Exodus: Movement of Jah People

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Rastafarian people share similarities with their role models, the Israelites, from the Biblical Book of Exodus. They are connected through Rastafarianism, a postcolonial religion the Jamaicans created, where the oppressed people sought to return to their ancestral promised land. Songs from Bob Marley such as “Africa Unite,” “Buffalo Soldier,” and “Exodus” display the Jamaican’s overcoming the European colonialism, how urgent it is to unite as one African body, and to return to Ethiopia. This is just like the Book of Exodus when Moses led his fellow oppressed Israelite community out of Egypt from the harsh ruler and returned to Israel. Although the Jamaican people did not make it back as one to their desired destination, much of the Rastafarian period was the recreation of the exodus Moses led.
In the Biblical Book of Exodus, Moses was not originally supposed to be born under the Pharaoh’s rule because he was an Israelite male. Pharaoh decreed all Hebrew boys born were to be killed in the Nile River. Moses survived because Pharaoh’s servants feared God more. This law was one of Pharaoh’s ways to oppress the Hebrew people. It was a tactic to keep the majority of the population from growing as well as implementing slavery. However, that did not stop the Israelites from multiplying in size: “’And now indeed the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them. So now go, and I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt’” (New English Translation, Exodus 3:9-10). In this passage, God is speaking to Moses in the form of a burning bush that he has seen the hardships Pharaoh put the Israelites through, and that he will deliver them from their sufferings. M...

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...nd the exodus of the Rastafarians were similar in purpose, but overall two very different journeys. The Israelites had Moses, a Hebrew leader, who got a command from God to return his people to the land they were promised. The Rastafarian’s leader, Marcus Garvey, never went to Jamaica to lead them back to Ethiopia. He did not receive God’s message to do that journey. Garvey and his followers did not have the same play by play Moses received to deliver them from their hardships. Overall, the Jamaican people found a positive solution during their time of need despite the downfall of the exodus to Ethiopia.

Bob Marley and the Wailers. Gold.”Buffalo Soldier” “Africa Unite” “Exodus.” Island Records,2005. CD.
Higbee, Douglas. “Bob Marley: Reggae and Rastafarianism.” 02 Oct 2013. Print.
The New English Translation Bible.Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C.2006.Print.

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