An Ethiopian eunuch came to believe in Jesus, an important step toward leaving cultural tradition behind and accepting God’s Word.
Ethiopia is often mentioned throughout the Bible as being under God’s protection and is home to King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Ethiopia borders Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia and has approximately 90 million residents.
Ethiopian Orthodox Church accords Jesus divine status and celebrates several holidays centered around his life and teachings. Many Ethiopians believe in a God that cares deeply for humanity and wants us to spread his love with everyone, while all things have an angelic presence that makes it even harder for some people to accept life’s challenges. Furthermore, Church teachings promote humility and respect of others while emphasizing Jesus interpretations of Old Testament texts as well as miracles performed during Jesus’s lifetime.
Egziabher is the most commonly used name for God in Ge’ez, an Ethiopian language. The term consists of three components: egzi (meaning “Lord”); a (possessive postclitic); and beher or bher (meaning “nations.”) Its use dates back to Ezana, Ethiopia’s first Christian monarch, who likely invented it around 400 CE as it replaced an earlier Aksumite term ayin which had previously been in use; its usage remains somewhat mysterious and its origins unknown – speculation abounds regarding its exact genesis remains.
Ethiopia’s Christians primarily adhere to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; however, some also practice other denominations. One such group is Jehovah’s Witnesses, an international movement not related to any particular church that began in Washington D.C in early 20th century and adheres to strict interpretation of Bible and dietary requirements for membership.
Ethiopian Amharic speakers use an adjective known as wubet to denote beauty or glamour, whether in males (webite-wubetu) or females (webite-wubet) of either gender. This adjective is usually added onto names of people considered highly attractive – for instance “Konjo” for women who possess stunning beauty or “Shebela” for tall yet handsome men.
Ms. Gebre Egziabher has taken steps to bring her family’s culinary delights to the American public through her food truck, Makina. This term derives its name from both Amharic and Tigrinya – languages spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea respectively – respectively as it means truck. Fossolia, a delicious gingery simmer of string beans and carrots; and Tikel Gomen (shredded cabbage gently broken down with carrots and potatoes). She specifically chose these dishes so as not to intimidate Americans unfamiliar with Ethiopian cuisine, according to she said. She serves each dish in a metal container topped with injera – an Ethiopian flatbread commonly eaten with fingers – folded over. Each bowl costs less than $10 and features either meat and two vegetables or none at all, in keeping with Orthodox fasting traditions that nearly half of Ethiopia and Eritrea follow for 250 days each year.
Igziabher (pronounced I-gee-zee-beh’er) is the Ethiopic word for God and used by Ethiopian Christians and members of Rastafari movements alike. This term derives from @gzi, meaning Lord or ruler, and bihier which stands for nation or tribe in Ethiopic; some Orthodox Tewahedo Church congregations may even use it as a name for Jesus himself!
Igziabeher is an ancient name of God which holds spiritual meaning within Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Believers use it during prayer sessions and it provides great comfort during tough times as it reminds them that God will provide strength to overcome hardships they are currently encountering.
God is often referenced in the Bible by his name “Igziabher,” an acronym that stands for “In God We Trust.” This term serves to represent a powerful, sovereign God who protects his people while also serving as a reminder of his grand creation – something to keep in mind during this period of economic hardship and social unrest.
Igziabher, an Ethiopic word with deep Christian roots in Ethiopia dating back to the fourth century AD and still used today by Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church members as one of their preferred names for God, has become the most commonly used expression for God both by Christians and Jews alike.
Ethiopia appears numerous times in the Bible, most prominently as part of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon story. It was an empire with powerful kings that was blessed by God, making Ethiopia a country full of powerful monarchs favored by Him. Additionally, references are made to other countries like Egypt Pathros Hamath.
Ethiopia was previously known as Abyssinia; however, its name has since been updated to better represent its true nature as a Christian kingdom. Ethiopia’s rich culture and history make it an ideal location for learning about life and God; the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church uses all four seasons as a teaching opportunity and to prepare people for Heaven.
Ethiopians refer to God as Amelaake when discussing him from the Bible. This term is comprised of two words combined into one phrase: egzi means Lord; beher/bherer means nations/nationsless; hence Amelaake can also mean Lord of Nations or sovereign of the whole universe and refers to Jesus directly.
Ethiopians believe they are God’s chosen people and this belief is expressed through their religion: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. One of the oldest Christian churches worldwide, it adheres to biblical teachings while believing in Trinity and that God is all-powerful.
Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975), crowned King of Kings of Ethiopia in 1930, is widely considered divine by Ethiopians. Not only was he seen as King but he was also seen as Messiah and God; many attribute his popularity with popularising the back-to-Africa movement and Ethiopianism in Jamaica. Born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael in Harar, Ethiopia as last member of Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopian Emperors he held various titles including Conquering Lion of Tribe Judah King of Ethiopia Lord of Lords Elect of God.
Haile Selassie remains a controversial figure today, yet was widely respected across the world as an enlightened and modern ruler. Yet within his own court he was widely seen as a feudal monarch who refused to share power or introduce reforms; while he pulled Addis Ababa out of its medieval-like statehood, some provinces of Ethiopia still practiced feudalism under him.
Ge’ez is the traditional language of Ethiopia and one of its Semitic languages; its word for God in Ge’ez (or seged in Hebrew) is sagad or seged – also cognate with Hebrew’s “sagad,” meaning to bow or prostrate oneself. Ge’ez was spoken by Beta Israel tribes from northern Ethiopia that used Ge’ez as their language for prayer services and Torah manuscripts; today its word remains sacred for both Ethiopian Christians and Jewish Ethiopians alike.
Beher was the deity of the sea in pre-Christian Ethiopian religion, part of Aksumite trinity of Gods alongside Ashtar (god of war) and Maher (god of war). Additionally, Beher was considered god of marriage and fertility and scholars believe his name might derive from an Ethiopic term meaning beautiful or splendor; Beher would often appear depicted with white beard and red head similar to Egyptian god Ra.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has long used Gheez, its native language, as the medium for Bible instruction. For centuries Yh@h (pronounced Yehenate) is still used as the traditional Hebrew name of God (Yahweh). Other Gheez names for God include MaLaika for Creator; Atse for Lord; Berhan for Light; Meqatta (the Most High One); Meqatta for Most High One and Qudus – each used during prayers to address specific aspects of God or Holy Oneness respectively.
Gheez is a south Semitic language closely related to Hebrew and Arabic, once serving as the official language of the Church until Amharic became more widespread as literary tongue. Gheez also retains strong Jewish associations – its word for Friday being “erev shabbat,” meaning “Sabbath Eve.” Furthermore, Ge’ez contains words with biblical roots like meswat for alms collection and tabot for Ark burial services.
After St. Frumentius evangelized Ethiopia, Christianity emerged as the national religion; although some temples to old pagan gods still remained open. Ancient paganism had many parallels with Judaism that are preserved today: such as keeping Sabbath, distinguishing clean from unclean animals, circumcision, and customs like marrying widows to their deceased husband’s brothers or sons.
The Ethiopic Bible contains 84 books – more than the King James version! – which contain important writings which were rejected or lost from other churches, making this book both beautiful and captivating to read.