From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Hebrew; Cush . (See Cush ; Babylon  Isaiah 11:11. S. of Egypt. Now Nubia, Sennaar, Kordofan, and N. Abyssinia. In a stricter sense the kingdom of Meroe from the junction of the Blue and the White Nile to the border of Egypt. Syene on the N. marked the boundary from Egypt ( Ezekiel 29:10;  Ezekiel 30:6). The Red Sea was on the Ethiopia, the Libyan desert on the W. The native name was Ethaush; the Greek "Ethiopia" means the land of the sunburnt. Compare  Jeremiah 13:23, "can the Ethiopian change his skin?" "The rivers of Ethiopia" ( Zephaniah 3:10) are the two branches of the Nile and the Astabbras (Tacazze). The Nile forms a series of cataracts here. The dispersed Israelites shall be brought as an offering by the nations to the Lord ( Zephaniah 3:8-9;  Isaiah 66:20;  Isaiah 60:9), from both the African and the Babylonian Cush, where the ten tribes were scattered in Peter's time ( 1 Peter 1:1;  1 Peter 5:13;  Isaiah 11:11, "from Cush and from Shinar".)

The Falashas of Abyssinia are probably of the ten tribes. In  Isaiah 18:1, "the land shadowing with wings" is Ethiopia shadowing (protecting) with its two wings (Egyptian and Ethiopian forces) the Jews, "a nation scattered and peeled" (loaded with indignity, made bald) though once "terrible" when God put a terror of them into surrounding nations ( Exodus 23:27;  Joshua 2:9), "a nation meted out and trodden down whose land the (Assyrian) rivers (i.e. armies,  Isaiah 8:7-8) have spoiled"; the Jews, not the Ethiopians. Ethiopia had sent her ambassadors to Jerusalem where they now were ( Isaiah 18:2), Tirhakah their king shortly afterward being the ally whose diversion in that city's favor saved it from Sennacherib ( Isaiah 36:37). Isaiah announces Sennacherib's coming overthrow to the Ethiopian ambassadors and desires them to carry the tidings to their own land (compare  Isaiah 17:12-14; not "woe" but "ho," calling attention ( Isaiah 18:1-2); go, take back the tidings of what God is about, to do against Assyria, the common foe of both Ethiopia and Judah.

Queen Candace reigned in this Nile-formed is land region; the name is the official designation of a female dynasty shortly before our Lord's time ( Acts 8:27). The "vessels of bulrushes" or papyrus boats are peculiarly suited to the Upper Nile, as being capable of carriage on the shoulders at the rocks and cataracts. Ethiopia" is often used when Upper Egypt and Ethiopia are meant. It is the Thebaid or Upper Egypt, not Ethiopia by itself, that was peopled and cultivated, when most of Lower Egypt was a marsh. Thus Ethiopia and Egypt are said ( Nahum 3:9) to be the "strength" of "populous No" or Thebes. Zerah the Ethiopian who attacked Asa at Mareshah on the S. of Palestine, and Tirhakah the Ethiopian who advanced toward Judah against Sennacherib, were doubtless rulers of Upper Egypt and Ethiopia combined. Tirhakah's name is found only on a Theban temple, and his connection with Ethiopia is marked by several monuments there being ascribed to him.

An Azerch-Amen reigned in Ethiopia, we know from the monuments; perhaps = Zerah (Rawlinson). Hincks identifies him with Osorkon I, king of Egypt, second of the 22nd dynasty (See Asa ) ( 2 Chronicles 14:9). Tirhakah was third of the 25th dynasty of Egypt, an Ethiopian dynasty. So or Sevechus or Sabacho was another of this dynasty; the ally of Hoshea king of Israel against Shalmaneser ( 2 Kings 17:3-4). Osirtasin I (Sesostris, Herodotus, 2:110), of the 12th dynasty, was the first Egyptian king who ruled Ethiopia. While the shepherd kings ruled Lower Egypt the 13th native dynasty retired to the Ethiopian capital Napara. Shishak's army was largely composed of Ethiopians ( 2 Chronicles 12:3).

The monuments confirm  Isaiah 20:4;  Nahum 3:5;  Nahum 3:8-9, by representing Sargon as warring with Egypt and making the Pharaoh tributary; they also make Ethiopia closely united to Egypt. Probably he was provoked by the help which So had given to his rebel tributary Hoshea. The inscriptions tell us Sargon destroyed No-Amon or Thebes in part, which was the capital of Upper Egypt, with which Ethiopia was joined. Esarhaddon, according to the monuments, conquered Egypt and Ethiopia Meroe was the emporium where the produce of the distant S. was gathered for transport either by the Nile or by caravans to northern Africa; compare  Isaiah 45:14.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Ethiopia ( Ç'Thi-Ô'Pi-Ah ), Burnt-Faces. Called Cash by the Hebrews, a country south of Egypt.  Ezekiel 29:10. In the Scriptures "Ethiopia" usually refers to the region extending from Egypt southward beyond the junction of the White and Blue Nile. This was Seba,  Isaiah 43:3, and known to the Romans as the kingdom of Meroe. The country is rolling and mountainous, the elevation increasing toward the south, until it reaches a height of about 8000 feet in Abyssinia. Frequent notices of this country and its people are found in the Bible. It was settled by the children of Ham,  Genesis 10:6, dark-skinned men of stature.  Jeremiah 13:23;  Isaiah 45:14. They were selected as members of royal households.  Jeremiah 38:7-13. The treasurer of its queen, Candace was baptized by Philip.  Acts 8:27-38. It is noticed in, connection with Egypt,  Isaiah 20:4;  Isaiah 43:3;  Isaiah 45:14; with Libya (Phut),  Jeremiah 46:9 : Lydia and Chub (Lub and Lud),  Ezekiel 30:5, and the Sukkiim.  2 Chronicles 12:3. Moses married an Ethiopian,  Numbers 12:1; Ethiopians were in Shishak's army,  2 Chronicles 12:3; Zerah, an Ethiopian king, had an army of a million soldiers,  2 Chronicles 14:9-12 : Job mentioned the precious stones of Ethiopia,  Job 28:19; the Israelites were familiar with the merchandise of that country,  Isaiah 45:14; and Isaiah foretold the subjugation of Ethiopia by the Assyrians.  Isaiah 20:4;  Isaiah 20:6. Among the Assyrian inscriptions of Assurbanipal, now in the British Museum, George Smith deciphered several which especially illustrate and confirm the fulfillment of this prophecy. Among other prophecies in respect to Ethiopia are  Psalms 68:31;  Psalms 87:4;  Isaiah 45:14;  Ezekiel 30:4-9;  Daniel 11:43;  Habakkuk 3:7;  Zephaniah 2:12;  Nahum 3:8-10. The Romans in the reign of Augustus Caesar, b.c. 22, defeated Candace, queen of Ethiopia, and made the country tributary to Rome. Candace was an official title of the queens, one of whom is named in  Acts 8:27.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

Apart from Egypt, Ethiopia is the most frequently mentioned African country in the Bible. It was sometimes called Cush and its people were dark-skinned. It bordered Egypt to Egypt’s south and, like Egypt, was centred on the Nile River. The region it occupied is today the northern part of Sudan ( Isaiah 18:1-2;  Jeremiah 13:23;  Ezekiel 29:10; for map of the region see Egypt ).

To most of the people of Palestine, Ethiopia was the southernmost country they knew of. Writers frequently used its name poetically to symbolize the unlimited extent of God’s sovereign rule ( Psalms 68:31;  Isaiah 11:11;  Ezekiel 30:4-5;  Zephaniah 3:10).

Individuals from Ethiopia feature occasionally in the Old Testament story. During Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan, Moses married an Ethiopian woman, probably after his first wife had died ( Numbers 12:1). In later times an Ethiopian who worked in the palace of the Judean king saved the life of God’s prophet Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 38:7-13;  Jeremiah 39:15-18).

Ethiopia features in the biblical record mainly during the period of the divided Israelite kingdom, when it attacked Judah on at least two occasions ( 2 Chronicles 12:2-4;  2 Chronicles 14:9-15). Later it gained control over Upper Egypt, and for about half a century exercised a strong influence over Egypt. It even challenged Assyria, which was the leading power of the time ( 2 Kings 19:8-9;  Nahum 3:8-9). The challenge brought little success and soon Ethiopia, along with its ally Egypt, suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Assyria ( Isaiah 20:3-6). It subsequently fell under the control of Babylon, and then under the control of Persia ( Esther 1:1).

In pre-New Testament times, Ethiopia was one of the many countries where Jews settled and established communities. Some Ethiopians attended the Jewish synagogues and became worshippers of the God of Israel (see Dispersion ; Proselyte ). One of these worshippers of God, or ‘God-fearers’, was among the first non-Jewish people to become Christians in the time of the early church ( Acts 8:27-38).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

ETHIOPIA is tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of the Heb. Cush , which is derived from Kosh , the Egyp. name of Nubia (beginning at the First Cataract). The cultivable land in this region is very meagre. The scanty and barbarous population of the valley and the deserts on either side was divided in early times among different tribes, which were completely at the mercy of the Egyptians. Individually, however, the Sudanese were sturdy warriors, and were constantly employed by the Pharaohs as mercenary soldiers and police. In the time of the New Kingdom, Cush southward to Napata was a province of Egypt, dotted with Egyptian temples and governed by a viceroy. With the weakening of the Egyptian power Cush grew into a separate kingdom, with Napata as its capital. Its rulers were probably of Egyptian descent; they are represented as being entirely subservient to Ammon, i.e . to his priests, elected by him, acting only upon his oracles, and ready to abdicate or even to commit suicide at his command. We first hear of a king of Ethiopia about b.c. 730, when a certain Pankhi, reigning at Napata and already in possession of the Egyptian Thebaid, added most of Middle Egypt to his dominions and exacted homage from the princes of the Delta. A little later an Ethiopian dynasty (the XXVth) sat on the throne of the Pharaohs for nearly fifty years (b.c. 715 664). The last of these, Tahraku (Tirhakah [wh. see]), intrigued with the kinglets of Syria and PhÅ“nicia against the Assyrians, but only to the ruin of himself and his dynasty. Tahraku and his successor Tandamane were driven into Ethiopia by the Assyrian invasions, and Egypt became independent under the powerful XXVIth Dynasty. For the Persian period it is known that Ethiopia, or part of it, was included in one satrapy with Egypt under Darius. In the 3rd cent. b.c. king Ergamenes freed himself from the power of the priests of Ammon by a great slaughter of them. From about this time forward Meroë, the southern residence, was the capital of Ethiopia. The worship of Ammon, however, as the national god of ‘Negroland,’ as Ethiopia was then called, still continued. In b.c. 24 the Romans invaded Ethiopia in answer to an attack on Egypt by queen Candace, and destroyed Napata, but the kingdom continued to be independent. The Egyptian culture of Ethiopia had by that time fallen into a very barbarous state. Inscriptions exist written in a peculiar character and in the native language, as yet undeciphered; others are in a debased form of Egyptian hieroglyphic.

The name of Cush was familiar to the Hebrews through the part that its kings played in Egypt and Syria from b.c. 730 664, and recently discovered papyri prove that Jews were settled on the Ethiopian border at Syene in the 6th cent. b.c. See also Cush.

F. Ll. Griffith.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 2:13  Isaiah 11:11Cush

The biblical Ethiopia should not be confused with the modern nation of the same name somewhat further to the southeast. In biblical times, Ethiopia was equivalent to Nubia, the region beyond the first cataract of the Nile south, or upstream, of Egypt. This region, with an abundance of natural resources, was known to the Egyptians as Cush and was occupied by them during periods of Egyptian strength. During the New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.), Ethiopia was totally incorporated into the Egyptian Empire and ruled through an official called the “viceroy of Cush.”

When Egyptian power waned, Nubia became independent under a line of rulers who imitated Egyptian culture. When Egypt fell into a period of chaos about 725 B.C., Nubian kings extended their influence northward. In 715 B.C., they succeeded in establishing control over all of Egypt and ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The most influential of these Ethiopian pharaohs was Taharqa (biblical Tirhakah), who rendered aid to Hezekiah of Judah during the Assyrian invasion of Sennacherib in 701 B.C. ( 2 Kings 19:9;  Isaiah 37:9 ).

The Assyrian Empire invaded Egypt in 671 B.C., driving the Ethiopian pharaohs southward and eventually sacking the Egyptian capital Thebes (biblical No-Amon;  Nahum 3:8 ) in 664 B.C. Thereafter, the realm of Ethiopian kings was confined to Nubia, which they ruled from Napata. Ethiopia continued to be an important political force and center of trade ( Isaiah 45:14 ). Some time after 300 B.C., Napata was abandoned and the capital moved further south to Meroe, where the kingdom continued for another six hundred years. Excavations in Nubia have revealed numerous pyramid tombs at Napata and Meroe as well as several temples to the Egyptian god Amun.

In New Testament times, several queens of the kingdom of Meroe bore the title Candace. The Ethiopian eunuch to whom Philip explained the gospel was a minister of “the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians” ( Acts 8:27 RSV). Candace should be understood as a title rather than a personal name.

Daniel C. Browning, Jr.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

One of the great kingdoms in Africa, frequently mentioned in Scripture under the name of Cush, the various significations of which in the Old Testament have been mentioned under the article  Isaiah 18:1-7   Zephaniah 3:10 .

The name of Seba was given to the northern part of Ethiopia, afterwards Meroe, but the eldest son of Cush,  Genesis 10:7 . This country was in some parts mountainous, and in others sandy; but was to a great extent well watered and fertile. Ebony, ivory, spices, gold, and precious stones were among its articles of traffic. Its history is much involved with that of Egypt, and the two countries are often mentioned together in Bible,  Isaiah 20:3-6   43:3   45:15   Ezekiel 30:1-26   Daniel 11:43 .

Zerah "the Ethiopian" who invaded Judah in the reign of Asa, B. C. 944, 2 Chronicles 14:9-15 , is thought by some to have been an Egyptian king of an Ethiopia on both sides of the Red Sea; that is, of the Arabian as well as African Cush. This would explain how he could obtain access to the land of Palestine without passing through Egypt. But the whole question is involved in uncertainty. The Ethiopian queen Candace, whose treasurer is mentioned in  Acts 8:27 , was probably queen of Meroe, where a succession of females reigned who all bore this name. As this courtier is said to have gone up to Jerusalem "to worship," he was probably a Jew by religion, if not by birth. There appear to have been many Jews in that country. The gospel gained adherents among them; and early in the forth century the entire Bible was translated into the ancient Ethiopic language, from the Greek.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 2:13 2 Kings 19:9 Esther 1:1 Job 28:19 Psalm 68:31 87:4 Ezekiel 29:10 30:6 Isaiah 18:1 Zephaniah 3:10 Isaiah 45:14

Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham ( Genesis 10:6;  Jeremiah 13:23;  Isaiah 18:2 , "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in RSV, "tall and smooth"). Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes them as "the tallest and handsomest of men." They are frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, and they are all of the type of the true negro. As might be expected, the history of this country is interwoven with that of Egypt.

Ethiopia is spoken of in prophecy ( Psalm 68:31;  87:4;  Isaiah 45:14;  Ezekiel 30:4-9;  Daniel 11:43;  Nahum 3:8-10;  Habakkuk 3:7;  Zephaniah 2:12 ).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Ethio'pia. (Burnt Faces). The country which the Greeks and Romans described as "Aethiopia" and the Hebrews as "Cush", lay to the south of Egypt, and embraced, in its most extended sense, the modern Nubia, Sennaar, Kordofan and northern Abyssinia, and in its more definite sense, the kingdom of Meroe.  Ezekiel 29:10.

The Hebrews do not appear to have had much practical acquaintance with Ethiopia itself, though the Ethiopians were well known to them through their intercourse with Egypt. The inhabitants of Ethiopia were a Hamitic race.  Genesis 10:6. They were divided into various tribes, of which the Sabeans were the most powerful.

The history of Ethiopia is closely interwoven with that of Egypt. The two countries were not unfrequently united, under the rule of the same sovereign. Shortly before our Saviour's birth, a native dynasty of females, holding the official title of Candace, (Plin. Vi. 35), held sway in Ethiopia, and even resisted the advance of the Roman armies. One of these is the queen noticed in  Acts 8:27.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

This is the Greek and Roman name for CUSH, a kingdom in Africa to the south of Egypt. The boundary between the two kingdoms is not well defined, indeed, it may have varied at different times. The first cataract, 24 N, is generally taken as its northern boundary: its extent southward is altogether unknown.  Genesis 2:13;  Esther 1:1;  Ezekiel 29:10 . At times Ethiopia conquered Egypt: two of the kings mentioned in scripture were Ethiopians.  2 Chronicles 14:9;  Isaiah 37:9 . In some of the prophecies they are mentioned as separate kingdoms.  Nahum 3:9 . See Egypt, Land Of

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

One of the great kingdoms in Africa, sometimes called Cush in Scripture, from Cush, blackness. Blessed are the promises concerning the call of Ethiopia to the Lord, in the latter dispensations of the gospel. ( Psalms 68:31; Psa 72:10-11;  Isaiah 45:14)

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [11]

See Cush .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

ē - thi - ō´pi - a ( כּוּשׁ , kūsh  ; Αἰθιοπία , Aithiopı́a ):

1. Location, Extent and Population

Critically speaking Ethiopia may refer only to the Nile valley above the First Cataract, but in ancient as in modern times the term was often used not only to include what is now known as Nubia and the Sūdān (Soudan), but all the unknown country farther West and South, and also at times Northern, if not Southern, Abyssinia. While Ethiopia was so indefinitely large, yet the narrow river valley, which from the First to the Fifth Cataract represented the main agricultural resources of the country, was actually a territory smaller than Egypt and, excluding deserts, smaller than Belgium (W. Max Müller). The settled population was also small, since in ancient as in modern times Egypt naturally drew away most of the able-bodied and energetic youth as servants, police and soldiers. The prehistoric population of Northern Nubia was probably Egyptian but this was displaced in early historic time by a black race, and the thick lips and woolly hair of the typical African are as well marked in the oldest Egyptian paintings as in the latest. But by the side of these natives of K'sh , the artist also represents various reddish-brown varieties; for from the beginning of historic time the pure Negro stock has been mixed with the fellaheen of Egypt and with the Sere population of the Arabian coast. The rulers of Ethiopia were generally of foreign blood. The Negroes, though brave and frugal, were slow in thought, and although controlled for centuries by cultivated neighbors, under whom they attained at times high official prominence, yet the body of the people remained uninfluenced by this civilization. The country which we now know as Abyssinia was largely controlled, from the earliest known date, by a Caucasian people who had crossed the Red Sea from Arabia. The true Abyssinians, as Professor Littmann shows, contain no Negro blood and no Negro qualities. In general they are "well formed and handsome, with straight and regular features, lively eyes, hair long and straight or somewhat curled and in color dark olive approaching brown." Modern discoveries prove their close racial and linguistic connection with Southern Arabia and particularly with the kingdom of Sheba (the Sabeans), that most powerful people whose extensive architectural and literary remains have recently come to light. The Sabean inscriptions found in Abyssinia go back some 2,600 years and give a new value to the Bible references as well as to the constant claim of Josephus that the queen of Sheba was a "queen of Ethiopia." The Falashas are a Jewish community living near Lake Tsana, of the same physical type and probably of the same race as other Abyssinians. Their religion is a "pure Mosaism" based upon the Ethiopic version of the Pentateuch, but modified by the fact that they are ignorant of the Hebrew language ( Jewish Encyclopedia ). It is uncertain when they became Jews. The older scholars thought of them as dating back to the Solomonic era, or at least to the Babylonian captivity. Since the researches of Joseph Halévy (1868), some date within the Christian era has seemed preferable, notwithstanding their ignorance of Talmudic rules. However, the newly discovered fact that a strong Jewish community was flourishing at Syene in the 6th century bc makes it clear that Jewish influence may have been felt in Ethiopia at least that early. Although Abyssinians are noted for their strict adherence to ancient custom, Jewish characteristics are prominent all over the entire country. The opening formula of the king in every official letter - "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has Conquered!" - is no more Jewish than scores of ordinary phrases and customs. Although it is barely possible that some rites, like circumcision and observance of the Sabbath, may have been received from the ancient Egyptians or Christian Coptics ( The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge ) yet a strong Hebrew influence cannot be denied. All travelers speak of the "industry" of the Falashas and of the "kindliness and grave courtesy" of the Abyssinians. Besides those named above there are many communities of mixed races in Ethiopia, but the ancient basis is invariably Negro, Semitic or Egyptian

2. History

The ancient Greek writers are full of fantastic and fabulous stories about Ethiopia. Sometimes they become so puzzled in their geography as to speak of Ethiopia as extending as far as India; their notes concerning the miraculous fauna and flora are equally Munchausian. Homer praises the Ethiopians as the "blameless race," and other writers rank them first among all men for their religious knowledge. This latter notion may have had its origin from a priestly desire to consider the Ethiopian reverence for the priesthood - which had the power of life and death over the kings - as the Divinely ordained primitive custom, or it may have sprung from the fact that the Egyptian "Land of the Gods" was partly situated in Southern Abyssinia. It is suggestive that the Hebrew prophets never fell into these common errors but invariably "gave a very good idea of geographical and political conditions" (W. Max Müller). The oldest important historic document referring to Ethiopia is from the 4th Dynasty of Egypt. when Sneferu laid waste the land, capturing 7,000 slaves and 100,000 cattle.

In the VIth Dynasty the Egyptians reached as far South as the Second Cataract and brought back some dwarfs, but did not establish any permanent control. In the 12th Dynasty Egypt's real occupation of Ethiopia began. Usertesen Iii records his contempt by saying: "The Negro obeys as soon as the lips are opened. They are not valiant, they are miserable, both tails and bodies!" Notwithstanding this satiric reference, these naked Ethiopians clad in skins and tails of wild animals, compelled the Pharaoh to make several campaigns before he could establish a frontier at the Second Cataract beyond which no Negro could come without a permit. That the natives were not cowardly may be seen from the songs of triumph over their subjection and from the fact that every later Pharaoh encouraged them to enlist in his army, until finally the very hieroglyphic for archer became a Nubian. The 18th Dynasty pushed the frontier beyond the Third Cataract into the splendid Dongola district and often boasts of the rich tribute from Ethiopia., in one case 2,667 "manloads" of ivory, ebony, perfumes, gold and ostrich feathers besides cattle, wild beasts and slaves. The chairs of ivory and the jewelry sometimes shown seem barbaric in style but excellent in workmanship. Copper and bronze factories and great iron foundries date also to a very early time in Ethiopia ( PSBA , Xxxiii , 96). The Ethiopian gold mines where hundreds of criminals toiled, with ears and noses mutilated, made gold in Egypt in the 15th century bc as "common as dust." The choicest son of the Pharaoh, next to him in power, was proud to be called "Prince of Kush." Amenhotep Iv (1370 bc), the religious reformer, built his second greatest temple (the only one of his works now existent) in Nubia. The 19th Dynasty sought to colonize Ethiopia., and some of the most magnificent temples ever built by man can be seen as far South as the Fourth Cataract. For over five centuries Egyptian rule was maintained, until about 1000 bc a war for independence began which was so successful that the victorious Ethiopian kings finally carried their armies against Thebes and Memphis and for a century (763-663) ruled all Egypt from Napata - which in religious architecture became the Southern Thebes - and for another century (and even at times during the Ptolemaic era) controlled upper Egypt. While the leaders of this revolution were doubtless descendants of exiled priests from Thebes, yet the mixture of Ethiopian blood is plainly discernible and is perhaps also shown in their "Puritan morals" (Petrie, III, 276) and spirit of clemency, so different from the legitimate Pharaohs. Shabaka = So (715-707) and Taharka = Tirhaḳah (693-667), both mentioned in the Bible, were the last great kings of Ethiopia. When Tanutamen, son of Shabaka and nephew of Taharka (667-664), was forced by Ashurbanipal to give up his claim to Egypt and retire to the South, the influence of Ethiopia ceased. Cambyses (525-521) made Ethiopia tributary clear to the Third Cataract (compare   Ezekiel 30:4 ), while King Ergamenes, near the close of the 3rd century bc, broke forever the power of the Egyptian priesthood. Though the Romans held a nominal protectorate over Ethiopia, it was of so little importance as to be scarcely ever mentioned. After being expelled from Egypt the Ethiopians still continued to honor the gods of Thebes, but, as foreign influence ceased, the representations of this worship became more and more African and barbaric. Even after Christianity had triumphed everywhere else, the Nubians, as late as the 5th century ad, were still coming to Philae to give honor to the statue of Isis (Erman). In the 6th century ad a native king, Silko, established a Christian kingdom in the Northern Sūdān with Dongola as its capital. This raised somewhat the culture of the land. In the next century the Arabs made Nubia tributary, though it took an immense army to do it. For six centuries thereafter Islam demanded a tribute of 360 slaves annually, and other treasure, though innumerable campaigns were necessary to collect it. The Nubian kings refused all overtures to become Moslems, and Christian churches multiplied along the banks of the Nile. In the 8th century Egypt was invaded by 100,000 Nubians to repay an insult given to the Coptic patriarch and to the sacred pictures in the Egyptian Christian churches. In the 13th century, David, king of Nubia, not only withheld tribute but invaded Egypt. He was terribly punished, however, by the Arabs, who sacked churches and tortured Christians clear to the Fourth Cataract. This was the beginning of the end. By the close of the 15th century almost every Christian altar was desolate and every church destroyed.

3. Bible References

Winckler long ago proved that the Assyrians designated a district in Northern Arabia by the same name which they ordinarily applied to Ethiopia. Skinner ( Genesis , 1910, 208) thinks the Hebrews also made this distinction and were therefore entirely right when they spoke of Nimrod as "son of Gush," since the earliest Babylonian dynasty had as a matter of fact a Semitic origin. There may be other references to an Arabian district, but undoubtedly the African Kush must be the one generally designated. This is referred to once in the New Testament and over 40 times in the Old Testament. Many secular monuments speak of the high honor paid to women in Ethiopia., and Candace ( Acts 8:27 ) seems certainly to have been an official or dynastic name for a number of Ethiopian queens. One of the pyramids of Meröe was Candace's - her picture can still be seen at Kaga - and to her belonged the wonderful treasure of jewelry found in 1834 by Ferlini and now in the Berlin museum. Petronius (24 bc) raided Ethiopia for Rome and stormed the capital, but Candace sent ambassadors to Rome and obtained peace. The "eunuch" who may have been the treasurer of this very queen was probably "no black proselyte but a Jew who had placed the business ability of his race at the service of the Nubian woman" (W. Max Müller). In the Old Testament Ethiopia is spoken of with great respect, and several Bible characters are named Cushi ( 2 Samuel 18:21 the King James Version;   Jeremiah 36:14;  Zephaniah 1:1 ); even Moses married an Ethiopian wife ( Numbers 12:1 ), and Ebed-melek the Ethiopian is helper to Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 38:7 ). It is a great land situated beyond the frontiers of the civilized world ( Ezekiel 29:10 ), yet with Jews in its farthest district ( Zephaniah 3:10 ). It is very rich ( Job 28:19;  Isaiah 43:3 ); is engaged in trade with Arabia ( Isaiah 45:14 ), and its citizens are proud of their nationality ( Psalm 87:4 ). Again and again the relation of Cush with Sheba is mentioned ( Genesis 10:7 ,  Genesis 10:28;  Isaiah 43:3 , etc.), which latter statement is strangely corroborated by the recently discovered Sabean inscriptions throughout Abyssinia. Its typical inhabitants have a color as unchangeable as the leopard's spots ( Jeremiah 13:23 ), are careless ( Ezekiel 30:9 ), but very warlike ( Ezekiel 38:5;  Jeremiah 46:9 ), giving "infinite" strength to Nineveh ( Nahum 3:9 ), but who can be resisted by Israel because of Yahweh's favor ( 2 Chronicles 16:8;  Isaiah 20:5;  Isaiah 36:6 ). Yahweh is interested in the history of Ethiopia as well as Egypt ( Isaiah 20:3 ), loves the children of Ethiopia as the children of Israel ( Amos 9:7 ), and the time is coming when Ethiopia shall yet stretch out her hands to Yahweh ( Psalm 68:31 ). Cush and Mizraim are correctly mentioned as political unit ( Isaiah 20:4 f) , and several kings of Ethiopia are mentioned by name - Z erah ( 2 Chronicles 14:9 ), So ( 2 Kings 17:4 ) and Tirhaqah ( 2 Kings 19:9;  Isaiah 37:9 ). The statements concerning these kings have been pronounced incorrect because it seemed that Zerah could not possibly be an equivalent for Usarkon or So for Shabaka - the known kings of Egypt at those periods - and also because the reigns of Shabaka and Tirhaḳah did not begin until after the dates at which in the Hebrew records they were called "kings of Ethiopia."

Recent, information, however, makes it clear that both Shabaka and Tirhaḳah exercised royal authority in the Delta before they were given it farther south, and that the Hebrew transcription of names was very easy and natural. (See W. M. Flinders Petrie, Hist of Egypt , III, 280-309; Egypt and Israel (1911), 76-78.)

4. The Church in Abyssinia

Sem influence entered Abyssinia at least as early as the 7th or 8th century bc (see above), and the kings of Axum claimed descent from Menelek, Son of Solomon, but the first certain information concerning the kingdom of Axum comes from the middle of the 1st century ad, at which time Axum was a rich capital, and its ancient sacredness was so great that from that period clear down to the 19th century the kings of Abyssinia would travel there to be crowned. There is no reason to doubt that Frumentius (circa 330 ad) was the first to introduce Christianity. Merope of Tyre, according to the often-told story, when returning from India with his two nephews, was captured and killed off the Ethiopian coast, but the two boys were carried to the Abyssinian king; and although one perished the other, Frumentius, succeeded in converting the king and his people to Christianity, and later was himself consecrated by Athanasius of Alexandria as the first Metropolitan of Ethiopia, taking as his title Abu Salama ("Father of Peace"). From that time until now, with but one single interruption, the Abuna ("Father") has always been appointed by the Patriarch of Alexandria and, since the 13th century, has been by legal necessity not a native Abyssinian, but a Copt.

After the Council of Chalcedon (450 ad) condemned all as heretics who did not accept the "double nature" of Christ, both the Egyptian and Abyssinian churches separated themselves from Rome, believing so thoroughly in the Deity of Christ as to refuse to accept His humanity as essential "nature." In the 5th century a great company of monks entered Abyssinia, since which time the monastic tendency has been strongly marked. About 525, Caleb, king of Axum, attacked the Homeritae across the Red Sea - either for their persecution of Christians or their interference with his trade - and for some half a century controlled a large district of Arabia. At this time Abyssinian trade was extensive. Greek influence was also felt, and the Christian cathedral at Axum was a magnificent work of architectural article The early churches were protected by heavy surrounding walls and strong towers. The invasion of Africa by Islam in the 7th century required 300 years of battle for the preservation of Abyssinian liberty and Christian faith. It alone of all the African states succeeded in preserving both - but its civilization was destroyed, and for 1,000 years it was completely hidden from the eyes of its fellow- Christians in Europe. Occasionally during those centuries a rumor would reach Europe of a "Prester John" somewhere in the Far East who was king of a Christian people, yet it was a thrilling surprise to Christendom when Pedro de Cavilham in the 15th century discovered this lost Christian kingdom of Abyssinia completely surrounded by infidel pagans and bigoted Mohammedans. When, early in the 16th century, the Negus of Abyssinia sent an envoy to the king of Portugal asking his help against the Moslems, the appeal was met with favor. In 1520 the Portuguese fleet arrived in the Red Sea and its chaplain, Father Francisco Alvarez, 20 years later stirred the Christian world by his curious narratives. Not long afterward, when the Arabs actually invaded the country, another Portuguese fleet was sent with a body of military, commanded by Christopher de Gama. These 450 musketeers and the six little pieces of artillery gave substantial aid to the endangered state. Father Lobe tells the story. The Abyssinian king must have been grateful for such help, yet presently the strenuous efforts of the Portuguese clergy to convert him and his people to the Roman Catholic faith became so offensive that Bermudez, the most zealous missionary, was compelled to leave the country and the Jesuits who remained were mistreated. Other efforts to win the Abyssinian Christians to renounce the Monophysitic heresy and accept the doctrine and control of Rome were somewhat more successful. Early in the 17th century Father Pedro Paez, an ecclesiastic of much tact, won the king fully to his faith, and under his direction many churches were erected and advantageous government works carried on. However, his successor Mendez lacked his conciliatory ability and, although a punishment of seven years' chastisement was proclaimed against recalcitrants, the opposition became so violent and universal that the Negus Sysenius finally abdicated in favor of his son Fasilidas, who in 1633 sent all Jesuits out of the country and resumed official relations with the Egyptian church. Since then, although many efforts have been made, no controlling influence has ever been obtained by Rome. Once more, for over a century, Abyssinia became completely hidden from the eyes of the outside world until James Bruce, the explorer, visited the country, 1770-72, and made such a report as to arouse again the interest of Christendom. The translation of the Bible, which was made by his Abyssinian guide, was adopted and published by the British and Foreign Bible Society, and in 1829 the Church Missionary Society sent out Gobat and Kugler as the first Protestant missionaries to Abyssinia, who were followed shortly after by some Roman Catholics. Owing chiefly to the opposition of native priests the Protestants were expelled in 1838 and the expulsion of the Roman missionaries followed in 1854. In 1858 a Copt who had been influenced as a youth by a Protestant school, became Abuna , and Protestant missionaries were again admitted, but succeeded in doing little permanent work owing to the political disturbances while King Kesa (Theodore) - the Napoleon of Africa - was attempting to consolidate native resources and build up an African empire. At this period the influence of Great Britain began to be felt in Abyssinia. After the suicide of Theodore (1868) and especially after Menelek Ii had succeeded in making himself emperor (1899), this influence became great. During the 20th century missionaries have been able to work in Abyssinia without much danger, but the Moslem influence is so preponderating that little has been attempted and little done. The religion of the Crescent seems now almost completely victorious over the strange land which for so many centuries, alone and unhelped, held aloft in Africa the religion of the Cross. (See especially The Mohammedan World of Today , by Zwemer, Wherry, and Barton, 1907; Missionary World , 1910-11.)

5. Beliefs and Practices

In creed, ritual, and practice, the Abyssinian church agrees generally with the Coptic. There are seven sacraments and prayers for the dead, high honor is paid to the Virgin Mary and to the saints; fasts and pilgrimages are in much favor; adults are baptized by immersion and infants by affusion. A blue cord is placed about the neck at baptism. An extract from one of the Gospels, a silver ring, an ear pick and a small cross, often very artistic, are also worn about the neck. No charms or beads or crucifixes ("graven images") are worn. The Jewish as well as the Christian Sabbath is kept sacred, and on an average every other day during the year is a religious holiday. The people are ignorant and superstitious, yet impress observers with their grave kindliness and seem at times eager to learn. The clergy can marry before but not after ordination. Priests must be able to read and recite the Nicene Creed (the "Apostles' Creed" is not known), but do not understand the Ge'ez language in which the liturgies are written. They conduct many and long services and attend to the ceremonial purifications. Deacons must also be able to read; they prepare the bread for the Holy Sacrament and in general help the priests. The monastic clergy have chief care of the education of the young - though this consists mainly in Scripture reading - and their head, the Etshege , ranks next to the Abuna .

The ancient churches were often basilican, but modern native churches are quadrangular or circular. The Holy of Holies always stands in the center, and is supposed to contain an ark. Tradition declares that the ark in the cathedral at Axum is the original ark from Solomon's temple. An outer court surrounds the body of the church, which is freely used by laymen and as a place of entertainment for travelers. Very crude pictures are common. These show both Egyptian and European influence, and are probably not merely decorations but have a relation, as in Egyptian thought, to spiritual advancement in this life or the next (compare Budge, Introduction to the Lives of Mabâ' Sĕyôn and Gabra Krĕstôs , 1898). The services consist of chanting psalms, reading Scriptures and reciting liturgies.

6. Abyssinian Literature

The Abyssinian canon ( Semanya Ahadu ) consists of 46 Old Testament and 35 New Testament books. Besides the usually accepted books, they count Shepherd of Hermas, Synodos (Canons), Epistles of Clement, Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 4 Ezra, Ascension of Isaiah, Book of Adam, Joseph ben Gorion, Enoch and Jubilees. The Ethiopic texts of the two latter give these books in the most ancient form, and their discovery has led to much valuable discussion. The use of the Ge'ez language in which these are written dates back to a time shortly before the introduction of Christianity. From the 5th to 7th centuries ad, the literature is almost exclusively translated from Greek writers or adaptations of such writings. Quotations abound from Basil, Gregory, Ignatius, Athanasius, Epiphanus, Cyril, Dioscurus, etc. The second literary period begins 1268, when the old "Solomonic" Dynasty regained its place and continues to the present; it consists mainly of translations from the Arabic. In both periods the topics are few: liturgies, hymns, sermons, the heroic deeds of the saints and their orthodoxy. Each saint uses the four Holy Gospels, as David his four stones, to kill every heretical Goliath (compare Goodspeed and Crum, Patrologia Orientalis , IV, 1908). A large place is given to miracles and magic prayers and secret names (compare Budge, Miracles of the Virgin Mary , 1900, and "Magic Book of Disciples," JAOS , 1904). The legends or histories are occasionally well written, as the famous "Magda Queen of Sheba" (English Translation by Mrs. J. Van Vorst, 1907), but usually are as inferior in style as in thought (compare Littmann, Bibliotheca-Abessinica , 1904). A few specimens of "popular literature" and many Abyssinian "proverbs" are extant ( JAOS , Xxiii , 51-53; Xxv , 1-48; Jour. asiatique , IV, 487-95).

7. Nubian Literature

The modern Nubian does not write, and his ancient predecessors wrote but little. Even in the days of the Pharaohs the hieroglyphics in most Nubian temples were written so poorly as to be almost unintelligible, and in later pre-Christian monuments put up by native rulers the usual tablets accompanying the Divine tableaux are often left blank. Some centuries before our era the necessary monumental inscriptions began to be composed in the Nubian language, though still written in hieroglyphics. Shortly after the beginning of the Christian era a native cursive writing begins to be used on the monuments, closely resembling the Egyptian demotic, from which undoubtedly its alphabet was derived (F. L. Griffith in Areika ). Finally, after Nubia became Christian (6th century), another native system appears written in Greek and Coptic letters. Lepsius found two such inscriptions on the Blue Nile and numbers have since been discovered, but until 1906 these were as unreadable as the other two forms of Nubian writing. In that year Dr. Karl Schmidt found in Cairo two precious fragments of parchment which had been owned by some Nubian Christians of probably the 8th or 9th century. One of these contained a selection of passages from the New Testament - as was ascertained by comparing it with the Greek and Coptic Scriptures. By the aid of bilingual cartouches several proper names were soon deciphered. New inscriptions are now being brought to light every few months, and undoubtedly the translation of this important tongue, which contains the "history of an African Negro dialect for some 2,000 years" and also the religious history of the long-lost Christian church of the Sūdān , will soon be accomplished. The other fragment found by Schmidt was a curious Hymn of the Cross, well representing the ancient Ethiopian hymnology:

"The cross is the hope of Christians;

The cross is the resurrection of the dead;

The cross is the physician of the sick;

The cross is the liberator of the slave," etc.

- J ames H. Breasted in Biblical World , December, 1908; Nation , June 2, 1910.

8. Exploration

Scientific observation of Nubia began with Burckhardt (1813), Cailliaud, and Waddington (1821), and especially with Lepsius (1844), but excavation in the proper sense was begun by the University of Chicago (1905-7), followed (1907-10) by expeditions sent out by the Royal Academy of Berlin, University of Pennsylvania, University of Liverpool, and Oxford University.


Besides the works quoted above, among recent Encyclopedias, see especially Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition) and New Sch-Herz  ; and among the more recent books: James T. Bent, The Sacred City of the Ethiopians (1893); Glaser, Die Abessinier in Arabien und Afrika (1895); A. B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia (1901); R. P. Skinner, Abyssinia of Today (1906); Th. Noeldeke, Die äthiopische Litteratur (1906); Louis J. Morié, Les civilisations africaines (1904); Littmann, Geschichte der äthiopischen Litteratur (1907); W. Max Müller, Aethiopien (1904); Petrie, Hist of Egypt (1895-1901); J. H. Breasted, Temples of Lower Nubia (1906); Monuments of Sudanese Nubia (1908); A. E. Weigall, Report of Antiquities of Lower Nubia (1906); E. A. W. Budge, The Egyptian Sudan (1907); Kromrei, Glaubenslehre und Gebräuche der älteren abessinischen Kirche (1895); M. Fowler, Christian Egypt (1901); Dowling, Abyssinian Church (1909); "Meroe , " the City of the Ethiopians , by Liverpool University Expedition (1909-10); University of Pennsylvania Publications, Egyptian Dept., Eckley B. Coxe, Jr., Expedition to Nubia , I-Iv (1909-11); Archeological Survey of Nubia  ; and Egyptian government reports.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Ethio´pia is the name by which the English and most other versions render the Hebrew Cush. As used among the Greeks and Romans, the word was employed, in all the latitude of its etymological meaning, to denote any of the countries where the people are of a sable, sunburned complexion. But we have shown in the article Cush (to which we refer the reader) that its use in the language of Scripture is much more restricted, and that while it may sometimes include part of Southern Arabia, it for the most part exclusively designates the 'Ethiopia of Africa,' which is the subject of the present article.

By Ethiopia, or African Cush, in the widest acceptation of the name, the Hebrews understood the whole of the region lying south of Egypt above Syene, the modern Assouan . Its limits on the west and south were undefined; but they probably regarded it as extending eastward as far as the Red Sea, if not as including some of the islands in that sea, such as the famous Topaz Isle . It thus corresponded, though only in a vague and general sense, to the countries known to us as Nubia and Abyssinia, so famous for the Nile and other great rivers.

But that part of the vast region of Cush which seems chiefly intended in these and most other passages of Scripture is the tract of country in Upper Nubia, which became famous in antiquity as the kingdomsof Ethiopia, or the state of Meroë. The Ethiopian nations generally ranked low in the scale of civilization; nevertheless (to use the language of Heeren), there did exist a better cultivated, and, to a certain degree, a civilized Ethiopian people; who dwelt in cities; who erected temples and other edifices; who, though without letters, had hieroglyphics; who had government and laws; and the fame of whose progress in knowledge and the social arts spread in the earliest ages over a considerable part of the earth. Meroë Proper lay between the river Astaboras (now the Atbara or Tacazzé) on the east, and the Nile on the west. Though not completely enclosed with rivers, it was called an island, because, as Pliny observes, the various streams which flowed around it were all considered as branches of the Nile. Its surface exceeded that of Sicily more than a half, and it corresponded pretty nearly to the present province of Atbara, between 13° and 18° N. lat. In modern times it formed a great part of the kingdom of Sennaar, and the southern portion belongs to Abyssinia. Upon the island of Meroë lay a city of the same name, the metropolis of the kingdom, the site of which has been discovered near a place called Assur, about twenty miles N. of the town of Shendy, under 17° N. lat. The splendid ruins of temples, pyramids, and other edifices found here and throughout the district attest the high degree of civilization and art among the ancient Ethiopians.

According to Josephus, the ancient name of Meroë was Seba. Now in the Scriptures this country of African Seba is classed with the Arabian Sheba as a rich but far-distant land . In , God says to Israel, 'I have given Egypt for thy ransom; Cush and Seba in thy stead:' and in , 'The wealth of Egypt, and the merchandise of Cush and of the Sebaim, men of stature, shall pass over to thee and shall be thine.'

In the age of Herodotus, the countries known to us as Nubia and Sennaar were occupied by two different races, one of whom he includes under the general appellation of Ethiopians, the other an immigratory Arabian race leading, for the most part, a nomadic life. This distinction has continued down to the present day. Among the aboriginal inhabitants the first place is due to the Nubians, who are well-formed, strong, and muscular, and with nothing whatever of the negro physiognomy. They go armed with spear, sword, and a shield of the skin of the hippopotamus. South of Dongola is the country of the Scheygias, whose warriors are horsemen, also armed with a double-pointed spear, a sword, and a large shield (comp. , the 'Cushites who handle the shield'). They were completely independent till subdued by Mehemet Ali, pasha of Egypt. It is in their country that the pyramidal monuments which adorned the ancient Meroë are first met with. Next comes the territory of the Berbers, strictly so called, who, though speaking Arabic, evidently belong to the Nubian race. Above these regions beyond the Tacazzé and along the Nile the great mass of the inhabitants, though sometimes with a mixture of other blood, may be regarded as of Arab origin. But between the valley of the Nile and the Red Sea there is still, as of old, a variety of scattered aboriginal tribes, among whom the Arabic is much less common. Some of them spread themselves over the plains of the Astaboras, or Tacazzé, being compelled to remove their encampments, sometimes by the inundations of the river, at other times by the attacks of the dreaded zimb, or gad-fly, described by Bruce, and which he supposes to be the 'fly which is in the utmost part of the rivers of Egypt' . Another remarkable Ethiopic race in ancient times was the Macrobians, so called from their supposed longevity. They were represented by the ambassadors of Cambyses as a very tall race, who elected the highest in stature as king: gold was so abundant that they bound their prisoners with golden fetters—circumstances which again remind us of Isaiah's description of Ethiopia and Seba in .

With regard to the ancient civilization of Ethiopia Proper, or the kingdom of Meroë, it was closely connected with the religion of the country, which was the worship of Ammon and his kindred deities, and the 'Oracles of Ammon' were its main support. The government was in the hands of a race or caste of priests, who chose from among themselves a king; and this form continued down to the reign in Egypt of the second Ptolemy, when Ergamenes, at that time king, massacred the priests in their sanctuary, and became absolute monarch.

Of the history of Ethiopia, previous to that last revolution, only scanty information has been preserved, but it is enough to evince its high antiquity and its early aggrandizement. In the Persian period it was certainly an independent and important state, which Cambyses in vain endeavored to subdue. But its most flourishing era was between the years B.C. 800 and 700, when arose three potent kings, Sabaco, Sevechus, and Tarhako, or Tirhakah, who extended their conquests over a great part of Egypt. Sevechus is supposed to have been the So or Sua king of Egypt, to whom an embassy was sent by Hoshea, king of Israel , whose reign ended B.C. 722. He was thus the contemporary of Salmanassar, king of Assyria, as was Tirhakah of the next Assyrian monarch, Sennacherib, who (about the year B.C. 714) was deterred from the invasion of Egypt merely by the rumor that Tirhakah was advancing against him . There seems no reason to doubt that the remarkable prophecy in Isaiah 18 was addressed to Tirhakah and his people, to announce to them the sudden overthrow of the Assyrian host before Jerusalem. In almost verbatim, it is intimated that, struck at the mighty deeds of the God of Judah, this distant people should send gifts to his dwelling-place at Zion. They were, no doubt, among the 'many' who are described in , as having 'brought gifts unto Jehovah at Jerusalem, and presents to king Hezekiah, so that he was magnified in the sight of all the nations.' But it is remarked by Gesenius that the expectation of the entire conversion of the Ethiopians is frequently expressed by the Hebrew prophets ; and he adds, 'Those who take pleasure in tracing the fulfillment of such predictions in subsequent history may find it in (the conversion both to Judaism and Christianity of the treasurer of Queen Candace), and still more in the circumstance that Abyssinia is to this day the only great Christian state in the eastern world.'

If we go back about two centuries, to the reign of Asa, king of Judah (B.C. 950), we read of Zerah, or rather Zerach, an Ethiopian going out against him with a host of a thousand thousand men and three hundred chariots . It is doubtful whether this was an Ethiopian monarch or commander, or only a mere Cushite adventurer; but that his army was mainly of African and not Arabian original is evident from the fact of its having included Libyans as well as Cushites , and from the mention of war-chariots, which never were in use in Arabia. Farther back than this the records of history are silent.

The state of Meroë appears to have resembled the larger states in the interior of Africa at the present day, comprising a number of different races or tribes united together by no strong political bond, but by a common form of worship, which placed the rule in the hands of the priesthood, the dominant caste of the country. There is every reason to conclude that the separate colonies of the priest-caste spread from Meroë into Egypt; and the primeval monuments in Ethiopia strongly confirm the native traditions reported by Diodorus Siculus, that the worship of Ammon and Osiris originated in Meroë, and thus render highly probable the opinion that commerce and civilization, science and art, descended into Egypt from Nubia and the upper regions of the Nile. One great cause of the early prosperity and grandeur of Ethiopia was the carrying-trade, of which it was the center, between India and Arabia on the one hand, and the interior of Africa, and especially Egypt, on the other.

Queen Candace, who is mentioned in , was doubtless the reigning sovereign of Meroë [CANDACE], where it is likely a form of Judaism was at that period professed by a portion of the inhabitants, as seems to have been the case in the adjacent region of Abyssinia. The prophets (e.g. ) sometimes allude to the Jews who were scattered throughout Cush. Ebed-melech, the benevolent eunuch of King Zedekiah, who showed such kindness to the prophet Jeremiah, was an Ethiopian (; comp. ). Josephus calls the queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, a queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, and with this agrees the tradition of the Abyssinians. But Sheba was undoubtedly in Arabia Felix, though it is possible that, in remote antiquity, the sovereignty of its monarchs extended across the Red Sea to the coast of Ethiopia.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

A term loosely used in ancient times to indicate the territory inhabited by black or dark-coloured people; latterly applied to an undefined tract of land stretching S. of Egypt to the Gulf of Aden, which constituted the kingdom of the Ethiopians, a people of Semitic origin and speaking a Semitic language called Ge'ez, who were successively conquered by the Egyptians, Persians, and Romans; are known in the Bible; their first king is supposed to have been Menilehek, son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba; their literature consists mostly of translations and collections of saws and riddles; the language is no longer spoken.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ethiopia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.