The (Scattered) Hebrews: Tribe of Levi

They teach your regulations to Jacob; they give your instructions to Israel
-Deuteornomy 33:10

Note: It is recommended to read the House of Judah before reading this.

Levi was the 3rd son of Jacob and is the priestly tribe of Israel. Initially, the tribe of Levi did not have a designated lot of land but lived throughout the land of Israel among the 12 tribes. The Levites relocated into the House of Judah after Jeroboam disrespected the priestly tribe (Levites) by nominating his own priests and brought Egyptian idol worship practices with him into the House of Israel (I went into this in the Torn Kingdom article). This is how the Levites became associated only within the House of Judah.

Jews Exiled Into Africa

In the House of Judah and the Tribe of Judah articles, I’ve brought up many maps that cartographers have drawn of Judah on the slave coast itself and many journals of explorers finding Jews in African cities in West Africa. Jews were being exiled into Africa up to 70 AD after the fall of Jerusalem and final banishment of the House of Judah and began building civilizations throughout Africa.

Antique Map of Africa Lavoisne 1821, notice the Kingdom of Judah is no longer on the Slave Coast by this time, having been taken into the Americas

Here we see a map of the region of Guinea in the early 1800s and throughout this entire region were African Jewish Kingdoms where Judaism prevailed:

-The Nautical Magazine: A Journal of Papers on Subjects Connected with Maritime Affairs, Volume 39 (1870)

Judaism Prevails In West Africa

Among this analysis, it’s interesting to note the first statement reveals a strong influence of Judaism all within both Northern and Southern Guinea. The last statement of the Religious notions makes a clear distinction that this mindset is not of native Africans and the author simply considers these Negroes “inhabitants of Western Africa.” This is consistent with what we’ve gone over throughout this series, that there are many Semitic Hebrew civilizations among the Hamitic regions of Africa. Here a description of some of the inhabitants is given and even mentioning Jewish features:

-The Nautical Magazine: A Journal of Papers on Subjects Connected with Maritime Affairs, Volume 39 (1870)

The Term "Jewish Type"

Here we again see by the terminology of “Jewish type” (as I brought up in the tribe of Naphtali article) that these features are common knowledge and regularly used to attribute to Jews. Here we have the example in West Africa but in my Naphtali article, the terminology was being used by Gentiles for Native Pacific Islanders found in Australasia more than 7,000 miles from each other! He again uses this terminology (Jewish type) in noting that even the missionaries in these areas came to the conclusion these people must be Jews indicating these customs and overall influence of Judaism was felt prior to the missionaries being in Africa.

Ancient Timbuktu
- The Nautical Magazine: A Journal of Papers on Subjects Connected with Maritime Affairs, Volume 39 (1870). Notice that the "mulatto" descendants are said to be from Jewish exiles and Anglo women. The deduction from this statement is that the Jewish exiles must have clearly been Negroes if they are considered "mulatto" with Anglo (European) mothers.

Jewish Kingdoms Built Throughout West Africa

So as we see from these journal entries, all throughout Guinea, there were Jewish Kingdoms among the Africans. These Jews were exiles from Judah since 1st century AD and were just being discovered by Europeans in the 14th and 15th centuries! Although all these Jews made up the House of Judah, there were three tribes within the House of Judah. The tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi had made their home all throughout West Africa. This is how Jews were taken all throughout the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Even though the Kingdom of Judah was on the slave coast itself, Jews were taken from many other slave ports setup along the African West coast. In fact, there are many other portions of Africa that Jews were exiled into as well including East and South Africa.

-1794 Map of Africa. This area is near where modern South Sudan are today and Ethiopia

Emergence of Vodun

Many portions of Africa were strong with spiritualism resembling the God of the Hebrews because of these African Israelite Kingdoms. These Judahite Kingdoms that had been established between 1st and up to 15th century AD flourished before being decimated by the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, these exiled Levites in Africa mixed the law of Moses along with African tribes and their African gods creating something new that would become known as Vodun (Voodoo).

Yoruba Religion

Vodun Comparisons

Vodun (meaning: spirit in the Fon and Ewe languages) currently dates back to the early 18th century AD among the Yoruba people although the use of fateches or charms dates back even earlier and was used widely throughout Northern and Southern Guinea. The ideals of Vodun (voodoo) have been extremely exaggerated via Hollywood showing an extreme overall ignorance of this religion. Vodun has many comparisons to Judaism/Christianity:


Warnings Against Spiritualism

In Vodun, there are a pantheon of spirits that are worshiped according to what is needed achieving (Sango, spirit of storms; Ayza, protector..etc). Whether it is white or black magic being practiced, this is expressly forbidden by YHWH:

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

-Deuteronomy 18:10, 11

Isaiah also states:

19 And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

-Isaiah 8:19, 20

Benin Vodun

So charms and reaching out to those who speak with the souls of the dead is not something God wants His children associated with. In 1st Samuel, Saul spoke with a medium to bring back Samuel’s soul so that he could speak with him. She did successfully bring up Samuel’s soul who had terrible news for Saul and his family, it is mentioned however that mediums were prohibited in the land of Israel. YHWH Himself tells us in Exodus 20 that the most important commandment is that we put Him first in worship of heart, mind and soul and that He is a jealous God.

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Haiti: First Black Republic

These exiled Levites brought Vodun and other forms of sorcery into the Caribbean, expressly Haiti and eventually into the Americas. Even still, Haiti is the home of many Hebrew Levites that were brought in bondage, torn away from their Hebrew Israelite ancestors in Africa.

-William L Katz: Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage (1986)

The Africans being Levite Jews and the Natives (Indians) being Hebrew Simeonites of the tribe of Simeon. On January 1, 1804 an army of Hebrew slaves were victorious over the army of Napoleon and Haiti won its independence. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, an African-born Jew ex-slave was a leader in the Haitian Revolution and was the first ruler of an independent Haiti. The world’s first Black Republic was born and the first country to abolish slavery.


Note: I unfortunately did not get to delve into the Ewe People in West Africa and their lineage being associated to Jewish origins, this is a good article I came across on the Ewe people for those interested.