What was Africa referred to in the Bible?
The Bible mentions Africa various times, but it doesn't use the term "Africa" as we know it today. So, what was Africa called in the Bible? Let's dive into the different names and references to this continent in the Holy Scriptures.
The most common name for Africa in the Bible is "Cush". It appears over 50 times in the Old Testament, and it refers to the region south of Egypt, which corresponds to modern-day Sudan and Ethiopia.
For instance, in Genesis 2:13, it says:
"The name of the second river is the Gihon. It winds through the entire land of Cush."
Another name for Africa in the Bible is "Put". It appears several times in the Old Testament, and it refers to the region west of Egypt, which corresponds to modern-day Libya.
For example, in Ezekiel 27:10, it says:
"Men of Persia, Lydia and Put served as soldiers in your army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, bringing you splendor."
Sheba is the name of a region in the southern Arabian Peninsula, which corresponds to modern-day Yemen. However, in the Bible, it also refers to a queen who visited King Solomon in Jerusalem, bringing him gifts of spices, gold, and precious stones.
According to some scholars, the queen of Sheba could have been from Ethiopia, which would place her in Africa. However, this is not explicitly stated in the Bible.
In 1 Kings 10:1, it says:
"When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions."
Other references to Africa
There are other references to Africa in the Bible, although they are not as explicit. For instance, in Acts 8:26-40, it tells the story of an Ethiopian eunuch who was baptized by Philip. The eunuch was reading from the book of Isaiah, and he didn't understand it. When Philip asked him if he knew what he was reading, the eunuch replied:
"How can I unless someone explains it to me?"
Philip then proceeded to explain to the eunuch the prophecy of Isaiah about the suffering servant who would die for the sins of his people.
Some scholars believe that this story is significant because it shows that the gospel was reaching Africa at an early stage, and that it was not limited to the Jewish people or to the Middle East.
So, what was Africa called in the Bible? The most common name for Africa is "Cush", which refers to the region south of Egypt. However, there are other references to Africa in the Bible, such as "Put" and "Sheba". These names may not be as well-known as "Africa" today, but they still provide insights into the geographical and cultural diversity of the ancient world.