Did the Yoruba people forget and substitute the name of GOD?


Ezekiel 20:43: There you shall remember your ways, and all your doings, in which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed.

I had been contemplating for some days about the Aku (heirs of Odùduwà whose land is along the “Slave Coast“; erroneously called are called today) traditional religion, particularly of ẸLA (the Great Spirit), the number 16, the Irunmoles, and the Aku calendar otherwise known as Kojoda. I had wondered why and how it seemed that a lot of the people had forgotten or failed to consider the reason for the observance of their traditional practices. Rather, they seem okay with an attitude of “we inherited them from our ancestors”.

I had also studied the migration of the Aku (including Ijebu) people from the east, Canaan/Levant to be exact. Many want to deny this fact or think themselves too intellectually lazy to investigate. Yet there are many proofs relating to pointers like etymology and cultural anthropology that confirm the migration.

Then, either on the 29th of August or 1st of September 2011, I had an argument with my dad concerning our understanding of the Word. This was after telling him a version of the Aku/Ifa story concerning the establishment of the 7-day week that I had recently come across.

Suddenly, it happened. The thought was distinctly “dropped” into my mind/heart and I was troubled. Rather, I was terrified. This is what I heard:

YESHUA                         ESHU

The name on the left is Hebrew (a fake language) for the Son of Olódùmarè – erroneously taught worldwide as Jesus. That on the right is borne by two divinities, one being Eshumare who is the first and the last while the other is Eshu Laalu (transliterated mischievously as Joshua son of Nun). When the Amorites have been blaspheming against Eshu and teaching others to do so by claiming that he is the devil who rebelled against Olódùmarè whereas Olosi who is served by Jesus is the rebel. If the first and last letters of the name YESHUA are removed we have ESHU which when spelled using present-day Aku alphabets is EṢU. Could this be just a coincidence? Coincidence can be ruled out given the Aku migration from Sumer to Canaan to Axum to the “slave coast.” I was all the more upset as I am not given to judgment and condemnation without reason. I remembered the Ifa account of how Ela supposedly became the most senior of all the Irunmole after an act of love, humility, proactiveness and responsibility. I also called to mind how this same Ela or another who was the son of Moremi (transliterated to Miriam/Mary) ascended to heaven of his own accord and saves man.

So I prayed to Olódùmarè about what I thought to be a dilemma for me as I knew he did not see it as such — I wanted to be sure about the source of the thought. The following day I wanted to read part of the Book of Ezekiel (his hair had locks; Aku people and “blacks” possess this unique hair type). If I remember correctly I first opened the Bible to a passage from the Book of Jeremiah and these two verses immediately caught my attention:

Jeremiah 23:26: How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, even the prophets of the deceit of their own heart?

Jeremiah 23:27: who think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgot my name for “Lord“.

That was the answer to my prayer — Eshu’s people were forgetting his name for those of unclean spirits like Jesus, Jehovah, etc. I still was not totally sure but I then remembered that a particular orisha commonly Shango (Ṣango) who is said to have been a king (Alaafin) of the old Oyo and who is also worshiped by members of that cult depict him as holding a bifid axe in the same posture as a Baal (re-lexified from Oba). It seems many of such devotees spend more time extolling the likes of Ṣango that they’ve forgotten the name of Olódùmarè (this is a title not a name) and that of his only begotten i.e. Eshumare. This is not surprising as it is like a repetition of history.

I shuddered to think of the implications of the name substitution. YESHUA / ESHU are truly cognates and the bible as written in Aku (erroneously called Yoruba) language needs to be thrashed if the devil is named as Eshu therein, likewise all alien beliefs. Perhaps the name substitution could account also for the “organized chaos” and stunted growth that seem to be prevalent within Aku land and among Aku peoples today. Prayers, preaching, discussions and the likes within the society including religious institutions using alien names and to alien gods would need to be modified accordingly.

What is the meaning of the Name EṢU?

The shu in Eshu means “to emit”, to throw out, to evacuate, to eject/inject. These conform to Eshu’s activities when preaching Ifa (the Word) about 2,000 years ago during which He healed people via the evacuation of illnesses and unclean spirits and the injection of life into the maimed and wounded.

The Name of Olodumare (God Most High)

There is hope for the lost sheep among the omo Oodua in confessing the name of God Most High as some of them like the philologist Modupe Oduyoye who have studied the Ewe/Oyo dialects noted cognates of Yahweh in them as Yehve, Yevheh, Yihve, and Yewe, which are in fact the actual renditions. The Ye prefix has been erroneously transliterated as Yah and Jah. It might have been erroneously written in Exodus 3:14 as EHYE (EHYE ASHER EHYE) as a suggested proper rendition is IYE (IYE ASHẸ IYE), and may be the prefix of the name Yoruba.

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44 thoughts on “Did the Yoruba people forget and substitute the name of GOD?

  1. Fascinating!

    The oldest layer of the biblical material is certainly African and encompasses west central Africa and the Nile, so I believe that you are correct. The oldest layers certainly were not in Hebrew which is a relatively recent language. Arabic is much older and closer to Hausa.

    The Genesis material was probably brought together more or less the way it is today in the time of King David (about 1000 BC).

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    • I have lived in Nigeria almost all my life and one thing that baffles me is the apparent nonchalance of the fellow Nigerians who I have interacted with towards the origin and reasons for various traditional practices. An example is the practice of naming children. It seems also that many speakers of Nigerian languages do not bother to know the root/meaning of the words they speak. For instance, the Yoruba people have what I see as some of the most beautiful titles for YHWH, perhaps even more beautiful than that found in English.

      The attitude has been mostly that of: “It requires a lot of deep thought which I fear I cannot handle” or “One could go mad thinking of such” or “You are reading/thinking too much which is not good for the brain”.

      The Igbo also mention “Ekwensu” but I wonder if at all I would meet any Igbo-speaking person who knows the meaning of that word.

      Alas, I do not yet know how to speak my mother tongue(s), i.e. Yoruba and Ijebu. I don’t yet have the technical skills that you use for dissection but I believe that the Holy Spirit can inspire and guide a individual who loves YHWH to produce works of quality.

      Furthermore, the impression I had when growing up was that the Book of Genesis was written by Moses.

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  2. The Rabbis of old perpetuated the idea that Genesis was written by Moses, and that is certainly possible since Moses and his family were Horites and would have known the customs of Abraham’s Horite ancestors.

    I’ve learned to be a little suspicious of rabbinic tradition when it comes to the Old Testament, however. The rabbis have done much damage to the fabric of the text in their attempt to cut Christ out of Genesis.

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    • I just hope they did not edit the text. By the way, since I published the essay my macbook's performance waned and it later crashed, hence my delayed response. Some other things happened as well and I had no backup. Nevertheless. ALL IS WELL.

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      • I really like your articles on this Yoruba story, could you please find out the languge Moses whilst he was leaving in Egypy? Here is my correct email henry_woodbell(at)yahoo(com)com

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        • He would have spoken the language of the people of Ile-Ife and also that of the colonialists at that time who are the Jews (Hebrews) and Europeans. Note that the slavery of that the trans-Atlantic enslavement was a repetition of the one in ancient Egypt.

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          • Thank you for your response, but I personally believed that Moses could have been speaking the language that will called Yoruba now-days with Egyptians, but I will doubt that of Hebrew because we have to know the actual years the Israelite have been leaving in Egypt. The Israelite leaved closed to 230 years before the birth of Moses, so we assumed that by then maybe the remaining of the Israelite could no longer speak their language and if they do, then Moses can only speak the language of the Egyptians despite that Mose`s biological mother is in the palace baby-sitting little Moses which I believed that she would not be able to speak her own language to the little boy (Moses) as she can not disclose her nationality. Think about it.

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  3. I’m glad that you are back online.

    There is some evidence of rabbinic editing, but it is easy to detect because it is a late overlay on very ancient material and designed to position one group of people as the rightful owners of the land. The Zionist tone characterizes the rabbis’ work. There was no reason for Abraham to take this attitude since his Horite people were rulers in the heartland of Canaan. Bethlehem was a Horite holding.

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  4. The Yorua word for father is “BABA”. This is similar to “Abba” as mentioned in Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6. Recently, I have wondered if BABA is the real translation.

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  5. It is “abba” in Hebrew and “appa” in Dravidian. Both languages are related to the ancient Egyptian. You will find many similarities between languages of Yoruba peoples and ancient Egyptian also. Here is an example: ir.t – Egyptian word for eye; compare to Yoruba iri – to see.

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  6. I guess I got overexcited. Baale is sort of the Yoruba equivalent of Lord as used in the United Kingdom. However the word seems to be absent in Yoruba titles for GOD unlike in English.

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  7. Baal means lord, but isn’t really a name for God. “El” is the oldest known name for God in the Hebrew Bible. It is related to the name Ala (usually spelled Allah in English).

    Another Hebrew word for lord is “adonai” and it is used to describe both God and human rulers.

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  8. Yoruba tradition has it that Ela is derived from the name Orunmila which has been said to be a contraction of Orun lo mo atila, meaning “only Heaven knows who will be saved.”
    The Yoruba Baale means father of the land. Hence the word Baale must be a contraction of Baba Ilẹ since baba and ilẹ are translated as father and earth/land/ground respectively. I wonder if this is the actual meaning of lord and ba’al is father of the land. If that is the meaning of baal would it then be equivalent to adonai? An answer in the negative should justify the excision of lord from Biblical texts.

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    • I think that you are exactly right. Ela and El are cognates, meaning God. Baale and Baal are cognates also. Each tribe or clan had a name for their patron spirit. This spirit was regarded as a deified ancestor and offerings were given at the regional shrines. That said, all the baales were subservient to the High God who was the Father over all. When the rulers in Jerusalem sought to concentrate the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem they set about to destroy the local shrines and baales.

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  9. An interesting discussion about (Esu (Yoruba), Shu (Egyptian) and Yeshua (Hebrew)) very much related to this blog entry can be read at
    http://destee.com/index.php?threads/differences-in-kemetic-theology.31493/page-14
    Here’s a glimpse as submitted by imhotep06:

    In your associations above, you first need to make an inventory of the primary characteristics of the “deities” and their function in PARTICULAR stories before doing comparisons. There is no long narrative like is done in the Bible with Jesus with African mythology. There are fragmented stories and some having to do with something totally different and do not make for a cohesive picture. When we understand this, then you’ll be able to see how Esu (Yoruba), Shu (Egyptian) and Yeshua (Hebrew) are all the same deity. We can match them functionally and linguistically and that is the key (the linguistics).

    What connects them all is that each one of them are the personification of the “bridge” between heaven and earth. Shu “separates” Geb from Nut. The only way to get to Nut (and further Nu/Nun) is through Shu (air). This is on a geological level.

    Yeshua, the sacrifice, is the divine messenger who carries the prayers of men to God. He is the “bridge” between heaven and earth. “No one can go to the father except through me.”

    Now, Esu in the Yoruba we know is the divine messenger who brings all the sacrifices and prayers to God and the Orisha. But we also know that Esu also represents the nervous system of the body. The nerves “communicate” with all the parts of the body (Orisha) and you can’t get to the brain (Obatala/White-Grey matter/God) unless you go through Esu (the nervous system).

    So now we see this same function in the Egyptian geologically/astronomically in the Hebrew ritually. And what we find ritually among the Hebrews is also ritually assigned in Ifa but also plays a biological role in this system. What othe functions each system assigns to the “deity” is extra. What combines them all is their function as the crossroads, the bridge or channel between man and God. This is an introduction into Philosophical Cognancy.

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  10. Pingback: A Reconstruction of Early Yoruba History (updated) | ADELAMI

    • You have a lot to share as well as we are a blessed people, and our Rock is willing to help, to heal, to open the way to ogbon, imo and oye, once we begin to draw near to Him:

      Acts 28: 26Go to this people and say to them, “Hearing, you will hear and you will not understand, and you will see and you will not observe. 27The heart of this people has become hard, their hearing they have dulled and their eyes they have shut, lest they shall see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand in their hearts and turn to me and I would forgive them.’”

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  11. Alice Lindsey, I appreciate your efforts, but you just don’t know enough of our (Yoruba) language, history. You make the wrong assertion that we are Hamites or whatever you call them. You have no idea that Ela exists in Yoruba language. It seems your goal is to prevent Yoruba’s from knowing who they are…

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    • Hers is a deliberate attempt at twisting the heritage of our people and is the same thing her people have been doing for well over 2,000 years. I will soon show how her behavioural pattern and that of Indo-Europeans generally is devilish.

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  12. Carefulu Prof. I will suggest you do a little bit more research before espousing such summations. The truth is, God is God all over the world, no matter what myth each culture wish to surround Him with. The mystery of the Sonship of Christ is real too! So don’t be suprised to see snippets of it in Yoruba, Greek, and even Islam. My suggestion is you read the bible, believe it, and leave the rest alone.

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  13. I believe you are correct and GOD certainly put some things in your heart.May GOD bless you for that. However, take into consideration that the word for YESHUA in Yoruba is JESU maybe could also be JESHU but Yorubas don’t usually use the H. But the migration aspect is on point and many other declarations by GOD in the scriptures supports it a 100%.

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    • Jesu is not Yeshua. The name “Jesu” was invented probably by Ajayi Crowther (1809-1891) who lived during the 19th century. There is no record of such a name existing in Yorubaland prior to that time.

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      • Yes i understand Bishop Ajayi Crowther translated the Bible to Yourba but the Bible is also a story about the Yoruba who are the children of Judah with Ashanti tribe of Ghana, then the Tribe of Benjamin (the Benin people). There are verses in the Scripture pointing to that.

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          • You would not find a direct reference but if you have a personal mail address i can send you a document that better explains the verses but take a look at Jeremiah 41-44 (To follow their movement to Egypt and out of Egypt), Isaiah 18 (The slave trade), Zephaniah 3:10-20 (Gathering of the people again). Pray for the HOLY SPIRIT’s guidance for the interpretation of those verses. Thanks

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    • Hello Alice! Im sorry i took a peek into the link you posted and i can tell that your work links a lot of Biblical history. I want to know if you actually believe the Bible or you take it as a history book? We could discuss further after your response if you are interested.

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  14. Yeshua, is Y-esua. The Y is a solar symbol. The biblical rulers were viewed as being appointed by the overshadowing of the Creator, whose symbol was the Sun. Yacob, Yosef, Yishmael, Yitzak, Yaqtan, Yetro, etc.

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