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Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 12/16/2010 10:37:57 PM

Here is a link to a pdf file about the Ark of The Covenant:

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 12/16/2010 10:38:32 PM

August 2010
The Ark of the Covenant 1
Appendix A
1. The Jewish Torah 13
2. The Israelite Torah According to the Sheba-Menelik Cycle 15
Appendix B
Comparison of events during the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon 18
Appendix C
Ge’ez transcript of sections of the Sheba-Menelik Cycle of the Kebra
Nagast concerning the route of the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to
Ge’ez text of Chapter 53 of the Kebra Nagast 20
Ge’ez text of Chapter 55 of the Kebra Nagast 23
Ge’ez text of Chapter 58of the Kebra Nagast 26
Ge’ez text of Chapter 59 of the Kebra Nagast 28
Transliterated and translated Chapter 53 [first section] 30
Transliterated and translated Chapter 55 [extracts] 30
Transliterated and translated Chapter 58 [sentence four onwards] 31
Transliterated and translated Chapter 59 [first section] 33
Map 1: The geography of Menelik’s route according to the Kebra Nagast
with Jerusalem in Palestine and Msr/Msrm translated to mean Egypt
Map 2: The geography of the movements of the Ark of the Covenant
according to the Salibi hypothesis
Photo of the oldest known inscription mentioning the Hebrew people 38
Map 3: True location of the Old Testament pre-586 B.C.? 39
Picture of Xi Wang Mu, the Chinese Queen of Sheba? 40

Until the twentieth century it was generally accepted that the events described in
the Biblical Old Testament before the Babylonian captivity (ca.586 B.C.) occurred in
the area of modern Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Iraq (Babylon). Abraham was
supposed to have come from Ur in Mesopotamia, the Hebrews held captive in Egypt,
the Exodus to have taken place in the Sinai peninsular and Joshua’s invasion launched
across the River Jordan. When professional archaeologists commenced digging in the
Holy Land in 1920 they fully expected to uncover evidence of the Exodus, the
destruction of Canaanite cities, the establishment of Israelite kingdoms, large public
works undertaken by King Solomon and King Omri, the 722-1 B.C. Assyrian
destruction of Israel, and the 587-586 B.C. Babylonian conquest of Judah and the
destruction of Jerusalem. However doubts emerged among archaeologists in the
1960’s [Kenyon] that escalated in the 1970’s [Pritchard] and finally developed in the
1990’s and at the turn of the twenty-first century into outright dismissal of the pre-586
B.C. Biblical account [Finkelstein, Herzog, Lemche, Sand, Silberman, Thompson,
Van Seter, Whitelam]. Today leading so called “minimalist” Israeli, American,
British, and Danish-based archaeologists believe that Moses, Joshua, David and
Solomon never existed and the pre-Babylonian captivity narrative was either fantasy
or highly exaggerated. Their opinions are opposed by “maximalist” often faith-based
scholars and archaeologists [Bright, Dever, A. Mazar, B. Mazar]. The issue is very
controversial because many observers interpret the minimalist hypothesis as
undermining the raison d’être of the State of Israel.

In the nineteenth century a number of writers and academics [Dozy et al 1]
suggested that Arabia, not Palestine, may have been the true location of the pre-586
B.C. events described in the Old Testament. Other researchers added to this
hypothesis in the first half of the twentieth century, postulating that the rise of Islam
may have been deeply influenced by close contact with a long established local Judaic
community [Margoliouth, Montgomery, Torrey]. In 1985 the debate became
extremely heated following the publication of Professor Kamal Salibi’s book The
Bible came from Arabia. Salibi based his findings on Arab traditions and place names
in Asir, Hijaz and Jizan provinces of present Saudi Arabia and concluded that Ancient
Israel and Judah prior to 586 B.C. were in West Arabia spanning territory from north
of Medina to Yemen. While incensing the maximalists, Salibi’s work was also
condemned by Saudi Arabia, which believed he was suggesting that Israel had a
divine right to annex its western provinces of Hijaz, Asir and Jizan. Interestingly
Salibi received no support from the minimalists, one of whom (Silberman) privately
implied to this writer that it was safer to deny the historical record than suggest it was
true but located in West Arabia.
1 C. T. Beke, T. K Cheyne, Reinhart Pieter Dozy, Heinrich Graetz, F. Hommel, W. V. Kelly, H. Ooort,
A. H. Sayce, N. Schmidt, J. Taylor, J. Wilson, and H. Winckler
The solution to the divide in Old Testament archaeology appears to rest in
ancient Ethiopian traditions, inscriptions and documents concerning the Ark of the
Covenant, the most revered possession of the Hebrew people. The Beta Israel (“Black
Jews of Ethiopia”) and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church believe the Ark was brought to
Ethiopia in about 950 B.C. by Menelik, son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
This booklet argues that the story is true.
The Hebrew Old Testament is silent on the fate of the Ark of the Covenant but
the second century B.C. Second Book of Maccabees states it was hidden at Mt Nebo
during the Babylonian invasion and destruction of 587-586 B.C. Traditions from
Arabia, where arks were still being carried into battle in the 1920’s A.D. [Grierson and
Munro-Hay:176-194, 244a] say the Arabs captured it from the Israelites in battle and
it was flung on a dunghill [Parfitt 2008:213]
The most detailed account of what happened to the Ark is contained in the Ge’ez
(Ancient Ethiopic) epic Kebra Nagast (Glory of the Kings). The Kebra Nagast was
complied in about A.D. 1314 in Aksum. It consists of two intertwined main
documents of roughly equal length and a short conclusion. The earliest part is a totally
Israelite (i.e. pre- 586 B.C.) document known as the Sheba-Menelik Cycle and appears
to have been originally recorded in Solomon’s reign. The second part, the Caleb
Cycle, was probably written in about A.D. 520 on the eve of the Christian invasion of
Jewish Yemen [Shahid 1976; Leeman 2005, 2009]. A thorough study of the literary
sources of the Kebra Nagast was undertaken in a 1956 doctoral thesis at St Andrew’s
University Scotland by the late David Hubbard, who became principal of Fuller
Theological College in California. Hubbard agreed with many earlier researchers that
the Sheba-Menelik Cycle had been translated into Ge’ez from Arabic not from Coptic as the compilers claimed.

The Cycle begins with the account of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to
Solomon’s capital of Jerusalem. The queen stays several months and just before she
leaves Solomon insidiously tricks her into bearing his child, knowing that this will
cause her to lose the right to rule in Yemen. The queen gives birth to her son Menelik
on the bank of the Mai Bela stream in what is now Eritrea (“her mother’s country”)
and remains queen of her African possessions with a capital at Aksum.
When Menelik comes of age he insists his mother names his father as he is tired
of his friends’ taunting. Eventually he receives the queen’s approval to visit Solomon.
Solomon is delighted with Menelik and when Menelik declines his offer to stay in
Jerusalem Solomon makes arrangements for the establishment of a client Israelite state
in Ethiopia administered by the eldest sons of the hierarchy of Solomon’s kingdom.
The eldest sons of the ruling elite led by Azariah, son of Zadok the high priest,
are not happy with this arrangement and take steps to steal the Ark of the Covenant to
sustain them in their new land. Azariah drugs the celebrants at the farewell dinner and
enters the temple through a secret door removing the Ark from under its silk covering
and replacing it with a wooden structure. Menelik is oblivious to the theft and it is only after his party has travelled some
way from Jerusalem that Azariah reveals the Ark. Menelik is shocked but then assents
to the theft. The party races for Ethiopia.
Meanwhile Solomon is reminiscing with Zadok but his account of a dream in
which he saw the Sun move from Judah to Ethiopia alerts Zadok, who rushes to the
Temple and finds the Ark gone. Solomon orders an immediate pursuit but by the time
his troops reach the coast, Menelik “has crossed to Ethiopia opposite Mt Sinai” (sic).
The Queen of Sheba agrees to rule jointly with Menelik. Dual monarchies in
Aksum were still common in the Christian era. At length the queen abdicates and
allows Menelik to rule alone over a mixed population of Sabaeans, Ethiopians and
Israelites. The religion is officially Israelite, centred on the Ark of the Covenant
(tabot) and the Law of Moses (orit). The state is regarded as the new Zion. The
Sheba-Menelik Cycle states that Menelik expanded his territory.
Traditions from Tanzania and the Comoros islands respectively state that
Menelik died and was buried in the crater of Mt. Kilimanjaro2 [Tanganyika Times 10
February 1928] and that Edomites stole the throne of Solomon and placed it in the
crater of Mt. Katala [Prosperi 1957:142-3].
The Sheba-Menelik Cycle only describes events before 925 B.C. so it mentions
neither Solomon’s death nor the breakup of his kingdom. The Old Testament Book of
Kings and Josephus’s History of the Jews have accounts of the Queen of Sheba’s visit
to King Solomon both of which appear to be summaries of the Sheba-Menelik
narrative except they say nothing of events after the queen’s departure, such as the
birth of Menelik, his visit to Jerusalem and the theft of the Ark. The Islamic Qur’an
account differs in that it tells the story from Solomon’s perspective [see Appendix B].
The Evidence
The most important inscriptional evidence supporting the Sheba-Menelik Cycle
is found on two of three Sabaean incense burners [photo, page 37] kept in the Church
of Abun Garima at Adi Kaweh, a hilltop village eight kilometers south-west of
Wukro, near Mekele in Ethiopia [Schneider 1973; Leeman 2009]. The church is sited
on a much older structure, most probably a major Sabaean temple, because the two
larger incense burners were found a short distance respectively at and below two other
hill top Sabaean structures to the east and west of Adi Kaweh. The eastern site is the
alleged burial place of Queen Yodit, the pagan-Hebraic leader who destroyed Aksum
in the 10th century A.D., and also the location of ca.800 B.C. Sabaean temple in the
process of excavation [Leeman 2009]. The Sabaean inscriptions state that the area was
part of the realm of D’mt and was ruled by four named high kings and kings of Sheba
2 Kilimanjaro’s crater was known to the Ethiopians before it was rediscovered by the Ashira Marangu army
scout Kinyala Johannes Lauwo (1871-1996 [sic]) in the 1880’s and “officially” by Hans Meyer and Ludwig
Purtscheller in 1889. Lauwo climbed the peak nine times before he realised there was a crater. He served as
guide for the Meyer and Purtscheller’s 1889 first successful European ascent. Johannes Notch is named
after him. Leeman video interview with Kinyala Lauwo, Ashira 1993
and D’mt, three of whom ruled with unnamed high queens and queens of Sheba3 over
a mixed population of red (Semitic) Sabaeans and black (Cushitic)’BR (Hebrew)
[Schneider 1973, Fattovich 1990].4 The inscriptions are the work of professional stone
masons from Marib (Yemen) and indicate that the Sabaeans were at that time making
a major effort to dominate the area while cooperating in conjunction with the local
(probably Cushitic) population [Durrani:122] It is generally assumed that the realm of
D’mt with a major centre at Yeha, the site of a huge Sabaean temple, gave way to
Aksum around the first century B.C. but this is not absolutely certain and the D’mt
realm may have lasted until Queen Yodit’s time (she was queen of “Damot” ca. A.D.
970). The Adi Kaweh inscriptions therefore support the story that a mixed population
of Sabaeans and Hebrew (Israelites) was ruled jointly by kings and queens of Sheba in
northern Ethiopia one hundred and twenty five years after Solomon’s death and
probably much earlier. The inscriptions at Adi Kaweh are the oldest mention of the
Hebrew people.
The next piece of information concerns ancient Hebrew-Israelite populations,
traditions, religious practices and customs in Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Until most
were evacuated to Israel in the late 1980’s Ethiopia possessed a large population of
Beta Israel (“Black Jews”, “Falasha”). They are the only “Judaic” group to contain
Nazarites (like Samson). In addition there are many Ethiopians who claim they are
Israelite in origin but converted to Christianity. These are known as “Falasha Mura.”
Next are the Qemant, who practise a religion described as “pagan-Hebraic” [Gamst];
and the Yibir/Ibro (“Hebrew”), a landless Agaw serf caste in Somaliland, who are
nominally Muslim but traditionally are despised and partly feared as being pagan-
Hebraic sorcerers [Kirk 1905:184, Farah 2006:6, Leeman 2005, 2009]. In addition
there is a group in Eritrea associated with the traditional landowning aristocracy of
Hamasien and the present leadership of the Eritrean government known as “Latos” or
“Mai Bela.” Because they are so secretive, no more than a paragraph has been
published about them. The Israelis recognise them as Jews but they seem to a mixture
of Israelites and Christians, a sort of Judeo-Christian group with a headquarters at
Himberti, priests called kes and holy places called kansha [from kanisa meaning a
church]. Outsiders call them Latos, from Pilatos (Pontius Pilate = Christ killer). They
call themselves Mai Bela, from the river bank where Menelik was born [Leeman
2005, 2009].
Besides the pagan-Hebraic and Israelite groups there are the Ethiopian Orthodox
Christians themselves who retain ancient Judaic practices and other elements, some of
which are no longer associated with “main stream” Judaism. The chief authority on
Hebraic influences in Ethiopia is Professor Edward Ullendorff [1920 - ], who
3 Despite continuing protests Wikipedia refuses to alter its erroneous statement in its D’MT entry that a
work by Nadia Durrani [2005] names the queens
4 Neither of these “maximalist” authorities translated ’BR (Hebrew) although the discovery of the word near
or in modern Israel would have caused enormous interest. See excitement over similar words:
supervised David Hubbard’s thesis on the Kebra Nagast but unfortunately published
his own work with untranslated important quotations from many dead and living
languages (e.g. Syriac, Ge’ez, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese). Despite this,
Ullendorff [1956, 1968] concludes that the Hebraic and First Temple Israelite
influences in Ethiopia are very ancient while the Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi
[1998b:62-63] suggests that a form of Israelite religion (“Nazarene”) associated with
exiles who fled to Yemen from the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem was
influential at the court of Aksum from about 586 BC to A.D. 332 and this faith was
incorporated into Christianity in the fourth century A.D. to accommodate the tradition
that Aksum was the True Zion as well as the keeper of the True Faith (Monophysite
Christianity). Others argue that Monophysite Christianity around Antioch, Alexandria,
and Byzantium/Constantinople had itself incorporated Jewish practices from the
“Greeks” (Hellenised Jews) who formed the nucleus of early Christianity. Whatever
the reason Ethiopian Christianity has a significant element of First Temple Israelite
religion within it and some clerics such as Ewostatewos (ca.1273-1352) at Debra
Bizen in Eritrea went into exile rather than accept a ban on “Jewish” practices, which
is why both Saturday and Sunday are still respected as holy days [Tamrat 1977, Beylot
1995]. Ullendorff believes that maybe half of Ethiopia’s population was Israelite when
Christianity was introduced. In areas such as Agame (where people still endure the
insult “Yehud”) in northern Ethiopia and in Hamasien in Eritrea mass acceptance of
Christianity has allegedly been fairly recent but the Latos/Mai Bela have chosen
western churches instead of the Orthodox [Leeman 2005:185-6] and totally ignore Asmara’s Italian synagogue. Fourth is the Ge’ez word for the Ark of the Covenant – “tabot.” There are two
main authorities on this word. The first, Theodore Nöldeke (1836-1930) was so
confused by the word that he termed it an “atrocious monstrosity” [Nöldeke 1860:211]
because in his view the word should not exist because it had somehow come to
Ethiopia during Solomon’s time. The second scholar, Chaim Rabin (1915-1996), was
also deeply perplexed by the word. He concluded that the word was indeed ancient
and had come from the Medina area of Arabia during Solomon’s era [Rabin
Fifth, the Hebrew Old Testament and Jewish traditions do not record how the
Ark of the Covenant vanished. Nor do they explain why Azariah the high priest of
Judah (the Sheba-Menelik Cycle identifies him as the son of the high priest)
disappeared and his Zadokite priesthood only reappeared three hundred years later
[Benjamin Mazar: 1992:98]. The Sheba-Menelik Cycle is the only document that
details the reasons.
Sixth, the Sheba-Menelik Cycle contains the Torah/Orit (Law of Moses) that
must have existed during the time of King Solomon [Leeman 2005, 2009]. It is
certainly much older than the Torah in the “official” Old Testament because it omits
the major part of the Laws of Deuteronomy, the Biblical book that authorities agree
was compiled in the reign of Josiah (ca. 640-609 B.C.) during the high priesthood of Hilkiah [Wright, 1996:6]. Hubbard noted that the Sheba-Menelik Cycle contains
variants of the Old Testament whereas the Old Testament quotations in the Caleb
Cycle adhere to the Christian era “official” Ge’ez version of the Old Testament. The
Sheba-Menelik Cycle contains the Holiness Code [Leviticus 17-26], which Biblical
Scholars agree is one of the oldest parts of the Old Testament. Next, the German missionary Johann Martin Flad [1831-1915], noted that the
Beta Israel, the First Temple Israelite Cushitic population of Ethiopia who have now
mostly adopted Semitic Tigrinya and Amharic, recited Hebrew prayers in Agaw,
although most no longer understood the meaning [Flad 1869; Leslau 1951:xxi].
In summarising the above evidence it seems that at the very least Ethiopia has an
ancient association with the Israelite First Temple and a culture obsessed even today
with the Ark of the Covenant reflecting the ancient existence of an Israelite state that
eventually nearly obliterated the Christian state of Aksum under its pagan-Hebraic
Queen Yodit ca. A.D. 970. It appears impossible to accept relatively recent writers’
contentions [Hancock, Kaplan, Quiran, Shelemay] that the Beta Israel adopted a
syncretic form of Judaism from ca 500-400 B.C. Aramaic speaking Israelite troops at
Elephantine (Aswan in Egypt) on the Nile or affected it in medieval times to distance
themselves from their Semitic-speaking Christian overlords and escape imperial
There is much more. Ironically it is the seemingly ludicrous geographical
references in the Sheba-Menelik Cycle that convincingly demonstrate that the Ark was
indeed stolen from Jerusalem and brought to Ethiopia three thousand years ago and
this leads to far greater issue of immense implications that most Biblical scholars will
not even mention.
Ethiopia is right, Israel is wrong
Millions of dollars fund Old Testament research in the Holy Land (Palestine and
Modern Israel). Although the Beta Israel are Africa’s most studied people, Ethiopian
studies receive very little funding. Even the Wukro I site at Adi Kaweh, which may
prove to be one of Biblical archaeology’s most important sites, is being excavated by a
“maximalist” German team. William Dever, who ridiculed Salibi, has received over a
million dollars of archaeological funding but has never once made any investigation of
the origins of Arabian Judaism [Leeman 2005:149] which, as Torrey observed, is
seemingly illogical because most Arabian Jews were historically located in the Yemen
and their numbers diminished towards Palestine, whereas it would be more reasonable
to expect the opposite should be true [Torrey1967:21].
Although Old Testament scholars ignored or vilified Salibi, his hypothesis, as
Mazrui noted, appears to support the Sheba-Menelik Cycle’s narrative as well as
solving issues concerning Arabian Judaism. In his 1951 publication Ancient West
Arabian, Chaim Rabin noted that there was a large amount of Hebrew vocabulary and
grammar in the dialects of West Arabia. He could offer no explanation for the
“surprising similarities and parallelisms of West Arabian with Canaanite” [Rabin:2- 3]5 and concluded, “This is not the place to work out the historical implications of
this, especially as it affects the darkest part of Arab history” [Rabin:199].
Fascinatingly, these dialects were in exactly the same area that Salibi had found the
place names of the Hebrew Old Testament although he himself only realised it in 2010
[email to Leeman 2 March]. Secondly there are very obvious reasons why an ancient
Arabian Judah could have prospered and reached a zenith in the period 1000-925 B.C.
and then lost power to Israel in Omri’s reign. Salibi placed Israel in the northern Hijaz
near Medina and Judah in the south in Asir next to Yemen. Following the ca. 1200
B.C. domestication of the camel, which Arab traditions ascribe to the Hebrew, the
western Arabian escarpment became an important trade route for Sabaean/Sheban
gold, gemstones and incense caravans and attracted Egyptian and Assyrian imperial
control. However, between about 1000-925 B.C. the Egyptians withdrew to deal with
invasions by the Sea Peoples [Kitchen 2003: 99-100] while Assyria pulled back to
counter the threat of Aramaean population movements near the border of what is now
modern Turkey [Lipiń;;ski 2000]. These withdrawals opened the way for an
opportunistic local population (e.g. the Hebrew) to seize control of the lucrative
Sabaean trade and grow rich from taxing the caravans. Despite the 460 year captivity
Hebrew has no Egyptian words but Rabin noted in another work that it contains trade
words such as “sapphires” from India, which appears to indicate it was on a major
trade route from India to Egypt [Rabin 1968].
Salibi’s work has been of vital assistance in deciphering the geography of the
Sheba-Menelik Cycle and had he taken much earlier notice of the large number of
emails and letters urging him to consider Rabin’s work and the Ethiopian evidence his
arguments, too reliant on place names, would have probably gained much wider
Much confusion has been caused in Old Testament studies because of place
names. Edward Robinson was chiefly responsible for the haphazard unscientific
wildly speculative methods used to identify locations in Palestine in 1837-8 and 1852
[Leeman 2005:22]. European Jewish traditions and scholarship have also been very
unreliable, being over-influenced by the drive to prove that Palestine is the Promised
Land and therefore the Jewish homeland through divine will. The definitive Hebrew
Old Testament was published in about A.D. 950, six hundred years after the New
Testament, by the Masoretic scholars, two priestly families based in Galilee and
Babylon. These scribes laboured for four hundred and fifty years to complete their
task. The original Old Testament had been written only with Hebrew consonants since
vowels were considered divine sounds. Languages change over time, sometimes
rapidly. For example modern English speakers would find it impossible to understand
the English of King Harold of Hastings let alone the Anglo-Saxon of A.D.500.
The Arabic and Aramaic speaking Masoretic scholars put the vowels into the Hebrew
Old Testament while admitting that in three hundred and fifty places they had no idea
5 The Hebrew adopted Canaanite as their language.
of the original meaning [Encyclopaedia Judaica]. Words such as MSR and MSRM
were taken to mean Egypt, while KWS and KSM were equated with Ethiopia or
Sudan. Salibi suggested that in some places these words refer to cities not countries.
He also argued that the Jordan (H-YRDN) was not a river but the escarpment in
Arabia that rises from the coastal plain to the mountain range known as the Tihama or
Sarawat. Many Arab traditions support Salibi’s suggestions. For example Mecca is
associated with Abraham and there is an ancient tradition the Red Sea was once
blocked by a volcanic lava flow at the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb between Yemen and
Eritrea which then broke causing massive death and destruction in the subsequent
flood. Interestingly the word for Hebrew in Hebrew and Sabaean is not only identical
(’BR) but has a second meaning in both languages of “those who crossed over”
[Biella:350]. Since the Beta Israel and the Zagwe royal house have strong traditions
about Moses, there is speculation that Moses’ Red Sea crossing may have been at its
southern end. Support for this comes from Moses’ marriage to Zipporah, the Cushite
daughter of the Prophet Jethro. Salibi places Zipporah’s home as Kush (Kshm) next to
the volcanic mountain in northern Yemen named Jebel al-Nabi Shu’ayb - the
mountain of the prophet Shu’ayb. Shu’ayb is Arabic for Jethro. In 1997 a team of
Canadian archaeologists [Keall 1997] discovered a ring of large monoliths on the
coastal plain below Jebel al-Nabi Shu’ayb dating from about 1800 B.C. (Moses’ era)
and therefore, if Salibi’s Arabian location for the Exodus is true, the pillars may be the
same mentioned in Exodus 24:4. Perhaps the Hebrew captivity occurred near or in
Whoever wrote the Sheba-Menelik Cycle was obviously not referring to a
Jerusalem in Palestine. On page 11 is a map of Menelik’s journey from Jerusalem to
Ethiopia with Jerusalem sited in Palestine. The account makes no sense.
When Salibi’s book was published in 1985 this writer wrote to him about the
strange geography of the Sheba-Menelik Cycle and asked him to send his hypothetical
map of an Arabian Judah marking place names mentioned in the Ethiopian document
in case the Cycle’s contents matched his hypothesis of an ancient Judah in West
Arabia. Salibi replied [Letter 15 February 1987] that he was not conversant with the
Sheba-Menelik Cycle but kindly sent his map. The result was sensational for it
showed that the author of the Sheba-Menelik Cycle was referring to a Judah opposite
Ethiopia in West Arabia not to one in Palestine.
A map of Menelik’s journey from Jerusalem to Ethiopia with Jerusalem and
other locations sited by Salibi in West Arabia is on page 12. Since Salibi drew his map
blind to the Sheba-Menelik Cycle narrative of the journey of the Ark from Jerusalem
to Ethiopia, the result is quite astonishing. It explains why the Beta Israel traditionally
prayed to a Jerusalem in the east (in Arabia), not one to the north (in Palestine). It
would also explain why the word “Falasha” and the word for the Beta Israel’s house
of prayer are both Sabaean in origin [Biella;405; Leslau 1991:363] but most of all why
Ethiopian culture is so heavily Judaic, obsessed with the Ark and drew its political
legitimacy from Moses (Zagwe dynasty ca A.D. 1137-1270) and Solomon (Haile Selaisse). The short period of imperial Sabaean occupation and high culture ca.800 –
500 B.C. could probably be attributed to Sabaean attempts to find other trade routes to
escape the instability in West Arabia as the united kingdoms of Israel and Judah vied
for supremacy and were then respectively destroyed by Assyria and Babylon.
Jacqueline Pirenne [1918-1990] suggested that the Beta Israel, First Temple Israelites,
were refugees from the Assyrian (772 B.C.) and Babylonian (587 B.C.) conquests
[Munro-Hay 1991:65]. Two Sabaean monarchs gave tribute to the Assyrians in 456
and 487 B.C., indicating the Assyrians were far closer than Palestine. [Schippmann
Although the Ethiopian Although the Ethiopian evidence supporting the Salibi hypothesis has been widely
distributed since 1985 it has been completely ignored in almost every publication. The
Saudi reaction was extreme, bulldozing sites named by Salibi as probable locations of
Old Testament cities such as An Nimas (Jerusalem), south of Taif. Salibi’s book was
banned in Saudi Arabia and Syria for implying that Modern Israel should annex Asir
and Hijaz provinces. All references to this writer’s work that argued that evidence
from the life of the Queen of Sheba supports Salibi’s hypothesis have systematically
been removed from Wikipedia from early 2010 onwards and a Saudi student arrested
and briefly jailed when a copy was found on his return home. While the Ethiopian
Orthodox Church, the Beta Israel, the Yemeni Jews, the Rastafarians, Ethiopian and
Eritrean university students and tour guides, and David Hubbard were intrigued by the
idea of an Arabian Judah, it was not considered of any merit by Israel Finkelstein,
Roderick Grierson, Graham Hancock, Stuart Munro Hay, Richard Pankhurst, Roger
Schneider, Kay Kaufmann Shelemay, Thomas Thompson, and two thousand (sic)
other Biblical and Ethiopian scholars and writers contacted between 1990 and 2010.
If Ancient Israel and Judah were indeed located in West Arabia it would make the
research of thousands of academics appear extremely careless and trivial and
completely undermine the raison d’être of the State of Israel. One important
consequence however would be to make early Ethiopian history, Beta Israel and
Ethiopian Orthodox Church traditions, and the Ge’ez language major biblical and
historical academic disciplines. However the Arabian Judah hypothesis appears too
much of a threat to academic funding, academic reputations, Holy Land tourism, and
political agenda to warrant consideration let alone open debate.
The Ark of the Covenant, according to the few reliable accounts that exist, is a
wooden box containing a milky stone tablet that in the past exuded a mysterious light.
It is almost certainly housed in Aksum and came to Ethiopia during Solomon’s reign
from Arabia. Most people who have written about the Ark never carefully read the
Sheba-Menelik Cycle in Ge’ez. The best translation is by Carl Bezold in German in
1909 (republished 2009). A very inferior version was accomplished by Ernest Wallis
Budge, who appears merely to have translated Bezold’s German translation into
English. Bezold was influenced by the assumption that Jerusalem was in Palestine and therefore translated “City of Msrm” as “Country of Egypt” although he was astute
enough to translate one section as the “water flow” whereas Budge put “the Takezze
River” [Leeman 2005:162]. Bezold and Budge were not the first to insert their own
interpretation. The original compilers of the Kebra Nagast, puzzled by the geography
of the Sheba-Menelik Cycle, interpolated a section that told of Solomon’s pursuit
party being informed by Egyptian officials that Menelik’s entourage had passed
through Alexandria and Cairo, cities built centuries after Solomon’s era [Leeman
2005:161,166]. Graham Hancock, the most famous “maximalist” writer on the Ark of
the Covenant, completely missed this point [Hancock: 213, 219, 222]. Several reasons explain why the Ethiopian evidence has been ridiculed ever
since James Bruce’s epic account of ancient ties with the Old Testament was
published in the 18th century. Firstly there is enormous racial and paternalistic
prejudice towards Ethiopia and those who identify with it, especially the Rastafarians;
and anything that can construed as a malevolent Arab agenda against Israel (Salibi is
in fact a Protestant Christian). Biblical Scholarship hardly ever needs to exert itself
against criticism because it is defended in depth by millions of supporters whose
ignorance is matched by fanaticism, and also by newspapers, academic journals,
publishing houses and other media too timid to challenge accepted wisdom. Secondly
there are theological implications. The Sheba-Menelik Cycle states that Solomon’s
behaviour towards the Queen of Sheba cost Judah and Israel its status as the kingdom
of God’s Chosen People. Thereafter Ethiopia became the True Zion. The Sheba-
Menelik Cycle was almost certainly written in Solomon’s time because it does not
mention the catastrophes that befell the united kingdoms after his death, which could
be construed as confirming that Judah and Israel had lost divine grace. If the Sheba-
Menelik Cycle account is true, serious question arise about the standards and
objectivity of Western Jewish and Christian scholarship.
Early Ethiopian history has so far been written by Biblical maximalists who
interpret Ethiopian traditions and customs through the flawed comparison with an Old
Testament located in Palestine. Although Biblical maximalists continue to interpret
any find in Palestine and Israel as proof that the Old Testament occurred entirely in
that area, inevitably the lack of findings combined with human curiosity must
eventually lead to a reassessment of the Ethiopian and Arabian evidence. Until serious
archaeological investigations commence in Asir and Hijaz the Ethiopian records
concerning the Ark of the Covenant are the most important evidence along with the
work of Rabin on West Arabian and Schneider at Adi Kaweh proving that Moses,
Joshua, David, and Solomon existed. The records strongly indicate that indeed there
once was a powerful united kingdom of Judah and Israel that for seventy five years
under David and Solomon played an important historical role in the Middle East and
made an indelible imprint on the history and culture of Ethiopia.

Messenger: Black Christ Salvation Sent: 12/17/2010 12:19:51 AM
Reply Amharic/ Holy Books/ Ark of the Covenent.pdf

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 6/21/2012 8:51:01 PM

NA clues to Queen of Sheba tale
By Helen Briggs BBC News
Man with donkey in Ethiopia Modern day Ethiopians show great cultural, linguistic and historical diversity
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Related Stories

Africa's genetic secrets unlocked

Clues to the origins of the Queen of Sheba legend are written in the DNA of some Africans, according to scientists.

Genetic research suggests Ethiopians mixed with Egyptian, Israeli or Syrian populations about 3,000 years ago.

This is the time the queen, mentioned in great religious works, is said to have ruled the kingdom of Sheba.

The research, published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, also sheds light on human migration out of Africa 60,000 years ago.
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The Queen of Sheba

Queen mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and the Ethiopian Kabra Nagast
Sheba was a rich kingdom that prospered through trade with Jerusalem and the Roman Empire, and spanned modern day Ethiopia and Yemen
Queen said to have visited Jerusalem with gold to give to King Solomon
Some texts record that she had a son with King Solomon

According to fossil evidence, human history goes back longer in Ethiopia than anywhere else in the world. But little has been known until now about the human genetics of Ethiopians.

Professor Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, a researcher on the study, told BBC News: "Genetics can tell us about historical events.

"By analysing the genetics of Ethiopia and several other regions we can see that there was gene flow into Ethiopia, probably from the Levant, around 3,000 years ago, and this fits perfectly with the story of the Queen of Sheba."
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“Start Quote

This paper sheds light on the very interesting recent and ancient population history of a region that played an important role in both recent and ancient human migration events”

Dr Sarah Tishcoff Department of Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania

Lead researcher Luca Pagani of the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute added: "The genetic evidence is in support of the legend of the Queen of Sheba."

More than 200 individuals from 10 Ethiopian and two neighbouring African populations were analysed in the largest genetic investigation of its kind on Ethiopian populations.

About a million genetic letters in each genome were studied. Previous Ethiopian genetic studies have focussed on smaller sections of the human genome and mitochondrial DNA, which passes along the maternal line.

Dr Sarah Tishcoff of the Department of Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, said Ethiopia would be an important region to study in the future.

Commenting on the study, she said: "Ethiopia is a very diverse region culturally and linguistically but, until now, we've known little about genetic diversity in the region.

"This paper sheds light on the very interesting recent and ancient population history of a region that played an important role in both recent and ancient human migration events.

"In particular, the inference of timing and location of admixture with populations from the Levant is very interesting and is a unique example of how genetic data can be integrated with historical data."

The scientists acknowledge that there are uncertainties about dating, with a probable margin of error of a few hundred years either side of 3,000 years.

They plan to look at all three billion genetic letters of DNA in the genome of individual Ethiopians to learn more about human genetic diversity and evolution.

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