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Article

Little Known Aspects of Veneration of the Old Testament Sabbath in Medieval Ethiopia

Gusarova E.

 

The Church of Ethiopia did observe both the Old Testament or the Jewish Sabbath and its Christian counterpart. This practice became one of the distinctive features of the Ethiopian Christianity. In various periods of its history the problem of veneration of the Jewish Sabbath provoked a lasting controversy among the country’s clergy. It was under the reign of the King Zär’a Ya‘ǝqob, in the mid-15th century AD, that the observance of both Sabbaths became the officially accepted by the Ethiopian Church and the State. However, some evidences of this custom can be traced for many centuries before. Following the confession of faith of the King Claudius (1540–1559), the priority was given to the celebration of Sunday. The author of the article was fortunate to discover several cases of the preferential veneration of Sunday during a military campaign of AD 1781, described in the chronicle of the King Täklä Giyorgis I.