Prophet Elia, Berseba & SoNiNi
So then, in our everlasting archeological searches of Biblical locations in Southern Africa, and trying our level best getting the actual locations right. As expected, we are now seeing seeds planted and taking root that teach different locations in the ancient lands of Jacob and seem somewhat led by another spirit. We foresee therefore that many will claim to be of the Ancient Bantu Hebrews in the near future, just like the Pharisees back in the day, it is certainly those who deny it vehemently to the very end, that are more likely to be of the branch of David. But being of the Tribes could mean you have many trials ahead of you in your walk with Immanuel. But thats another topic altogether, believe in Immanuel and all else will follow.
Now, as our marker and a good location finder, let's do a travel diary of Elia or Elijah in the Southern parts of Africa. Now Elia traveled 40 days and 40 nights (sound familiar right?), from this can we map out his travels?
Well, the answer is we kinda can. Let's dive !
If we read our old books in the Bible, we find our man Elia on the run from queen Jezebel. And the Prophet was truly under great distress as he walked out into the Wilderness and asked SoNiNi to let him die at one point. Now SoNiNi heard his prayers and sent an Angel who made Elia eat and drink two times to have enough strength for a journey. And a familiar journey it was, it seems Immanuel and Moses both would have taken the same route. Let's see now!
It reads in I Kings 19,1-9:
"1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say,
“May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Juda, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, SoNiNi,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of SoNiNi came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of SoNiNi. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night."
Now, if you look at the distances in what is historically accepted as Israel, you will quickly find that our man Elijah would be walking the milk mans rout and the mail mans route, in order to get all the places he needed to be in order to fill up his miles / kms for this trip. From north to south that country is 290 miles long...! With distances like the ones that will build up traveling a journey of 40 days and nights, is quite simply remarkable in such a small country. We won´t even go there because its just not plausible, wrong people wrong land, etc. Now If you change the place however, move everything down to Southern Africa (or Up to Southern Africa depending on how you see the world) things turn more interesting and much more feasible.
Now if something is written in the Bible, it is in there for a reason, so let us use these 40 days as our mark.
It clearly says: for 40 days and 40 nights he traveled, presumably by foot or perhaps he had a donkey. Does the Bible say by Donkey? No it does not, so we will presume he went using the old Apostle Horsepower, which is mainly your feet. Now Let's say he managed to travel at least 10/12 hours a day with breaks for sleep at night or during the day for when he walked through the desert places he would have encountered on his way to Sinai. Now its normal for a person to able to travel 3-4 miles per hour per day, which equates to 30-40 miles a day dependent on the person. So then after 40 days of travel, we simply take 3miles times 10 hours, that gives us 1440miles.
Now the distance by road today from this location in Somoni and Juda land (encompassing parts of Lesotho, KZN, Eastern Cape , Western Cape and Free State) and all the way up is about 2100 miles. Now this is not so far apart really (1440miles to 2100miles), because remember the google maps give you the actual roads you have to walk on. Elia would certainly have taken the off beaten paths, which can be slower or faster. Also Elia was given extra food for the journey, so he could have been able to to say 4miles times 12hours, which is 48miles per day (a hard trekk, but doable when you are alone). NOW we end up on 1920miles. Which is very close to Google road estimate, a straight line from Beersheba in Juda and all the way up to SoNiNis Fire Mountain, today possibly located in West Namibia. Today a deserted place, and fitting SoNiNi wanted it like that, keeping people away and keeping it set apart and holy.
Now from the Scripture we see that Elia started in the Negev Desert, after walking one day inward from Beersheba (there is another Beersheba on maps (Coltons 1886) all the way up in Namaqualand (with Jerusalem and Bethany) ALL of these on the Other side of Jordan (Orange River), which will prove interesting for further mappings.
Now we believe Beersheba of Isaac and Abraham could be two locations, either be in Judas land further down towards the KZN coast OR The Berseba on the maps even today, towards the Namibian Coast (not unlikely). But hey we could be wrong, as we have been about locations many times before. We are not wrong about the Promised Land being in Southern Africa though. The thing is in these mappings, there are central landmarks from our Bibles that are missing, another thing is the climate (that SoNiNi Himself) have dried up large areas (along with larger lakes) and made them desolate, like He said He would if The People departed from His ways. And departed they have, walking in the ways of the Heathen, and not heading and following His commandments.
So then, we are left with piecing this together. Now the Expression from Scripture goes like this From Dan to Beersheba. Meaning from North to South, an old saying that would encompass the whole of the Promised Land. But don't take our word for it, let's see what The Bible says about the place.
Beersheba, is mentioned in connection with Abraham and Isaac, they both dug a well and make peace with King Abimelech of Gerar. So the place gets its name twice, first from Abraham (Genesis 21,22-34):
22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “SoNiNi is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”
24 Abraham said, “I swear it.” (Kea e tshepha - I trust myself, in northern Sotho)
25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”
30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.
32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of SoNiNi naNiNi, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time."
We see from our note, that Abraham might have said said, I Swear it (or lets make it an oath) which in Northern Sotho it would sound like Kea e Tshepa (I trust in myself). Fitting name, and not too far phonetically from Beersheba. Now then from Isaac (Issaka) who closes his own covenant with Abimelech who was a Philistine and had all their customs in him already at that time, his servants also dug a well there (Genesis 26,23-33):
23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night SoNiNi appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of SoNiNi. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that SoNiNi was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by SoNiNi.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” 33 He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba."
When it writes like that in the Bible, to this day, we take that as a sign and message rather that it is something that will still bear the name even today. We see both patriarchs dug a well at Beersheba, settling their differences, and naming the place as the Place of Oaths (kinda).
Now this place that was called Beersheba (Berseba) there are allot of them in the world today, and finding the right one though is not easy. This place is spoken of in our Scriptures as Abraham and Isaacs place. Now they both dug a well there, and this is seemingly also the same place that Jacob had his dream about a staircase to Heaven (Genesis 28,10-15):
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of SoNiNi were ascending and descending on it.13 There above it stood SoNiNi, and he said:
“I am that I am, SoNiNi na NiNi of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Here we can even see that Berseba would have been close to or at the very least on the same way as to Harran, which was in Ur, Abrahams birthplace. This changes the dynamic yet again, where was Harran? (Harare, Zimbabwe?). We will follow up on this in a longer article on Abrahams birthplace.
Furthermore this was on ONE side of the Jordan, not the East side but the West, in the territory of Somoni and Juda (Joshua 15,28 & 19,2). The Prophet Samuel had sons that were all judges in Beersheba (1 Samuel 8,2) and King Saul built a large fort there when he fought the Amalekites (1 Samuel 14,48 and 15,2-9), Amos also mentions this city in regard to idolatry (Amos 5,5 and 8,14). Now after Babylon enslaved and took over large parts of the Kingdom, Beersheba was said to have been abandoned, but after the exile they returned and rebuilt the city. As we mentioned before this would have been in the territory of Somoni and Juda (according to Joshua 15,28 & 19,2).
Now back to Elias, as he did take refuge in Beersheba from Jezebel who ordered him killed (1. Kings 19,3). The city itself must have been of a descent size as Amos does mention the city as a place of idol worship (Amos 5,5 & 8,14), and following the Babylonian conquests and enslavement of the Bantus, this town was supposedly abandoned. But it was resettled again when the Bantus came back from Exile, now according to Scripture this city was the southernmost city of ALL the territories of the Bantus, therefore they had the terms from DAN to Beersheba, describing the whole Kingdom. This means Dan (Dana) would have been further to the North, perhaps way North (Central Africa), or it could mean that Berseba was to the North and Dan way down South. It depends how you turn the map as Cardinal directions are slightly skewed today, just watch the Sun she rises in the true EAST, North and South then become slightly off if you put them on the map (more on this later, we have talked about this before but will go deeper into the directions at one point).
As The Scriptures tells us, Elia went to SoNiNis mountain which we believe could have been in Namibia, called in the Bible Horeb or Goreb, another name for mount Sinai. Also called THE mountain in Scripture, where Moses received the 10 Commandments. On the way Elijah sat down by a Broom tree, and had his Angelic encounter. He was by all accounts, alone.
According to the calculations above, all depending on weather and the speed in which our Prophet traveled, he may have covered the distance from South in the KZN and all the way up to Brandberg mountain (Mount Sinai). We can use this location in KwaZulu Natal to get some directions down. So then, by walking 10-12 hours a day, averaging closer to 50 miles a day, he could do 300/350 in seven days (The distance according to Google is around 2100miles). However, this location of KZN problematic for the next sets of Scriptures, that seem to bring us more towards the Berseba in Namibia, up from Mount Seir Road (closer down the coast of the Western Cape). Also as we remember from Issaka, they dug for water meaning there was not much water there, KZN as anyone from the area knows is blessed with water and, green grass and plenty of mountains. This is problematic for the frequent mentions of deserted areas...
Now there are more clues of the travel itself in Deuteronomy 1,2 :
These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.2 (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
So then, here is a master clue. Eleven days to go (assuming walk) from Goreb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road, and if Mount Seir is Mount Hermon in the Western Cape, then It should take 11 days from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea.... Which could have been the Hill country of the Amorites of what is today the Western Cape and Namibia.
Lets map this walk out, 11 days from Brandberg Mountain (Mount Sinai), and you end up here (we put Omaruru as being closest to Brandberg, then Gibeon as being somewhat close to Berseba). So that may have been where Kadesh Barnea was, as it seems to be near the Border of the North (Not the South) putting it close to Berseba. However, the track now is much shorted for Elia to have walked this distance in 40 days, unless he crawled... So we are not the much wiser from puzzling this together, we cannot and should not draw a defined conclusion on his route, was it from KwaZulu Natal or from the Namib deserted areas? From Dan to Beersheba, from the North Desert and down to the Southern Coast? Well, you make the call.
There could be more to this as THE Mountain may even have been in East Africa, as some proponents have said the mountain may be up there and the likes of Kilimanjaro.... If we read 1-2 Kings (or the Stories of the Kings as it was just 1 book back in the day), so its all about if you believe in the 40 days and 40 nights to be a literal interpretation, we certainly believe it was literal. And the 11 days means something else again, and should also be taken literal and we are as usual missing information to piece it perfectly together. People will seek to blame The Scriptures when they on face value seem to contradict itself, like people going against Pauls writings because they stir up ones faith and seem to contradict, but its more than often the lack of understanding (information) on the readers or believers part.
All we know for sure is that Elia was strengthened by SoNiNi to do a long travel, it is not to be interpreted as a brisk walk, but the 40 days as put in the text. Lets go through this journey with the Scriptures in parentheses for all to check his journey and perhaps find some more points of interest.
1 Kings 19, 1-15 is all about Elijah, after he just outwitted 400 of Ba`al prophets on the Summit of Table Mountain (Mount Carmel) he again one upped King Ahab and outran his chariots on the journey to Jezreel, a green valley not far from Mount Carmel (1. Kings 18,20-46). When Ahab tells Jezebel of what Elijah did to her beloved prophets, she then makes a hefty swear and curse towards heaven (1. Kings 19,2):
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
She will end Elia just like he (seemingly) ended the lives of 400 prophets, may the gods take my life it yours is not ended by this time tomorrow. Off course when Elia heard this we he was afraid and fled for his life (1. Kings 19,3). We see most of the focus in 1 Kings being on Elia, and in Chapter 17 we see that our Prophet confronted Ahab with the impending droughts.
After he fled we see that he started in the valley of Jezreel, located between Mount Carmel (Table Mountain) and the Sea of Galilee, he then went south (which then must mean up right) to Berseba (what is today Namibia). We can see here another indication that South really did mean upwards back in the day, and South was another word for Desert. Now remember all this, was remarked as being South, North of a place, and that place the ancient Bantus used was Jerusalem (more on that later).
In Elia´s journey went all the way from Jezreel (not far from Sea of Galilee and Mount Carmel) and then to the southern city of Beersheba... What we do not know is how far Jezreel was from Beersheba, we do know that he left his servant and went on a days journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19,3-4). This is where Elijah was talking to SoNiNi and argued with The Almighty about the futility of life (1 Kings 19,4)even asking SoNiNi to take his life. SoNiNi fed him and urged him to continue his journey (1 Kings 19,5-7). Then after 40 days and 40 nights, Elijah arrives at Mount Goreb The Mountain of SoNiNi (1 Kings 19,8).
Here SoNiNi confronts Elia with words of admonition and commission, lets read the full length of Scriptures and leave out nothing shall we. And for those that are familiar there comes a famous passage of Scriptures that philosophers and metaphysics love to use as an example of their theories of what SoNiNi truly is in his true form (1 Kings 19,9-18):
And the word of SoNiNi came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for SoNiNi na NiNi. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 SoNiNi said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of SoNiNi, for SoNiNi is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before SoNiNi, but SoNiNi was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but SoNiNi was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but SoNiNi was not in the fire. And after the fire came a sound of silence. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for SoNiNi na NiNi. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 SoNiNi said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”