Categories
Ethiopia in the Bible

Melchizedek Priest and King of Salem

After the falling of the tower of Babel, mankind was scattered in confusion for many centuries, because of their inability to communicate correctly and clearly. That’s why the Tower of Babel is called by the Ethiopian Bible as Zerut ዝሩት, i.e. “Diaspora”.
From the lineage of Nimrod the Ethiopian, the builder of the Tower of Babel, came Melchizedek, that is also from the descent of Sem son of Noah the Ethiopian. Although in the Letter to Hebrew chapter 7 Melchizedek is said to be “without father and without mother”, because of his state of mystic deification and the absence in the books of Moses of any genealogy before his appearance, Ethiopian tradition knows exactly his origin and life.
From the Ethiopian Synaxaryum (Miyazia 6; Pagumen 3) we know that after the Flood, Melchizedek and Sem, guided by an angel of God, buried the corpse of Adam – brought into the Ark by Noah – within the “Golgotha” or “Place of the Skull”, where Christ had to be crucified, to baptize with His own blood and water the body of Adam, lying within the soil.
The Tomb of Adam became the temple where Melchizedek ministered His priesthood, and around that place he founded Jerusalem. “Salem” was the name of His wife, that He immortalized by the name of the city. Iyerusaliem ኢየሩሳሌም is interpreted as Iyor Selam ኢዮር ሰላም, being “Iyor” the name of one of the seven heavens, and eartly Jerusalem is just a reflection of the heavenly Jerusalem. Another interpretation is Yrieeyu Selam ይሬእዩ ሰላም “They see peace”, to which Christ seem to refer when speaking to the incredolous city:
“If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19,42)
When Abraham met Melchizedek, and gave him a tribute, then Melchisedek was recognized in his royalty, the same royal order of the Ethiopian Monarchy. In fact, the son of Melchizedek Etiel was sent by his father to settle at the source of the Nile: he was the first one to be called “Ethiops” and he was the progenitor of the Ethiopian people and kings until Agabos and his daugther Makeda Queen of Sheba, who married Salomon. Etièl is what the Greek mythology has re-elaborated in the character of “Atlas”, the Ethiopian King holding the whole world.
While the Ethiopian Synaxaryum declares Melchezedek as son of Shem through Kainan (Pagumen 3), the Ethiopian Andemtà of the Psalm 109 (110) says that he is a prophet from Kam. Therefore, he is half Semitic (predominant) and half Hamitic, as it is the genealogy of Christ Himself, having fathers from Sem and mothers from Kam. In fact, it is written that Melchizedek is “made like unto the Son of God“.
In this way, he sets the same racial standard of Ethiopian people as original people, having inside the whole genetical spectrum of Noah, from his Blessing (Shem) to his Curse (Ham). That’s why Emperor Haile Selassie I said about Ethiopia:
“Her culture and social structure were founded in the mingling of her original culture and civilization with the Hamitic and Semitic migrations into Africa from the Arabian peninsula, and, in fact, today, our language, Amharic, is a member of that large family of Hamitic and Semitic tongues and. therefore, intimately related to Hebrew and Arabic.” (Selected Speeches p. 113)
(Artwork by Ras Abba Yehuda)
Categories
Ethiopia in Western Culture

Herodotus – Histories

Herodotus is commonly considered the father of Western historiography, and certainly one of the oldest historians of mankind. In his works, of course, the nobility of the Ethiopians could not be ignored.

In the Third Book of his “Histories”, Herodotus describes the expansionist desires of King Cambyses of Persia, and his vain attempt to conquer Ethiopia.

“After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians,​ and against the Ammonians, and against the ‘long-lived’​ Ethiopians, who dwelt on the Libyan coast of the southern sea. Taking counsel, he resolved to send his fleet against the Carchedonians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would send first spies, to see what truth there were in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bearing gifts for the Ethiopian king.” (Chapter 17)

In chapter 20 Herodotus teaches the superiority of Ethiopian people over any other:

οἱ δὲ Αἰθίοπες οὗτοι, ἐς τοὺς ἀποπέμπει ὁ Καμβύσης, λέγονται εἶναι μέγιστοι καὶ κάλλιστοι ἀνθρώπων πάντων.

“The Ethiopians to whom this embassy was sent by Cambyses, are said to be the biggest and handsomest men in the whole world.”

Herodotus speaks also about the peculiar and unique character of Ethiopian customs and culture:

“In their customs they differ greatly from the rest of mankind, and particularly in the way they choose their kings; for they find out the man who is the biggest of all the citizens, and of strength equal to his size, and appoint him to rule over them.”

In chapter XXI Herodotus also describes the nobility of Ethiopians and their King, and their disinterest in wars of aggression and conquest of other people’s territories:

“The Icthyophagi on reaching this people, delivered the gifts to the king of the country, and spoke as follows: ‘Cambyses, king of the Persians, anxious to become thy ally and sworn friend, has sent us to hold converse with thee, and to bear thee the gifts thou seest, which are the things wherein he himself delights the most’. Hereon the Ethiopian, who knew they came as spies, made answer: ‘The king of the Persians sent you not with these gifts because he much desired to become my sworn friend- nor is the account which ye give of yourselves true, for ye are come to search out my kingdom. Also your king is not a just man- for were he so, he had not coveted a land which is not his own, nor brought slavery on a people who never did him any wrong. Bear him this bow, and say: <<The king of the Ethiopians thus advises the king of the Persians when the Persians can pull a bow of this strength thus easily, then let him come with an army of superior strength against the long-lived Ethiopians >>, till then, let him thank the gods that they have not put it into the heart of the sons of the Ethiopians to covet countries which do not belong to them’.”

In chapter 22 another superiority of the Ethiopians is also highlighted, longevity, as they were called “long-lived”. The King of Ethiopia asked “what the Persian king was wont to eat, and to what age the longest-lived of the Persians had been known to attain. They told him that the king ate bread, and described the nature of wheat- adding that eighty years was the longest term of man’s life among the Persians. Hereat the Ethiopian remarked, ‘It does not surprise me, if they fed on dirt, that they die so soon’.”

In chapter 23 the King explains the diet of Ethiopians and relate their long life to a special Ethiopian fountain where they washed, i.e. the River of Eden and the famous “Fountain of Eternal Youth”, that we can find in other books of classic literature:

“The Icthyophagi then in their turn questioned the king concerning the term of life, and diet of his people, and were told that most of them lived to be a 120 years old, while some even went beyond that age- they ate boiled flesh, and had for their drink nothing but milk. When the Icthyophagi showed wonder at the number of the years, he led them to a fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil- and a scent came from the spring like that of violets. The water was so weak, they said, that nothing would float in it, neither wood, nor any lighter substance, but all went to the bottom. If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water from it which makes them so long-lived.”

The wealth of the Ethiopian Kingdom was so special that “when they quitted the fountain the king led them to a prison, where the prisoners were all of them bound with fetters of gold.”

According to chapter 25, irritated by the words of the Ethiopian King, Cambyses decided to march against him, towards the heavenly extremities of the earth:

“When the spies had now seen everything, they returned back to Egypt, and made report to Cambyses, who was stirred to anger by their words. Forthwith he set out on his march against the Ethiopians without having made any provision for the sustenance of his army, or reflected that he was about to wage war in the uttermost parts of the earth.”

But the military expedition was a curse in itself, and failed much before having reached that land, spreading death and disaster among the Persian army:

“Before, however, he had accomplished one-fifth part of the distance, all that the army had in the way of provisions failed; whereupon the men began to eat the sumpter beasts, which shortly failed also. If then, at this time, Cambyses, seeing what was happening, had confessed himself in the wrong, and led his army back, he would have done the wisest thing that he could after the mistake made at the outset; but as it was, he took no manner of heed, but continued to march forwards. So long as the earth gave them anything, the soldiers sustained life by eating the grass and herbs; but when they came to the bare sand, a portion of them were guilty of a horrid deed: by tens they cast lots for a man, who was slain to be the food of the others. When Cambyses heard of these doings, alarmed at such cannibalism, he gave up his attack on Ethiopia, and retreating by the way he had come, reached Thebes, after he had lost vast numbers of his soldiers. From Thebes he marched down to Memphis, where he dismissed the Greeks, allowing them to sail home. And so ended the expedition against Ethiopia.”

This confirms thus the ancient fame of political independence and invincible freedom of the Ethiopians, coming out their divine righteousness.

 

Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Il Popolo d’Italia, Newspaper Founded by B.Mussolini – November 1930

“Popolo D’Italia”, Italian Newspaper founded by Benito Mussolini
4th of November 1930
TAFARI MAKONNEN CROWNED EMPEROR
The festive cerimony in the Ethiopian capital city.
With most sumptuous solemnity the Emperor Haile Selassie I has been crowned yesterday morning, by the envoy of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Emperor and King of Kings of Ethiopia. The cerimony had a grandeur that surpasses any imagination, and that has reunited in one splendid frame the lavish ancient magnificence perpetuated by the tradition, and the new aspects that our time and the contacts with our world start to impress on these ancient feudal and warrior people. (…)
In the sky, six airplanes fly: one of them is a gift of the Italian government to the Emperor, its pilot is captain Marazzini. The cannons fire the last blanks for the glory of the King of Kings, so joyfully ascended to the throne of Salomon’s descent.
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Teachings

Interview with “Le Journal” of Paris, July 1936

P. Lecler, Le Journal (Paris, France), 3rd of July 1936
The Emperor of Ethiopia granted me an interview of a great hour, in the small living room of his apartment at Carleton hotel, in Geneva.
How sad and discouraged he seemed to me after the quarrel he caused during Tuesday’s session. It seemed evident to me that he had just burned his last cartridges and that he realized the vanity of the last efforts he had just made to induce the League of Nations to bring belated support to his country.
His lips emitted words full of courage, but the deep sadness on his face and his look of weariness belied his words.
His usual black attire seemed to have taken on a striking significance; he discussed at length the possibility of his return to Ethiopia – probably to Gorè – in case the League of Nations would answer his call. But he has been forced to accept the possibility of a definitive failure which would mean perpetual exile for him.
‘I have done the impossible’, he said sadly, ‘to present my case after many delays from an angle which should decide the League of Nations to keep its commitments. I still want to believe in the active sympathy of the English people and that of other nations, but it is diplomatic chicanery that makes the exercise of justice difficult. I will remain in Geneva until the end of this conference, and, if the question is adjourned, I will return in September to present my defense again’.
‘And where do you plan to reside in the meantime ? In Geneva ?’
‘You know the Swiss do not want’
When I asked him if it was true that he had requested permission to stay in the country, he replied, as if moved by some vestige of his past pride: ‘It is not my habit to impose my presence to anyone’
Haile Selassie will prefer to return to England, and try to raise the necessary funds there to return to Ethiopia and resume a defensive action.
‘I have just received a letter from Ras Imru who is in Goré and which confirms to me that he is in the process of bringing together all our forces in this region, but that we are lacking in armaments. The Italians have spread this legend that we no longer have any government in the West, because the Gallas are not our friends. Yet almost the entire population of Addis Ababa was Galla. I will be welcome in Goré as in any other region of our country, because otherwise it would have been impossible for me to organize the energetic defense of Ethiopia until the time when we were defeated by Italian gases.
‘Do you plan to return back to Ethiopia, no matter what ?’
Yes, if the League of Nations acts, or if I can collect the funds necessary to our defence. Otherwise it would be futile to try to continue the struggle.’
The question was then asked, whether such activities in England would not be considered an anti-Italian campaign, contrary to the conditions under which the Emperor was allowed to stay in Britain.
No conditions were imposed on me. Certainly, I am anti-Italian, it is impossible for me to deny it.’
A well-informed personality, who saw the letter sent to the Emperor in Palestine before he embarked for England, assured me that it specified, in terms which required no reply, that the English wanted the Emperor abstained from all military activity, as long as he was in the country.
I pointed out to the Emperor that he had lost a lot of weight since I had seen him in Ethiopia. He smiled sadly and said, ‘I have hardly slept since I left Ethiopia’.
‘Is it the loss of your empire or your current situation that obsesses you?’
The answer came shortly after.
‘It is completely indifferent to me to be emperor or not. I would be perfectly content to be just a simple citizen. But the sufferings of my people haunt me. I know what happened in Tripoli, and I have doubts about the current lot of my unfortunate subjects. It is only for them that I continue the fight, for them and for the triumph of justice.’
‘And if all your efforts will be vain at the end, what will you do ?’
‘What can I do? I will eat my heart out in exile’
‘Where do you plan to retire?’
I did not want to think about it yet. Maybe in England, maybe in Jerusalem; it will no longer matter if there is no more hope’.
‘But what do you plan to do after that active life that I have seen you doing in Ethiopia ? Do you plan to write, to give lectures ? Maybe you will go to America?’
‘Maybe I’ll give lectures later. I have, in fact, received offers to go to America. But how could this be useful to Ethiopia? If all is lost, how can anything I do matter’.
‘And your sons?’
‘The youngest will in any case remain in England. I want them to study there. The oldest will accompany me wherever I go.’
‘I suppose that your bitterness must be deep…’
‘I have no rancour, nothing but sadness. I repeat, if Ethiopia sinks, the League of Nations and civilization itself will sink with her.’
Categories
Ethiopia in Western Culture

The Myth of Perseus

According to greco-roman literature, the great greek Hero Perseus, that was a descendent of the african gods Egypt and Nile, went to Ethiopia to be crowned and receive a kingdom.
On the back of the flying horse Pegasus, he had killed Medusa the monster, and going to visit first Atlas the Ethiopian Giant, then he went to visit the Kingdom of Ethiopia, whose king’s name was Cepheus.
Ovidius states at the end of IV Book of the Metamorphoses (668-671):
gentibus innumeris circumque infraque relictis
Aethiopum populos Cepheaque conspicit arva.
illic inmeritam maternae pendere linguae
Andromedan poenas iniustus iusserat Ammon;
“Leaving innumerable nations behind, below and around him, he came in sight of the Ethiopian peoples, and the fields of Cepheus. There Jupiter Ammon had unjustly ordered the innocent Andromeda to pay the penalty for her mother Cassiopeia’s words.”
The wife of Cefeus, Queen Cassiopea, had praised the beauty of her daughter and declared it higher than the beauty of deities. Therefore, the God Ammon sent a dragon to destroy their kingdom, forcing the royal couple to offer Andromeda’s life to save the land. Andromeda was chained on the shores of the Ocean to be killed, when Perseus saw her and killed the dragon using the head of Medusa, thus marrying Andromeda and becoming Prince of Ethiopia.
The story of Perseus recalls the traditional tale of Agabos father of Makeda Queen of Sheba (the most beutiful of women) who became Ethiopian Sovereign killing the king-serpent that was oppressing the land. The deeds of Saint George (Ghiorghìs, like “Gorgon”, the title of Medusa) seem to be very similar also.
According to western interpretation of stars, Perseus, Cepheus, Cassiopea and Andromeda are 4 constant constellations of the boreal emisphere, that never go under the line of the horizon and are visible during the whole year. Therefore, the complete Ethiopian Royal family is represented on the European Celestial Vault and symbolically rules it.
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Giuseppe Faraci, Italian Journalist – 1965

“These pages want to bear witness of the political wisdom and high human values by which Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, lead his people, in the domestic and foreign affairs. These qualities have been particularly expressed in favor of the Italians after his return to the motherland, in 1941.
Moreover, this book want to manifest the feelings of admiration and friendship that Italian people, also since before that time, cherish for the Ethiopian people and their sovereign.”
“3000 years and 224 emperors have passed away, and we reach Haile Selassie I. (…) He is the sovereign that has struggled more for his country, for remove Ethiopia from Middle Age and lead her on the way of modern civilization.
Tireless at work, his day starts at the 6 AM, and ends the night at late hour. He often visits the provinces, without forgetting the darkest villages, that he reaches by strong cars and even mules. Since 5th of May 1941 to 5th of May 1965, he has travelled for more than 1,500,000 Km through the woods.
A man 73 years old, minuscule, small hands, vivid and good glance of wit. The goodness, the human sense, are the most visible qualities in him. He got energy, vigour, endurance in adversities, readiness to take the favourable occasions. Most intelligent, of exceptional mildness of spirit, but inflexible when it is due.
But above all, he is a man having a great faith. In his speeches, he never forget to call on God and Providence. He is firmly sure that God will assist him in leading Ethiopia, and will make him able to achieve the goals he has set. But he also has faith in himself, in his own courage, in his own will, in his conviction to represent the maximum source of wellbeing of his people.
Everything that Haile Selassie I has achieved, has been dominated by this double force, God and himself. His heroic acts, his patient ascension from ras to Neguse Negest, his serene courage during the fascist war, his exile into England, they are all evidences of faith in God and trust in his own mission. His return to his re-conquered motherland was the just prize for this huge character and faith. He is the statesman and ruler that has gathered in himself more history than any other.”
(Taken from “Etiopia Guerra e Pace”, G.Faraci, 1965 Edizioni dell’albero.)
Categories
Ethiopian Orthodox Church Visional Artworks

The Prophets of Old That Did Not Die – Enoch Elijah and Ezra

According to Ethiopian Tradition, only three prophets of old never tasted death: Enoch (top right), Elijah (top left) and Ezra (bottom right). As it was written:
“And now abideth Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)
Enoch is also interpreted as Faith, Elyas is interpreted as Love, Ezra is interpreted as Hope. Elyas is thus considered the greatest of all them, and therefore he has been summoned to witness the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, representing the Prophets together with Moses.
It is said about them in the traditional book of “Zienà Elyas”:
“Halie Luya to the Father, the scales (ladders) of Enoch (the science of language) that He has concealed from the face of death; Halie Luya to the Son, the chariot of Elyas that made him ascend to the heavens. Halie Luya to the Holy Spirit, the bridge of Ezra that made him quit from death unto life.”
On the bottom left we have Elisha, one of the three disciples of Elyas (together with Jonah and Obadiah), that asked for the double of Elyas’s spirit and received accordingly, through his cape, that Elyas threw at him while ascending to heaven, as it is depicted here.
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

U.S. President L.B. Johnson – 1967

White House, Washington, U.S.A.
February 14, 1967
Your Imperial Majesty, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is a high privilege tonight to honor one of this century’s most courageous, farsighted, and respected statesmen, who has earned an indelible place in the hearts of men everywhere.
Monarch of the oldest Christian kingdom and an ancient civilization, you, Your Majesty, personify to us the eternal spirit of devotion to freedom and independence of your Ethiopian people.
The essence of the Ethiopian character was put in your stirring words many years ago: “With God’s help, we have always stood proud and free upon our native mountains.”
It is difficult for me to express to you tonight the very special place that you occupy in our tradition.
Indeed, in the tradition of all mankind.
Many of us in this room tonight recall the night of June 28, 1936, when the Emperor of Ethiopia made a plea to the League of Nations.
A plea for his suffering people which was also a very moving appeal to the conscience of humanity.
Your Majesty’s final question to the League has echoed down the years with prophetic impact:
“I ask the 52 nations who have given the Ethiopian people a promise to help them in their resistance to the aggressor, what are they willing to do for Ethiopia?
“And the great powers who have .promised the guarantee of collective security to small states on whom weighs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia, I ask, what measures do you intend to take?
“Representatives of the world, I have come to Geneva to discharge in your midst the most painful of the duties of the head of a state.
“What reply shall I have to take back to my people?”
We all know–to. our shame–the reply Your Majesty received.
The betrayal of Ethiopia was in truth the turning point on the road to aggression and war.
Its lesson has been etched into our memory and has spurred us in building a world where solid commitments to resist oppression are no longer just scraps of paper.
Your Majesty, we also recall with great pleasure your triumphant return to Addis Ababa. And your remarkable reconstruction of your nation as you put into action your long-held and long-frustrated ideals of modernization:
–building schools, a fine university, hospitals, dams, airports, factories;
–turning Addis Ababa into a dynamic, beautiful, modern city;
–proclaiming a revised constitution and legal system;
–training young Ethiopians for the tasks of the future in the 20th century. Your Majesty has not confined your concern just to your people.
We have all witnessed and can testify to with admiration your striking performance as a leader of Africa’s many and diverse peoples–and as a mediator in potentially explosive confrontations between various African states.
The Organization of African Unity-which your initiative in 1963 was instrumental in creating–is one of the most hopeful institutions in the movement towards peace, reason, and unity in the great Continent of Africa.
It has always been a unique privilege and pleasure for me to have an opportunity to exchange views on international affairs with one whom I consider to be one of the world’s greatest eider statesmen.
Today, as in 1963 when we last talked, we had an immediate sense of the great mutual understanding and respect that our people entertain for each other.
Your Majesty, we treasure deeply this relationship. It is my genuine and most earnest hope that succeeding generations of our peoples will continue to reinforce the solid edifice of American-Ethiopian amity and understanding.
On this happy occasion, here tonight in the first house of this land, Mrs. Johnson and I, on behalf of our distinguished guests, all of those who are privileged to come here and be together tonight, and certainly on behalf of all of the American people, propose a toast to Your Majesty–respected statesman, peacemaker in the world, and most honored and trusted friend.
Categories
Ge'ez ግእዝ Mysteries

The Main Ethiopian Title for God – Egziabhier እግዚአብሔር.

Generally, throughout the Ge’ez Bible God is called with His main title of authority: EGZIABHIER እግዚአብሔር.
“Egziabhier” is composed of 7 Letters and 3 Words.
The 7 letters are the 7 spirits of God, as it is written in Revelation (4,5): “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” They are also the seven days of the Creation above which He is Lord.
The 3 Words are the 3 persons of the Trinity:
Egzie እግዚእ —- Lord —- The Son
Ab አብ —- Father —- The Father
Bhier ብሔር —- Province —- The Holy Spirit
Therefore, we have a special extension of the title of “Lord” (Egzie) into “Lord Father of The Province”, i.e. the Supreme Authority over Creation.
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies Italo-Ethiopian War

The Chicago Defender – March 2 1935

News that the first contingent of Italian soldiers have arrived in Eritrea, on the eastern front of Ethiopia, does not give Emperor Haile Selassie the slightest worry, it was indicated here this week.

‘We have done all a nation can do to preserve peace, but will not humiliate ourselves for Italy or any other country. We have appealed to no country for aid or for sympathy. We are fully aware that many nations desire the privilege of exploiting our mineral resources, therefore, are not misled by the pretenses they make to find an excuse for invading our country. But once the invasion starts, the worry will be theirs, not ours’. #QHS

(…) The Emperor of Ethiopia is not only a keen student of military tactics, but is a diplomat as well. Educated in France and England, he has absorbed much of the suavity of those countries along with the military astuteness of the former. Besides running his country ably, Haile Selassie is an accomplished journalst, and edits the country’s only newspaper along with the assistance of the Empress, who, besides being a model, modern mother in every sense of the word, is a typist and a shorthand expert”.