Jamaicans Of Ethiopian Origin & The Rastafarian Faith

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Jamaicans Of Ethiopian Origin & The Rastafarian Faith

Post by Donald C. Burney » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:33 pm

Jamaicans Of Ethiopian Origin & The Rastafarian Faith

Article written by: Bro. P. Napti (the author) who is a Rastafarian, and as of the year of 1995 and the writing of this article, resided in Washington D.C.

This article was printed in Feb./march 1995 in "Caribbean Lifestyles" magazine.

See source of Article: http://members.tripod.com/~Ras_Richard/HIMI.htm

Today in Ethiopia and throughout the world there are many misconceptions regarding the Rastafarian faith. These misconceptions or distortions may have been brought about by some who are not of Ethiopia who wish to keep the people from understanding the truth about our faith.

Centuries ago over 100 million Africans were kidnapped from their native home and enslaved by European and Arab slave traders. Although most of these Africans were stolen or sold from West Africa, it is important to note that slaves were taken from as far as MT. Kenya in Africa. In 1961 (Western calendar) when a delegation of Jamaicans visited Ethiopia, they were told by the late Abuna Basillos that the people were taken were told by from Ethiopia and brought to the Western world centuries ago. When His Imperial Majesty Emporer Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica in 1966, he told us that "Ethiopians and Jamaicans have a relationship going back for a very long time," and that "Jamaicans and Ethiopians were brothers by blood." Furthermore, during the time of the Emperor Lalibela there was a great war, and many supporters of the Solomonic Dynasty were exiled. Some reached the Caribbean. Our forefathers have left us history from the 18th Century A.D. of their support for the Royal House of Solomon. This spirit and tradition has survived to the present time. Therfore, we believe that our heritage has it's roots in the union of the Royal House of Solomon and Sheba and even beyond that point.


During the African's enslavement, the Euopeans made vicious attempts to destroy our language and religion. We were told that the land of our forefathers was a land of savages and uncivilized people, and that we were taken from Africa to become Christians and be civilized by the so-called superior white man. This brainwashing process was done to break our foreparents' spirit and to make the humble and willing slaves. They also claimed to be teaching our people about the bible.

When a few of our forefathers learned and began to read in English they took up the Holy Bible and read it for themselves. and behold, in the very first book of Genesis, Chapter 2 vs. 13 they read that out of the garden of Eden there flowed a river which seperated into four parts. One of these was the river Gihon which flowed over the land of Ethiopia. Our fathers wisely concluded that Ethiopia. Our fathers wisely concluded that Ethiopia must logically be part of the Garden of Eden, the cradle of mankind. How then could we be inferior to whites when man originated in our country?

It must be noted that slaves were not permitted to read, and therefore they had to secretly read the Bible. Being inspired and enlightened, our forefathers read on and came upon a story of Moses and his marriage to an Ethiopian woman,(see Num.ch 12). Aaron and Miriam, (Moses' brother and sister) were upset and spoke against Moses' marriage because his wife was an Ethiopian. Jahvah punished and afflicted Miriam with leprosy for criticizing Moses. Moses pleaded with Jahvah to forgive them, and Miriam was cured.

The Bible described a land to our forefathers that resembled the land of their fathers, and the Bible customs, names and stories sounded all too familiar. In the Psalms of David ch 68 vs. 31 they read that Princes and Princesses would come out of Egypt(Africa), and that Ethiopia would soon stretch her hands unto God. This gave our fathers hope because they knew they were once Princes in Africa and were now sure that God would deliver them. In the book of Amos, ch9 vs. 7, they read how the children of Israel were likened unto the children of Ethiopia by God. Also in the book of Acts of the Ethiopian Jew who was on his way to Jerusalem to worship. These constant references to Ethiopa inspired African people to form their own churches and to give their churches Ethiopian names. For example in southern Africa and in the Caribbean there emerged over 200 independent African churches with Ethiopian names. The Ethiopian Zion Church, the Ethiopian Baptist Church, the Ethiopian Methodest Church and the Abbyssinia Coptic Church are just a few names adopted by our forefathers to identify with Ethiopia.

As literacy in the English language increased among Africans in the late 19th century, brilliant scholars of Ethiopian history emerged. Such names as Casely Hayford, Edward Blyden and Marcus Mosiah Garvey are to be noted for their contribtions. They provided others historical materials written by Greek historians, who referred to all Africa as Ethiopia, not only the present day geographical boundries. These scholors found that the Greeks spoke of Ethiopia as "the land where the Gods loved to be" and of Ethiopians as the "blameless race." They provided other literature that showed that civilization "came down the River Nile," from Ethiopia to Egypt and then to Greece and then to Rome." These revelations about Ethiopia came at a time when all other African people, inside and outside of Africa were under White rule. Only Ethiopia had never been conquered by the white man. Ethiopia was the independence and pride.

More inspiring events took place in 1896 when Italy's army was utterly defeated by the armies of Emperor Menenlik II on Ethiopian soil. This news managed to leak out to Africans under colonial rule. There was great rejoicing by Africans everwhere, and the hope of freedom was rekindled


It was out of this rich and fertile tradition of love for Ethiopians that the Rastafarian faith was born. In 1930 news came of the crowning of an Ethiopian King. This was not merely another King being crowned. This King was crowned His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God, Light of this World, King of Zion. This King was reported as being the 225thth restores of the Solomonic Dynasty. It was attended by many nations, including the Duke of Gloucester, the representative of the British Crown who returned the Emperor the sacred scepter stolen from Ethiopia many years before.

African Christian people now began asking many questions. The throne that Haile Selassie I represented was the oldest throne on earth, over 3,000 years old. The throne of the Royal House of Britain, the colonial sovereign of Jamaica was less than 500 years old. It was not only that African people saw that they had an African King exceeding all over colonial sovereigns in royal status and antiquity, but this King's throne represented the throne of God on earth, established by a covenant between God and King David as recorded in the Old Testament (IISam ch7).

Our people earnestly searched the scriptures and the prophecies concerning this throne in Ethiopia. In the book of Genesis(ch49 vs. 18-12), they read that God had promised the custodianship of his Kingdom of the Tribe of Judah. Moreover, God had mad an eternal promise to King David and King Solomon, that their throne and Dynasty would endure as long as the moon and the sun, and that David would never be short of a man-child to sit on his throne (see psalms 89). It must also be emphasized that the kings dynasty were not only the kings of Ethiopia, but the kings of the whole earth; representing the justice and judgment of God in human affairs (see Psalms 72). When God's people sinned He told them that He would punish them by famine, pestilence and the sword, and he would be ruled by a foreign power and be servants to other nations. But when they returned to God with all their hearts He would rise up one from the family of David and Solomon who would re-gather His people back into their own land, (see Ezekial 37, Isaiah 43, Jerm. 23, and 33). Then God promised that by the seed of David, the Tribe of Judah, He would set up His promised Kingdom on earth, which would be a light to the world. His people would be returned to their land and no more would they suffer.

H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, born July 23, (the beginning of the astrological sign of the Lion), by the dignity of His stature, the discipline of His character, and eyes that reflect a sense of purpose and mission, was seen by Bible students as the promised Messiah from the House of Judah. His titles fit only man on earth "worthy to open the book and to loose the seven seals" of Revelation Chapter 5. Known before his Coronation as Ras Tafari, our people who saw him as the long awaited Messiah, began calling themselves by his name, Rastafarians. To the Rastafarians, this King was the one promised from the House of David, who would re-gather them from their lands of captivity and bring them again into their own land.


I would like to stress a very important point to my Ethiopian brothers and sisters. The belief that the throne of Ethiopia was given by God is part of your own history and tradition. This history of Solomon's and Sheba son Menelik I, the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Axum and the 12,000 sons of Israel's nobles and high priests who returned to Ethiopia with Menelik, was a great historical significance to the Orthodox Church and gave legitimacy to government. Before Jesus Christ and His disciples (except John) were murdered, Christ's gospel was about His Father's Kingdom. This was the key message foe which Jesus and all of the prophets were martyred. Was it not the clergy in the time of Jesus Christ who had sold out to Rome not to preach to the people about the Davidic Covenant and settle for semi-autonomy and a life of comfort? Because of the popularity of Jesus Christ, who taught the people as the prophets did about His Promised Kingdom, the puppet Jewish Clergy informed Rome that Jesus said that He was the promised King of the Jews. Jesus was arrested and charged with sedition against Rome.

For many years the early Christian Church was persecuted because of their belief in Jesus Christ's message, ie: God's coming Kingdom on earth. Soon most churches left out this teaching in their sermons. It was seen as political propaganda because it suggested an alternative government of righteousness and truth. Only the Ethiopian Church preserved this teaching until the invasion by Rome in 1936. These different invasions were attempts to be continues...to destroy the seed of David (as Herod attempted to do at the birth of Jesus) and to take possession of the Ark of the Covenant, sacred manuscripts and documents of Ethiopia. Then as they planned, this promise of a Kingdom of God to our people, Would be put away forever, (see Psalms 2). So what Ras-Tafarians are really representing is what the Orthodox Church and the early Christians once stood for.


We believe as the Bible teaches that God is a spirit. However, this spirit manifested in and represented by our King H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, who the nations of Babylon have conspired against, (see Psalms2). This spirit of God, through the grace of Jesus Christ also lives in the hearts of all believers. There is no other name by which man receives salvation but through the name and belief in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was a direct descendant of King David. This family of King David is represented today by the Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty bearing Ethiopian and Shemetic physical characteristics. Any artistic representation of Jesus Christ should therefore logically bear similar physical characteristics of living family members descended from this Royal House. We therefore reject Michaek Angelo's painting representing Jesus and Mary with Blonde hair and blue eyes. This misrepresentation of the racial characteristics of Jesus and Mary by European artist (which defies geography) is significant in that it can affect the national pride and self denied of this joy and dignity in accepting the reality that Jesus and Mary were people who looked like us. The psychological damage to Africans in perpetuating the myth of the past and coming white redeemer may be that of seeking outside of their own kith and kin for a solution of their condition.

We believe ourselves to be the original Lost Tribes of Israel that were once scattered, but now found because of the preservation and appearing of Judah, David's seed, in the person of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I. We will be returned to Ethiopia by God's will and power.

In concluding, it is hoped that this attempt to throw some light on the faith of Rastafarians will not have been in vain. I hope it will encourage Ethiopians to examine and study their rich history and culture and make a careful study of the Bible.

Ethiopia yesterday, today and FOR-IVER!

***End of article***
***Let's All Pray For The Miraculous Peace, Growth & Spiritual Prosperity Of Jamaica! -- See Isaiah 44:3-5.***

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Re: Jamaicans Of Ethiopian Descent...

Post by Donald C. Burney » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:55 pm

Someone once stated, after reading the above material,

Ever since you [YOR Jeremiah 23:5, 6] broached this subject back in 2006, I had been trying to make a connection between Solomon and Ethiopia. I would have to accept that the Queen of Sheba was from Ethiopia and did have a son with Solomon and that Solomon did acknowledge this son. This idea does not seem so far-fetched to me now as I believe there maybe some justifiable reason to believe, the Queen of Sheba, first originated from Ethiopia, which is quite questionable to bible students world wide. Also, I personally believe this idea is strongly suggested, since Ethopians are the only ones who believe this way. Still, many would question why the Bible mentions only one son of Solomon, Rehoboam. It does mention Solomon had daughters and names a few of them. But, with as many wives as he had, (over a 1,000) he must have had more sons. My opinion.

It should be duly noted, Ethiopians/Jamaicans are the only people on earth, who believe God's kingdom of righteousness is to be earthly, and that a descendant of David would rule over it, as Jehovah promised David (also that the Ark was important in the worship of Jehovah). We know how difficult it is to tell this to people today. From reading this article, what I see as a major problem is their (Rastafarians) trying to connect Jesus, who they believe to be a direct descendant of David and mankind's savior, with the earthly messiah, who they believe to be Haile Selassie. In an effort to make this connection, this writer says that Jesus must have had Semitic and Ethiopic characteristics. His opinion, I think.

But I do see the indisputable fact, these are the only people that you [YOR] could successfully teach the truth to as their background has already prepared them to be able to understand the two-kingdom concept and the idea of a black messiah reigning. So I do agree that we are on the right track in stating that Jamaica is the place to begin your teaching assignment, as you would not be as successful in gaining a listening ear anywhere else today, as the recent past has shown.

Yes, I believe understanding all biblical implications associated with the "Ark of the Covenant" is the real key to solving this great Conundrum, this great "mystery" [Greek: mysterion] of scripture, and proving one way or another, shall we say spiritually-speaking, the provocative claims of the Ethiopian people to be either, justified or false. (Matthew 13:11) There can be no question, but the way the Ethiopian People view the "Ark of the Covenant" with the mysterious celebrations associated with it in Ethiopia, has to give keen bible students reason to pause. (See links below.) Not to mention, exactly how the ISLAND OF JAMAICA FITS INTO THIS AWESOME PROPHETIC DRAMA!

Please see the following links for more detail information on the above topic:

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabot

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timkat

3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ark_of_the_Covenant

As we all know from reading the bible, the most sacred item within God's Temple of ancient times, yes the "Ark of the Covenant" had been conspicuously missing (all by the hand of Jehovah, of course), from the worship of the Jewish people, ever since the Jews went down to Babylon. That was its last, official mention of being with the nation of Israel, as we know it. However, there is no mention of the nation of Israel ever gaining possession of this most sacred item of the temple after the Babylon invasion and destruction of the Temple of Solomon. It (Ark) simply vanished, disappeared, lost for centuries. Even today we know, the State of Israel refuses to rebuild the Temple without possessing this most sacred item.

So, as we recall, the nation of Israel had great difficulties in keeping this most sacred item with it, when great sin permeated their worship. (For instance, the Great sinning of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas shown at 1st Samuel 4:10-17 resulted in the nation losing the "Ark"; Also the Great Sinning of King Manneseh which is thought to have resulted in the "priests" removing the "Ark" from the Temple, as shown by this comment found at 2 Chronicles 35:1-4.) And as mentioned above, even after the Babylonian Invasion upon Israel, the "Ark" itself never returned to the nation of Israel, since that time...not even during the days of Jesus, who was definitely sent by God Almighty, to yes "restore" pure worship to the nation. (Matthew 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41-44) Which obviously should beg the question of us...why was this the case???

Still, Jesus left us the incredible prophecy that one day, yes one day ... "Elijah" would come to "restore all things," yes restore pure worship, for all mankind. Praise Jah! -- Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:10, 11.

And of course, the book of Revelation does give us this assurance, one day the "Ark" will return, visible, "seen within His Temple," per Revelation 11:19. -- See English Standard Version.

But still we are reminded, it (Ark) left Israel, under very mysterious circumstances (during a time of great apostasy against God) ... like its a "Sacred Secret" of some kind.

After much bible research, I believe the key to unlocking this mysterion [Greek for "mystery"] if you will, rests upon the cryptic information found at Zechariah 6:9-15, which speaks of a certain "Grand Crown" [Hebrew: Atarah] (vs. 14) being placed in the temple, as a somewhat "replacement" IMO of course, for the "Ark of the Covenant." Yes, I believe, Jehovah added a new item to the temple, since He had removed the Ark (thru Solomon possibly, when great sinning/apostasy was rampant in the nation under his rule) ... till the time the foretold "messiah" of Daniel 9th chapter, would appear. Because the "Grand Crown" [Atarah] certainly pointed to the coming of the Messiah, based upon this passage of scripture. Therefore, this point, found by TWMC [Two Witnesses Must Come] originally-speaking, I believe corroborates the Jews purported belief the "Ark" itself, actually stood for or truly represented the messiah, and his imminent coming (Matthew 11:3), and NOT necessarily Jehovah's Holy Presence, as the Jehovah's Witnesses teach. Wow!!! :shock:

Looking back, as mentioned above, bible history repeatedly tells us the nation of Israel had a hard time struggling with keeping the "ark of the covenant" in their midst, because of great sinning on their part. However I believe, if they could have managed to keep this most important item in its proper place in the Most Holy, in their midst, no doubt Jehovah would not have found reason to forcibly remove it away from the nation. They (Israel) could have kept PURE WORSHIP in their midst, with the "Sanctuary" having real meaning to them. Remember, it was the keeping of the "Sanctuary" in their midst, that would have assured them ... guaranteed them, of their eternal "place" as Public Instructors of God's Word to all Abrahamic nations...a nation of "Kings" & "Priests" before mankind. -- Gen. 22:18; Exodus 19:5, 6; Matt. 13:52; Rev. 5:9, 10.

Please Note: If we compare Lev. 26:9-11, Ezekiel 37:26-28 and Revelation 21:2, 3, we will notice a powerful connection between:

(a) having Jehovah Presence & Blessing with the nation, and

(b) having the "Ark of the Covenant" within the "Sanctuary," "Temple" or "Tent," making the nation's worship complete, in God's eyes.

This point is clear. :idea:

Therefore, we must always connect having great blessings from Jehovah for the nation, with having the gift ... gift of the "ark of the covenant" in our midst, as God's Name People. The "Ark" would have always have to accompany the nation (or YORWW for that matter), and led them to victory, spiritually-speaking, with us receiving the foretold "anointing" and "healing" too, as a nation ... just as depicted in Joshua 3rd chapter. The "Ark" must lead the nation, walk ahead of them 2,000 cubits as it were, for the nation to be truly successful. All must acknowledge, the "Ark" in their midst. All must look to the Ark...for guidance. 200 million people, who get the "healing," must recognize the Ark...eternally, for blessings. -- See Joshua 3:3, 4.

Today, everyone speculates just what happened to the "ark of the covenant"...scholars have many theories...but no one knows. All we know, Jehovah had it removed and it disappeared from the earthly scene... Now, if someone could produce it, like the Ethiopians claim to be able to do, and if it proved to be authentic, then this would be the "proof" that Ethiopians have a rightful claim to this most important holy item from Solomon's Temple. Then we would have to ask,

how did this holy item get there (Ethiopia) in the first place???

And the only answer we could come up with, that was reasonable, is Solomon must have authorized it...before King Rehoboam's time.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. :idea:

Additionally, if we don't accept the purported love story about the Queen of Sheba & King Solomon, and the supposed resulting offspring of "Menelik," then we are left to explain the ... the unexplainable presence of the "Beta Israel" people, with the "Falasha Mura" people, who are sometimes, interestingly called the TEBIBAN, which means "possessors of secret knowledge" [like the Ethiopian "Book of Enoch"], individuals who became the recepients of the 1984 Rescue Mission "Operation Moses," the 1985 Rescue Mission "Operation Joshua" and the 1991 Rescue Mission "Operation Solomon" amply demonstrataing official recognition by the state of Israel, who have accordingly attributed actual "Jewry" status to these special people of Ethiopia, openly acknowledging them to be of genuine Jewish origin with DNA to prove it! Then too, we have the USA of America, officially aiding in the Rescue Mission "Operation Sheba" in recent years. Ohhhhhh, yes...indeed, how do we explain such a phenomenon, in our modern society, I ask???


The synagogue in the village of Wolleka in Ethiopia, near Gonder.

Is it possible, that maybe...just maybe, Jehovah God had something to do with the mysterious existence of such a phenomenon, in our day and time? Could Jehovah God, have possibly buried, yes, "Sacred Secrets" within the nation of Ethiopia, I ask??? If so, then couldn't we say the people of Jamaica actually made a stake or official claim to these special, "sacred secrets" [like the "Two-Kingdom/Two Messiah Concepts"] when they overwhelmingly accepted (with today, better than 40% of the Island being "Rastafarian") and wholeheartedly adopted the Rastafarian belief system, starting around the early 1930s, ... yes, around the same time ... the same time, the Jehovah's Witnesses wisely adopted the Divine Name upon themselves??? :idea:


Falash Mura woman making Injera in Gonder in 1996.


Ethiopian Jewish soldier in Nablus, 2006.

You can be the judge of that question.

However I say, if the nation of Jamaica is to make a special [blood-line] connection to the dynasty of kings from the long line of Solomon, by way of Ethiopia, which would incredibly...incredibly connect them (Jamaica) with the original promise of Gen. 22:18, Exodus 19:5, 6, Revelation 5:9, 10 and the magnificent, Grand Promise of Jehovah found at 2 Samuel 7:11-14 then ... then, this great mystery would one day, have to be cleared up, no doubt by the Hand of Jehovah Himself, the True "Revealer" of Divine Secrets. -- Daniel 2:28

And, I think that day is upon us ... to remove this great ... great mystery (originating in Genesis 3:15) from earth, for all time...by the Hand of Jehovah!!!

Think about it! :D

Donald C. Burney

PLEASE NOTE: See TV Program "Sanford & Son" Which Covered This Topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skyxfNbK ... 1BA4227EAC

***Let's All Pray For The Miraculous Peace, Growth & Spiritual Prosperity Of Jamaica! -- See Isaiah 44:3-5.***

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