A little over a month ago a friend posted a comment on an online forum about not being on the same page with me concerning our perceptions of the origin of the Yoruba and our perception of the Truth. I took it as a challenge and sought for help from above. This was during the evening of November 19 2011 and I received an answer (one of several to come) at 23.16 pm that same evening – ọjọ Aiku.
It has to do with the name David of which the transliteration has been ignorantly accepted as Dafidi by the first translators of the Bible into the Yoruba language.
Dawodu instead of Dafidi/David
Dawodu (also spelled as Daodu) is the original and indigenous Yoruba name for David instead of Dafidi as transliterated from English-language Bibles. I have recently wondered at the kind of formula used to transliterate Biblical names eg Miriam / Mary – Moremi, Joshua – Jesus – Yoshua – Yahushua, Jebus – Ijebu and many others. Anyway, below is the proof of Dawodu for David as currently displayed on the wikipedia sites for David, and Dawood:
David (Hebrew: דָּוִד, דָּוִיד, Modern David Tiberian Dāwîḏ; ISO 259-3 Dawid; Strong’s Daveed; beloved; Arabic: داوود or داود[note A] Dāwūd)
In addition, Yoruba Muslims use Dauda for David, which is a result of the centuries of interaction between Yoruba people and Hausa/Fulani Muslims of northern Nigeria.
Dawodu is the name given to the eldest or first born son and crown prince. Beere is the female version and is used in the same context for the eldest daughter. The Dawodu does not have extra powers when the inheritance of property (e.g. sale of land) is concerned but is treated like the other children. Nevertheless he is regarded as the first among the children. When the family head dies the Dawodu becomes the new head and manages the estate of the deceased on behalf of all the children. He also decides which of the two Yoruba methods to use in sharing the inheritance/estate to the children – Idi-Igi or Ori-Ojo-ria. Similar Nigerian practices can be glimpsed at here.
In addition, Yoruba names are mostly sentences and Dawodu is one of such but getting the meaning of the name from the parts so far has not been straightforward as those (city folks) I have enquired from do not know. For instance, Dabiri is from Da bi ri which means founder of settlement. They do acknowledge that the Dawodu is as earlier described. There is another name, Aremo, which is given to the first son that is born after the Oba’s ascension to the throne.
Dawodu is used by the Yoruba mostly as a designation. Perhaps when a child is named thus it can be said to be in the same category as the names Taiye/Taiwo and Kehinde – names from heaven of twins. Naming of children or Isomo loruko by the Yoruba is of two or more means. There are names given by close family members (Oruko Oriki?) and names that are said to be Oruko Amutorunwa, that is, name given from heaven.
This sheds further light on the person of Oba Dawodu (David) as the name is prophetic – he was heir to the throne of Israel and was born to be the shepherd of Israel, though an archetype of the Shepherd (compare 1 Samuel 16:10-11, 17:34-37; with Luke 19:10, John 10:11-19, John 17:12. Since divination (Romans 3:2) used to be the widely employed means by the Yoruba (it has never been lost to the House of Israel) of child naming and determining the professions of individuals, Oba Dawodu must have been named thus from birth even though he was the seventh or eight child of Jesse. Perhaps he did not have the same mother as his brothers and was her only son. Nevertheless, just as he is the archetype of the Word, it should be safe to conclude that the Word is the divine Dawodu in the whole of creation (Galatians 4:1-7). It is worth noting that the importance of doing the will of the Father and the elevation of the younger over the elder as taught by the Ancient of Days features heavily in Ifa (Epha? Ephod?).
Perhaps the name Dawodu can be used as a linguistic/cultural marker to identify the lost sheep of Israel. Take note that this is not to imply that all Yoruba people are descendants of Israel. For instance, the Ijebu are the same Biblical Jebusites. Note that the Ewe peoples of West Africa are Hebrews as Ewe is Hebrew.
Since many of the people occupying the Levant today are not be the original speakers of the tongues therein then they just might not know the actual meanings of the words they use. The name David is an example as it is said to mean beloved – probably guesswork. Perhaps linguists should begin to look at the languages in Africa below the 10°N.
Note: The Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria have the name Anochie which is used in the same context – royal heir.
Under what circumstances is the name of a child revealed as Dawodu?
Is the name Dawodu/David indigenous to Israel only?
How is it that the Yoruba people use that name?
What is the oriki for those bearing Dawodu?
Who will edit the wikipedia pages for Dawodu and David accordingly?
The Bible Society of Nigeria should take note.
a Idi-Igi: inheritance is shared equally according to the number of wives.
Ori o ju ori: inheritance is shared equally according to the number of children irrespective of the gender of the children and the number of wives.