or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer 46:25) is more correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No", i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Eze 30:14,16 it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Na 3:8 the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised Version correctly rendered "No-Amon."
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to, which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa 20). It was afterwards "delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal (Jer 46:25-26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525), further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81) by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
NO or No Amon (margin, Na 3:8), rather than "populous No." So Jer 46:25, "the multitude," rather "Amon of No." So Eze 30:14-16. Named from Amen, Thebes' chief god (from whence the Greeks call it "the city of Zeus" or "Diospolis".) Appearing in many kings' names, as Amenophis. Connected by some with Ham, Noah's son, or Aman "the nourisher," or Hamon "the sun god," or Amon "the artificer." Septuagint translated "the portion of Amon." Inscriptions call him Amon-re, "Amon the sun." A human figure with ram's head, seated on a chair (See AMEN.) Nahum describes Thebes as "situate among the rivers" (including the canals watering the city) on both sides of the Nile, which no other town of ancient Egypt is. Ezekiel's prophecy that it should be "rent asunder" is fulfilled to the letter, Amen's vast temple lying shattered as if by an earthquake (Eze 30:16).
Famed in Homer's Iliad (ix. 381) for its "hundred gates," but as no wall appears traceable either the reference is to the propylaea or portals of its numerous temples (Diod. Sicul., but warriors would not march through them), or else the surrounding mountains (100 of them pierced with catacombs and therefore called Beeban el Meluke, "the gates of the kings") which being mutually detached form so many avenues between them into the city. But the general usage of walling towns favors the view that the walls have disappeared. Her "rampart was the sea, and her wall from (or, as Maurer, consisted of) the sea," namely, the Nile (Isa 19:5). Homer says it possessed 20,000 war chariots, which Diodorus Siculus confirms by saying there were 100 stables along the river capable of accommodating 200 horses each. Sargon after destroying Samaria attacked Hoshea's ally, So or Sabacho II, and destroyed in part No-Amon or Thebes (Isaiah 20).
The monuments represent Sargon warring with Egypt and imposing tribute on the Pharaoh of the time, also Egypt as in that close connection with Ethiopia which Isaiah and Nahum imply (G. Rawlinson). No is written Ni'a in the Assyrian inscriptions. Asshur-bani-pal twice took Thebes. "No," if Semitic, is related to naah, "abode," "pasture," answering to Thebes' low situation on a plain. The sacred name was Ha-Amen, "the abode of Amen"; the common name was Ap or Ape, "capital." The feminine article prefixed made it Tape, Thape, Coptic Thabu, Greek Thebes. No hieroglyphics are found in it earlier than the sixth dynasty, three centuries later than Menes, a native of This in the Thebaid, the founder of Memphis. Diodorus states the circuit was 140 furlongs. Strabo (xvii. 47) describes the two colossal figures, "each a single stone, the one entire, the upper part of the other from the chair fallen, the result of an earthquake (Eze 30:16). Once a day a noise as of a slight blow issues from that part of the statue which remains still in the seat and on its base": the vocal Memnon.
The Nile's deposit has accumulated to the depth of seven feet around them. It is two miles broad, four long; the four landmarks being Karnak and Luxor on the right bank, Quurnah and Medinet Haboo on the left. Temples and palaces extended along the left bank for two miles. First the Maneptheion palace or temple of Seti Oimenepthah of the 19th dynasty, a mile from the river. A mile S. is the so named Memnonium of Amenophis III, called Miamun or "Memnon," really the Ramesseium of Rameses the Great, with his statue of a single block of syenite marble, 75 ft. high, 887 tons weight, the king seated on his throne. The vocal Memnon and its fellow are a quarter of a mile further S. Somewhat S. of this is the S. Ramesseium, the magnificent palace temple of Rameses III, one of the ruins of Medinet Haboo. The columns are seven feet diameter at the base and 23 ft. round. Within the second and grand court stood a Christian church afterward. The right bank has the facade of Luxor facing the river.
The chief entrance looks N. toward Karnak, with which once it was joined by an avenue more than a mile long, of sphinxes with rams' heads and lions' bodies (one is in the British Museum). Colossal statues of Rameses the Great are one on each side of the gateway. In front stood a pair of red granite obelisks, one of which now adorns the Place de la Concorde, Paris. The courts of the Karnak temple occupy 1,800 square feet, and its buildings represent every dynasty from Ptolemy Physcon, 117 B.C., 2000 years backward. It is two miles in circumference. The grand hall has twelve central pillars, 66 ft. high, 12 ft. diameter. On either side are seven rows, each column 42 ft. high, nine feet diameter. There are in all 134 pillars in an area 170 ft. by 329. The outer wall is 40 ft. thick at the base and 100 high. On it is represented Shishak's expedition against Jerusalem and "the land of the king of Judah "under Rehoboam (1Ki 14:25; 2Ch 12:2-9). It records also Tirhakah the Ethiopian's exploits. In the 12th and 13th dynasties of Manetho, first, Theban kings appear.
When the nomads from the N.E., the Hyksos or shepherd kings, invaded Egypt and fixed their capital at Memphis, a native dynasty was maintained in Thebes. Ultimately, the Hyksos were expelled and Thebes became the capital of all Egypt under the 18th dynasty, the city's golden era. Thebes then swayed Libya and Ethiopia, and carried its victorious arms into Syria, Media, and Persia. It retained its supremacy for 500 years, to the close of the 19th dynasty, then under the 20th dynasty it began to decline. Sargon's blow upon Thebes was inflicted early in Hezekiah's reign. Nahum (Na 3:8,10) in the latter part of that reign speaks of her being already "carried away into captivity, her young children dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets, lots cast for her honourable men, and all her great men bound in chains," notwithstanding her having Ethiopia, Egypt, Put, and Lubim as "her strength and it was infinite," and makes her a warning to Nineveh.
A still heavier blow was dealt by Nebuchadnezzar, as Jeremiah (Jer 46:25-26) foretells: "Behold I will punish Anjou No and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings. Afterward it shall be inhabited." This last prophecy was fulfilled 40 years after Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Egypt, when under Cyrus it threw off the Babylonian yoke. So Eze 29:10-15, "I will make ... Egypt ... waste ... from the tower of Syene (N.) even unto Ethiopia (the extreme S.) ... Yet at the end of 40 (the number expressing affliction and judgment, so the 40 days of the flood rains) years will I ... bring again the captivity of Egypt." The Persian Cambyses gave the finishing blow to No-Amon's greatness, leveling Rameses' statue and setting fire to the temples and palaces. In vain the Ptolemies tried subsequently to restore its greatness. It now consists of Arab huts amidst stately ruins and drifting sands.
This is the scripture name of THEBES, a noted city in Egypt, built on both sides of the river Nile, having a hundred gates, situate about 25 46' N. Its position is alluded to in Na 3:8-10, where the Nile is called 'the sea,' and 'the rivers' refer to the canals. Instead of 'populous No,' 'No of Amon' should be read, referring to the Egyptian god Amon; and in Jer 46:25 for 'the multitude of No,' 'Amon of No' should be read.
The passage in Nahum refers to some past desolation. Assyria had been able to distress Egypt before this prophecy, and the reference there is probably to an attack on Egypt by Sargon (B.C. 722-705): cf. Isa 20:1-5. The account in Jer. 46 speaks of the city being delivered into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, though afterwards it should be inhabited as in days of old. God's judgements on the city are also foretold in Eze 30:14-16. Nebuchadnezzar overran Egypt in B.C. 581, and in 526 Cambyses conquered it.
The perishable nature of human greatness is evidenced in a striking manner in Egypt by miserable huts being in close proximity to ruins of colossal buildings which could have been reared only at the cost of immense labour and the exercise of much skill.
NO, or NO-AMMON, a city of Egypt, supposed to be Thebes.