The African Ancestors of Jesus
The concept of "race" didn't exist in ancient history like it does today. Inter-racial marriage was practiced throughout the Bible, including the genealogy of Jesus.
Matthew 1:1-14 - The genealogy of Jesus, in which four Afro-Asiatic women are included: Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, and Bathsheba.
It makes sense that King Solomon would become romantically involved with the Queen of Sheba, if his mother, Bathsheba, was a black woman.
The Queen of Sheba. She ruled a kingdom that included territory in both Arabia and Africa. When she visited Solomon, she was accorded the dignity and status of a head of state (1 Kings 10:1-13)...
Matthew 12:42 - The Queen of the South, meaning "the Queen of Sheba" (parallel reference in Luke 11:31; compare 1 Kings 10:1-10 and 2 Chronicles 9:1-9).
Song of Solomon 1:4
I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
The Solomonic dynasty (Amharic: ሰሎሞናዊው ሥርወ መንግሥት Sälomonawīwi širiwä menigišiti), also known as the House of Solomon, was a dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire formed in the thirteenth century. Its members claim lineal descent from the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Tradition asserts that the queen gave birth to Menelik I after her biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem.
The Bible's only descriptions of Jesus' skin color are in Daniel 10:6 and Revelation 1:15.
...his arms and legs had the color of burnished bronze, and the sound of his speech was like the noise of a multitude.
His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
The African presence in the Bible is not limited to the Old Testament. Indeed many Jews of the first century lived in regions where Africans intermingled freely with other racial and ethnic types. We too easily forget today that miscegenation or interracial marriage was an explicit part of Alexander the Great's policy; he wanted all subjects to have Greek blood flowing through their veins! Of course there was no notion of the modern idea of "race" during that time, but suffice it to say that the ancients had no problem with Black people nor did the Greeks and Romans consider them to be inferior.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we find the quotation from Hosea 11:1 which reads, "out of Egypt I called my son." The passage is part of the notorious "Flight into Egypt" that describes the way in which Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to hide the one that King Herod feared would displace him. Assuming that we can lend some historical credence to this report, it is difficult imagining, if the holy family were indeed persons who looked like typical "Europeans," that they could effectively "hide" in Africa. One must remember and take most seriously the fact that Egypt has always been and remains part of Africa. Her indigenous people are noticeably different from the European types, notwithstanding the Hellenistic cultural incursions, beginning in earnest just over 300 B.C. In fact, it has only been in recent centuries that the Egyptians and other North Americans have been officially racially classified as "Caucasian." Nevertheless, for thousands of years, Africans have migrated out of biblical Ethiopia and Egypt and have passed through Palestine en route to the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia. Thus, the term Afro-Asiatic emerged, and it is a fitting description of persons from Abraham to Jesus and his disciples.
For the most part by modern standards of ethnicity, first-century Jews could be considered Afro-Asiatics. This is to say that Jesus, his family, his disciples and, doubtless, most of the fellow Jews he encountered in his public ministry, were persons of color.
According to the Jim Crow era’s one drop rule, anyone with even a drop of African ancestry was denied access to public accommodations. This would have included Jesus if He were around in the segregationist South, including in churches that claimed to worship Him.
The historical, Biblical Jesus, with "burnished bronze" skin, whose foremothers were Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, loves you. (Matt. 1:1-14, Dan. 10:6, Rev. 1:15)
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hey are requests still open bc I am still FULLY CRYING about Molly coming back to life holy SHIT. I have a thing I want to request and that’s Molly having to come to terms with whatever changes his body went through - new blood hunter abilities, longer hair, the much larger scar from Lucien’s v gory death - after he comes back to life.
Molly doesn’t ask what happened to Nott. He doesn’t ask them where they are. He doesn’t even ask who Essek is, and only gives Caduceus a friendly pat on the shoulder before turning away and wandering off.
His feet are bare on the soft teal grass. This time of year in the Blooming Grove, faint glowing insects hover around his ankles. The leaves of the old blue wisteria trees hang like a sheet across the sky. He is wrapped in a cloak of quiet moonlight, grey on the graves as he passes by.
Eventually, he comes to a lone headstone. It is long, and flat, and smooth. He sits down.
If he is different in any way, nobody says. It’s taken him a few days to find his words again, and it’s clear that his memories are still trickling back. Veth had joked that he used to be more entertaining, but they all know that his returning in any capacity is already nothing short of a miracle. To the Mighty Nein, he is still as miraculous as before.
To himself—to Mollymauk, he thinks he’s a bit leaner. He’d never really been one for rigorous training—not aside from what it took to throw a sword and catch it—and yet, this body seems hardened, now. It’s still a bit sore in some inconvenient places, and the tall one, Caduceus, mentioned that he shouldn’t do anything too strenuous to avoid opening his scar. This newest mark runs like a seam down his shoulder to his navel, making the rest of his scars look like paper cuts. He isn’t exactly sure how to feel about that, yet. Beau offered to help him design a tattoo to cover it, and he isn’t sure how to feel about that yet, either.
A faint breeze runs through the Grove, tousling his hair. It’s longer now, and Molly might have liked that more if he’d been around to enjoy it. He suspects that he might have been, in one way or another, though not nearly present enough to make the executive choices. Otherwise, he might have tried braids. Maybe hair dye. Not only that, but the...what had Caleb called him? The “previous occupant” had taken off Molly’s horn charms and necklaces. For the second-life of him, Molly can’t remember if he’d kept them. He can’t remember much about the last ten months—which might be alright. He doesn’t know if he wants to.
(He does remember some things, though. He remembers taking his shirt off the first night at the Grove and seeing the other scar left behind. It is closed now, and healed well over with blood magic, but when Molly reaches up and traces it down, he can feel how the cut drips into his abdomen. He remembers how it felt to have the blood pouring over, to boil with fury and die of shock, under the stars.)
He looks at them now. They haven’t changed a bit.
Another wind kicks up. Molly isn’t sure exactly what time of year it is, but he shivers. The Clays are kind, but the whole family towers over Molly, so their spare clothes fit him poorly. Firbolgs are also—well, furred—and Molly suspects that this borrowed tunic is on the thin side. His tail curls inward as he realizes he’s going to sneeze. He feels his muscles tense, he breathes in—
And suddenly, something warm is draped across his shoulders. He glances up.
“Oh. Yasha?“ His voice is strained. It feels as if Molly hasn’t spoken in a year, but at the same time, he feels like his throat is worn. Almost like he’s been giving frequent speeches with wild abandon. Now that he’s had some time to recover, the combined effect sounds like someone trying to remember how to talk, but only being allowed to do it through a rusty pipe.
“Come to join me in my musings?” he still says, stubbornly.
“She’s not the only one. ‘Sup.”
Molly doesn’t have to turn to know that Beauregard has walked into the rows of graves just behind Yasha. The two of them have been pretty attached to each other lately, except for when Yasha comes to check on Molly. The strongest part of him, the part that hung on the longest, is privately quite pleased by this.
“And you’ve given me your cloak.” He grins, but just at Yasha. “How kind of you, my dear.”
Okay, so not that privately.
“I was worried you’d be cold,” Yasha says, concern endearing. “Sorry your old coat wasn’t doing better. Jester says she can probably Mend it, or try to paint you a new one—“
Molly waves his hand. “No, no need, dear. I should do it. It’ll give me a thing to work on.”
Yasha nods. “I’ll let her know.”
Distantly, Molly can hear footsteps approaching. He counts four, maybe five pairs, if one of them is lighter. After a moment, there’s the sigh of cloth, and six pairs are walking.
Movement joins Molly on the headstone. He turns, and now Beau is seated beside him. Yasha stands like a guardian at his back.
Both of them are much, much wearier, Molly notices. Even though it’s been less than a year since his “death,” Beau is riddled with new scars from combat, and Yasha’s tattoos have gotten much bolder. Oddly, that’s reassuring.There’s something in the fact that Molly’s body changed, but theirs did too. And even if he can’t remember it, that’s something they have in common.
On the other hand, though, it makes him feel...he shakes his head. He gazes outward.
He asks, “Why did you follow me, then?”
Beau responds first. She does so with a snort. “Of course we’d follow you, you idiot. You were our friend—or...okay, technically, at the time you’re actually a crazy cult leader—“
“No, I meant—“
She cuts him off. “Right, yeah, details. Not important. Listen, it...it was a whole long thing, and it was complicated, but the important part is that we really, just really wanted you back. That’s why we did any of it. All of it. And why nothing could stop us.”
“Not even me?”
“Hell, no. Since when could you stop me?”
Molly chuckles at that. He glances at Yasha. “Is that true?”
“Which part?” she says. Then she says, “Yes. It is.”
He matches the tiny smile on her face. Then he turns back to stare at the woods past the graveyard while behind him, the rest of the Mighty Nein come to a halt.
His smile widens. “What I was actually trying to ask, though, is why you all followed me here. Just now. I thought you were going to prepare for dinner?”
“My parents took over,” Caduceus says. “They told us to take a break.”
“Besides!” With a burst of jewelry and her flouncing skirts, Jester squeezes onto the other end of Molly’s headstone. “We wanted to spend more with you!”
“Now that you’re interesting again,” adds Nott, taking a seat at the base of the stone with Fjord. He reaches up to wink at Molly, “Hey, roomie.”
“I thought I should get to know you as well,” says the new voice. Molly remembers that his name is Essek. “We, ah...we are both purple, so that is something we already have in common.”
Molly laughs at that. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Caleb. “It’s like there are two of you now. Like your shadow. Or a duplicate.”
“I am still the funny one,” Caleb says. “I plan on defending that title. Even from you.”
Molly laughs again, and this time, he does turn. He can see that the whole group have gathered around him now, sitting beside him, standing behind him, in the grass.
They are all so tired. They are all much stronger. Molly has gathered from the scars on their bodies—as well as from the scars on his own—just how powerful they must be now. He knows that he isn’t the same, either. Sometimes his blood feels like its boiling. Sometimes he is moving, and he can swear that it’s through snow.
But the Mighty Nein are here. There are nine of them, now. And that, he thinks, in and of itself, must be a miracle. And as he looks at them now, drinking their presence in, he thinks...
Maybe some things haven’t changed, after all.
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