The Kingdom of Judah in West Africa
The Kingdom of Judah in West Africa
by P Henry
The discovery of the 1747 map of the kingdom of Juda in West Africa in 2012 has caused quite a sensation.
With the exception of the Lemba, general history provides no indication that black Hebrews might be found In sub-Saharan Africa, but in 1747 British and French mapmakers charted a “Kingdom of Juda” in West Africa. Some scholars say the name bears no significance to the biblical Juda, but there is considerable evidence to the contrary.
The presence of Hebrews in Africa is generally traced back to the siege of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD. R.L Windsor says it is estimated that during the period of Roman rule from Pompey to Julius, 1,000,000 Hebrews fled into Africa fleeing Roman persecution and slavery. (Windsor, 1969, p84) Ella Hughley agrees that the 66-70 AD Roman-Jewish war marked the peak of persecution and the end of the original Hebrew Israelites as a nation. Hughley says: “Israelites who managed to escape their persecutors during the war subsequently migrated to West Africa.”
In West Africa, Juda is bordered by the Gold Coast (Ghana) to the west and Benin to the east, and is situated within modern Togo. It has a complex history; the result of colonization by England, France, Portugal, and the Dutch; and domestic conquest by the kingdom of Dahomey in 1725. Juda has been designated as a town, or kingdom with multiple names in many sources. Robin Law a Professor of West African Studies wrote:
“Although Ouidah is the spelling of the town’s current name it occurs in European sources between the 17th and 19th centuries in various other forms” in English ‘Whydah’, in Dutch, ‘Fida’ in French ‘Juda’ and in Portuguese ‘Ajuda’. (Law, 2004, p18)
By 1771, colonial cartographers had renamed Juda the “Slave Coast” when it became the primary slave port in West Africa, stretching several hundred miles from the Bight of Benin to Gabon in West Central Africa. Even with this name change, the view that the name Juda does not enter the historical records until 1671 is opposed by Elisee Reclus who in 1888 states:“The Europeans have designated by various names of Fida, Hwedah, Whydah, Ouida: the region ancient authors called Juda” the inhabitants were called the ‘Judaic’ and indeed they were regarded as a remnant of the lost tribes of Israel.” Those ancient writers Reclus is referring to are the Hebrew authors of the Bible.
1747 Kingdom of Juda
Evidence that Juda was inhabited by the descendants of Jacob, who were subsequently deported during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, can be found in the written testimony of Olaudah Equiano. He was captured at age 10 from the former Biafra, just above the Deserts of Seth. Olaudah wrote of the Hebrew customs practised by his tribe.
They have many offerings, particularly at full moons; generally two at harvest before the fruits are taken out of the ground: and when any young animals are killed, sometimes they offer up part of them as a sacrifice. These offerings, when made by one of the heads of a family, serve for the whole. …Some of our offerings are eaten with bitter herbs. 
Olaudah’s Hebrewism is also evident in his name. We know he is from the tribe of Juda because the suffix “uda” for Y-uda is present in Ola-uda-h.
Slave Coast 1771
It is now common knowledge that the merchants and slavers knew the exact origins of the people they took captive from West Africa because they recorded some of their names.
• Yahwah (Girl)
• Yahkobah (Boy)
• Haywah (Man)
• Yehweh (Woman)…
• Huhyahwah (woman)
• Yeowah (woman)
• Yewah (man).
According to Portuguese slave records, their names were not constructed from terms such as Lord, Jehovah, Elohim, or Adonai; but were variations of the name “Yahweh” proving that they knew the real names of the God of Abraham.
Slave Coast; Bight of Benin to Bight of Biafra
The land of Juda (Whydah) was described in 1793, as being “beyond description for beauty and description, and was so populous, that one village contained as many inhabitants as the whole kingdom on the Gold Coast.  The history of the people who lived on the Slave Coast (Juda) has been subject to historical distortions, but identifying the geographic location from which the dispersed Hebrews would return is not difficult when the Bible confirms it. Prophesying the return of the scattered Hebrews the Most High says:
“From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my petitioners, even the daughter of My dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” (Zephaniah 3:10)
Africa was at one time known to the ancient world as Ethiopia. And the Atlantic Ocean was called the Aethiopic Ocean. Subsequently it has become evident after so long that one covert objective for slavery was to remove the Hebrews from their lands and so cut them off from being a nation. The prophet Joel said
“The children also of Juda and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians (Europeans) that you might remove them far from their border. “Joel 3:6
It is in Juda that the colonizers built the ‘Door of No Return’ the physical gate through which the tribes of Levi and Juda passed into slavery and into the land of their enemies. According to Psalms 83, the captors of Jacob knew who they were enslaving, and the name of this man-made gate reveals the intention; to ensure that there would be no return. Africa was at one time known to the ancient world as Ethiopia, and the south Atlantic Ocean is really the Aethiopic Ocean. Subsequently it has become evident after so long that one major objective for slavery was to remove the Hebrews from their lands and so cut them off from being a nation. But the Most High has a controversy with that intention when he says: “:And say unto them, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they have gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. Ezekiel 37:21
You might also like:
 Law, Robin, Ouidah: The Social History of a West African Slaving ‘port’, 1727-1892, Ohio State University Press, 2004, p.18
 R.L Windsor, From Babylon to Timbuktu,Windsor Golden Series, Atlanta, GA, 2003, p 84
 Reclus, Elisee., The Universal Geography, Earth and its Inhabitants, West Africa, Volume 12, Ed; A.K Keane, J.S. Virtue London, p.260
 Olaudah Equiano, The Life of Olaudah Equiano, Cosimo, Inc., 2009, p.18
 Archibald Dalzel, William (Londen), et al.,The History of Dahomy, an Inland Kingdom of Africa; National Library of the Netherlands,1793, p.5.