Home commentary Ajayi Crowther’s Wrong Translation of Èṣù into Devil by Reno Omokri

Ajayi Crowther’s Wrong Translation of Èṣù into Devil by Reno Omokri

Make no mistake about it, I believe in the God of Scripture. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I also believe in Yeshua Hamashiach (AKA Jesus Christ), who is the only begotten Son of God and the only Way to the Father, as John 14:6 teaches. However, I do know that when the Hebrews forgot who the Living God is, it was a Black African man that helped Moses to rediscover Him. That man was the priest of Midian – Exodus 2:16. That priest gave Moses his daughter, Zipporah, as his wife – Exodus 2:21. And that Zipporah was a Black African – Numbers 12:1. And that Zipporah taught Moses the forgotten Law of God concerning circumcision – Exodus 4:25. From the foregoing, it is clear that while we should worship only the One true God of Scripture, we should also take time to study our own African culture and history, and reject any aspects of it that are repugnant, and contrary to natural justice, and retain all aspects of it that do not clash with Scripture. Look at the West. They have romanticised their European gods, like Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, etc. And you see Africans flocking, in their millions, to watch movies glorifying these beings, yet we pooh-pooh anything relating to African traditional beliefs. In fact, Thor is actually Sango. The coincidences are just too much. Sango had a hammer/anvil that he used to supernaturally cause thunder and lightning to proceed from the heavens. Is that not what the Nordic Vikings said about Sango? So, how come you and I tolerate Thor in our modern lives and condemn Sango? We do not have to worship Sango. God forbid! But we can teach about him as part of our history.

We celebrate unscriptural characters like Father Christmas and Santa Claus, which are in reality just European pagan symbols, and sneer at African masquerades. We must realise that a people who do not know their own history are like a tree without roots. When the storm comes, that tree will be uprooted. And the storm is coming. In fact, it is already here. Outside of what is specifically contained in Scripture, most religious practices of Western Christendom (I am not referring to the pure faith of Christ) were dreamt up and written by those who looked down on Black Africans and enslaved us. It is therefore an act of neo-colonialism to accept what they tell you hook, line and sinker, without first questioning it. Everything in Scripture is true.

Everything outside it is questionable. One thing I learnt in Cuba is that Èṣù, or Echú as they pronounce it, is actually not satan. Cuban and Brazilian Yoruba (the word is pronounced Oruba here in Cuba, with the ‘Y’ silent) left Nigeria before Ajayi Crowther corrupted that word. They were not affected by the corruption. Èṣù is actually an Òrìṣà (a god or deity), what in Scripture, is called a fallen angel/demon. But he is not satan himself. Interestingly, Oruba is taught in schools here in Cuba, and Ifa worship (known here as Santeria, although there are other things included, not just Ifa) is very widespread and done openly. Èṣù is one of the Òrìṣà of Santería. Black, White and Latin are all deeply into Santeria here. The issue is that when Samuel Ajayi Crowther was translating the Bible into Yoruba, he could not find a suitable word for satan, and rather than just leave it as satan, he took one of the deities in Ifa worship, Èṣù, and turned him into satan. While it is hard to translate satan into Yoruba, because there is no such concept, the nearest being to satan is not Èṣù. Even the word Èṣù is not complete.

In Cuba, the full name is Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára, sometimes shortened to Ẹlẹ́gbá, or Echú Eleguá, as the Cubans call it. In Brazil, the deity is sometimes known as Exu. It was in Cuba that I was educated to the fact that the place in Lagos called Ojuelegba, is actually Ojubo Ẹlẹ́gbá, meaning altar, or shrine of Ẹlẹ́gbá, or more accurately a portal from which the deity enters and exits the spiritual realm to enter the physical realm. And we in Nigeria are blissfully unaware of this! And the thing is that the word Èṣù refers to (and I know I will annoy a lot of Christians with this truth) more or less a messenger of God (Olódùmarè or Elódùmarè in the Yoruba pantheon of gods, as opposed to Olorun, which is rather a vague honorific).

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The reason is because there are more than one Èṣù. Each Èṣù is a messenger of Olódùmarè for a specific purpose. For example, you have Èṣù Odara, which some say is a different messenger from Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára. The point I am making is that we need to study and properly situate the ancient Yoruba pantheon of gods, not so we can worship them, but so we can properly situate them. For instance, if we are calling a being, satan who is in fact not him, then the real satan is left off the hook, and the minds of millions of Yoruba-speaking people, who are adherents of Abrahamic faiths, are contaminated or corrupted by this wrong association. For instance, take Ifa worship. It consists mainly of divination. Now, when you hear that word, divination, it sounds mystical. But what it really is, is casting lots. And casting lots in Ifa worship goes back more than a millennia. We know this because of the Ife Bronze Heads which incorporate aspects of Ifa divination. Now, here is the interesting part. Casting lots, in a very similar fashion as Ifa divination was practiced in Scripture, in both the Old and New Testament. As a matter of fact, Casting lots is mentioned 47 times in scripture. It is mentioned in Leviticus 16:8, Numbers 26:55, Joshua 7:14 (which is almost exactly how it is used in Ifa divination), Joshua 18:6, 1 Samuel 14:42, Jonah 1:7 and many more verses of Scripture. In the New Testament, it is mentioned in Acts 1:23-26.

The issue is this: Samuel Ajayi Crowther was taken by Fulani slavers as a slave from his village of Oshogun (now a town) when he was a child. He was subsequently sold to Portuguese slavers, who were arrested by the British. Thereafter, he was given the name Samuel Ajayi Crowther, given a very thorough British education, which culminated in a PhD from Oxford University. Thereafter he was ordained by the Anglican Church and sent by the Church Missionary Society to promote not Christianity, but Anglicanism, which is a form of Christianity that is based more on Christendom (political Christianity) than the teachings of Christ. The manifest agenda of the Church Missionary Society was to Anglicise Africans. However, their hidden agenda was more sinister. They worked with commercial companies, like the Royal Niger Company, and the British Government, to further their colonial ambitions, which in summary was the political domination and commercial exploitation of Africa. So, while the Greek Pantheon of gods were romanticised by great British philosopher aristocrats, like Lord Byron, who fell in love with Greece, to the extent that he fought for Greece during their war of independence from the Ottomans, the Yoruba Pantheon was demonised to the extent that Èṣù became satan, while the Greek Zeus, and the other titans became stuff of legends. Come to think about it. Samuel Ajayi Crowther innocently (and wrongly) translated satan as Èṣù.

Now, how did he translate the Hebrew word Yeshua, which in Greek is Iisoús, from which we have the supposedly English Jesus? The word for Jesus in his translation is simply a ‘J’ added to Èṣù, just like that, Jesus became Jèṣù. Now, I am fairly certain this is a coincidence. But Jèṣù and Èṣù are just too close for my liking, especially when you take into account the strong hold that freemasonry has over the Anglican Church, which was even stronger in the 18th and 19th century. And our people don’t really think this way. If you want to get a Black African to surrender his critical thinking ability, introduce religion. That is why Nigerian parents will buy clothes with Zeus, Thor, Diana, and Atlas (all European pagan gods) for their children to wear, but will teach those children to hate their own village cousins who have knowledge of Ifa divination! Even as Christians and Muslims, we Africans, and especially the Yoruba, should study Ifa divination.

There is science in Ifa divination. We can extract the science, and question or even reject the cleromancy. Do you know that the Yoruba Ifa divination has names for elements, like iron, bronze, kaolin, clay, etc. And they had these elements identified and sorted into names long before 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev invented the periodic table which we use today. That is not voodoo, or juju, or witch doctoring. That is science! Ancient African science. If we as a people can accept and practice Trinity, Christmas, Easter, Sunday worship, carvings and idols of supposedly Christ and saints (which Exodus 20:4 strongly condemns), and many other pagan European ideas that were smuggled into Christendom by free masons and Rosicrucians and other occult groups, who have brainwashed us into accepting them without question, why can’t we accept the scientific aspects of our culture that do not contradict the word of God? Look, there is a reason why Julius Caesar burned the African library of Alexandria, and why the British bombed King Fasilides’ library in Gondar, Ethiopia, and why they taught Samuel Ajayi Crowther to delegitimise ancient African wisdoms. And the reason is to deprive Africans of their ancient intellectual sciences, and make us see our culture and ancestors as dark, without any worthy contribution to modern civilisation. Meanwhile, in Scripture, the ancient Israelite kings relied on Black Africans to advise them on good governance, and science. We see this in Jeremiah 38:7-12

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