Thursday, April 26Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

King Menelik I, The Solomonic Dynasty, and The Ark of The Covenant


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The story of King Menelik I and Ethiopia’s Solomonic Dynasty begins in the Bible with the Queen of Sheba coming to visit King Solomon. The Bible itself doesn’t come right out and say it, but there are several verses that make it clear that the Queen of Sheba was beyond impressed with Solomon’s wisdom and his wealth.

  • Solomon was a famous king.
  • Solomon was wise beyond the queen’s expectation.
  • Solomon was rich beyond the stories the queen had heard.
  • Solomon already had 1,000 other women that we know of.

There is no reason to believe that the above would result in anything other than an affair between the leaders of two powerful kingdoms. While the affair itself is left out of scripture, there are Ethiopian texts that pick up where the Bible leaves off.

Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” – 1 Kings 10:7

Did Solomon Marry The Queen of Sheba?

Because we’re dealing with a lot of history outside of the Bible when it comes to this subject, we need to be careful to point out the difference between the two. According to Ethiopian history, Queen Makeda of Sheba asked Solomon to marry her and giver her a child.

In ancient times, the leaders of two powerful kingdoms would marry each other, marry off their kids to each other, or have children together in order to ensure peace in the future. Solomon and the Queen getting married or having a child together is not completely out of the question, especially when we consider that Solomon already had 700 wives and 300 concubines. What adds further intrigue to the story is a verse that appears in the Bible and compares the Hebrews to the children of Ethiopians:

Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?” – Amos 9:7

We aren’t really given much context to the above verse, but it could point to what many people believe was an extension of the line of Judah into Ethiopia.

Did Solomon and The Queen of Sheba Have A Son?

According to the Kebra Negast (Glory of the Kings), Queen Makeda (the Queen of Sheba) and King Solomon had a son together and his name was Menelik I (originally named Ebna la-Hakim, “Son of the Wise”). He was considered the first Solomonic emperor of Ethiopia. If the story is true, it would mean that Menelik I and his lineage were from the tribe of Judah. The connection between Israel and Ethiopia doesn’t end in Africa, but extends all the way to the Caribbean, where Rastafarianism is mainly practiced.

Israel Regathered From The Islands

If we look at the slave trade routes, we notice that they run through the West Indies also known as the Caribbean Islands. The Caribbean Islands are made up of Cuba, Jamaica, and Columbia to name a few. In Biblical times Ethiopia was known as “Cush” or “Kuwsh” or “Kush“, and is referenced as one of the locations from which God promised to gather Israel in the last days.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” – Isaiah 11:11

In addition to Ethiopia, Israel will also be regathered from “the islands of the sea”, which also have a very strong connection to Ethiopia, the tribe of Judah, and King Solomon. While I do not endorse Rastafarianism, the story behind their flag is pretty interesting:

Rastafarian Flag
Rastafarian Flag – Lion of Judah
  • The Green Stripe: The beauty and vegetation of Ethiopia.
  • The Gold Stripe: The wealth of Africa.
  • The Red Stripe: The blood of the martyrs.
  • The Lion: The tribe of Judah.

The reason Rastafarians all the way in Jamaica reference Ethiopia on their flag is directly related to the reign of Haile Selassie, the last Solomonic Emporor of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Statue - The Lion of Judah
Ethiopian Statue – The Lion of Judah

If there is any truth to the story that Menlik I was the son of king Solomon and Queen Makeda, it would also serve as evidence not only of a black Israel, but a strong presence of the tribe of Judah in Africa. Because Ethiopia kept records of the Solomonic dynasty, it means we can track at least one branch of Solomon’s lineage all the way to the death of Haile Selassie I in 1975.

Menelik I and The Ark of The Covenant

It is no secret that Ethiopia claims to be in possession of the Ark of The Covenant, and even hold a yearly procession in which they celebrate it’s presence. How Ethiopia came to possess the Ark of The Covenant is also directly connected to Menelik I. According to the story, Menelik I returned to Solomon as an adult, and it was he that Solomon chose to give the Ark of The Covenant to for safe keeping.

“But through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the ark rests in a chapel in the small town of Aksum, in their country’s northern highlands. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die.” – Smithsonian.com

If Menelik I did indeed take the Ark of The Covenant with him for safe keeping, then it may explain why Ethiopia was never colonized like other parts of Africa.

The Family of Menelik I

  1. Grandfather: David
  2. Grandmother: Bathsheba
  3. Father: Solomon
  4. Mother: The Queen of Sheba

The Solomonic Dynasty – The House of Solomon

Upon the death of Queen Makeda, Menelik I assumed the throne an began his reign around 950 BC. Ethiopia’s Solomonic Dynasty continued until Emperor Haile Selassie’s reign came to an end in 1974. There’s no reason to believe that Ethiopia would completely fabricate their entire history, especially if they couldn’t pass for Hebrews. The fact that Ethiopia maintained records of the Solomonic Dynasty adds tons of credibility to the claim. Furthermore, it gives us a glimpse into what the Hebrews actually looked like, since lineage is traced through father, and not the mother.

The Solomonic Dynasty List
  1. Emperor YəkunoAmlak (1285 – 1270)
  2. Emperor YəgbaSyon (1285 -1294)
  3. Emperor SeifaArəd IV (1294 -1295)
  4. Emperor HəzbAsged (1295 – 1296)
  5. Emperor QədmeAsged (1296 – 1297)
  6. Emperor JinnAseged (1297 – 1298)
  7. Emperor SabaAseged (1298 – 1299)
  8. Emperor WedemArad (1299 – 1314)
  9. Emperor AmdaSyon I (1314 – 1344)
  10. Emperor NewayeKrəstos (1344 – 1372)
  11. Emperor NewayeMaryam (1372 – 1382)
  12. Emperor Dawit I (1382 – 1413)
  13. Emperor Tewodros I (1413 – 1414)
  14. Emperor Yəshaaq I (1414 – 1429)
  15. Emperor Endryas (1429 – 1430)
  16. Emperor TekleMaryam (1430 – 1433)
  17. Emperor SarweIyesus (1433)
  18. Emperor AmdaIyesus (1433 – 1434)
  19. Emperor ZeraaYa’əqob (1434 – 1468)
  20. Emperor BeadaMaryam I (1468 – 1478)
  21. Emperor Eskender (1478 – 1494)
  22. Emperor AmdaSyon II (1494)
  23. Emperor Na’od (1494 – 1508)
  24. Emperor Dawit II (1508 – 1540)
  25. Emperor Gelawdewos (1540 – 1559)
  26. Emperor Menas (1559 – 1563)
  27. Emperor SertseDəngəl (1563 – 1597)
  28. Emperor Ya’qob (1597 – 1603)
  29. Emperor ZeDəngəl (1603 – 1604)
Gonder Imperial Lineage
  1. Emperor Susoneyos I (1606 – 1632)
  2. Emperor Fasiledes 1632 – 1667)
  3. Emperor Yohannes I (1667 – 1682)
  4. Emperor Iyasu I (1682 – 1706)
  5. Emperor Yshaaq Iyasu (1685)
  6. Emperor TekleHaymanot I (1706 – 1708)
  7. Emperor AmdaSyon (1707)
  8. Emperor Tewoflos (1708 – 1711)
  9. Emperor NebahneYohanns (1709 – 1710)
  10. Emperor Yostos (1711 – 1716)
  11. Emperor Dawit III (1716 – 1721)
  12. Emperor Bakafa (1721 – 1730)
  13. Emperor Iyasu II (1730 – 1755)
  14. Emperor Hezqyas (1736 – 1737)
  15. Emperor Iyoas I (1755 – 1769)

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