African ethnic group of the week: the Beja people of Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt, and the Sahara

The Beja speak Beja or To Bedawie, an Afro-Asiatic language usually classified as Cushitic, but sometimes seen as an independent branch. The French linguist Didier Morin (2001) has made an attempt to bridge the gap between Beja and another branch of Cushitic, namely Lowland East Cushitic languages and in particular Afar and Saho, the linguistic hypothesis being historically grounded on the fact that the three languages were once geographically contiguous. 

Many scholars believe the Beja to be derived from early Egyptians because of their language and physical features.  They are the indigenous people of this area, and we first know of them in historical references in the Sixth Dynasty of ancient Egypt.  Over the centuries, they had contact and some influence from Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Turks.

The Beja are divided into clans. They are named after their ancestors, and the line of descent is traced through the males. Each clan has its own pastures and water sites that may be used by others with permission. Clans vary from one to twelve families. Disputes between clans are often settled by traditional Beja law; but most day-to-day affairs are managed by the heads of the families. The Beja are a hospitable people, always showing kindness to other clans.

The Beja worshiped Isis at Philae until the 6th century. After the temple was closed down officially in the 6th century A.D. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, Beja converted to Christianity in the 6th century under the influence of the three Nubian Christian Kingdoms that flourished along the Nile for 600 years: Nobatia, Makuria, and Alodia, as well as the Christian Kingdom of Aksum, under whose rule most lived from the 3rd to 8th centuries. Around the decline of the Aksumite kingdom, the Bejas founded five kingdoms in what is now northern Eritrea and east-northeastern Sudan. In the 10th century Islam spread and gained popularity among the Beja people, though some pre-Islamic beliefs continued until the 19th century

The Bejas attach a high importance to their hair. Their prominent crown of hair (called tiffa in their language) has characterized the Beja for centuries. Bejas believe that they are the descendants of Sekhmet and her human consort. Some Egyptian Bejawi clans believe that they are descendants of Maahes Warrior Chiefs of High Priests of Amun at Thebes . Priest-Kings Pinedjem I, Psusennes I and Osorkon the Elder and their armies are believed to be the ancestors of Egypt’s Western Desert Bejawi. Omdas Sheikh Qamhat Khawr al`allaqi was last remnant of one of Egypt’s oldest surviving lineages. His death in 1936 was widely considered the death knell for the Qamhat Bisharin. Egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch traced Qamhat Khawr kiji tribal clans through female lines to the 20th Dynasty Wehem Mesut. Egyptologist Zakaria Goneim traced their ancestress mother to an even earlier dynasty….

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Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire

 by Drusilla Dunjee Houston

This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare s finesse to Oscar Wilde s wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim s Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.

Was Zipporah the Cushite wife of Moses in Numbers 12:1 ?

Zipporah, is the Cushite wife mentioned in Numbers 12:1

Numbers 12:1 in the Authorized Version reads: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” The New World Translation reads: “Now Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses on account of the Cushite wife whom he had taken, because it was a Cushite wife he had taken.” This started off a controversy that quickly led into the complaint by Miriam and Aaron that Moses took too much upon himself as Jehovah’s spokesman. It was more than an objection against Moses’ choice of a wife. The real motive behind it was a desire by Miriam and Aaron for more power in the camp, and especially on Miriam’s part.
Some Bible commentators say that since Moses had been married to Zipporah for a long time she was not the one involved here, as any objection against her would have been raised long before. So they reason that Zipporah had died and Moses had remarried, this time selecting an Ethiopian woman, and that this remarriage was recent and raised the controversy. But the Bible does not say this, and the circumstances do not require such reasoning. Zipporah had been away from Moses, and now she rejoined him in the camp near Mount Sinai. It was soon after the camp began to move that the contention arose. Hence, while the marriage was not recent, the presence of Zipporah in the camp was.—Ex. 18:1-5.
Miriam feared being replaced as first lady in the camp, now that Zipporah had arrived. She got Aaron to join with her in complaining against Moses, first on the grounds of his wife, and then on the related but more general contention that Moses took too much authority to himself. Jealous ambition was involved in both aspects of the complaint, and logically ties together the first verse of Numbers chapter twelve with what follows. Some commentators fail to see this relationship and therefore argue that verse one does not fit with what follows and must be an interpolation.
For these reasons, and in the absence of any record of Zipporah’s death and a remarriage on Moses’ part,it can be concluded that  the Cushite woman was  Zipporah. But she was the daughter of priest Reuel of the land of Midian, where the descendants of Abraham by Midian lived. She was not an Ethiopian. She was not a Cushite in the sense of being a descendant of Ham’s son Cush, the forefather of the Ethiopians. There were Arabians on the Arabian peninsula called Kusi or Kushim not  Ethiopians. This is shown by Habakkuk 3:7 (AT): “The tent-hangings of Cushan were torn to shreds; the hangings of the land of Midian fluttered wildly.” Cushan is made parallel to Midian as the same place. So it seems that “Cushite” was not always limited to descendants of Ham through Cush, but also was applied to some of the peoples of the land of Midian. Therefore Zipporah could be referred to as a Cushite at Numbers 12:1

anonymous said:

Are the black people the descendants of Ham? Is that why they have suffered so much?

The Bible does not specifically identify any person as being black-skinned. The Bible also does not specifically identify any person as being white-skinned. The vast majority of the Bible took place in the Middle East, in and around Israel. Neither “black” nor “white” people are common in these regions. The vast majority of the people in the Bible were “Semitic,” light to dark brown in complexion. Ultimately, it does not matter what skin color the people in the Bible had. Skin color is meaningless in the message of the Bible. We all need to take our eyes off of the skin and focus on the soul.

Some scholars guess that Moses’ wife Zipporah might have been black since she was a Cushite (Numbers 12:1). Cush is an ancient name for an area of Africa. The Shulammite may have been black (Song of Solomon 1:5), although the context indicates that her skin was dark due to being out in the sun. Some propose that Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3) was black. Some believe that the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon (1 Kings 10:1) was black. The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:37 was likely black. Ethiopians are mentioned about 40 times in the Bible, and the Prophet Jeremiah asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin …” (Jeremiah 13:23). “Simeon called Niger” in Acts 13:1 may have been black. The Bible, though, does not specifically say that any of these people were black.

Most Bible teachers believe that black people are descendants of Noah’s son Ham (Genesis 10:6-20), but we cannot be sure since the Bible does not specifically say. Why aren’t there more black people in the Bible? The vast majority of events in the Bible took place in the land of Israel. Although black people were common in many regions nearby Israel, Israel has never been an area where many black people have settled.

I loved how my father explained people of color to me when I was young.  He was half American Indian and he always told me the best stories.  He told me that the white men came from the north where there was not much sun and that is why their skin is light, He told me that the people from the south had much more sun so God protected them by making their skin dark so that they could hunt and not be burned.  I asked about the Asians and he told me that they had brownish yellow skin because they didn’t need as much protection from the sun, but God gave them a slight slant to their eyes so that they would be protected from the reflection of the sun off of the water when they planted rice.  Then he told me if you notice every single human no matter what color their skin is they all white palms and the bottom s of their feet are white.

The interesting thing is when I took my son to the ophthalmologist because his eyes were always red as a child (my children are Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, French, Irish and Native American).  She told me that he had round Caucasian eye balls but he had Asian  lids so he didn’t blink often enough to keep his eyes moist.  So we had to play a game every day where he would have to blink every time his eyes got itchy.  Thank goodness as he got older his eye cooperated. Isn’t our God so amazing in how He creates us!!!  God bless you!!!  Maranatha!!!  :):)

followers keep multiplying so I figured I should do something interesting

My names: African->Hamitic->Cushitic/Cushite->Ethnic Somali(my ethnicity)->Dir->Issa(my clan/my ethnicity WITHIN my ethnicity)-> Eli(me! pronounced EE-LIE….its my actual name, short for Elias….<-Nobody calls me that though so don’t get chummy)

 By: Eduardo Sotelo  

The Cushite Dynasty: from c.730 BC

Piye retires to his capital at Napata, where be builds a great temple to Amen-Re. But it is impossible to remain in control of Egypt.
Shabaka starts a campaign to capture Egypt and installing himself securely in Thebes and Memphis.

Egypt becomes the next Assyrian target. In 663 the Assyrian king captures Memphis, seizes the royal treasure and harem and claims the title ‘king of Egypt’. When the Assyrian army withdraws, leaving Egypt under the control of vassal rulers, the Cushites briefly recover Memphis. But another Assyrian expedition, in 663, settles the issue. This time Thebes is reached and

From the 7th century BC the middle east is controlled by a succession of powerful empires - Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman. Each, with the exception of Babylon, conquers Egypt.