Source: Islamic Feedback or Ancient near Eastern Survivals? A Reply to David Henige (Frobenius Institute) 2008 A.D.
This source is a “one-stop-shop” source for refuting the notion that ancient near east (ANE) connections are due solely to Islamic feedback. As we have discussed on this website, Israelites entered Africa before 70 A.D. and before Islamic influence occurred. To begin, Israel grew as a nation in Africa (Egypt) so Israel has had an intimate connection with Africa for an extremely long time. It has been proposed by various scholars that Africa was named after one of Abraham’s descendants which reinforces Israel’s connection with Africa. It is a hard historical fact that numerous Israelite communities have existed amongst the northern regions of Africa for more than 2,000 years. It is a hard historical fact that Tacitus equated the Jews of being of Egyptian or Ethiopian descent which means ethnically and culturally the Jews aligned with “Hamitic” peoples. For another example, according to the account of Eldad the Danite, the tribe of Dan and the others who willfully left went to Africa during the split between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. In another instance, it is a hard historical fact that Jews fled into Africa with the destruction of the Second Temple 70 A.D. The oral traditions of certain peoples in Africa attest to their ancestors fleeing into Africa during and after the destruction of the First and Second Temple.
Another example, history attests to Phoenicians/Carthaginians settling the West Coast of Africa and the oral traditions of various West African people claim that their people or parts of their people came from the “sea”. Another key point is that some believe Tarshish was on the West Coast of Africa. It is known that both rabbinical literature and Islamic literature place the 10 tribes of Israel (on the rabbinical side) and the Sons of Moses (on the Islamic side) in Africa. It is a hard historical fact that Spanish and Portuguese Jews were expelled to Africa which includes West Africa. It is a fact that some cartographers noted that the gulf near Loango was known as the Gulf of the Jews. It is a hard historical fact that Jews were persecuted in areas like Timbuktu. It is a hard historical fact on certain maps that a Jewish Kingdom was noted to exist below the equator and that Jews are elsewhere in Africa, especially West Africa. It is a well laid out theory that Ghana was founded by Berbers/Jews before Islam rose. It is a fact that the peoples American negroes were taken from were known as “ancient Berbers” as the 1848 negro law dictates. It is a biblical fact that God said His people are dispersed into regions beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Zephaniah 3:10) which definitely alludes to parts of Africa beyond the rivers of Cush.
Here are some additional things to consider that don’t align or are forbidden within Islamic and Jewish thought yet were practiced by ancient Israelites (both good and bad things they did), others in the ANE, and others in pre-Arab northern regions of Africa:
- Serpent Worship
- Practicing monotheism while worshipping false “gods” (especially “female goddess worship”)
- The use of sorcery
- Ancestor Worship
- The use of cultic masks
- There are peoples in Africa who do not claim Jewish descent but they claim near east descent which makes sense because timeline wise most of the ancient Israelites were expelled shouldn’t know what Judaism is or who a Jew is because those terms were constructed at an extremely late date
- There are peoples in South Africa like the Bantu who practice both good and bad things that ancient Israelites and others did in the ancient near east. These cultural practices cannot be connected to Islam because Islam did not penetrate into the southern regions of Africa nearly as deeply as it did in other regions of Africa