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Image by Greg Rosenke

            A Brief History Of The Axum Kingdom and Judaism
Ethiopia, the land of Judeo-Christianity, is one of the most ancient predominantly Christian countries in the world. It is marked by a fascinating history, unique civilization, culture, and religious life. The Book of Genesis recounts: “And the name of the second river is Ghion: the same is it that compasses the whole land of Ethiopia” (Genesis 2:13). The Psalmist David also says: “Let Ethiopia hasten to stretch out her hands to God” (Psalms 68:31). 

          Furthermore, historical and archaeological evidence reveal another interesting fact that Ethiopia is the only African country, which has developed its alphabet and written language. This great land and its people were known by the ancient Greek poets and historians such as Homer, who referred to them as, the “Blameless Race.” Herodotus also indicated the country’s landscape as the area south of Egypt and around the Red Sea extending as far as the Indian Ocean. He said that the Ethiopians “lived a long life” and characterized them as “the most just men.”

          The Old Testament tells the pilgrimage of the Queen of Sheba to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon (1Kgs. 10:1-13). Ethiopian tradition maintains that the relationship that followed paved the way for the introduction of the Old Testament to the country. Menilik I, Queen of Sheba’s son from King Solomon, made possible the coming of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, along with Jewish Priests of the lineage of Aaron. Since then, Judaic belief and practice became the norm for the daily life of its people. Ethiopia is well known as the Kingdom of Aksum, established by Emperor Menilik I. Historical documents trace the beginning of an independent Ethiopian monarchy as far back as 4522 B.C. At present, in Aksum, the ancient capital and birthplace of Ethiopian civilization and Christianity, antiquity is still present along with its standing obelisk and other artistic features. Aksum has thus remained a religious center to this day.

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