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The Future Return from
The first inhabitants of South Africa were Khoisans (Bushmen and Hottentots) who are Africans of slight stature and yellowish skin.
Later Bantu peoples moved into the area in an ongoing process that was still continuing when the white man arrived.
The Bantu came from the North possibly from the Sudan area.
South Africa is at the southern end of the African Continent. The Cape of Good Hope
could control the passage from Europe to Asia until the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869.
Even after the completion of the Suez Canal the Cape of Good Hope remained vital for the passage of larger ships including many warships, tankers, and cargo vessels.
The Cape of Good Hope also controls movement from the Americas to Asia.
The Phoenicians and Israelites (1-Kings 9:26-28 2-Chronicles 9:21) in Ancient Times had regularly sailed from ports on the Red Sea around the Cape of Good Hope up the West Coast of Africa and then back to the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gilbraltar (Herodotus 4:42).
A Persian admiral (according to Herodotus) attempted to circumnavigate Africa from the opposite direction but failed due to adverse winds and currents.
It remained for Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.
The Portuguese first established colonies to the north of South Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea.
Jan van Riebeeck and 90 men in 1652 set up a station on the Cape of Good Hope for Dutch ships.
Shortly afterwards an influx of Dutch, German, and French Hugeonots laid the foundations for the Boer settlement of South Africa.
Boer Ancestry has been described as:
<<Dutch Calvinist, Frisian Calvinist, French Huguenot, Walloon, Flemish and German Protestant origins dating from the 1650s and into the 1700s. Smaller but significant numbers of Scandinavians, Scots, English, Indians, Malays & Khoi [African Bushmen] have been absorbed as well.>>
Another version says that about half the white ancestors of the Boers came from Germany, a quarter from Holland, and another quarter were of French Hugeonot stock.
The Boers spoke an archaic version of Dutch mixed with words from other tongues and known as Afrikaans.
"Afrikaner" is another name for "Boer".
In the early days Asian slaves from Madagascar and Indonesia mixed with the whites.
The offspring from these unions in some cases were assimilated by the Boers though most became part of the South African Colored population that was to form a separate class of its own.
The Boers also intermixed somewhat with the Africans. A study estimated that about 6% of Boer ancestry derived from Black Africans. An equal or greater percentage may also be attributed to Asian origins. With the abandonment of Apartheid a large number of inter-racial unions took place.
The Boers were strongly Calvinistic. They were often fervently devout and avid readers of Scripture. In many ways they identified with the Ancient Israelites and with "Old Testament" values.
After several efforts, the British received permanent control of the Cape in 1814.
The British brought in settlers of their own.
In the early 1800s the British colony included 20,000 white colonists,
25,000 slaves, 15,000 Khoisan, and 1,000 freed black slaves.
There was frequent fiction between the British and Boers and with the Bantu.
The British dominated the townships and were overwhelmingly prominent in politics, trade, finance, mining,and manufacturing.
The Boers were mostly farmers.
On several occasions groups of Boers would set on a 'trek' to found their own
settlements far away from the interference of the British.
In 1834 the British emancipated the slaves.
In 1857 the Xosa (Bantu) who bordered the British settlement area followed a prophecy that if they slaughtered their cattle and destroyed their crops the White Man would leave. Consequently there was a famine that decimated them.
This led to the Great Trek, in which about 12, 000 discontented Afrikaner farmers moved to the north and east
in an effort to live independently of the British.
In the east and north the Zulus under Shaka and Mzilikazi began attacking the other tribes who become displaced and in turn attacked their neighbors. Consequently the Boers who were moving into the area found much or most of it virtually uninhabited.
Boer Pioneers (Trekkers) moved to Natal on the southeast coast and defeated the Zulus.
The British had previously established a small settlement called Port Natal (later Durban) on the coast and
soon after they annexed the whole Province. Meanwhile the Boers had set up two independent republics of their own,
the central Orange Free State and South African Republic (Transvaal) to its north.
The Basuto nation had been formed when the local King Moshoeshoe in the Mountains provided refuge for tribes fleeing the Zulus. After trouble with the Boers he requested that the British annex his land which was done in 1868.
This area is now known as Lesotho (Basutoland).
Diamonds were discovered in the Kimberley area (to the west of the Orange Free State) which was annexed by Britain.
In Natal sugar cane was introduced and indentured laborers brought over from India.
Britain annexed the Transvaal in 1877 but lost control after a rebellion. In 1886 gold was discovered in the area followed by a large influx of mostly British prospectors. The Boers feared losing control over the area and therefore introduced measures that were discriminatory towards the newcomers.
The Orange Free State formed a military alliance with the Transvaal.
The Anglo-Boer/South African War began in 1899.
Up to half a million British soldiers were arraigned against some 65, 000 Boers.
Initially the Boers gained some victories but eventually were defeated in open battle and the
British occupied all major settlements.
The Boers then took to guerilla fighting under General Jan Smuts.
The British led by Kitchener "adopted a scorched-earth policy and set up racially separate civilian concentration camps in which some 26 000 Boer women and children and 14 000 black and coloured people were to die in appalling conditions. The war ended in Boer defeat at the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902. "
The women and children died due to epidemics but horror stories were spread about
and to this day it is claimed that the British were instrumental in the cause of death.
Nevertheless, the Boer leaders Botha and Smuts worked for reconciliation with the British.
[Both Botha and Smuts appear to a have believed in the Israelite Ancestry of their own people
and of the British].
Other Afrikaners however were hostile to Great Britain.
During the Boer War Germany had been strongly sympathetic towards the Boers.
A strong pro-German element existed in South Africa in World War 1 and World War 2 even though the South African Army Corps fought on the British side on both occasions.
After WW1 German South West Africa (Namibia) came under South African control.
It was mainly the Boers who worked to fortify white separation and social dominance through a series of measures that culminated in the Apartheid Policy.
From 1948 to 1994 South Africa was ruled by the Boer-dominated Nationalist Party.
In 1961 South Africa left the British Commonwealth and became a republic.
In principle the Apartheid Policy stood for separate development and permanent separation of the Races. In practice its aim was to ensure white control and certain aspects of its application were oppressive.
Due to the Apartheid Policy South Africa faced growing international pressure and sanctions combined with an internal terrorist threat and African raids from Angola and the north.
In 1992 Apartheid was dismantled. Fully inclusive elections were held and in 1994 Nelson Mandela was made President.
The Boer (Afrikaner) population numbers about 3 million (2005 est. ) which comprised ca. 56% of the White population compared to 39% who were English-speaking.
The largest coincentration of Afrikaners is in the northeast in Gauteng Province (part of the former Transvaal, Johannesburg area) were there are 1.0 million Boers our of a population of ca. 9 million.
The Total Population of South Africa: 47 million (2005).
Whites account for from ca.13% to less than 10% with a high rate of emigration; Coloreds 9% Asians 3%.
Economy and Geography
South Africa is mostly arid scrubland. The south is wetter and greener. The Cape Town area in the south has a Mediterranean type climate.
Agricultural exports include sugar, grapes, citrus, nectarines, wine and deciduous fruit.
Raising of livestock and diary products is important but mainly goes for internal consumption.
Mineral productions places South Africa at the top of the list for
gold, diamond, coal and platinum production.
21.5% of the adult South African population have been estimated to be HIV positive in 2003.
Crime is rampant. Over 1000 (mostly white Afrikaaner) farmers have been murdered since 1991.
rape, robbery, and murder are frequent occurences.
There is a great deal of Environmental damage.
Some predictions shows surface water supply could decrease by 60 percent by the year 2070 in parts of the Western Cape.
South Africa and the Jews
Numerous non-religious Jews had been assimilated amongst the Boers from the very beginning.
Some became quite prominent. After 1936 the entry of Jews was restricted. Many Afrikaners (i.e. Boers) felt sympathy for Nazi Germany, and organizations like Louis Weichardts "Grayshirts" and the pro-Nazi Ossewa Brandwag were openly anti-semitic.
The Whites in South Africa ruled over the Blacks and felt threatened by them. This lead to an emphasis on racial feeling and notions of White Supremacy with accompanying anti-Semitism in many quarters.
On the other hand,
Leading Boers leaders (such as Smuts) had supported the Zionist cause.
After the War, South Africa and the State of Israel co-operated closely in many areas both secretly and openly.
No restrictions were placed on the transference of funds by South African Jews to Israel though otherwise the movement of money was strictly regulated.
Just under 3% of the White population was Jewish. There was a good deal of intermarriage. Most Jews belonged to the "Liberal" (similar to Conservative) branch of Judaism though Orthodox groups were also present.
Jews being always sympathetic to the oppressed were active in the anti-Apartheid movement though the majority attempted not to be involved one way or other.
When the Black Africans came to power Israel was blamed for having been friendly with the previous regime.
This was despite the fact that about half the whites who had struggled to abolish Apartheid were Jewish.
Henceforth South Africa became an active pro-Palestinian anti-Israel nation.
Many of the Jews left or prepared to leave.
South Africa in Prophecy
The Prophets foresaw descendants of the Ten Tribes returning from a region named "Cush" in Hebrew and translated in the King James Version as "Ethiopia". In Biblical Terminology "Cush" can refer to areas of Africa, or to India, and Central Asia or anywhere in between. It depends upon the context and the historical background.
There are ethnic connections between areas of Asia (including India) and Africa.
"Cush" could also refer to South Africa.
According to the Criteria we apply the Lost Tribes in South Africa must be related ethnically to other peoples identified as of Israelite descent.
Those members of The Lost Tribes who will return from "beyond the Rivers of Cush" (Zephaniah 3:10) will have been a once-proud and brave people (Amos Chocham on Isaiah 18:2) who will have suffered a reversal of fortune and been oppressed and need rescue from their oppressors and be brought to Zion.
This fits South Africa where the Dutch-Boers and "Anglos" once lived as lords of the earth in a land of plenty.
Now they are ruled over by their former subjects.
They suffer from periodic even systematic robbery, assault, and rape.
Not only they but also the former "natives" are in state of on-going deterioration in which disasters such as AIDS and crimes of violence are paramount.
Zephaniah foresaw part of the Lost Tribes returning "from beyond the rivbers of Cush".
[Zephaniah 3:10] FROM BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA [Cush] MY SUPPLIANTS, EVEN THE DAUGHTER OF MY DISPERSED, SHALL BRING MINE OFFERING.
Isaiah 11:11 also counted "Cush" (translated as "Ethiopia") among the places of Israelite Exile. This could apply specifically to South Africa.
Isaiah (chapter 45) in referring to "Cyrus" has been shown to have intended also the Lost Ten Tribes towards the End Times where he speaks of Cush and the taking of African captives and treasures of the deep i.e. vast mineral resources.
In this case we have intrepreted "Cush" as applying primarily to India but Africa is also clearly intedned and this may have special relevance for South Africa.
Isiah ch.18 speaks of South Africa in the End Times:
[Isaiah 18:1] WOE TO THE LAND SHADOWING WITH WINGS, WHICH IS BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA [Hebrew: Cush]:
SHADOWING WITH WINGS: This is correct but it can also be translated as fluttering with wings. i.e. airtravel. The King James has translated the Hebrew "Tsaltsal" as from the root, "Tsal" meaning shadow. "Tsaltsal" however can also mean "ring" or make a noise, like that caused by airplanes or the humming of helicopters.
The area BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA [Cush] refers to the southern part of Africa. If you look at a map of Africa you will find the Boer areas of South Africa beyond the major rivers: Beyond the Blue and White Niles, beyond the Zambesi, beyond the Limpope, and finally just beyond the Orange River which is the last major waterway from North to south, i.e. from the direction of Israel.
[Isaiah 18:2] THAT SENDETH AMBASSADORS BY THE SEA, EVEN IN VESSELS OF BULRUSHES UPON THE WATERS, SAYING, GO, YE SWIFT MESSENGERS, TO A NATION SCATTERED AND PEELED, TO A PEOPLE TERRIBLE FROM THEIR BEGINNING HITHERTO; A NATION METED OUT AND TRODDEN DOWN, WHOSE LAND THE RIVERS HAVE SPOILED!
VESSELS OF BULRUSHES: In Hebrew the word translated as BULRUSHES is "Goma" which can also mean "swallow up", "take in", or skim over similar to the appearance of modern ships sailing over the waters.
TO A NATION: This is the Hebrew "el-am". It could also be construed as meaning "about a nation".
TO A NATION SCATTERED AND PEELED: An oppressed people according to some of the Commentators.
The Hebrew is difficult in this verse BUT based on the Commentary "Daat Mikra" (Amos Chocham) it may here be translated to say concerning "a nation that is tall and clean-shaven, a people that was previously fearsome from its beginning that beats its enemies and whose land is interspersed with waterways". The verse however uses Hebrew verbs and syntax suggesting one thing and its opposite, i.e. a fearsome brave proud people that is now oppressed.
WHOSE LAND THE RIVERS HAVE SPOILED: Amos Chocham suggests this means a land cut by rivers. This does not really fit South Africa in which major rivers are lacking. The verse however could be indicating a future lack of water and for ecological reasons in South Africa this is a present reality. Already the increase in demand exceeds the supply and much of the existing source is polluted.
[Isaiah 18:3] ALL YE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD, AND DWELLERS ON THE EARTH, SEE YE, WHEN HE LIFTETH UP AN ENSIGN ON THE MOUNTAINS; AND WHEN HE BLOWETH A TRUMPET, HEAR YE.
"TRUMPET": In Hebrew "SHOFAR". The Zohar ("BeHar" TBP) says that just like in the Jubilee Year (Leviticus ch.25) all Hebrew Slaves would go free at the blowing of the Shofar so too in the Last Days will the Exiles of Israel be ingathered at the blowing of the Shofar.
[Isaiah 18:4] FOR SO THE LORD SAID UNTO ME, I WILL TAKE MY REST, AND I WILL CONSIDER IN MY DWELLING PLACE LIKE A CLEAR HEAT UPON HERBS, AND LIKE A CLOUD OF DEW IN THE HEAT OF HARVEST.
[Isaiah 18:5] FOR AFORE THE HARVEST, WHEN THE BUD IS PERFECT, AND THE SOUR GRAPE IS RIPENING IN THE FLOWER, HE SHALL BOTH CUT OFF THE SPRIGS WITH PRUNING HOOKS, AND TAKE AWAY AND CUT DOWN THE BRANCHES.
This refers to Israel defeating their enemies.
[Isaiah 18:6] THEY SHALL BE LEFT TOGETHER UNTO THE FOWLS OF THE MOUNTAINS, AND TO THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH: AND THE FOWLS SHALL SUMMER UPON THEM, AND ALL THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH SHALL WINTER UPON THEM.
The beasts of the field shall feed on the carcasses of the enemies of Israel.
[Isaiah 18:7] IN THAT TIME SHALL THE PRESENT BE BROUGHT UNTO THE LORD OF HOSTS OF A PEOPLE SCATTERED AND PEELED, AND FROM A PEOPLE TERRIBLE FROM THEIR BEGINNING HITHERTO; A NATION METED OUT AND TRODDEN UNDER FOOT, WHOSE LAND THE RIVERS HAVE SPOILED, TO THE PLACE OF THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE MOUNT ZION.
The expressions in this verse repeat those in Isaiah 18:2. As we mentioned the expressions used are ambiguous and could have double-meanings. It could be that there is play on words here where the verse 18:2 uses a set of words in their negative sense and 18:7 (at the time of Redemption) in its positive one.
Compare this passage from Zephaniah also concerning they who will be beyond the Rivers of Cush and receive a similar message of Redemption after initial tribulations.
[Zephaniah 3:10] FROM BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA [Hebrew: "Cush"] MY SUPPLIANTS, EVEN THE DAUGHTER OF MY DISPERSED, SHALL BRING MINE OFFERING.
[Zephaniah 3:11] IN THAT DAY SHALT THOU NOT BE ASHAMED FOR ALL THY DOINGS, WHEREIN THOU HAST TRANSGRESSED AGAINST ME: FOR THEN I WILL TAKE AWAY OUT OF THE MIDST OF THEE THEM THAT REJOICE IN THY PRIDE, AND THOU SHALT NO MORE BE HAUGHTY BECAUSE OF MY HOLY MOUNTAIN.
[Zephaniah 3:12] I WILL ALSO LEAVE IN THE MIDST OF THEE AN AFFLICTED AND POOR PEOPLE, AND THEY SHALL TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.
[Zephaniah 3:13] THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL SHALL NOT DO INIQUITY, NOR SPEAK LIES; NEITHER SHALL A DECEITFUL TONGUE BE FOUND IN THEIR MOUTH: FOR THEY SHALL FEED AND LIE DOWN, AND NONE SHALL MAKE THEM AFRAID.
The Lost Tribes will return. They will be brought back to the Land of Israel.
Some of them at least after having once been proud and mighty will have been brought to a low
state and their return will entail aspects of Rescue.
This already to some degree fits South Africa.
The Anglo-Boers of South Africa are "beyond the Rivers of Cush".
They are in the geographical location.
They are part and parcel with their kinfolk in the West whom we have shown to be descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
South Africa in the Light of Brit-Am Ephraimite Criteria
Since the Anglo-Boers are kinfolk of Israelites according to the Criteria they too are to be considered
as the same.
In the past the Anglo-Boers exhibited Israelite Features according to
Brit-Am Ephraimite Criteria.
Concerning some of the Criterii South Africa has its own applicability worth noting.
Blessings: Economic and Physical Blessings as promised to Israel in Scripture.
South Africa possesses great mineral deposits being noted especially for gold and diamonds.
South Africa's climate and agriculture also fit the blessings applied to Israel.
Even the former rulership over the natives in South Africa fits the blessing to the Children of Israel (Genesis 35:11 cf. Onkelos, Numbers ch.26, Micah ch.5) that they would rule over other peoples.
Indications of Scripture: Biblical Evidence predicting whereto the Lost Ten Tribes would go to, etc.
Some of the Lost Tribes were to be associated with Cush and "Beyond the Rivers of Cush" which pertains to South Africa.
Judah: Affinity with the Jews and a Relative Lack of Anti-Semitism was to be found amongst the Boers many of whom considered themselves Israelites and were strong supporters of Zionism since they saw it as a fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy. On the other hand a great deal of anti-Semitism also prevailed.
Originality: Innovation and Intellect: A minimal degree of national Intellectual Wisdom and Honesty, cf. Deuteronomy 4:6. The South Africans were not noted as outstanding intellectuals but some of them were. Technological developments were often very advanced.
Their standards of behavior in general were frequently high ones.
Bravery: This criterion involves Proven Military Prowess in the past at least and at present in potential, see Deuteronomy 33:29.
The Boers were very formidable fighters. The word "commando" is of Boer origin.
They fought several wars against the British.
Man for man they would have defeated the entire might of the British Empire but wore borne down by weight of numbers, technological superiority, and concern for their women and children who had been locked up by the British in Concentration camps where many succumbed to sickness.
"I thought it very sporting of the Boers to take on the whole British Empire"- -Winston Churchill.
Empathy: The Doing of Social Justice.
Abraham was blessed to become a great and mighty nation that his descendants might do "justice and judgement" see Genesis 18:19.
South Africa was notorious for its policy of "Apartheid" that kept black and colored peoples rigidly separated from white ones. Black workers were also kept enclosed in primitive conditions and other abuses occurred.
Even so to some degree the South African apartheid was as much an African phenomenon as a white-racial one.
Just as the British in India merged with the existing "caste" system by simply placing themselves at the top of the rung so did the South Africans apply an existing principle of Tribal Separation.
In view of what has happened in South Africa since the end of Apartheid it may be claimed that previously conditions were better on the whole for everyone.
Previously there was more law and order and native rights were respected.
The Boers in South Africa were often thoroughly versed in the Bible. An "Old Testament" type outlook and values were considered characteristic features of Boer society.
The Other Criterii such as Ground-Work (Archaeology, etc) also apply to the South Africans since they apply to those peoples in Western Europe from which the South Africans emerged.
In the same way as account has to be made for all peoples identified with us as substantially Israelite ALSO containing non-Israelite elements so too in the case of the South Africans does this consideration hold.
Nevertheless we may conclude that Israelites are in South Africa and they are spoken of in Biblical Prophecy.
Q1. What do the Prophets say of South Africa and the Boers?
Note in the Answer below we will suggest that "Cush" in some Biblical contexts and the "Daughter of My Dispersed"
in Zephaniah 3:10 refers to South Africa.
Please - if you have the time - please let me know. Thanks
This answer appears to have first been suggested to us by Ryno Opperman.
#Ryno Opperman: The Dispersed Daughter
First of all as in some good degree descended
from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
the Boers will share in the general developments and
ultimate redemption pertaining to all Israel.
Secondly Isaiah chapter eight may well be applicable to
South Africa, as explained below.
This may seem to contradict what we said in the past as Commentary to
Isaiah chapter eight but Scripture has "Seventy Faces" or equally valid applications
so there is not necessarily any contradiction.
This is what we said in the past:
[Isaiah 18:1] WOE TO THE LAND SHADOWING WITH WINGS, WHICH IS BEYOND THE RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA:
Gregorio Billikopf Encina quoted from an 18th century source (Samuel Horsley)
that based on Isaiah 18 predicted that Britain would help the Jews re-settle in the Land of Israel.
item #1. New Source: Did Isaiah 18 Predict British Restorationism?
Dr. Gene Scott applied the Prophecy to the USA:
item #2. Jack Flaws: Isaiah 18
In our Commentary to Isaiah 18
we apply the verse historically to Central Asia but suggest that its future
relevance may lie in Ethiopia or elsewhere in Africa.
We recently said (in our summary of Isaiah):
Isaiah speaks of a wing-shaded land beyond the rivers of Cush (18:1). This has several possible applications including Africa as well as the Anglo-Saxons who emerged from Central Asia which was also once known as "Cush".
The explanation of Gregorio Billikopf Encina based on earlier Commentators that it is referring to Britain (and by extension North America) now seems to us to be a possible explanation though the other solutions also have something to them. Scripture can often have more than one correct application.
The overall gist would seem to suggest that the answer involves South Africa and in this regard this is where our studies should focus on.
"The LORD shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, that shall be left from Ashur, and from Mitsrayim, from Patros, and from Cush, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the Isles of the Sea" (Isaiah 11;11)
"Cush" in the King James is translated as "Ethiopia" BUT the word is applicable to
India and other places in Asia as well as in general terms to the whole of Africa.
South Africa in Brit-Am Bible Codes
#Ryno Opperman: The Dispersed Daughter
#5. Reply to Criticism from South Africa
#5. Another Reply from South Africa and an answer by Brit-Am
#7. Jan Christiaan Smuts
#1. Question about South African Oppression
#2. Michener on South Africa
#6. Claudette Mellin: Thank you from South Africa
#7. David Ben-Ariel: Re South Africa
#8. Gary Selikow: South Africa in Worse Situation
#3. South Africa: Need for Caution
#5. South Africa in Brit-Am Bible Codes
#2. The Situation in South Africa
#1. The Future Return from South Africa
#3. J Botha: South African Surnames
#2. Boers of South Africa: predominantly German?
#1. Benayahu Zentgraf: South African Boer Origins
#5. South Africa: 'Things were better in the bad old days'
Note: Answers to Queries on Israelite Nations in General as well as to specific peoples
may be found at:
Replies to Queries on Australia
Replies to Queries on Britain
Replies to Queries on Joseph
Q. #6. What are some Israelite-Manasseh Characteristics of the USA?
Replies to Queries About Israelite Tribes
Replies to Queries About the USA