The Kebra Negast states that when Menelik I visited his father King Solomon in Jerusalem, Menelik expressed to his father
the desire to take to his country the Ark of the Covenant, which is the Tables of the Law that God had given to Moses
and that had journeyed through the ages with the children of Israel until they aquired kings to rule over them.
Now this Ark rested in possesion of King Solomon and Zadok, the high priest, who was the chief among the priests of Israel who ministered before the Ark in the Temple. The Ark was still in place wherein the power of God rested, and whenever the clergies made their supplications to God, provided it was in accordance with the will of God, the Ark would rise from where it lay. It was the Will of God that the Ark be transferred to Ethiopia.
The Liberation of the Church
From the beginning the Ethiopian church was affiliated with the See of Saint Mark of Alexandria. After Abba Selama first bishop of Ethiopia, died, Egyptian bishops from Alexandria were appointed to head the Ethiopian church. This continued until the time of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
The Turkish Invasion
About 1528 – 1540 A.D Ahmed Gran led the Turks in a terrible battle against the Ethiopian Christians. Ahmed Gran, an Ethiopian citizen but Moslem, was born in Harrar to the South of Ethiopia. Assisted by all forces of Islam, he attacked the country from one end to the other and successfully opposed the Christians.
Jesuits The Offensive Mission
After the death of Ahmed Gran there was a gradual deterioration of harmony between the two types of Christians, Ethiopians and Catholics.
The Queen Journeys into Wisdom and finds Light
The queen of Sheba, being a woman who was inquisitive of philosophy, and eager for wisdom, knowledge and understanding traveled more than one thousand miles to seek wisdom by inquiring in the King Solomon’s wisdom. Josephus notes the queen's thrist for knowledge: “...For I desire wisdom and my heart seeketh to find understanding…. I will seek after wisdom and she shall protect me forever….”. Her inquisitive nature, as noted by Josephus, is brought to light by her own words in her memoirs,
(Personal, vol. 12): "... Perhaps many people will say I am inquisitive, but that is simply because they do not understand me.
I am always anxious to learn and serious minded....". Her Journey to Jerusalem was a symbol of great faith and so Our Lord and Saviour Eyesus Kristos spoke of her to the generation that existed during His Time. That generation was described as “an evil and adulterous generation that seeketh after a sign” (Matt. 12:39).
They were a generation that would not believe in God unless a sign was shown them. Being therefore angered by their unbelief, Our Lord said; “ The Queen of the South shall rise up in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it; for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold a greater than Solomon is here”.(Matt. 12:42) So desperate was the queen's desire for wisdom and so great was her faith that before leaving for Jerusalem, she expressed what was in her heart concerning King Solomon, whose wisdom was to bring her closer to God. She said"...And I love him merely on hearing concerning him and without seeing him, and the whole story of him that hath been told me is to me as the desire of my heart, and like water to a thristy man". Such was her faith, upon learning the good news concerning the name of the Lord, the wisdom of Solomon, and the Land of Judah, for she journeyed with a very large train, with camels that bore much spice, gold and precious stones as gifts to the king of Israel.
Enroute to Israel, Queen Makeda made several stops, including one in Sheba, a part of her Kingdom. The Book Of Kebra Negast tells us that the queen and all who came with her were recieved with dignity and majesty. Her subjects the Sabeans greeted her and expressed their love with singing and great homage. It was a grand opportunity for the people to have seen their Monarch in person for the first time. The Queen, no doubt, was joyful at being with her people on this royal occasion. Then Makeda left for the land of Judah, which was about one hundred camel days from Sheba.
The Arrival of the Queen
After a very sucessful journey, the queen and her people reached Jerusalem at the South Gate,where they were met by thousands who gathered to greet her, having heard of her coming throughout Judah. The Queen of Ethiopia, Makeda, was received by Azarias, the son of Zadok, the high priest, and by a large company of priest and noblemen. “...They wore robes broidered in gold and belts of gold about their loins, around their necks chains of gold and golden crowns on their heads.” Quite impressed by all she had seen and by King Solomon's knowledge of the worship of the One True God, she admitted that she was a sun worshipper, and she became converted to the worship of the One True God. Her conversion was the light she found in King Solomon's wisdom.
The conversion was her first step toward the wisdom she so desperately sought. She emphasized that she had absorbed wisdom and was encouraged by it. She described the teachings of King Solomon, which benefited her greatly: "...I went in through the door of the treasury of wisdom and I drew for myself the waters of understanding." She had seen a great light in the Knowledge of God and states“ …Through wisdom I have dived down into the great sea and have seized in the place of wisdom’s depth, a great pearl whereby I am rich. I went down like the great iron anchor whereby men anchor ships for the night on the high seas, and I received a lamp, which lighteth me, and I came up by the ropes of the boat of understanding. I went to sleep in the depths of the sea, and not being overwhelmed with the water I dreamed a dream. And it seemed to me that there was a star in my womb and I marveled thereat and I laid hold upon it, and it lighted me with the splendor thereof…”.
Queen Makeda stayed in Jerusalem for six months, during which her union with King Solomon produced Menelik I, who was born while she journeyed back to Ethiopia. There she condemed the sun-god worship as well as other types of worship and introduced to her people the worship of the True God of King Solomon of Israel. She made history as a woman responsible for a mass reformation in the history of Ethiopia, where the worship of the True God was officially established in later years when her son Menelik I, visited his father, King Solomon, and returned to Ethiopia, bringing the Ark of the Covenant, accompanied by Azarias, the son of Zadok, the high priest and all the firstborn of the house of Israel. The Falashas of Ethiopia, as well as other natives trace their descent from the people who accompanied Menelik to Ethiopia. (The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church, Yesehaq, 7)
The worship of God was then officially established and Makeda abdicated the throne and gave it to her son, Menelik I, who was crowned King of Kings.
Thus began in Ethiopia the Solomonian dynasty of kings that lasted to the twentieth century. The Solomonic kingdom in Ethiopia should not be considered as the root of the Ethiopian kingdom but as an additional blessing from God, for the country had been ruled by kings for thousands of years before Menelik I came to the Throne. The removal of the Ark of the covenant was a truly historic event which is venerated greatly by Ethiopians. Today the Ark of the Covenant of God lies in the St.Mary of Zion Church in the sacred city of Axum, which is the birthplace of the Ethiopian Empire and center for Christian worship.
The first community The Emperor visited after being greeted at the Piarco International Airport by Prime Minister Eric Williams, was the Borough of Arima....
King of Kings Visitation 1966
The Ethiopian church in Jerusalem was one of the first established Christian churches there. Soon after the resurrection of our Lord Eyesus Kristos, Ethiopians began streaming to the Holy Land,
Jerusalem The Holy Sepulchre
Throughout its history in Jamaica, the Church suffered greatly because it came to the Rastafarian faithful whose desire is to motivate their lives through the church.