Ethiopia and RCG

Flag of the Arab League


In its latest weekly update, LCG’s Don Davis & Scott Winnail wrote:

Africa Can’t Feed All Its People! Ethiopia is the latest African nation unable to feed its citizens, according to the Christian Science Monitor (June 27, 2008). Each day, aid workers at a rural clinic in Ethiopia literally weigh starving children in a triage process to determine who is sick enough to eat. The others are sent away hungry, as there is only enough medicine and high-energy peanut paste to serve those most urgently needing food. Guards with sticks keep order among desperately hungry women and children waiting in line. “‘People don’t know yet how widespread and severe the world hunger crisis is,’ says David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. ‘The gruesome things now happening in Ethiopia may be the first example of a country that’s being pushed into a humanitarian crisis partly because of bad weather, but partly because of the high price of food and the high price of fuel.’” Drought is causing local crops to fail, and food and transportation costs are rising, leading to food shortages. Many more Ethiopians will experience severe malnutrition if food is not distributed quickly. Adults and children alike, weakened by malnutrition, are susceptible to other fatal diseases. Even if rich Western nations immediately provide needed food, it takes up to eight weeks for supplies to reach those in need. Bible prophecies warn that famines and disease will dominate the news as the end of the age approaches (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11) and that these calamities will impact one quarter of the earth’s population (Revelation 6:7-8).

Although Ethiopia is poor, RCG’s David Pack, based apparently upon a misunderstanding, inaccurately teaches:

The King of the South is Ethiopia

The truth is that Ethiopia is not going to be the final prophesied King of the South.

While he misunderstood the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject, David Pack also misunderstood the Bible as he apparently failed to look into the Hebrew in Daniel 11.

Although Daniel 11:40-42 is only mentioning peoples in predominantly Arabs lands, some may point to verse 43 as proof that Ethiopia is involved. Here is what the NKJV, perhaps incorrectly, shows:

He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.

The problem with the above translation is that the word “Ethiopians” is not in the Hebrew in the Old Testament. The word translated as “Ethiopians” is the plural of the word Kuwshiy, which according to Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary means descendants of Cush. Or in other words, people of dark color–and it is commonly translated as Cush or Cushite in many Old Testament passages.

It is not necessarily those from Ethiopia.

There is one famous person that the Old Testament translated into English refers to as from Ethiopia, the famous Queen of Sheba. Yet, even term Sheba’ does not usually refer to Ethiopia in the Bible, as it most of the time refers to specific, non-Ethiopian, people. Furthermore, notice the following from two different commentaries (bolding/italics theirs):

Our Saviour calls her the queen of the south, for Sheba lay south of Canaan. The common opinion is that it was in Africa; and the Christians in Ethiopia, to this day, are confident that she came from their country, and that Candace was her successor, who is mentioned Acts 8:27. But it is more probable that she came from the south part of Arabia (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.).

The queen of Sheba has been identified as the ruler of the Sabeans (Job 1:15), who inhabited Arabia Felix (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

Thus the fact that Jesus referred to her as “the queen of the South” (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31), indicates that she was not necessarily from Ethiopia. And if she was from Ethiopia, Jesus could have clearly stated that, but He did not. Thus Jesus did not declared Ethiopia to be the kingdom of the South.

The New International Version translation of the Bible seems to get Daniel 11:43 translated correctly as follows:

He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.

And while Ethiopians might possibly be indicated here, the reality is that Nubians makes a lot more sense.


Because the Nubians are Muslims and historically lived amongst the Egyptians and the other Arabs. The Nubians have been in so much contact with Arabs that Nubians speak that some of their peoples have been “Arabized” ( 8/05/06).

Interestingly, although it uses the term “Ethiopians” while discussing Daniel 11:43, Matthew Henry’s Commentary says that these are people who anciently lived next to Egypt.

Well, Nubians currently live in Egypt as well as in neighboring Sudan. The Sudanese, like the Nubians, are also Cushites, and are also mainly Muslim–plus Sudan is between Egypt and Ethiopia. Thus, even Daniel 11:43 is not teaching that those now called Ethiopians must be even be involved when the king of the North retaliates against the king of the South–and this is apparently one of the reasons that Herbert W. Armstrong changed his position on the identity of the future king of the South (a fact that RCG has chosen to overlook).

Ethiopia is a very poor country in the 21st century and will not be the future King of the South in Daniel 11 (more on Ethiopia and Africa can be found in the article Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future).

As it turns out, RCG is one of many groups who claim the wrong King of the South, while the Living Church of God does know (for proof, please see the article Is There A Future King of the South?).

Therefore for those interested in watching world events as prophesied, it really does make a difference as to which Church of God one supports.

Some articles of related interest may include:

Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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