The Ijebu, The Yoruba and Their Influence on The Bible and Judaism

By Reno Omokri

Due to the many requests I received from readers who read my piece on the Ijebu people of Nigeria, I providing an updated edition of that article ‘The Ijebu, The Yoruba and Their Influence on The Bible and Judaism’ first published on September 30, 2018.

I am doing this not only because some Yoruba elders have investigated and found that I was right about the origin and meaning of the word Yoruba (Yar’iba), but also because if we as Black peoples do not know our history, we will constantly wander around in circles, and return to the place where we first began, and instead of knowing it for the very first time, as TS Eliot wrote in Little Gidding, we will simply wander again.

One significant update in this edition is to note that Ijebu-Remo came about because a colonial officer was tasked with visiting Ijebu and Remo, and in his travel log, he referred to the places as Ijebu-Remo, instead of Ijebu/Remo or Ijebu and Remo, giving the impression that the two separate areas were in fact one geographical location.

Prior to British colonialism, Remo was known as Remo, not Ijebu-Remo. In fact, the first occurrence of the term Ijebu-Remo are found in British colonial records and later in a Hansard of the British Parliament.

In fact, just as you had Ijebu towns bearing the prefix, Ijebu, for example, Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Igbo, you also have Remo towns bearing the prefix Remo, for example, Ogere-Remo, Ilishan-Remo, etc.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the history of the Black Race is hidden in plain sight and I have known this for years, but I have been a coward. I know my people. I know how some of us love to deprecate their own selves. And I was afraid that if I wrote about the truth, I would be attacked. But when has it ever been that truth was first celebrated?

For the truth, it has always been as Mahatma Gandhi said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” I have no interest in winning. I just want the truth to be out there.

But as I woke up this morning, a Force propelled me. I was so restless and I asked myself why I was restless. And the words of John 8:32 were emblazoned on my mind:

“you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Elsewhere, I have written about the biblical Nimrod (the first world emperor) in Genesis 10. I showed in actual fact that there was nothing like Nimrod. His real name is Namrud in Aramaic and Arabic. From where the European translators got the name Nimrod, I would not know. But the name found in the Pentateuch is Namrud. Do not take my word for it. Google it. Or go to a reference library.

I had also said that that Namrud was no other person than Lamurudu, the father of Oduduwa, the father of the Yoruba people. If you want evidence, Google my article ‘Why Black Man dey Suffer today.’

But today, I want to reveal the truth about a place called Jerusalem.

Many people do not realise that the original name for Jerusalem was not Jerusalem but actually Jebus. If you doubt me, stop reading right now and Google the word Jebus. Or go to a reference library.

The Jebus, were a tribe that occupied the modern day Jerusalem before they were conquered by King David. This is a historical fact. It is also recorded in the Bible.

In Joshua 11:3, we read:

“And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.”

Now, note those words “the Jebusite in the mountains”. It is very important, as I will explain later.

Do not be confused by the use of the generic term ite after the names of tribes. They were not used in the original Hebrew Scriptures. It was the European and specifically the English translators of the Hebrew Scriptures, that added the generic suffix, ite.

So for example, in their eyes, a person from Canaan would be a Canaanite. The children of Ammon would be called Ammonites. And those from Jebus were called Jebusites.

I do not know why they did this. Did they do it to deceive, confuse, or hide the truth? Or, did they do it for ease of reference? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, if you read 2 Samuel 5:6, it says:

“The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there.”

The King here, refers to David. David attacked Jebus and defeated them as we can see in verse 8 of 2 Samuel 5 which says:

“David had said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.”

In verse 9, we read that David defeated the Jebusites, but did not take up residence in the mountains, where most of them lived (remember I told you to remember the mountains).

He chose to reside in the lowlands surrounding the mountains as we read in verse 9:

“David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward.”

In actual fact, the name Jebus that you read about in The Bible, refers to a tribe now known as Ijebu in Southwest Nigeria.

I have just blown your mind. I know. It sounds like blasphemy. Heresy. But please let me land!

The Ijebu do not really call themselves I-J-E-B-U, the way an outsider would pronounce all syllables. They actually call themselves J-E-B-U, with the I before jebu silent.

And the Ijebu people are unlike other Yoruba tribes in that they do not claim Yoruba heritage. They have something you would find nowhere else in Yoruba land. They have a king called Awujale.

The Awujale of Ijebu, Sikiru Adetona, revealed in an interview, (which I urge every reader of this article to read: simply Google Middle East origins of the Ijebu), that the Ijebu originally came from the area around the Middle East to the Sudan.

This agrees with the biblical references in Joshua 11:3 and 12:10 as well as 2 Samuel 5:6-10.

So if the Jebus were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, where does the word Jerusalem come from?

You see, the Ijebu or Jebu is the name of the tribe. However, they name their towns, villages and habitations after the topography of their environment.

So for instance, in modern day Nigeria, the Ijebu towns are known by the prefix Ijebu, followed by a suffix indicating their topography. Today, the Ijebu towns are known as Ijebu-Ode (which may loosely mean outer Ijebu), Ijebu-Igbo (which may loosely mean forested Ijebu). You also have Ijebu-Remo, Ijebu-Isiwo and other Ijebu towns, villages and communities that begin with the prefix Ijebu and end with a suffix depicting their topography or to a lesser extent, their history.

Now, recall that I urged my readers to remember that in Joshua 11:3, the Jebus were referred to as living in the mountains, but in 2 Samuel 5:6, the Bible records that the Jebus lived in Jerusalem.

Psalm 125:2 reads:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”

Jerusalem is a town surrounded by mountains. Even today, some residents of Jerusalem live in the mountains, others live in the lowlands or valley.

The Jebus who were living in the lowlands of Jerusalem and who were conquered by King David in 2 Samuel chapter 5 were Ijebu-Isale, loosely meaning Ijebu of the lowland or valley.

It is that Ijebu-Isale, which the natives would have called Jebu-sale (both i’s after Ijebu and Isale would have been silent) that was mispronounced as Jeru-Sale by King David and his men, because 2 Samuel chapter 5 quite clearly states that King David built the city of David in the lowland. Jeru-Sale became Jerusalem.

The challenge many Black People have is that we do not read. It is still true today that if you want to hide something from a Black man, you hide it in a book.

These things you just read are not secrets. They have been hidden in the most popular book in the world for centuries! They are in The Bible!

It grieves me when I see Black People, especially people of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, say that their culture is derived from Jewish culture. That is not true and I will prove it using only Scripture.

Many people do not realise that there is a difference between being a Hebrew and being Jewish.

Hebrews are the descendants of Abraham. Jews are those who profess the faith of Judaism.

The faith of Judaism is not actually traced to Abraham, although the God of Judaism (whom I believe in) is the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The fact is that the prophet Moses (Moshe) was the founder of Judaism. But how did he come about his spiritual knowledge?

Moses was an Egyptian general of Hebrew descent. For the first 40 years of his life, he lived in Egypt and had no connection with the one true God.

It was only when he ran away from Egypt after killing an Egyptian, that he met God.

Moses sought asylum in Midian, where he lived for forty years. He married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian (also known as Reuel). This is very important. Why? Because Jethro was Black. How do I know? The Bible tells us.

Numbers 12:1 reads:

“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”

If you read the same verse in the NIV, it says:

“Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.”

Cush is the Hebrew word for Black. Do not be confused by the use of Ethiopian by the King James Version. When the KJV uses the term Ethiopian, what it actually means is Black Africa. You see, when the King James Version was written, Africa was known as Ethiopia and Black People were called Ethiope.

Google the word Ethiope if you doubt me. The nation now known as Ethiopia is referred to as Sheba in the Old Testament. It is NEVER referred to as Ethiopia (except in the New Testament). Hence, the Queen of Ethiopia who visited King Solomon is referred to as the Queen of Sheba, not Queen of Ethiopia.

So Moses was living with Black People in Midia and married the daughter of their Black priest. It was while he was there that he had the encounter with God described as the Burning Bush experience of Exodus 3.

A lot of the spiritual and physical laws which Moses passed on to the Hebrews in the form of the religion of Judaism were actually taught to him by his Black father-in-law. How do I know? Because the bible says so.

Exodus 18:24 says:

“Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.”

This is the reason why there are so many similarities between Jewish culture and Black African culture.

For example, in Deuteronomy 25:5, Moses taught that if a man dies without a seed, his brother, who is next in line, will produce seed for him through his widowed wife.

In the New Testament, the Sadducees threw this law at the face of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:24 which reads:

“Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him.”

This custom is present in the original customary laws of almost all Black African tribes. Africans did not learn this from the Jews. The Jews learnt it from Africans.

Africans need to realise that the very first nation mentioned in the Bible is the Black Race. Genesis 2:13 reads:

“The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.”

That word Cush is the Hebrew word for the Black Race till this very day.

Even the way that the Jews consulted God (divination) is of Black origin. Many times, when we read that God told a Jewish prophet something, it is not that God came down or spoke to them in dreams or through an angel, which did happen. However, by far the most consistent way that the Israelites consulted and heard from God, was through the practice of divination. It is in the Bible.

Aaron was a diviner. He cast lots, using holy jewelled beads called Urim and Thummim.

Exodus 28:30 reads:

“Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.”

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 specifically and amongst the descendants of Oduduwa.

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.

If you have ever watched a Nollywood movie where a traditional priest threw beads on the floor and saw the future or identified a culprit who stole or predicted the outcome of a given venture, that was the ancient Black African science of divination.

Now, I have used the word, Yoruba, to describe the Omo Oduduwa as distinct from the Jebu or Ijebu. But ask any Yoruba elder for the meaning of Yoruba and they have no clue. The truth is that before the British came, there was NOTHING like Yoruba.

You were either Egba, Owu, Ijesha, Awori, etc. You will not find any document bearing the word Yoruba from the 18th century. The omo Oduduwa now called Yoruba used to call themselves omooluabi.

The word Yoruba actually comes from the word Yar’Iba. It is a Fulani word dating from the days of slavery. If you read the memoirs of Bishop Samual Ajayi Crowther, he did not refer to himself as Yoruba.

In his memoirs, Ajayi Crowther revealed that he was raided from his village in Osogun (in present day Oyo state) by Fulani slave raiders (different from slave traders).

The Fulani were notorious for raiding tribes of the lower Niger. They called the Igbo Yar’Miri, which is a derogatory name that they still call them in the North (Nyamiri). The Yorubas they called Yar’Iba. I know the meaning of that word and it is so derogatory that I will not reveal it here.

It was the British, who in search of an ethnic identity for the Omo Oduduwa, took the derogatory word Yar’iba, and mispronounced it as Yoruba.

The actual name for the Yoruba or the Omo Oduduwa, is omoluabi, which is a word that evolved from omo-ti-olu-iwa-bi, meaning the child that the lord of character begat.

Many people, including many modern day Yoruba speakers, think that Oluwa means Lord. No it does not. Oluwa connotes Lord, but it does not mean just lord. It means Lord of Iwa, meaning character, or good morals.

Now what is the origin of omo-ti-olu-iwa-bi? Many, myself included, think It goes back to the origin of Adam, the child that had no mother or father but was begotten by the Lord as we read in Genesis 2, which itself agrees with the folkloric origins of Oduduwa’s ancestral line through Lamurudu.

I know that these revelations may be shocking and could even seem like heresy to some of my readers, but I urge everyone who has read this to behave like the Berean people.

Acts 17:11 reads:

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Please search the Scriptures. Everything you have read here is based on Scripture, shocking as it may be.

If you have questions stemming from this article, you can reach me by sending me a DM on Instagram.

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