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The Ethiopia of Bible History (see also Bible Places) was located to the south of Egypt (see The Ancient Egyptians), extending through the junction of the White and Blue Nile (see The Nile River), including, and beyond, what is today Sudan (the map below shows the modern-day boundaries of Ethiopia and Sudan). Ethiopia is the Greek word that was used for the Hebrew word Cush, with both used interchangeably through The Bible. Ethiopia was inhabited by Ham's son Cush (see Sons Of Noah) (Genesis 10:6, Jeremiah 13:23, Isaiah 18:1-2).


  • Ethiopia's history was often interwoven with that of Egypt. Together or apart they fought wars with the Israelites from time to time. During the reign of Rehoboam (see Kings of Israel and Judah), Ethiopia fought with Egypt against Judah (2 Chronicles 12:3). In the reign of Asa, a very large force of Ethiopians under Zerah was defeated by Judah (2 Chronicles 14:9-13, 16:7-9). Later, Tirhakah, a powerful Ethiopian king of a dynasty that had subjected Egypt itself, came against Hezekiah of Judah but was driven back by the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) (2 Kings 19:9, Isaiah 37:9)

  • Because of their attacks upon the land of Israel, the destruction of the Ethiopian kingdom became certain (a lesson foolishly ignored by Israel's enemies today). Many prophecies dealt with their coming ruin (e.g. Isaiah 18:1, 20:3-5, 43:3, Jeremiah 46:9-10)

  • There is some indication that the Ethiopians may have held territory other than in Africa, on the east side of the Red Sea, in what is today Arabia (2 Chronicles 21:16)

  • Ethiopia was the westernmost frontier of the Persian Empire at its peak (see Ancient Empires - Persia) (Esther 1:1, 8:9)

  • Ethiopia was a source of the precious stone topaz (Job 28:19)

  • In the time of the New Testament, Ethiopia was ruled by Candace, a queen mentioned in Acts 8:27. It was one of her servants, now popularly known as the "Ethiopian eunuch," who was converted and baptized by Philip (Acts 8:26-40)

Fact Finder: Did Moses have an Ethiopian/Cushite wife?
Numbers 12:1

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