Are The Igbos of Nigeria a Lost Tribe of Israel?

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From Reno Omokri

I often write very positive and glowing things about the Igbo people of Nigeria’s Southeast, because Igbos are a people I admire a lot. You may disagree with me, but I believe that they are the most intelligent and enterprising Black African ethnic nationality on planet Earth, bar none.

Elsewhere, I have written about their apprenticeship system, which is the world’s most successful, having produced more millionaires per capita than Harvard, Yale or Oxford universities.

According to American economic journalist Robert Neuwirth, the Igbos in Alaba Market generate $4 billion annually (₦ 2 trillion). Think about that for a minute. 10,000 Igbos generate more internal revenue than the 19 Northern Nigerian states combined. To put this in perspective, note that Kaduna generated ₦44 billion IGR last year and was celebrated by the Northern Governors Forum.

Truly, the Igbo are a phenomenal force of nature.

However, it is hard to write the truth about the Igbo, because they tend to be very emotional about history. They are not unique in this regard. Many Northern Nigerian ethnic nationalities share this sensitivity to history, and it is no big surprise that the teaching of history was removed from Nigeria’s public school curricula.

From my experience, the Yoruba of the Southwest are more objective about history, even when it is not as they expect.

So, knowing this, I shudder to write what I am about to say. But the truth is bitter.

The belief by the Igbo people of Nigeria that they are of Hebrew Jewish origin is very, very deep seated. They cite their culture and their complexion as proof of this. But are they correct?

The truth is that there are aspects of Black African culture in Jewish culture and the reason is not far fetched. Moses learnt Judaism from a Black African. Below are just some elementary facts about Moses, which explains why Black African culture is present in Jewish culture:

* The first place mentioned by name in Scripture is Africa (Genesis 2:13)
* Moses met God in Africa
* Moses married a Black African woman (Numbers 12:1)
* Her Black father was his mentor (Exodus 18:24)
* Moses wife taught him the art of circumcision (Exodus 4:25).

To pick and choose a few cultural similarities and base your Hebrew ancestry on that is not very tenable. I will give you an example.

In all (and I mean ALL) pre colonial Black African cultures, if an older brother marries a wife and dies without having children, his brother next to him must marry his widow and their first child will be the son of the deceased brother.

This is a Black African culture that predates their encounter with Europeans. Yet, you find it in Deuteronomy 25:5-6.

It is not Igbo or any African culture that came out of Judaism. Rather, it is Jewish culture that came out of Black African culture.

In terms of cultural similarities, Yoruba culture has more similarity with Jewish culture, than Igbo culture. And Ijebu culture is actually the closest to Jewish culture.

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The art of divination, which Moses taught to Aaron, by way of the Urim and Thummim in Exodus 28:30, is exactly the same thing as the Yoruba culture of divining. The only difference is that the Jewish High Priest uses his Urim and Thummim to divine the will of the most high God, )whose Name I know but will not mention out of the highest respects), while the Yoruba use their divination beads to divine the will of Ifa.

When you hear the terms Urim and Thummim and Ifa, it sounds mysterious. Let me break it down to you. What it is is simply casting of lots. Urim and Thummim are lots and if you have watched a Nollywood movie, that thing that the native doctor throws on the ground is also a divining lot.

David was recorded as a good king because he regularly practiced divination (casting the lot).

We see this in 1 chronicles 24:31

“They also cast lots, just as their relatives the descendants of Aaron did, in the presence of King David and of Zadok, Ahimelek, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites. The families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest.”

Even the land of Canaan was divided amongst the tribes of Israel by divination.

Numbers 26:55 reads:

“But the land shall be divided by lot. They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers.”

Even in the New Testament, the disciples of our Lord and Saviour used divination to choose a successor to Judas Iscariot.

In Acts 1:26 we read:

“Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.”

This practice of casting lots, is a very ancient and still common practice amongst the Jebu or Ijebu people of Nigeria, and the Edekiri people (Yoruba) specifically and amongst the descendants of Oduduwa. You might not believe me, but an Ijebu Ifa priest can accurately pinpoint who stole an item in America. But that does not mean he is of God!

As a side note, please be aware that the Ijebu are not of the same ethnic origin as the Edekiri (Yoruba).

Just as the Jewish priests use beaded jewels known as Urim and Thumim, so do the Jebu or Ijebu and the Omo Oduduwa use beads for their divination.

In fact, the name of the father of the Yoruba race, Oduduwa, is in the Hebrew Scriptures, which we erroneously call The Bible. Oduduwa’s father’s name was Lamurudu.

The father of Oduduwa (the progenitor of the Yoruba race) Lamurudu, has exactly the same name as Nimrod, when you read Scripture in Hebrew (Nimrod is referred to as Namurudu in the original Hebrew of Genesis 10:9. The name Namurudu is then translated to Nimrod in the English Bible and as Namrud in Arabic). Stop right now, and Google this to see if I am lying.

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You may say Namurudu is not the same as Lamurudu. That is because you have not studied the Edekiri (Yoruba) etymology.

Among the Yoruba, N and L are interchangeable. So for instance if your name is Nimota, some Yoruba will call you Limota. Again, some Yoruba will say ki ni owi (what did you say), while others will say ki lo wi (same meaning).

It is similar to how some Igbos say Ebele and others say Ebere, which means the same thing (mercy). Or how Imo Igbo say Odiri, and other Igbos say Odili, which both mean the same thing (Odilichullkwu-in God’s Hands)

There are many, many, many more religious and cultural similarities between Ijebu, Yoruba and Jewish culture, but you do not see the Ijebu or Yoruba claiming to be Jews. As a matter of fact, the present Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, rightly said that Jewish culture came out from them and not vice versa.

I have been to Israel to investigate. Many people of Igbo origin are unaware that this claim of the Igbo being some lost tribe of the Jews was adjudicated in Israel.

A Nigerian man of Igbo origin, named Onyeulor, had approached Israel’s Chief Rabbinate council and an Israeli High Court to pursue the claim of Igbo Jewry, and the claim was rejected at both instances.

Israel does not play with lost Jewish tribes. They are DESPERATE to populate the Israeli territories, which some people label as so called ‘occupied territories’, with lost Jewish tribes.

Those promoting this new age theory of Igbos as lost Jews, ought to consider that the Igbos are egalitarian republicans. They do not have kings.

I can see some people pointing to an Igbo Eze. These Ezes are all, without exception warrant chiefs created by the colonialists.

Igbos were never united under one king, as the Yoruba were for millennia under the Ooni of Ife, or the Ijebu under the Awujale of Ijebu.

The oldest POLITICAL monarchy in Igbo land is the Obi of Onitsha, and both this monarchy and the town of Onitsha itself were founded by warriors from the ancient Benin empire. Do not get angry and insult me. Find a true Onitsha son of the soil and ask him. The immigrants from Benin founded many towns that stretch across from modern day Benin to Onicha Ugbo, Onicha Olona, Ogwashi Ukwu, Onicha Ukwu, and Asaba.

That is why you have these distinct ‘Igbos’ bearing names like Obaigbena, Irabor, Iyasere, etc. These are all Bini names.

The point I am trying to make is that whereas the Jews where monarchical, the Igbos are not.

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I visited Ethiopia eight times in 2019, and traveled around the country, and discovered the Beta Yisra’el, who were Jews who left Israel along with Menelik, the son King Solomon had with Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, who visited him in accounts captured in 1 Kings 10:1-13.

I also traveled to Israel, where I met the Beta Yisra’el, in their quarters in Tel Aviv. There are now 130,000 of them in Israel, but this is a recent development. Until 1982, almost all of the Beta Yisra’el were domiciled in Ethiopia.

They were relocated to Israel during the Aliyah of the 80s and 90s.

The curious thing is that in 1848, these Black Ethiopian Jews wrote to the Jews of Europe, urging them to unite with them and restore a geographical country called Israel.

Why? What gave them confidence that such a crazy idea was possible? Turn with me to Isaiah 11:11. In the King James Version, that verse reads:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.”

The word Cush might confuse you. So, now let us read it in a newer version:

“In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people— those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.”-NLT.

The word Cush means Black, and it refers to the continent of Africa, and more specifically to the regions around Sheba, which is the old name for Abyssinia, which itself is the old name for the modern nation of Ethiopia.

For over two thousand five hundred years, the Beta Yisra’el were aware of this prophecy and were waiting for its fulfilment.

Today, it has been fulfilled at the Beta Yisra’el are back in Israel.

Let me conclude with this: No force in heaven or Earth or under the Earth can stop Israel from associating with true Hebrew Jews, and taking them back to Aretz Israel.

In case some of you do not know, the nation of Israel is so sophisticated with tracing ancestry that they do not just rely on historical records. They now utilise advanced DNA testing, of which they are the world’s leader. If any people are the lost tribe of Israel, they will find those people, and prove it with documentary and DNA evidence and embrace them and bring them to Israel. Accept who you are. Be proud of who you are.


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