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History
Biblical Ethiopia

The first reference to Ethiopia in the Bible appears in the early chapters of Genesis. Significant to note that what is known to be the Old Testament to the Christians constitute the Hebrew Scriptures written in the languages of the Hebrew (Jews) - Aramaic and Hebrew

Therefore, the reference to Ethiopia appears as Cush and not Ethiopia as in the Greek manuscripts later translated these texts. No thoroughgoing study is yet published on reference to Cush in the Hebrew Scriptures. Moreover, various commentaries and Biblical dictionaries suggest inconsistent interpretations. By and large, most Bible students/scholars assume today's Ethiopia to be fitting for the Biblical Cush; hence, even the King James Version of the Bible, following the designation of major modern Bible translations, removed Cush and replaced it with Ethiopia. It is now common practice to refer to Cush as modern Ethiopia. Note Syene (Eze_29:10) southward - Egyptian K?s, Babylonian K??u, Assyrian K?su. In the Bible, the name sometimes denotes the land (Isa_11:11; Isa_18:1; Zep_3:10; Eze_29:10; Job_28:19; Est_1:1; Est_8:9) and at other times sometimes the people (Isa_20:4; Jer_46:9; Eze_38:5); but many passages remain uncertain. Modern Ethiopians preferred to consider themselves as Semitic language speakers and traced their history more often from their Sabean connectin minimizing the name Cush to subordination and hiding the history of the original Cushites as later migrants into the Horn.

The state of Sheba mentioned in the Old Testament is sometimes believed to have been in Ethiopia, but more often is placed in Yemen. However, it is possible that it could have encompassed both due to their nearness, and close ties in linguistics and culture. According to the Ethiopian legend, best represented in the Kebra Negest, the Queen of Sheba was tricked by King Solomon into sleeping with him, resulting in a child, named Ebn Melek (later Emperor Menelik I). When he was of age, Menelik returned to Israel to see his father, who sent with him the son of Zadok to accompany him with a replica of the Ark of the Covenant (Ethiosemitic: tabot). On his return with some of the Israelite priests, however, he found that Zadok's son had stolen the real Ark of the Covenant. Some believe the Ark is still being preserved today at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. The tradition that the biblical Queen of Sheba was a ruler of Ethiopia who visited King Solomon in Jerusalem in ancient Israel is supported by the 1st century ad Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who identified Solomon?s visitor as a queen of Egypt and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has often been mentioned in the Bible. A great example of this is the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch as written in Acts, Chapter 8, verse 27: "Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he set out and was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian. This man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake (Candace) Queen of Ethiopia in charge of all her treasure." The passage continues by describing how Philip helped the Ethiopian understand one passage of Isaiah that the Ethiopian was reading. After the Ethiopian received an explanation of the passage and came to believe in Jesus as the "Son of God", he requested that Philip baptize him, which Philip obliged. Queen Gersamot Hendeke VII (very similar to Kandake) was the Queen of Ethiopia from the year 42 to 52. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was founded in the fourth century by Syrian monks.

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