According to an interview from an Igbo Messianic Jewish Rabbi, Rabbi Cohen Onwe
“In 70 A.D, history noted a great extermination of the Jews from the Holy Land in Israel, this was practically as a result of Roman conquest of Israel during her aggressions and wars expansion of her empire. The Jewish revolts by the Zealot and the Zionist led to the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem.
However, 70th A.D extermination of Jews from Israel is not actually the first time Israelites were carried away into exile. History noted that since the time the twelve sons of Jacob who made up the twelve tribes of Israel move to settle with their brother Joseph in Goshen, Egypt, Israelites who were historically called Hebrews from the land of Cannian have witnessed number of persecutions from:
Germans; which was actually the one who brought an end to Jewish enslavement and persecutions.
Cannian was a the land God promise to Abraham who was called out for the land of Ur to settle in Cannian. Cannian was renamed Israel when the Hebrews moved back from Egypt to Israel (the land of milk and honey). And Israel was an anointed name of Jacob, the grandson if Abraham and the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.”
To this extent, about how many times Israelites moved into exile have been settled in reference to the list of kingdoms and empires above, now let see the true color of the ancient Hebrew Israelites right from the time of Moses’ Exodus to the mid 20th century which witnessed the last Exodus of the Jews back to Israel, however, some Blacks in Africa believe to have been among the lost tribe.
And another question here is, are there remnants who hasn’t moved back to Israel? Well the question is yes, as accorded by Rabbi Cohen.
Recently, DNA test has confirmed that there are African Jews right from those in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
In America, a greater number of Black Americans hold to the believe that Ancient Hebrews are Black, and that the current Caucasian race in Israel or the Ashkenazi Jews are Convert and not ethnic Israelites, that’s why they are called Jews not Hebrew Israelites. They believe that Abraham, Jacob, Moses down to Jesus Christ and his Apostles are all Blacks. They believe that the Scripture in Solomon 1:1 has something to say about the black race, they also believe that the Queen of Sheba had a son from Solomon who established the kingdom of Ethiopia. They believe that since ancient Egyptians are Blacks, that the Holy Scripture hold that a Hebrew has same look with Egyptians, and that was why Jesus was said to be taken to Egypt instead of Greece or Rome. They also believe that Sampson was Black since it’s only Blacks that grows dreadlocks.
Some Ethiopian Coptic Christians even painted some of the saints, the apostles and Jesus himself Blacks in their portraits.
In Nigeria, we will be examining the Igbo(Hebbo) tribe.
The Igbo themselves, believe traditionally to have been descendant of Eri the son of Gad, as stated in the book of Gen. 46:16. Some scholars of Igbo extract also believe that their main name is Heboo which was misspelled Igbo during British colonialism.
These Hebrew centric scholars hold that Igbos are the true descendant of Israel from the lineage of Eri the son of Gad the sin of Jacob. Check Gen 46:16.
Eri was said to have moved alongside other Hebrews from Egypt during the period of enslavement of the Hebrew race in Egypt. They migrated to the sub Sahara Africa following the route of the Nile River to Ethiopia. At Ethiopia, Rabbi Cohen believed they had a legacy in which he claimed that King Ezena of Ethiopia who was the first Ethiopian king to embrace ancient Christianity was of the Igbo tribe. He hold that the remnants of the people had moved Eastward alongside their cousins and settled in the tropical rain forest of West Africa in which they and their cousins are now settling as home in present day Nigeria and Cameron.
The Igbos traditionally have some common value and belief with ancient Hebrews before the exedos to Israel. Among the Igbos who are Judaism adherents, they believe that their belief began far from Israel before the coming of the Europeans who brought Christianity to Igboland.
Today, many Igbo are Christians, but there is also a magnificent number of Jewish adherents and communities among them who are growing greatly, practically as a result of the agitation for the Jewish state of Biafra.
Hillary Ajifo is a researcher in the area of History.
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