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Author Topic: The Davidic Covenant and the Ethiopian Solomonic Emperors  (Read 1600 times) Average Rating: 0
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Arnaud
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Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
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God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« on: July 26, 2011, 09:15:26 AM »

"And the word which God spake unto David His servant was not made a lie, "Of the fruit of thy body I will make to sit upon thy throne" ; and again He said, "Ordained like the moon for ever" ; and again He said, "God sware unto David truly and will not repent."

He who reigned on the throne of David His father was Jesus Christ, his kinsman in the flesh by a virgin, who sat upon the throne of His Godhead ; and upon earth He granted to reign upon His throne the king of Ethiopia, Solomon's firstborn.

To Rehoboam God gave only two stems (or, roots) ; and the king of Rome (called Adrami) is the youngest son of Solomon. And God did this in order that foolish people might not call us (Ie. Ethiopians) Jews, because of Solomon and because of Rehoboham his son, now God knoweth the heart, and He did this that they might not imagine such a thing. They called Rehoboam "king of Judah", and they called the king of Samaria (Ie. Jeroboam) "king of Israel"."

Kibre Negest chapter 70. Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge.

___________________________________

I say in the Ethiopian context, because except some Ethiopians Orthodox and the Rastafarians, for now I have never met any other people having some concern in this book "the Kibre Negest" and the Ethiopian Solomonic royal line.

For most Orthodox Christians, our Lord Eyesus Kristos is the ultimate fulfillment of the promise God made unto David, the Incarnate Word who, by virtue of His humanity is the seed of David, and by His adoptive filiation to St. Joseph is heir of Solomon too. Although some people say Christ is not yet enthroned but must be in His Second Coming, the Bible as well as the Kibre Negest clearly assert that He already is.

The book of the Acts of the Apostles says : "Whereas therefore he was a prophet, and knew that God hath sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne. Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was He left in hell, neither did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath poured forth this which you see and hear. For David ascended not into heaven ; but he himself said : 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool'. Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.

Or again at the end of the book of St. Matthew : "And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing them they adored : but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying : 'All power/authority is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations ; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.'"

So it is clear that our Lord Eyesus Kristos is the Great Sovereign, the Root of David and the Lion of the tribe of Judah who has conquered, as it is said in the book of Revelation. No Orthodox Christian can challenge it.

But now the question is : What is the role/place of these Ethiopian Solomonic King of kings, including the last and renown 'Ababa Janhoy Q'damawi Haile Sellassie', in a biblical perspective ? These Emperors were crowned Elect of God (Tseyoume Igziabeher), King of kings of Ethiopia (Negusa negast ze Ityopia), and also I think most if not all King of Zion (Neguse Tsiyon). In which way they can be said to be "testimonies" of God's Covenant with David even after Christ's first Coming ?

In addition, How do you understand the passage of the Kibre Negest that I quoted ?

I have this on my mind since long time but I never had an argumentative answer from someone Ethiopian Orthodox, well knowing the subject and having high esteem for David's house in Ethiopia..

Participation in the topic very appreciated, especially those members of the EOTC.

Thank you.

PS : The "Kibre Negest" is a book officially accepted, and in principle considered by the EOTC (although very often denied for political or other reasons).
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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
Arnaud
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Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 09:33:02 AM »

The Ethiopian Solomonic Royal Standard, as depicted in the time of the last King of kings Haile Selassie I :

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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
HabteSelassie
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 04:49:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My brother, read the Kebre Negast in its own context.  What was Adam from Creation? A true born King.  So the line we read of this Ethiopian meta-narrative is the line of the Kingship established by God through Adam, descending in these patriarchs till Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and then Judah.  Now here is where it gets interesting.

Yes, the primary thesis of the Kebre Negast, the Honor of Kings, is to suggest the theocratic origins of kingship, particularly of the Adamic/Davidic kingship which not just Ethiopians, but princely and kingly dynasties across Europe, Asia and Africa have claimed or asserted for centuries of time.  Even for those who did not pretend to have Davidic ancestry, still Davidic symbolism and imagery permeated these Christian sovereigns from France and Germany across through Byzantium and Russia. More specifically though, it explains that the very purpose of Adam's genealogy was inevitably our Lady the Virgin and our Savior Jesus Christ who took His Flesh from Her and Her family.  So really, when we read the Kebra Negast (or even the Old Testament) I explain to my Sunday school classes that we are reading the family history, the genealogy, of Jesus Christ.  All these characters are the people whose lives culminated with the birth of Our Savior.  Their daily lives build together over thousands of years to perpetuate a single family within the midst of all the peoples of the world, that the Savior of all these peoples might be born into that family line.  But there is a contradiction, God promised that this line would continue on in perpetuity on the earth, and yet also acknowledged that this line should culminate with a Virgin Birth of  a celibate God-man? How can the line continue if it ends with God?

Simple, it didn't end, as the Kebra Negast explains, it branched off.  The line in Jerusalem was preserved that Jesus Christ would be born there to fulfill the entire purpose of all our existences, namely the Incarnation and the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the God-Man, whose flesh came directly from Adam.  So when we read the Old Testament, we are reading that God maintained the Israelite society there in Jerusalem, even after exile and return, that the Christ might have an earthly family and earthly society to originate and be born into.

The Ethiopian branch of the Solomonic line was the maintain an earthly perpetuity of the Davidic Covenant within the Emperors and societies of Ethiopia.  When you generally ask other Christians how to explain the Davidic covenant, they explain that it is fullfilled in Jesus Christ, but this simply does not make sense in  the context of several verses of the Old Testament.  Rather, the Davidic Covenant is fulfilled within the context of the line of Solomonic Ethiopian Emperors, unbroken in succession from David and Solomon until this time, still represented in the Imperial House of Sahle Selassie and the princes of HIM line, including the Crown Prince HIH Zere Yacob who is recognized by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and also the prominent HIH Prince Ermias, a leading activists with potent political ambitions. 

In reality, this past 40 years without a monarchy in Ethiopia has been a temporary phase, and to say the Davidic covenant in Ethiopia has been made null and void because of the current circumstances would be as silly as to say that the Alexandrian Church lost its legitimacy with the long exile of Saint Athanasius. In Ethiopian history, there have been several similar incidents, and while this has been the longest gap, it is by no means the only.  So I would say it is faithful to assume that in some capacity the Ethiopian Monarchy, according to the Davidic Covenant, should rightfully return to Ethiopia.  There are dozens of monarchies in the world today, and if anything, Ethiopia in this era of ethnic federalism could benefit greatly from Ethiopia's traditional source of Pan-unity in the person of the Emperors.  Their tangible power has ALWAYS been limited, it is their spiritual and symbolic power that has shaken the core of Ethiopianness across time.  Even today, look at the rise of Haile Selassie paraphernalia thanks to the popularity of Rastafari rejuvenation of Imperialism, kids where as many Haile Selassie t-shirts as Rasta folk! We're becoming indistinguishable even!

So the Davidic Covenant is there to say to the world, God is true, the Bible is true, the Apostolic Church is True.  The Emperors have been the Defenders of the Orthodox Faith and the temporal heads of the Church, and they serve as almost living saints in Ethiopian Orthodox theology.  God cooperates with the Emperors and the Church in a Divine balance which the democratic governments tried with the separation of powers.  The Emperors are crowned by the Church, and the Church is maintained and supported in the Grace of God through the hands of the Emperors.  It is a mutual structure of support, like two sides of a vault arch.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Arnaud
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Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 08:15:42 PM »

Quote
But there is a contradiction, God promised that this line would continue on in perpetuity on the earth, and yet also acknowledged that this line should culminate with a Virgin Birth of  a celibate God-man ? How can the line continue if it ends with God ?

Simple, it didn't end, as the Kebra Negast explains, it branched off. The line in Jerusalem was preserved that Jesus Christ would be born there to fulfill the entire purpose of all our existences, namely the Incarnation and the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the God-Man, whose flesh came directly from Adam.  So when we read the Old Testament, we are reading that God maintained the Israelite society there in Jerusalem, even after exile and return, that the Christ might have an earthly family and earthly society to originate and be born into.

I'm not doubting one second that the Davidic line did continue until our days even, but I was wondering if the continuation and rule of this dynasty on earth after Christ's first Coming should be still understood as being the 'living testimony in themselves' of something biblical and still actual. Most Orthodox Christians acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ as the One who fulfilled these words : "His seed (to he David) also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne (to he David) as the days of heaven." (Psalm 89 vs. 29). Now, by contrast with the immutability of this promise, it is said: "If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments ; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89 vs. 30 - 34). So, it seems to me that we can see what is immutable and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and what is conditional.. Do you agree ? In the case of the old Israel, it was proved to be true when first God divided the kingdom under Rehoboam and left him only two tribes (Judah and Benjamin?) for David's sake, while the ten others detached and were ruled by Jeroboam the king of Samaria. And after that, other troubles happened too. Now the Kibre Negest tells us that Ethiopia succeeded to Israel in the blessing because of the son born of the union of king Solomon and queen Makeda (the queen of Sheba), Menelik the 1st, because of the coming of the Ark and a number of Israelites from the twelve tribes to Ethiopia. Ethiopia became the New Israel, and its capital Axsum until this day bears the name of Axsum Tsiyon (Axsum Zion). But if they succeeded Israel at the time in the blessing, surely this conditional promise spoken above concerns them too, Do you agree ? But still I do not understand why Bro. Karl, as well as you in a message on the other topic, are using the moon sun verses of Psalm 89 in relation to the Solomonic royalty in Ethiopia. These verses suggest something eternal, everlasting, in touch with the immutable part of God's promise to David which I was refering above in my message, and everytime where I have read commentaries on them it was always in relation to our Lord Jesus, and even it seems the Kibre Negest is interpreting it in this light just as you can see it in the passage that I quoted in my first msg.. If you disagree on this point, I would like to know your understanding of these verses..

Here are four interesting parts of a TV program for our brothers & sisters.. part 3 especially interesting.. but watch them all..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOqLpT6HKzY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgbX0TjY0jA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tsViR8oSMw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEayq3iAaS4&feature=related

Be blessed and thanks Habte for your last answer.



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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
HabteSelassie
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 08:40:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

But if they succeeded Israel at the time in the blessing, surely this conditional promise spoken above concerns them too, Do you agree ? But still I do not understand why Bro. Karl, as well as you in a message on the other topic, are using the moon sun verses of Psalm 89 in relation to the Solomonic royalty in Ethiopia. These verses suggest something eternal, everlasting, in touch with the immutable part of God's promise to David which I was refering above in my message, and everytime where I have read commentaries on them it was always in relation to our Lord Jesus, and even it seems the Kibre Negest is interpreting it in this light just as you can see it in the passage that I quoted in my first msg.. If you disagree on this point, I would like to know your understanding of these verses..
r.[/i]

Yes, the earthly pre-Christian covenants of Israel and the Davidic monarchy would be intact beyond the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, in fact like the Law they are fulfilled in the Christian monarchy and society of Imperial Ethiopia.  In regards to the sun and moon passages these are not to signify eternal, because neither the sun or the moon are eternal, rather they are created things.  However, they are concrete and repetitive in their cycles, and the Earth only exists as it is in the context of the sun and the moon as does the polities of the world systems only exist in the context of the Davidic monarchy.  So the way in which these Scriptures should be interpreted to say that as long as ones wake up each morning and see the sunrise, and each evening to see the moonrise, so to can they be assured that there will be earthly descendants of King David reigning over earthly descendants of Israelites.  This essentially is the Davidic covenant, and my understand is that the Ethiopian Church fully affirms the legitimacy of the Solomonic Ethiopian Emperors in this same regard.  This is a mystical concept, that the source of political power and authority, ordained by the Grace of God, cooperates out of certain designated individuals and families, as attested by the Scriptures and history.  The Solomonic Emperors, in the depth of the cults of the Davidic Covenant (including by not only Rastafari but Ethiopians as well) all political authority of every level emanates from the person of the Emperors, and any other authorities are themselves cooperating with this Theocracy.  It is the Grace of God which gives this authority, but it is manifested in the persons of the Emperors.  This is why during the Zemene Mesafint, even when Emperors were being assassinated they were still revered by even the crookedest governor as almost sacred and as the source of their own legitimacy, even if by manipulations.  The political system of that era believed that while the people who sat on the throne were maleable human beings subject to a blend of influence and coercion, their person itself was sacred, part of God's own political authority, and so to manipulate the Emperors was to almost yield their God-given power and agency.  It is really beyond superstitious..


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Arnaud
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Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: None for now.. not yet chrismated and not yet a catechumen in church either.. it's been years I have been catechumenizing myself so to speak.. in doing research again and again.. hopefully one day I will be chrismated in one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.. or who knows maybe in one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.. but right now miaphysite christology seems right to me..
Posts: 104


God is VERY GREAT and I am very small


« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 10:48:31 PM »

Quote
In regards to the sun and moon passages these are not to signify eternal, because neither the sun or the moon are eternal, rather they are created things.  However, they are concrete and repetitive in their cycles, and the Earth only exists as it is in the context of the sun and the moon as does the polities of the world systems only exist in the context of the Davidic monarchy.  So the way in which these Scriptures should be interpreted to say that as long as ones wake up each morning and see the sunrise, and each evening to see the moonrise, so to can they be assured that there will be earthly descendants of King David reigning over earthly descendants of Israelites. This essentially is the Davidic covenant..

Interesting.. thank you.. I was also wondering how the moon and the sun may be eternal given that the Lord said : "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matthew 24 vs. 35. Some say they will not be utterly destroyed but changed/transformed just like our mortal bodies. They use this verse to justify this idea : "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth : and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure : yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment ; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed." Psalm 102 vs. 25, 26. Anyway, in a way we can say they have an end.. an end so as to rise again maybe..

Now.. here are all the key verses of Psalm 89 :

"Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations." Psalm 89 vs. 4.

"His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven." Psalm 89 vs. 29.

"If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments ; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Psalm 89 vs. 30 - 34.

"His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah." Psalm 89 vs. 36, 37.

"But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. Thou hast broken down all his hedges ; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle. Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah. How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, Ô LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed." Psalm 89 vs. 38 - 51.


What in these verses, according to you, directly announces Christ Himself, and What in these verses, according to you, is aiming the descendants of king David who reign over the earthly descendants of the Israelites until the end of this world ??

My excuses if I make you repeat, but I think it would be better for my flooded mind if developped in this way..

Be blessed.

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Mo'a Ambessa ze imnegede Yehuda !
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered !
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