‘Merchants’ and buyers in the ‘Temple’.

The Lalibella Church over 1000 years old
A priest of the Gondar Monastery

Early last year, I traveled northwards along the Red Sea throughout the horn, seeking for my trace in the bible. See, I was unmoved by blond-hair-blue-eyed Jesus. With the little World War Two history I knew, I found it odd that two Jews, Jesus and Virgin Mary would be sold to me here looking like Aryans…

Black Jesus

Black Jesus

I wanted to see where I featured and how I connected to Jesus. In the end I found out that we blacks aren’t descendants of mere Jews, commoners, but descendants of the King of Jews and the Queen of

Sheba; I saw black Jesus!

Ok, I am not launching a new Scientology here, start a holy war and amass a fortune. This isn’t the story of Ali and Abu-Bakr either, nor is it, a critic to Kigali’s ‘Merchants in the Temple’. You see, I don’t want to attract the wrath of aunts, uncles, girlfriends and potential in-laws; all good ‘Clients in the Temple’, buying away with abandon, seeking indulgence, hoping for a softer penance and shorter purgatory…

So you are all free to dismiss my story, keep transacting in the Temple.


With Virgin Mary’s great grand niece

When the Lord Jehovah appeared to young Salomon, the second born child to David and his wife Bathsheba, he asked Salomon to demand from him anything he wanted. He asked for wisdom and the Lord was pleased with him, for he did not ask for self-serving rewards like wealth, long life or the death of his enemies.

God not only fulfilled his wish and granted him great wisdom, but he offered him all the rest, namely wealth and power. He was a great and rich king. And in return he built the First Temple of Jerusalem and offered it to God as a gift.

News of Salomon’s wisdom and favors from God spread around the world, that other king and queens traveled from afar, to pay respect to the great and powerful king of Israel

Among them was Makeda, the queen of Sheba. Makeda was a stunningly beautiful and equally powerful Queen who ruled over a nation once spanning the Red Sea on the coasts of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, in Arabia Felix. The queen brought him gold, spices and precious stones. Known to be equally wise and powerful, she sought to prove him with many hard questions to which he gave satisfactory answers. The Bible says ‘all her desires, whatsoever she asked were left satisfied’ (1 Kings 10:10).

The Lalibella Church over 1000 years old

During her visit, King Salomon, known to be obsessed with women, ‘knew’ the Queen of Sheba as she conceived a child, and returned pregnant to Abyssinia where Menelik was born nine moths letter. Upon reaching adulthood Menelik traveled to Jerusalem to meet his father, who fell instantly in love with his son and designated him as his heir to the Israeli throne.

It isn’t difficult to imagine the Son of the King Salomon and the Queen of Sheba to be a man of remarkable beauty and formidable wisdom, to whose charm anyone would fall.


A Falasha in the Israeli Army

The news however, didn’t sit well with the Israelite who refused to be ruled by a man from Africa. Seeing that his insisting was to no avail, Salomon said to Menelik: my son, go and rule in the land of you mother, I shall give you the most precious of my kingdom’s possessions, for you are my most precious son.’ He then gave him the Ark of the Covenant, commonly known as the Ten Commandments, curved in stone by the Lord Jehovah himself.

Initially they were all curved on one stone when Yahweh gave them to Moses. As he came down from the mountain, upon finding his people in idolatry, Moses threw them on the ground and broke them into two pieces.

In addition to hundreds of precious gifts, gold and wealth, Salomon also gave his son thousands of Jews to go and serve him in the land of his mother. Most of those Ethiopian Jews, known in Ethiopia today as Falasha have recently returned to Israel, the last batch leaving as recent as 2003. Some have chosen to remain Ethiopians.

In the Monastery of Gondar
In the Monastery of Gondar

Only a small portion of what I am saying here, I read in the bible. Most of it I was told by orthodox priests, Ethiopian and Somali elders or saw with my own eyes. Now the Ark of the Covenant is in the Monastery of Axium, which I visited. The reason Ethiopia wasn’t colonized, is because God would not allow the Ark of the Covenant to fall in the hands of the enemy – the Romans (Italians), who attempted and failed to conquer Ethiopia.

At the Source of the Blue Nile

Long after the Arch had been given to Menelik, the Second Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 ad, by Roman Emperor Titus, and all Jews fled and spread in the world. One wall, The Western Wall or Wailing Wall, that’s all that’s left of ancient Israeli kingdom. That, and the Ark of the Covenant, kept jealously in Abyssinia. The wall is treasured to the highest level, while the Arch, well, is out of sight to all creatures.

Upon the recent re-creation of the state of Israel, the Ark of the Covenant was taken to be shown there, and all who saw or touched it went blind or fell suddenly ill and died.


The pillar of the Church – Gondar Monastery

It is kept in the holy of holy in the monastery of Axium. Or Gondar, they never make it clear. Although I visited both monasteries, sinners like myself would see or touch it to our own peril. We are all allowed to visit inside the churches and monasteries; we may not reach the holy place, where only priests are allowed.

The main pillar holding the church, which is rooted in the holy of holy at the heart of the church and emerging to the ceiling, is always covered with a cloth, to prevent visitors from the adverse effects of its sight. The Arch of the Covenant is seen only by the head priest, possibly not even the Pope of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia.

The priests and monks are quiet impressive creatures who curve tiny holes in the temple’s stone to find barely enough space to crawl in, folded like fetuses and sleep. They live and die at the temple.

Those are the people who see and touch the Ark without contemplating instant blindness or death. Not our bling bling, perfumed, rock star-like apostles; ubiquitous in Africa and America, traveling in private jets, reaping off my poor old aunt. Shame on them…