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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.23 n.3 Pretoria  2010


Teaching the history of ancient Israel from an African perspective: The invasion of Sennacherib of 701 B.C.E. as an example



David Tuesday Adamo






In teaching the history of ancient Israel in Africa, the importance of ancient Africa which ancient Israel herself underscored, has not received much attention. In most African higher institutions today, the history of ancient Israel is taught verbatim the way it is taught in Euro-American institutions. The ancient nations of Africa mentioned in the biblical and archaeological texts (such as Egypt, Ethiopia or Kush, etc.) and their roles in ancient Israel should be mentioned and emphasised as part of African contribution to the history of ancient Israel.1 Ancient Africa and Africans (Egypt, Ethiopia, Punt and others) were mentioned about 1,417 times in the Old Testament scriptures. Africans participated in the battle of Ashdod, Eltekeh and Jerusalem during the invasion of Sennacherib to defend ancient Israel and also to obstruct their rivals, the Assyrians.
In teaching the history of ancient Israel in African higher institutions, current problems associated with the identification of Egypt and Ethiopia as African countries, divergent scholars' opinion and the proper definition of history are discussed. Jerusalem could have fallen in 701 B.C.E. during Sennacherib's siege, instead of 587 B.C.E. during the siege by the Babylonians. Thus, the Africans ' obstruction of the Assyrians in defence of Hezekiah has delayed the fall of Jerusalem more than 100 years. An example of how the history of ancient Israel can be taught Africentrically in African higher institutions is reflected by the examination of Sennacherib's invasion in 701 B.C.E.. The way the Old Testament is taught, may to a large extent determine the future of Old Testament studies in Africa.



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Rev. Prof. David Tuesday Adamo
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria and Research Fellow
Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of South Africa
Pretoria, South Africa



1 When Egypt, Cush and Ethiopia are mentioned in textbooks and essays on the history of ancient Israel, most authors give the impression as if they are not part of Africa.

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