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The age of reinvented empire(s) in Africa in the light of Persian hegemonic power: Reading the books of Deuteronomy and Ezra-Nehemiah in the context of Zimbabwe

Ndikho Mtshiselwa

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 36, No 1 (2015), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i1.1450

Submitted: 21 March 2015
Published:  27 October 2015


It is generally accepted that historically Africa experienced colonialism. Thus, in the neocolonial age articulated by the likes of Sugirtharajah, Segovia and Nkrumah, most African countries are faced with the challenge of power struggle in which imperialism and dictatorship inhibits the development of the Two-Thirds world countries. This challenge, it is argued, reveals an imperialistic tendency of the European Union, China and African government(s) to alter democracy and freedom. As such, the Zimbabwe context, amongst others, will be used as a main point of reference. This article examines the elements of imperialism in African states in the light of Persian hegemonic power in the books of Deuteronomy and Ezra-Nehemiah. It investigates whether or not the Jews were free under the Persian hegemonic influence in the post-exilic period. The comparison of the influence of Persian hegemony in the books of Deuteronomy and Ezra-Nehemiah with the evidence of imperialism in African government(s), leads to the argument that certain African states do not appear to be completely democratic and free.

Intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary implications: Based on aspects of Old Testament and political science studies, this article explores traces of imperialism in African governments in the light of Persian hegemonic power in the Hebrew Bible. In the end, the article argues that certain African states, for instance Zimbabwe, should not be considered as completely democratic and free nations.

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Author affiliations

Ndikho Mtshiselwa, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


Deuteronomy; Ezra-Nehemiah;Persian hegemony; Zimbabwe; Imperialism


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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