Bishop Ajayi Crowther got Esu mixed up with Satan. Since then till now, that mistranslation has caused many Yorubas to stumble, some unto death and destruction.
Many have lost valuable spiritual heritage, while spending tons of money to get what was available for them free.
I had believed the Bible Society of Nigeria had changed the wordings of Numbers 23:23 from the wrong one Ajayi bequeathed to them. Unfortunately, it is the same wrong translation that I found on an English/Yoruba Bible App that son of man has on his phone today.
“Surely, there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!”
“Nitõtọ kò sí ìfaiya si Jakobu, bẹ̃ni kò sí afọṣẹ si Israeli: nisisiyi li a o ma wi niti Jakobu ati niti Israeli, Ohun ti Ọlọrun ṣe!”
An undergraduate of Yoruba in any of our universities would have known that ‘Ifaiya’ has nothing to do with ‘enchantment’. It has no meaning whatsoever in the context of the verse above. It is the same with ‘Afose’, which was used inappropriately in the same context.
For me, this Yoruba translation should read thus, “Nitooto, asaasi oun eedi kankan ki yo ran Jakobu, beeni enikeni ko le ri Isireli wo ninu ise: …”
Enchantment has to do with negative spiritual errands sent against the wary and unwary. Divination is about spiritually checking the past and the future. This can be done by a Babalawo, Afa or Woli. In fact, Olorisas have the same gift of divination too. Ordinary people, who have such gifts do not need to process any material before telling you what they need to.
But the importance of Numbers 23:23 in the life of a Christian is that, this verse is very good to counter the work of the Dark Kingdom. With enchantment, you can be made to misbehave. Sickness or death can come upon anyone, especially the unfortified.
On the other hand, divination is very essential for the work of the Dark Kingdom to succeed. Knowledge is power. Your weak spots can be known through divination. Your strength can be known through divination. But action against you can only happen through enchantment. And, this is a 2-in-1 verse given to counter the work of the Dark Kingdom.
Unfortunately, only those who read the English Bible can have this resource. Yoruba readers of the Bible, who still read the flawed translation above cannot benefit from it.
What did the Book say? “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:1. Ajayi gave his best. But it was certainly not enough. His best also messed up the lives of the same people, for lack of critical thinking in other areas.
We’ll still talk about Esu, again, one of these days. A benevolent spiritual being, who like the Roman god, Janus, can act both ways (good and bad), could never have any affiliation with Satan who has no redeeming values in him.