Source: Perseus Digital Library
Title: Histories 5.2-5
“A few authorities hold that in the reign of Isis the surplus population of Egypt was evacuated to neighboring lands under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Judas. Many assure us that the Jews are descended from those Ethiopians who were driven by fear and hatred to emigrate from their home country when Cepheus was king. There are some who say that a motley collection of landless Assyrians occupied a part of Egypt, and then built cities of their own, inhabiting the lands of the Hebrews and the nearer parts of Syria…” – Tacitus, Histories 5.2-5
“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
Tacitus also confirms an incident in the New Testament.
The Timeline of Tacitus
The importance of the Testimony of Tacitus is that he was a Roman historian, and he is often quoted as a credible source of history. Tacitus lived from 55 AD – 117 AD, which overlaps the lifetime of the apostle Paul, who was believed to have died in 64 A.D.
“Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?” – Acts 21:38
Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian, and both Egyptians and Ethiopians are black descendants of Ham in the Bible. We know that Paul’s appearance was the reason his ability to speak Greek was questioned by the guard in Acts 21:37.