Friday, July 20Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

The Shemites

Zephaniah The Prophet: Son of A Cushite Man

Zephaniah The Prophet: Son of A Cushite Man

The Shemites
Zephaniah the prophet may have been the son of a Cushite man. We often overlook seemingly boring genealogies in the Bible, but sometimes they can be the most interesting part. One interesting find is located in the first verse of the book of Zephaniah: "The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah." - Zephaniah 1:1 At first glance there's nothing "special" about the verse, but when we look at the names, we find something odd. The name "Cushi" is an ETHNONYM: Ethnonym: An ethnic name ascribed to a people or group; the proper name by which a people or ethnic group is called or known. - Dictionary.com Ethnonym: An ethnonym (from...
Joshua: Moses’ Mixed Race Successor That Conquered Canaan

Joshua: Moses’ Mixed Race Successor That Conquered Canaan

The Shemites
Joshua was foundational in establishing the kingdom of Israel after the death of Moses. He led the invasion into Canaan, slayed giants, and helped Israel take the land for a possession. However, many people, including myself at one time, know every little about his background. Many of us pick up the Joshua story from his report back to Moses, along with the eleven other spies. "And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so ...
Pharez: The Half Canaanite Son of Judah and Tamar

Pharez: The Half Canaanite Son of Judah and Tamar

The Shemites
One of the most often overlooked pieces of genealogical information involves the origins of the tribe of Judah. When Jacob's original sons (the 12 tribes of Israel) needed wives, they sought out women descended from Ham. Because they were living in the land of Canaan, it makes sense that some of them would take Canaanite wives. Judah was no exception. Not only did he take a Canaanite wife for himself, but he took one for his oldest son as well. This is ultimately what leads to the birth of Pharez. The Birth of Pharez Tamar was originally meant for Judah's oldest son, but after a series of unfortunate events, Tamar wound up a lonely, unmarried widow. After Judah failed to deliver his youngest son to her as promised, Tamar pretended to be a prostitute and tricked Judah into s...
Ephraim: The Half African Son of Joseph

Ephraim: The Half African Son of Joseph

The Shemites
When Joseph was enslaved in Egypt, he eventually rose to power and married an Egyptian woman named Asenath. Two children resulted from this marriage and they were Ephraim and Manasseh. "And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." - 41:52 During the blessing ceremony, Joseph places them before Jacob, and Jacob adopts both boys as his own children, thus making them "tribes" of Israel. "And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." - 48:5 During the ceremony, Jacob blesses both boys, but he places Ephraim before Manasseh, even though he was the youngest and Jose...