I continue my writing about Ethiopia based on the “Kebra Nagast” book; that book translated from the old Abyssinia Ge'ez language by professor Dr. Magdi Abdel-Razeq Soliman. I admit that I hesitated a lot in continuing my journalistic writing after the devastating act of terrorism of St. Peter church explosion. I then remembered the saying stating that “sword is more credible than books”, because sometimes words seem to be incapable of achieving the required change, especially if compared to those who took other words as a sheath hiding their swords in, or even as a bombing vest surrounding their bodies. However, that hesitation came to an end when I realized that such action of seizing to write will work for the benefit of those criminals.
Regarding our topic, I found that there is a strong connection between the Old Testament stories about God’s chosen people; such stories that the Zionist movement depended upon to encourage the world Jews to build a sectarian religious state, and the cancerous growth of movements and orientations that took some Islamic texts and interpretations as support for their violence, crimes and project to establish the so-called state of Caliphate. There are many details in such regard that I, and others, have written about before. Therefore, I was very attracted to what was written in “Kebra Nagast” book about the Ethiopian belief that the people of Abyssinia are God’s chosen people.
I have received a lot of comments about last week’s article introducing the book of “the greatness of Kings… old Abyssinia texts”, as some gentlemen who honored me with their comments saw that we are in bad need to know more about Ethiopia; history, culture and ethnicity. We also need to know more about many of our neighboring countries in Africa and the Arab nation because there is a reality that we cannot keep to ignore anymore. This reality says that some nations in Africa and the Arab region feel that some – and maybe all – Egyptians are practicing some kind of civilization, cultural and ethnic superiority over them, and that the more troubled Egypt is, the higher this practice. Such thing pushes the other party to adopt a counter-superiority reaction, and so mutual tension will undermine the interests of both sides. I do not want to elaborate on clarifying such thing lest we go astray from our topic.
The Abyssinia people are God’s chosen people according to their beliefs, which I will not describe as “myths” like some specialists do, since I believe that describing others’ religious beliefs as myths will give them the right to do the same thing regarding the other party’s beliefs, whether Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or any other creed.
The kings whom the book tells of are Abyssinia kings descending from Menelik I; son of Solomon; son of David; king of Israel from the kingdom of Abyssinia, as Ethiopians believe that prophet Solomon, the king, was not married to the Queen of Sheba – as common in other sacred stories – however, he was married to their own queen. To the extent that the third article of the Ethiopian constitution issued in the time of emperor Haile Selassie I in 1931 states the following: “the law states that the imperial honor will always stay connected to the dynasty of Haile Selassie I; descendant of King Sahle Selassie who descends uninterruptedly from the dynasty of Menelik I; son of King Solomon of Jerusalem, and Queen of Ethiopia known as the Queen of Sheba”.
The off-spring of such marriage was Menelik I who totally looked like his father. And so, it is not strange that he is the representative of David’s earthly kingdom over the throne of Abyssinia, in adjacent to David’s heavenly kingdom with Jesus ruling it.
The Abyssinia people or Ethiopians go on in their beliefs that they are God’s chosen people when they think that the Ark of the Covenant that was given to Moses – peace be upon him – was stolen and flew towards Ethiopia where it resided. Since the Ark in the Old Testament was described as home of God, also, the place where God used to talk to the Israelites through Cherubim, having the Ark flown to Abyssinia means that God had left Jerusalem because it did not keep his commandments and promise, and went to Abyssinia and chose it among all nations because it succumbed to deity. Therefore, and according to this symbolism, the people of Abyssinia are God’s chosen people. Believers of such notion cite some signs from the Old Testament supporting this.
The Abyssinia or Ethiopian belief goes on – as per the book of “Kebra Nagast” or “the greatness of Kings… old Abyssinia texts” – to confirm that Jesus was the one who came to Abyssinia carried over the Ark to his chosen people. The sanctity of the Ark even increased because it was made of wood; the same type of wood the cross where Jesus was crucified upon was made. Moreover, this sanctity extends to consider the Ark a salvation for all humans starting from Moses to all who came after him, and everything that is made of wood – like the cross – is sacred, for example, Noah’s ark and Aaron’s rod that budded because it was made of wood. The stolen Ark from Jerusalem is even called, by the author of “Kebra Nagast”, Zion, to say that the earthly Zion is God’s home on earth which is ruled by the King of Abyssinia, while the heavenly Zion in the Kingdom of God is ruled by the glorified Jesus…”.
I excerpted most of these concepts from Dr. Magdi Abdel-Razeq Soliman’s translation. Now, I want to say that decision makers and others contributing to form and enlighten the public opinion in Egypt should pay attention to this. We all should take into consideration how the other Ethiopian or non-Ethiopian party sees himself through its historic roots, since mishandling the conscience composition of nations stimulates the fiercest instinct of their civilization, cultural and creed self-defense, like the case when you attack a person or even an animal, it reacts back to repel the assault and defend its existence.
I wish I could continue demonstrating the texts mentioned in the most important Ethiopian book. I also wish I could continue writing about the civilized and cultural composition, and the ethnic roots as well, that have to do with the Ethiopian society, so that we can correct our vision that I think is many times wrong due to choosing the wrong perspective to look through. However, the current events we live leave no chance for such thing. In addition, some may misunderstand this as an escape from the ugly reality.
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Almasry alyoum newspaper on December 14, 2016.
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