Thursday, May 3, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time...

The Ethiopian ties to the Middle East date back to the Solomonic dynasty of Ancient Israel.

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. (1 Kings 10:1-2)

Solomon took her breath away with the splendor of his kingdom.

The exchanges between the two kingdoms were extravagant. The queen presented Solomon with 120 talents of gold (approximately $230 million at $1,600/oz). "Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon," exclaimed the writer of 1 Kings.

It was quite a diplomatic mission!

One legend I heard in Ethiopia is that King Solomon sired a son by the queen of Sheba, Menelik I who was said to have ruled the Ethiopian Empire in 10th century B.C. Thus, the direct Davidic lineage has been claimed by the Imperial family of Ethiopia. The modern Imperial Ethiopian flag had the Lion of Judah at its center.

Perhaps, herein lies the origin of Ethiopian Jews.

Ethiopia has a fascinating history and interesting connection with Israel.

Flag of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia