On the identity of Cush, and the war between Sudan and Ethiopia over al-Fashaga

I used to think that כושים Cushim in Daniel 11:43 and Zephaniah 2:12, which reads “Ethiopians” in the English of the King James Bible 1769, means the Sudanese, because North Sudan, the area immediately south of Egypt, was the location of Nubia, an ancient civilisation of black Africans. Recent events have changed my mind. I now think Cushim means the Oromo tribe of Ethiopia.

The Bible explains that Cush, the son of Ham, begot Nimrod, the mighty hunter whose kingdom was literally בבל “Babylon” as in the tower of Babel in the land of “Shinar”, situated in modern-day Iraq (ref. Genesis 10:6-10).

The Bible further says that the skin of a Cushite, and that of his descendants, is as distinct as the spots of a leopard (ref. Jeremiah 13:23).

Can the Ethiopian [lit. Cushite] change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Jeremiah 13:23

From this, it is assumed that Cush was black, and so are his descendants. If Nimrod, the king of the first Babylon, was black, it is fitting that the false prophet, the one who will lead (actually mislead) the final Babylon, Mystery Babylon the great, will also be black.

Besides the connection to Nubia, modern-day Sudan used to be very Islamic. For one thing, the Mahdist war of the late 19th century between the British Empire and the self-proclaimed Mahdi of Islam, Muhammad Ahmad bin Abdullah, happened in Sudan. For another, during the 1990s, Sudan provided refuge to Al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden.

In July 2011, Sudan formally split into 2 countries: North and South Sudan. North Sudan remained Islamic. But South Sudan was a new country with Muslims in the minority. Some say, the majority of the people of South Sudan are Christians, the fruit of 19th century British evangelist Maj. Gen. Charles George Gordon, whom the British PM at the time William Ewart Gladstone, a Freemason, famously betrayed. 

Then in September 2020, something else happened, something that I somehow missed at the time and only recently noticed: North Sudan formally changed its constitution so that Islam would no longer be its official religion (ref. 1). In other words, right now the primary source of law in North Sudan is no longer Shariah law.

To add to that, I have also just now learnt that the tribal fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, which flares up from time to time (ref. 2), is essentially a religious conflict. The fighting that goes on is between Muslim Arabs and non-Muslim black Africans.

Arab militias such as the Janjaweed are Islamists trying to impose Islamic rule. This explains the various secular and Marxist sounding groups that oppose them such as the “Sudan Liberation Army” and the “Darfur Liberation Front”. In South Sudan, before it became a new country in 2011, there was even the “Sudan People’s Liberation Army”. That army is now the defence force of South Sudan, the “South Sudan People’s Defence Forces”.

What is more, Janjaweed which is said to be some amalgam of the Arabic words jinn and ajawid suggests the Islamic militias of Sudan are widely seen as “devils”.

The point is, most of the black Africans of Sudan are not Islamists. Granted, some of them are Muslim by habit. But apparently, many of them are trying to liberate themselves from Islam.

This is why I now think Cushim cannot be the black people of Sudan. Rather, Cushim must be the Oromos, a tribe of Ethiopia which is predominantly Muslim.

Ever since acquiring power in 2018, Abiy Ahmed Ali, an Oromo, has aligned the nation of Ethiopia with Islam. He made a pact with Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates, and maybe also Somalia. These are all Islamic nations. Furthermore, Abiy Ahmed Ali is now waging a war against Tigray, a Christian people and the descendants of Sheba of the ancient kingdom of Axum.

Of the two, Ethiopia and North Sudan, the first is now Islamic and the second is not.

The word “Ethiopia” derives from the ancient Greek expression “Aithiops” which means “burnt face”. The word “Sudan” derives from the Arabic expression “bilad al-sudan” which means “land of the blacks”.

It might be that ancient Nubia, situated immediately south of Egypt, was Cush. But then, over the years, many Cushites migrated further south and established the Oromo tribe.

In the 19th century, Emperor Menelik of Abyssinia conquered the territories south of his empire. Among the people that were absorbed into Abyssinia were the Oromos. Subsequently, Menelik formally renamed his empire “Ethiopia”, or in Amharic, “Ityopya” (ref. 3). To some extent, Abyssinia had become Cushite.

It could be said that this transformation of Abyssinia to Ethiopia was completed in 2018 by Abiy Ahmed Ali.

Around the time of Ethiopia’s onslaught against the region of Tigray, a border dispute between North Sudan and Ethiopia flared up. Some analysts say, these clashes over the disputed territory of al-Fashaga could lead to a war between North Sudan and Ethiopia (ref. 4). Such a war might see the armed forces of Ethiopia push towards Egypt, thereby fulfilling Daniel 11:43.

… he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [lit. Cushim] shall be at his steps.

Daniel 11:43

It is noteworthy that the translators of the King James Bible 1611 and 1769 used the word “Ethiopians” in Daniel 11:43 and Zephaniah 2:12 for Cushim. By contrast, a modern Bible such as the Good News Bible 1976 translates the same as “the people of Sudan”.


1. Middle East Monitor (7 September 2020), “Sudan separates religion from state ending 30 years of Islamic rule”, middleeastmonitor.com

2. SBS (20 January 2021), “Days of fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region has left nearly 140 people dead”, sbs.com.au

3. Tuji Jidda (2 November 2009), “Abyssinia to Ethiopia: from Obfuscation to Confusion”, opride.com

4. Journal du Cameroun (8 January 2021), “Border dispute between Ethiopia, Sudan could lead to full-fledged war”, journalducameroun.com