Black Africans saved Judah?

John Hobbins, Ancient Hebrew Poetry writes a fascinating post: Did a black Pharaoh wage war against Sennacherib and drive him away from Jerusalem? (9 March 2007). This post is a great starting point for anyone wishing to explore this issue further and includes a nice bibliography at the end.

Hobbins begins:

aubin-rescue-of-jerusalem-2008.jpgAccording to Henry T. Aubin, a black Pharaoh named Taharqa came to the aid of king Hezekiah of Judah, waged war against Sennacherib king of Assyria, and forced him away from Jerusalem. The title and subtitles of Aubin’s book are certainly impressive: The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance between Hebrews and Africans in 701 BC. An online summary of Aubin’s book is available here. Aubin’s captivating theory is highlighted in an article by Robert Draper entitled “Black Pharaohs: Conquerors of Ancient Egypt,” in the February 2008 issue of National Geographic.

[Draper’s National Geographic article Black Pharaohs is here – full text, including pictures.] Draper writes.

Until recently, theirs was a chapter of history that largely went untold. Only in the past four decades have archaeologists resurrected their story—and come to recognize that the black pharaohs didn’t appear out of nowhere. They sprang from a robust African civilization that had flourished on the southern banks of the Nile for 2,500 years, going back at least as far as the first Egyptian dynasty.

. . . The ancient world was devoid of racism. At the time of Piye’s historic conquest, the fact that his skin was dark was irrelevant. Artwork from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome shows a clear awareness of racial features and skin tone, but there is little evidence that darker skin was seen as a sign of inferiority. Only after the European powers colonized Africa in the 19th century did Western scholars pay attention to the color of the Nubians’ skin, to uncharitable effect.

. . . In any event, when the Assyrians left town and massed against the gates of Jerusalem, that city’s embattled leader, Hezekiah, Continue reading