enslaved African people never believed the gospel of their white enslavers. Likewise, that is why they never gave up, nor surrendered to the vicissitudes of enslavement.

Instead they sang:

An’ befo’ I’d be a slave,

I’ll be buried in my grave,

An’ go home to my Lord an’ be free.

My Lord delivered Daniel,

Why can’t he deliver me?

When Israel was in Egypt’ land,

Let my people go;

Go down, Moses, ‘way down in Egypt’s land; Tell ole Pharaoh

Let my people go. (See Part 3 )

Prayer

Lord, we give you praise, all honor and glory. We are your people and you are our God. And you have been with us for a mighty long time, both in bad times and good times. You have preserved us through all the storms, trails, and dangers; and knowingly or unknowingly, when life gave us more that we could bare, you delivered us, set us free, and showed us new beginnings.

Father, we love you more than words can express; we adore and worship you, O’ Lord. My our lips forever offer you praise, and may our lives always embody and personify your love for us, and our love for you. In Jesus name we offer this prayer. Amen