Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ethiopia and the 111th Emperor: Haile Selassie I.

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( A thousand years before Christ the Queen of Sheba, we are told, traveled to Jerusalem where she met King Solomon, married him and had a son, Menelik. When Menelik reached maturity, it’s said that he returned to Ethiopia taking with him the Ark of the Covenant containing the original 10 commandments. The Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church says it still has the ark in its possession. No one else makes such a claim…

Two centuries after the birth of Menelik, Homer the first Greek writer wrote
the epic poem, the Odyssey. On the first page of the Odyssey we read that on one festive occasion all the gods gathered in Olympus, except for Poseidon. “Poseidon had gone to visit the Ethiopians…”

A few years ago a Harvard professor, camera crew in tow, had an audience
with the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church. During the course of their discussion, the professor said, “Your Holiness this is not a rude question. I want the Ark of the Covenant to be in Ethiopia without a doubt. (However) has it ever occurred to anyone to have a little piece of the ark dated to disprove all the skeptics?”

Some of the oldest human fossils have been found in Ethiopia, and some of the
oldest cultures. The Nile, the longest river in the world, begins in Ethiopia. Along its 4,000 mile length, in ancient times, was one huge civilization…

No.” said the Ethiopian patriarch to the American professor. “Faith doesn’t go
with the scientific proof. We don’t have to prove it to anyone. If you want to believe, that is your privilege. If you don’t want to believe, that is your privilege. It is only because you want to fame yourself… Many people have failed to show that kind of a proof. It doesn’t bother us. It is here, and we believe it.” These two Black men were from two different worlds. The Emperor Haile Selassie lived in both their worlds. He was Emperor of Ethiopia (1930 – 1974) when all of the rest of the Motherland was in foreign hands…

Marcus Garvey reportedly told his followers, “Look to the East. A king shall be
crowned!” At the time young prince Ras Tafari was about to assume the throne of Ethiopia as Haile Selassie I, the 111th of Emperor in a line believed to have begun around 1000 BC with the marriage of Solomon and Sheba. At Selassie I’s coronation, in 1930, the European royal houses all sent representatives. After all, if the measure of royalty is the ability to trace one’s lineage, Selassie’s claim to a 3000 year heritage was far older than anyone else on earth. 
Ethiopia is an old, old land. Its official religion is the 1700 year old Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church. The Jews of Ethiopia, Beta Israel, are said to have been there for 3000 years. And Ethiopia’s Muslim adherents have practiced Islam for 1300 years. During the Crusades one of the goals of the Christian knights was to link up with the ancient, half-remembered Christian kingdom of Ethiopia beyond the vast expanse of Muslim control.
The Ethiopian faithful have produced great wonders. Magnificent houses of worship like their vast, nearly inaccessible mountain monasteries, the dozen churches cut from solid stone built by King Lallibella 800 years ago, and the Ark of the Covenant reportedly taken from Jerusalem and kept in Ethiopia for the past 3000 years.
It’s said that in 1898, during the first Italian invasion of Ethiopia, it was the
power of the Ark that inspired the army of Menelik II, Selassie I’s uncle, to soundly defeat a large Italian force at the Battle of Adowa. Thirty-seven years later, in 1935, however, the Italians would return with Hitler’s active backing, and Selassie would turn to the League of Nations, forerunner of the UN, for assistance.
The League, however, looked the other way even though Ethiopia was a member in good standing, and the Italians were using chemical weapons against the Ethiopians. The Emperor Haile Selassie I, after directing his forces in fierce battle for seven months, left the country and went into exile. He then made his famous address to the League of Nations in which he predicted that if they failed to come to his aid, the nations of Europe would soon see the day when they too would fall.
And fall they did, one-by-one, as Hitler’s armies began to roll and World War II overspread the globe. The Italian invaders, however, never really controlled Ethiopia. There was a stubborn resistance movement, and finally, with British help, in 1942, Selassie I lead a victorious army into his capital city, Addis Ababa, and returned to his throne.
After the war, the Emperor continued his attempts to modernize the country.
And in the 1960s, as the nations of Africa were gaining their independence, Selassie I, as the head of Ethiopia, the only African nation never to have been colonized, assumed a central role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
Selassie I would go on to help end the civil war in Nigeria and arbitrate a number of other African conflicts. In 1968, he made a famous address to the United Nations regarding the European occupation of Southern Africa. Bob Marley would later put an excerpt from that landmark address to music in the hit record, “War!”
In 1974, after a 44 year reign, Haile Selassie I was deposed in a coup by the
leaders of Ethiopia’s armed forces. They would also usher in a series of civil wars and external conflicts that have only recently subsided. The problem that Selassie I, and Ethiopia, faced was that they were caught between two worlds, the ancient, royal world that stretched back to Egypt under the Pharaohs, and the world of Africa in the modern, Western-dominated, 20th century.
Nonetheless, Ethiopia has still maintained its unique African record of never
having been colonized. And its leaders are now active in the new African Union (AU), successor to the OAU. Ethiopia still has its cultures, its peoples and its religious traditions. Surely it shall rise again, and Africa too. That is why today so many still, “Look to the East.”
Staff Writer; Arthur Lewin
This talented author has just published a NEW book which is entitled; AFRICA is not A COUNTRY!.
For more articles written by this talented brother click on the following link;


19 Responses to “Ethiopia and the 111th Emperor: Haile Selassie I.”
  1. Gerald says:

    Despite the morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims, the fact remains that Countries exist because of wars fought against their neighbours or rivals. Independence is largely secured through the employment of armed forces and the willingness to fight if threatened, this alone prepares us all for such an eventuality.

    I commend you on your site it contains a lot of quality information and is well done.

  2. Ras Mitat says:

    Qabsoo is like the strange kid nobody wants to play with…Stop inserting yourself into other people’s conversation.

    And FYI: Oromo leadership (including armed wing OLF) has already renounced calls for independent Oromo State. Adjust your mantra.

  3. Qabsoo says:

    Here is a memorial grave for the more than 5 million massacred Oromos:

  4. Qabsoo says:


    You are not different from the emperors and the their monks who committed crime, genocide and terrorism against Oromos and the South people in what’s today ‘Ethiopia’. They committed genocides and tried their best to hide it. However long it might take the blood and souls of the massacred will ever call for justice. The same is true with the current junta; it massacred the Oromos,the Ogadenese,the Gambellas, and the Sidamas and banned any International journalists from getting into the empire state so that every thing will remain hidden. Those who dared to violate the ban ended up in TPLF’s jail, like Martin Schibbye and his photographer Jonan Persson: Today there are more than 86,000 political prisoners 90% of whom are Oromos in Ethiopia’s prisons. Read Prison Speaks Orromiffa(Afan Oromo- Oromo Language):1. 2. 3.

    Well, you are rehashing your old and worn out mantra of making independence struggle a class struggle or power struggle. Of course, since the Abyssinians invaded and occupied Oromia and the rest for them the struggle has been on one hand to sustain status quo and on the other hand class struggle within themselves; but for Oromia mass and the rest the struggle has been and will remain fight for freedom.

    By the way, your king( Tewodros) was not killed by Italians but by Wallo Oromo queen called Warkitu, you feel shame for the same as he was killed one by Woman and the other being that she was black. So you accuse the Italian while exactly at the same moment your ancestors were at war with Oromos.

    Finally, I would like to tell you that we don’t need you and we are had never been one and would never ever be, and God willing we will be independent.

  5. Mo'a Anbesa says:

    I thought HIM Haile Selassie I was the 254th or 255th emperor of Ethiopia. Need to do some research.

  6. Kiros Girmay says:

    Some of my compatriots may already say it. I want to say for the doubters that is LUCY the first human found in Ethiopia? That indicates the origin of human (the birth place) is Ethiopia. All what is said by the author falls to that puzzle. We are enemies of ourselves, just to score a political point we want to deny everything Ethiopian. This comes from the separatist-Eritrean alliance. Eritreans were Ethiopians and contribute to the glory of Ethiopia. However, currently some Eritreans don’t want to hear anything good about Ethiopia. They rather worship Italian colonization period than the Ax mite, Lalibela, Gondar glorious periods. Every time someone wants to discredit Ethiopian history there is always a new finding that proves the doubters wrong. Take the recent finding of Queen Sheba’s gold mine found in GerAlta-Tigray-Ethiopia.

  7. Ras Mitat says:

    Thank you, Ethiopiawi, for saving me time and headache from responding to self-hating Qabsoo and others.

    Thank you, Arthur Lewin, for your wonderful article. And may I add, we in Africa also looked on for inspiration to African Americans fighting for civil rights, sporting our Afros and platform heels, shouting “I’m Black, and am proud!”

  8. ethiopiawi says:


    I know who you are. You are the same OLF terrorist group who are calling for the total destruction of Ethiopia. You advocate for the creation of a tribal phantom nation that never existed before. OLF is a pan-arab fifth column who is vandalizing the history of one of the oldest continuously independent nation on earth. I want the readers to know this fact.

    Ethiopian military tradition absolutely abhors genocide, massacre or cruelty. during the Italian war Minilik imprisoned his own troops because they killed Italian prisoners of war. The troops were upset because their leader was killed in battle.

    The feudal wars in our history were a power struggle, they were never to eliminate one ethnic group. These wars usually lasts half a day, the vanquished usually declare his allegiance to the victor, he promise to abide by the laws of the land, pay taxes. the worst that happen is he is sent to the mountain prisons, in the worst case for life.

    Read the Russian explorer Alexander Ksaverievich Bulatovich. He was embedded with Minilik’s army during his southern campaign. He wrote an eye witness account of the conquest of the Oromos and other tribes. In his words he said about Jima and king Jifar IT WAS MORE NEGOTIATION THAN WAR. Minilik himself is half Oromo so is his wife, his general is full blooded Oromo who led the campaign in the conquest of the Oromos.

    The Oromo terrorist group inflate and exaggerate all the small battles that never lasted for more than half a day as genocide, where millions were killed is a constant mantra, all to justify atrocities they committed since 1991 which is documented by human rights organization. One average day they might be called to account/wherever they are.

    Ethiopian history is written in its language, cloth, religion, music and other manifestation of its culture. Since we were surrounded and cut off from the outside world for nearly a 1000 years our faith and culture reflect this isolation. It is unique in many ways.

    My ancestors fiercely resisted the enemy of their faith against unimaginable odds. Now we have pan-arab proxies who are trying to violently disintegrate these ancient holly land from the face of the earth. I just want the reader to know that.

    As long as historical facts is concerned archaeological evidence is coming out all the time that the story of Sheba is not a total myth, it might even be proven in the future. It is not a big jump in any way to link Sheba, king Solomon and Ethiopia, plenty of evidence for the Sabean/ancient Israelites presence in Ethiopia.

    thank you for your competent explanation. I know, my comments are kind of loose. My only purpose is to shed light on some of the hate groupies that vandalize the history of my storied country.

    God bless the author, THETRUTH you’re impressive.

  9. Qabsoo says:

    Watch here the true nature of Abyssinians-the Amharas and Tigres of Ethiopia on being black and their real out look about Africa and blacks:1)—-Says-That-They-Are-Desperate.aspx?bcmediaid=f60ca85e-a9a9-4bae-875b-c44a3e63d71b

    All the ones you mentioned as blacks and Africans above considered and called other blacks slave and had sold them to the whites or the Arabs.Even today the Amharas and Tigres call the blacks bariya in Amharic which means slave.I believe we black are looking for our roots and true history in the wrong place while ignoring our real and significant contribution to the world civilization.Open your mind and learn from the people at the heart of North East Africa, the Oromos, the Sudanese,the Somalians and Egyptians where the historical confusion you are dealing with arose and is revolving around. I believe you cannot understand the reality about who the Haile Silassei and the Abyssinian emperors were in relation to Africa by just turning pages of myths and false histories written by Abyssinian monks or outsiders informed by the monks with the intention of legitimizing the invasion and subjugation of other native Africans while dehumanizing them. I call true blacks and African Americans to reconsider your outlook and allegiance to the Abyssinians and to stand with your real brothers and sisters like the Oromo in whom you will find your tangible historical pride. The Oromos are the fathers of democracy; they are the astrologers as recognized by even NASA but at for the last 130 years the Oromo is in desperate situation under Abyssinian subjugation.

  10. Qabsoo says:

    I don’t understand why we blacks tend to be oblivious about the true nature of Ethiopia and the fabricated histories of Ethiopia. Specially, the Abyssinians who are led by the emperors don’t consider other Africans or blacks as equals.At the turn of 20 century when Africa was being scrambled by the white colonizers, Abyssinia was the only people who involved in the scramble and participated in Berlin conference to get their share.To look innocent and hide the atrocities they were committing on Black Africans like the Oromos in Oromia and other southerners in what’s today Ethiopia, the Abyssinians- as mentioned by the above article Haile Selassei, spoke ardently against the white colonizers on the African stage while at the same time attending the conference for the scramble in Europe.Until 1889 the Abyssinia and Oromia had been at war and the black African Oromo had defended itself and was sovereign with an exemplary democratic system of leadership called Gada System where the Aba Gada (the president) ruled for nonrenewable one term of eight years.The Abyssinians led by Meniliki II invaded and committed genocide on Oromos killing ruthlessly more than 5million, amputating hands of men and breast of women from 1889 to1932. The last Oromo king to fall into the hands of Abyssinian invasion was King Aba Jifar of Jima Oromo in South West Oromia by 1932.His palace in Jima City, Oromia is a crucial evidence, with similar other palaces of Oromo kings in different Oromo cities.The Abyssinian colonizers did their best to hide or distort the history of the aboriginal black Africans mainly the Oromos, and the Ethiopian history that is told to the world is only that of Abyssinians-Amhara and Tigray.Haile Silassei’s government as clearly communicated by Prime Minister Aklilu Habtewold to General Tadesse Birru, an Oromo and the president of literacy campaign, known as “Fidel Serawit,” by mistaking him for an Amhara and all the Abyssinian colonial rulers followed an open policy of keeping the aboriginals at least a century behind by depriving them the right to education and civilization: I advise other African brothers and sisters to study more and get first hand information to understand the real history of Abyssinian invaders/ colonizers who also claim they are related with King Solomon of Israel and are ordained by God to colonize and invade the Oromos and other Africans. Particularly,a true black and pan Africanist should not take for granted the distorted 3000 years history of Abyssinia while the world is more than any time able to get verifiable and first hand information and history specially concerning the apartheid being committed on native Africans -the Oromos, Ogadens, Gambellas, Sidamas and other southerners in what is today Ethiopia. For more information refer the Oromo and Ogaden websites.

  11. Arthur Lewin says:

    Thank you, THETRUTH, Bravo66 and Justathought, for generating a most thoughtful, considerate dialogue on these vital issues, and I look forward to its continuing and expanding in the days ahead. Thank you.

  12. THETRUTH says:

    My apologies in advance for a rather lengthy reply:
    Firstly, it is important to note that the Bible does include an account of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon of Israel, bringing with her a large retinue and numerous gifts such as gold which Ethiopia is known for (the gold of Ophir is mentioned many times in the Bible- Ophir being the name of Ethiopia’s current Afar province, a region full of gold even today). The Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon is not explained in great detail but in terms of historical fact, we can place her in the King’s court definitively.

    As for the term Ethiopia, here again you are unfortunately mistaken. It is a mythical construct by Euro centric historians that Ethiopia means “burnt face” . In this myth the name was given to us by the Greeks (which we outdate by several thousand years. If any nation should give a name to another nation, shouldn’t it be the oldest nation giving a name to the younger nation? The African nation of Ethiopia’s history is far older than that of European Greece!) Here is the truth about the name Ethiopia: It is a Cushitic name meaning “ land of the upper truth”, it is a purely African name not given to us by any European country. Note: We even have inscriptions in Axum, Northern Ethiopia that clearly show the name of one of our ancient emperors- his name was Emperor Ethiopis. As For Indians being named “Ethiopians , this is simply because the ancient powerful queen of Ethiopia, Queen Hindeke (Candace in Western historical accounts) extended the Ethiopian Empire all the way to India, ruling over a vast territory. The name Ethiopia has NOW become a term to denote the entire black world and rightly so, due to the nation’s role in Black history and of course, the nation itself being a wholly and proudly black nation. However, the ancient nation of Ethiopia has existed for thousands of years as it does today and there are many artifacts and accounts that point to this, some even dating the nation’s history as far back as 10,000 years. Most attempts to deny this usually come from, again, a Euro centric history written to distort the fact that Africa had many great and old civilizations-far older than that of the Greeks and Romans.
    The idea that children would automatically belong to the father is highly unlikely in the case of two, equally powerful dignitaries. To put it simply, the Queen of Sheba was a powerful and important world figure and thus, would definitely have a say in the role she’d play in the lives of her offspring. Her child would just as legitimately be an heir to her throne as to the throne of Israel and I think this point requires an understanding again, that African nations of the time were regarded as no less important or powerful than others of the time.

    Thirdly, no one claims that Emperor Menelik the first of Ethiopia succeeded King Solomon to the throne of Israel. Emperor Menelik succeeded his mother the Queen of Sheba to the throne of the kingdom of Ethiopia- a very important world power of the time. This should be obvious from his title as Menelik the first of the Empire of Ethiopia.

    Fourthly, perhaps your most unfortunate mistake. Emperor Haileselassie of Ethiopia would definitely be able to claim Solomonic heritage through any matrilineal line because you are absolutely wrong here- Jewish/ Hebraic heritage and bloodlines are passed ONLY through the mother. This is clearly outlined in the Bible/ Torah. It is a main tenant of inheritance and is undeniably a feature of Hebraic/ Jewish heritage even today where Jewishness is passed through a having a Jewish mother regardless of the father’s nationality. Thus in Biblical times, An Israeli father did NOT make you an Israelite. Only an Israelite mother could pass on definitive Israeli heritage. I’m sure a quick read through will clear up any doubts you have on this score.

    Lastly, the Emperor Haileselassie of Ethiopia has never denied Solomonic heritage because quite simply, it would be untrue if His majesty were ever to do so. His position as Emperor on the Solomonic throne of the Ethiopian Empire was a result of his heritage as descendant of this self-same, thousands of years old dynasty.
    Finally, I’d like to remind you that history is an outcome of several pieces of evidence coming together such as the accounts in ancient Ethiopic writings merging with and complimenting ancient artifacts ( the prevalence of ancient Israeli cultural tools such as Shofar in current Ethiopian practices, for example).History is not about anecdotal evidence, mere hearsay or folklore. By these standards, ThyBlack Man’s account of the African Emperor Haileselassie of Ethiopia are accurate and a wonderful reminder of our collective glorious past as Black people.
    Thank you Mr. Arthur Lewin.

  13. Bravo66 says:

    Thanks for the article,but nothing new here,except HaileSelassie is 225th Monarch and not 111. D`nt know where you got that.Secondly,to the commentary from `justathought`-Its a dynasty,therefore you have to realise although his grandmother was female,her dad was a king,and yes it was his cousin who would have been Emperor except for political machinations of the time that will be difficult to explain in this short space.However,he would also have represented the Solomonic lineage(Dynasty).Lastly,there has been no recollection i know of,biblically or otherwise, where HaileSelassie has said he is NOT an heir to Solomon.Your evidence would be appreciated.

  14. Justathought says:

    It’s cool. I didn’t mean to come off aggressive, and I hope I didn’t. It’s just I’ve heard that legend many a time and wanted to point out the difficulties/inconsistencies of it

  15. Arthur Lewin says:

    Thank you, JustAThought,for your detailed response. I was simply reporting the legend. Does anyone else have any information on these topics?

  16. Justathought says:

    There is no biblical evidence of Solomon sleeping with nor having a child by the Queen of Seba. (Sidenote, Ethiopia of antiquity meant something totally different than what it means today. It was a term to denote the entire black word, all the way to India!, not just modern Ethiopia. Indians were called Eastern Ethiopians! Ethiopia means “burnt face”). Secondly, given that in the “Old” Testament, children belonged to the men (if there was a divorce, the children would stay with the father), it seems highly unlikely that the Queen of Seba would have Solomon’s son outside of Israel, when that son would be a part of the covenant and therefore subject the instructions/laws of the Torah, including having to live in Israel.

    Thirdly, Solomon had SEVERAl children, and we know the one that suceded him to the throne, NOT Menelik.

    Fourthly, if I recall correctly, Selassie attributed his connection to Solomon through his grandmother. Well, biblical inheritance, as well as name and nationality, is passed down through the FATHER. For example, if an Israelite woman had a child by an Egyptian man, that child would be Egyptian (100% in regards to legal matters). And if the father was an Israelite, regardless of the mother’s nationally, that child would be an Israelite. Seed is resurrected through the father! There are several examples of this in the book. All that to say, according to Selassie’s own words, if my recollection is correct, he is NOT biblically legally a heir of Solomon, Shlomo in Hebrew.


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