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Twelve Tribe Rasta ~Overview - The Positive

'3' KeyThings 12 Tribe Rasta Has Right


The name 'Jah' is by far the most frequently occurring form of God's name found in Rasta Reggae lyrics, and often replaces the words 'God' or 'LORD' when they appear in biblical quotations. The form taken by God's sacred name in scripture has a complicated history. In the original Hebrew text, written without vowels, God's name appears as a series of four Hebrew consonants, usually transliterated as YHWH or JHVH. Hence, JAH is used in many Reggae song lyrics as the name of God.

Many Protestants do not feel comfortable using the term [name] Jah due to it's present day reference to Rastafari.However, we must remember that it was GOD's NAME FIRST, LONG BEFORE Haile Selassie ever walked the earth! Should we strike out Jah's name simply because Rastas use it? Should we strike out using the name "Jehovah" simply because Jehovah's Witnesses use it? Should we stop using the name Jesus Christ because The Mormons use the name in title of their church, "The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints?

"Jah" (Hebrew for Yah) is a contraction of Jahweh. Today we either pronounce it as Jehovah or Yahweh. In addiction to the name Jah being used by Rastas, it is also a common name used within Jamaican culture. Do to its regular use in their diatect of Patios, this name is by no means limited to the Rastfarian culture, but raher it encompasses the majority of Jamaican culture, and other areas of the Carribean."

From the first part of God's name Jah-hov-ah.

The name JAH occures 50 times in the original Hebrew scriptures, 26 times alone, and 24 times in the expression, "HallaeluJah", which literally means: "Praise Jah!"...The presence of the word "JAH" is completely REMOVED in MOST popular translations.

The King James and The American Translation only have it ONCE as "JAH or "YAH" at Psalm 68:4. The German made Rotherham's Bible emphasized Bible restores the name as "Yah" 49 times and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures restores it all 50 times as "Jah"...This includes Revaltion 19:1,3,and 4 where it reads: Praise Jah!" But what do how do MOST Bibles read this? As, "Praise the LORD!"

Jesus' own name means literally, "Jah-hovah is salvation!"...It is said in the Bible of Jesus, "How can they call upon Him of whom they do not know?"..Likewise how can you called upon the Name of God when you don't even know what it is?


Unforuantly, as pointed out in this, article, MOST popular translations of the Bible have REMOVED the NAME of GOD and REPLACED IT with the TITLES "LORD" and "GOD"...However The New World Translation RESTORES the name JAH ALL 50 times!

Including the Book of Revelation! And RESTORES the long version of the name JEHOVAH to ALL of it's some 2000+ times! Also The Rotherham's Bible RESTORES the NAME YAH 49 times! And RESTORES the long verison YAHWEH all 2000+ times! Also The Assembly of Yahweh has their own Bible that does this!

Psalm 148 (New Living Translation)/& Young's Literal Translation

1 Praise Jah! Praise Jehovah from the heavens! Praise him from the skies! 2 Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven! 3 Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars! 4 Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds! 5 Let every created thing give praise to Jehovah, for he issued his command, and they came into being. 6 He established them forever and forever. His orders will never be revoked. 7 Praise Jehovah from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, 8 fire and hail, snow and storm, wind and weather that obey him, 9 mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10 wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds, 11 kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, 12 young men and maidens, old men and children. 13 Let them all praise the name of Jehovah. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven! 14 He has made his people strong, honoring his godly ones-- the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise Jah!


Exodus 15:2

Psalm 146:1

Isaiah 12:2

Psalm 68:4

Song of Soloman 8:6

Revelations 19:1


Exodus 6:3

Psalm 83:18

Isaiah 12:2; 26:4

Understanding Of What Mount Zion Is


In the Bible, Zion represents various things, though first and foremost it is the name of the holy hill of Jerusalem, one of the hills on which the city was founded (hence Psalm 87:1, His foundation is in the holy mountains). Mount Zion became sacred when King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to rest there. However the name 'Zion' was also used in a wider sense to refer to the Temple, to Jerusalem, or even to the whole of Israel. Zion was the pride and heritage of Israel, and the holy dwelling place of Jah (Psalm 9:11). It is not difficult to imagine therefore the great emotional significance Zion must have held for the Jews who were exiled in Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem (consider Psalm 137:1, By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion).


Likewise, for African people exiled in America and the Caribbean due to the slave trade, Africa obviously see a very similar view on their siutation. And out of such heartfelt longing for repatriation was born the modern movement of Rastafari, in which Zion is therefore appropriately equated with Africa (particularly Ethiopia). Africa restored back to Eden is also seen in terms of the Promised Land (Exodus 3:17), which for the first Jamaican Rastafarians was reachable only by crossing the Jordan River (Atlantic Ocean).

Today, as Rasta becomes increasingly widespread around the globe, many of its followers are not of recent African descent, but Africa still retains the identity of Zion for all Rastafarians, since it was the cradle of humankind and the true Garden of Eden, as the Bible confirms (Genesis 2:10-14).

In Rastafari, Zion often even comes to represent the heavenly kingdom itself, as it sometimes does in the New Testament, for example, in Hebrews 12:22, But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. Therefore Zion is to be seen primarily in a spiritual sense, as the celestial Jerusalem of the book of Revelation (Rev. 21:2, And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband). It is the kingdom of JAH, to come on earth as it is in heaven and thus the return to The Promise Land aka paradise/Eden on earth.

Reggae Songs About Mount Zion:

'Exodus' by Bob Marley

'Zion Hut' by IJahman

'Message From The King' by Prince Far I

'Rastaman Chant' By The Wailers

The understanding of what Mount Zion is, as being the heavenly Kingdom above, the hope of the restoration of our earth through Jesus Christ, and the reconizition of God's Hebrew name "JAH" are what I see as '3' key important Biblical TRUTHS that 12 Tribe Rastafari has come to understand. These are the keys beliefs found in 12 Tribe Rasta and Roots Reggae music that I feel are so important as Biblical truths...

..However, having points out these '3' key biblical truths..this is not to say that I find 'ALL' of Twelve Tribes beliefs or views found in Roots reggae music as biblically right....

Go On To Part 2
Biblical Use of Jah's Name In Reggae Songs
Guild To Biblical References In Reggae Songs
Bibical Referecnes To The Lion of Judah