Descendants of Eri
Sometime in Middle East, famine struck and Jacob moved with his family and about 70 other relations to Egypt. But before then Joseph (which was 11th son of Jacob) had already been sold to Egypt by his brothers, where he was made Governor General under a King Pharaoh. As time goes on when the Pharaoh that knows Joseph died, they started suffering persecutions from the hand of Egyptians but ERI the 5th son of GAD foresaw the danger, persecution, and wickedness coming and he decided to leave in time with his two younger brothers, ARODI & ARELI with one of his half brothers.
They travelled through Ethiopia, Sudan and down towards West Africa through river nile and landed at a place known as AGULERI today through Omambala river in Anambra state, around 1305 BC. We were not told how long their voyage took to get to their promised land, what we were told is that Eri and his group was divinely instructed to make the confluence of Ezu and Omambala Rivers their final destination. They would move into the hinterland and make a settlement in the present-day Aguleri. It was here that Eri lived and died. Meanwhile, amongst Eri’s children was Agulu, the eldest son who took over from his father after his demise.It was him who appended the name of his father, Eri, to his name and founded Agulu-Eri (Aguleri) by calling the settlement where his father Eri died and he (Agulu) lived AGULERI.
The Igbo Jews of Nigeria, who call themselves the “Benei-Yisrael,” are part of the larger Igbo ethnic group. Most of the Igbo Jews live in an area which straddles the River Niger, near the Anambra states. The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syria, Portugal and Libya into West Africa around 740 C.E. It is claimed that the initial immigrants were from the biblical tribes of Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali. Later, they were joined by more Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Libya in 1484 and 1667 respectively.
Some of the Igbo Jews claim that the river Sambation (beyond which the ten lost tribes were dispersed by the Assyrians) is in Africa.In a paper distributed by the “Igbo Benei-Yisrael Association of Nigeria,” three possible migration routes of Jews into Africa are proposed:
- Through migrations west from the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Sudan.
- Through trade and travel of North African Jews within the West African Kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Kanem-Bornu. According to accounts from explorers of the region, several of the rulers of the Songhai Empire were said to be of Jewish origin.
- Through Jews traveling with Kel Tamasheq (Tuareg) trade caravans from various parts of Northeast Africa into West Africa.
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