African Crossroads – African roots of Israel (4)
I WILL NOW PULL TOGETHER key strands in Gary Greenberg’s thesis that the Jewish people had their roots in Egypt, and explore crucial implications of this argument, presenting the views of two eminent Afrocentric scholars that corroborate it.
In his path-breaking work, African Origins Of The Major Western Religions, world-renowned African author Dr Yosef ben-Jochannan demonstrated that the philosophical and religious concepts of Judaism rested on traditional values established by the indigenous black peoples of the Nile Valley thousands of years before the first Jew Abraham was born.
This is of decisive importance to the ongoing spiritual and political struggle between African civilisation and that of the West because Judaeo-Christian religion has always provided the moral and ideological centre for Western Europe in its centuries-old quest for world domination.
Having acquired this rich spiritual heritage from their fellow Egyptians (sometimes, as above, by plagiarism), further down the corridors of history, the Jews – while demonising Egypt from the pages of their Torah – proceeded to “give to the world” the same tenets of Judaism which developed out of their Egyptian experience.
Judaism in turn gave birth to Christianity, and, in time, Western Europe “borrowed” this Judaeo-Christian faith, assimilating it within their imperialist culture, so that it became the evangelical banner under which their “civilising mission” – most brazenly, the transatlantic slave trade and New World slavery – was carried out.
The wheel had come full circle. Significantly, during the colonial era and beyond, Europeans conquered the psyche
of the African not just by force, but by wielding a potent ideological weapon – Eurocentric Judaeo-Christianity, the doctrinal core of which may nevertheless be traced to Africa.
It should be no surprise that cardinal Judaeo-Christian doctrines – monotheism, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the redemptive Blood of the Lamb, the Ten Commandments, the Saviour-King, the Resurrection, the Last Judgement, and Eternal Life – all originated in Egyptian religion, although given the ultimate stakes involved, it is also
no surprise worldwide Jewry does not acknowledge its African roots.
In an insightful paper Africa And Palestine In Antiquity, noted Kemetic scholar Professor Charles Finch argues that Abraham’s connection with the Egyptian sun god Ra is not coincidental, since in Egyptian, Abraham’s name (Ibraim) breaks down into Ib = wisdom, ra = Ra, and im = light (“the wisdom of Ra’s light”).
Furthermore, the name of Abraham’s son, Isaac, in Hebrew is Ysak, broken down in Egyptian as Ys = place,
and akh = offering by fire. As illustrated in the Genesis story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac (foreshadowing
the Christ), Ys-akh is connected to Ra by his relation to fire, and the lamb is his sacrificial alter ego. And the name Israel – taken by Jacob after “wrestling with an angel” – is broken down in Egyptian to Ys = place, ra = Ra, and ir = creation (“el” and “ir” being interchangeable here) – hence “the place of Ra’s creation”.
* Dr Ikael Tafari is director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs.