Original Research

‘I Am the LORD your Healer’ Exodus 15:26 (אנייהוהרפאך): Healing in the Old Testament and the African (Yoruba) context

David T. Adamo
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2689 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2689 | © 2021 David T. Adamo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 October 2020 | Published: 27 May 2021

About the author(s)

David T. Adamo, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, Faculty of Human Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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When one examines the concept of healing in the Old Testament and African (Yoruba) context, it is apparently quite important, but when one examines prestigious books on the Old Testament theology, it appears to be difficult to find a major section on God as a healer or significant discussion on the healing work of Yahweh in the period of the Old Testament. The Old Testament and African Indigenous Religion believe that Yahweh is the ultimate healer through prophets, and physicians are also agents of healing on behalf of God. They used words, materials such as water, herbs and touching for healing. The purpose of this article is to examine the Old Testament and African, or Yoruba, tradition to show how Yahweh’s healing work is important and that he is the ultimate healer in the Old Testament and African (Yoruba) tradition, although prophets and physicians are also agents of healing on behalf of God. To achieve this purpose, this article used African Biblical Hermeneutic methodology to examine various vocabularies for healing in the Old Testament (רפא, שׁלום, מרפא, ארכה).

Contribution: Apart from assisting readers to appreciate the healing work of Yahweh in the Old Testament, this article has brought the possibility for readers to appreciate both Old Testament and African (Yoruba) healing, and to attribute them ultimately to God. It can also be used supplementarily to Western orthodox healing, as God is the final healer.


healing; health; Old Testament; African traditional religion; Yoruba.


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