Is properly an Egyptian word adopted into the Hebrew, and signifies king; so that when we find this name it means everywhere the king. Thus, also, Pharaoh Hophra is simply king Hophra.
Of the kings of Egypt, there are not less than twelve or thirteen mentioned in Scripture, all of whom bore the general title of Pharaoh, except four. Along with this title, two of them have also other proper names, Necho and Hophra. The following is their order. Some of them have been identified, by the labors of Champollion and others, with kings whose proper names we know from other sources, while others still remain in obscurity. Indeed, so brief, obscure, and conflicting are the details of Egyptian history and ancient chronology, which no name before that of Shishak can be regarded as identified beyond dispute.
1. Pharaoh, Ge 12:15, in the time of Abraham, B. C. 1920. He was probably a king of the Theban dynasty.
5. Pharaoh, in the time of David, 1Ki 11:18-22; B. C. 1030.
7. Shishak, near the end of Solomon's reign, and under Rehoboam, B. C. 975, 1Ki 11:40; 14:25; 2Ch 12:2. From this time onward the proper name of the Egyptian kings are mentioned in Scripture. See SHISHAK.
8. Zerah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia in the time of Asa, B. C. 930; called Osorchon by historians. See ZERAH.
9. So, or Sevechus, contemporary with Ahaz, B. C. 730, 2Ki 17:4. See SO.
12. Pharaoh Hophra, contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar. He was the grandson of Necho, and is the Apries of Herodotus. Zedekiah formed an alliance with him against Nebuchadnezzar, and he drove the Assyrians from Palestine, took Zidon and Tyre, and returned to Egypt with great spoil. He seems to have done nothing to prevent the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem, Jer 37:1-5; 47:1; Eze 29:21. He reigned twenty-five years, and was dethroned by his army after an unsuccessful expedition against Cyrene, as was foretold, Jer 44:30.
the official title borne by the Egyptian kings down to the time when that country was conquered by the Greeks. (See Egypt.) The name is a compound, as some think, of the words Ra, the "sun" or "sun-god," and the article phe, "the," prefixed; hence phera, "the sun," or "the sun-god." But others, perhaps more correctly, think the name derived from Perao, "the great house" = his majesty = in Turkish, "the Sublime Porte."
(1.) The Pharaoh who was on the throne when Abram went down into Egypt (Ge 12:10-20) was probably one of the Hyksos, or "shepherd kings." The Egyptians called the nomad tribes of Syria Shasu, "plunderers," their king or chief Hyk, and hence the name of those invaders who conquered the native kings and established a strong government, with Zoan or Tanis as their capital. They were of Semitic origin, and of kindred blood accordingly with Abram. They were probably driven forward by the pressure of the Hittites. The name they bear on the monuments is "Mentiu."
(2.) The Pharaoh of Joseph's days (Ge 41) was probably Apopi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. To the old native Egyptians, who were an African race, shepherds were "an abomination;" but to the Hyksos kings these Asiatic shepherds who now appeared with Jacob at their head were congenial, and being akin to their own race, had a warm welcome (Ge 47:5-6). Some argue that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III. (Illustration: Thothmes III), long after the expulsion of the Hyksos, and that his influence is to be seen in the rise and progress of the religious revolution in the direction of monotheism which characterized the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The wife of Amenophis III., of that dynasty, was a Semite. Is this singular fact to be explained from the presence of some of Joseph's kindred at the Egyptian court? Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell" (Ge 47:5-6).
(3.) The "new king who knew not Joseph" (Ex 1:8-22) has been generally supposed to have been Aahmes I., or Amosis, as he is called by Josephus. Recent discoveries, however, have led to the conclusion that Seti was the "new king."
For about seventy years the Hebrews in Egypt were under the powerful protection of Joseph. After his death their condition was probably very slowly and gradually changed. The invaders, the Hyksos, who for some five centuries had been masters of Egypt, were driven out, and the old dynasty restored. The Israelites now began to be looked down upon. They began to be afflicted and tyrannized over. In process of time a change appears to have taken place in the government of Egypt. A new dynasty, the Nineteenth, as it is called, came into power under Seti I. (Illustration: Mummy Head of Seti I), who was its founder. He associated with him in his government his son, Rameses II. (Illustration: Statue of Rameses II), when he was yet young, probably ten or twelve years of age.
Note, Professor Maspero, keeper of the museum of Bulak, near Cairo, had his attention in 1870 directed to the fact that scarabs, i.e., stone and metal imitations of the beetle (symbols of immortality), originally worn as amulets by royal personages, which were evidently genuine relics of the time of the ancient Pharaohs, were being sold at Thebes and different places along the Nile. This led him to suspect that some hitherto undiscovered burial-place of the Pharaohs had been opened, and that these and other relics, now secretly sold, were a part of the treasure found there. For a long time he failed, with all his ingenuity, to find the source of these rare treasures. At length one of those in the secret volunteered to give information regarding this burial-place. The result was that a party was conducted in 1881 to Dier el-Bahari, near Thebes, when the wonderful discovery was made of thirty-six mummies of kings, queens, princes, and high priests hidden away in a cavern prepared for them, where they had lain undisturbed for thirty centuries. "The temple of Deir el-Bahari stands in the middle of a natural amphitheatre of cliffs, which is only one of a number of smaller amphitheatres into which the limestone mountains of the tombs are broken up. In the wall of rock separating this basin from the one next to it some ancient Egyptian engineers had constructed the hiding-place, whose secret had been kept for nearly three thousand years." The exploring party being guided to the place, found behind a great rock a shaft 6 feet square and about 40 feet deep, sunk into the limestone. At the bottom of this a passage led westward for 25 feet, and then turned sharply northward into the very heart of the mountain, where in a chamber 23 feet by 13, and 6 feet in height, they came upon the wonderful treasures of antiquity. The mummies were all carefully secured and brought down to Bulak, where they were deposited in the royal museum, which has now been removed to Ghizeh.
Illustration: Black Syenite Tablet with the Word Isyraelu
Among the most notable of the ancient kings of Egypt thus discovered were Thothmes III., Seti I., and Rameses II. Thothmes III. was the most distinguished monarch of the brilliant Eighteenth Dynasty. When this mummy was unwound "once more, after an interval of thirty-six centuries, human eyes gazed on the features of the man who had conquered Syria and Cyprus and Ethiopia, and had raised Egypt to the highest pinnacle of her power. The spectacle, however, was of brief duration. The remains proved to be in so fragile a state that there was only time to take a hasty photograph, and then the features crumbled to pieces and vanished like an apparition, and so passed away from human view for ever." "It seems strange that though the body of this man," who overran Palestine with his armies two hundred years before the birth of Moses, "mouldered to dust, the flowers with which it had been wreathed were so wonderfully preserved that even their colour could be distinguished" (Manning's Land of the Pharaohs).
Seti I. (his throne name Merenptah), the father of Rameses II., was a great and successful warrior, also a great builder. The mummy of this Pharaoh, when unrolled, brought to view "the most beautiful mummy head ever seen within the walls of the museum. The sculptors of Thebes and Abydos did not flatter this Pharaoh when they gave him that delicate, sweet, and smiling profile which is the admiration of travellers. After a lapse of thirty-two centuries, the mummy retains the same expression which characterized the features of the living man. Most remarkable of all, when compared with the mummy of Rameses II., is the striking resemblance between the father and the son. Seti I. is, as it were, the idealized type of Rameses II. He must have died at an advanced age. The head is shaven, the eyebrows are white, the condition of the body points to considerably more than threescore years of life, thus confirming the opinions of the learned, who have attributed a long reign to this king."
(4.) Rameses II., the son of Seti I., is probably the Pharaoh of the Oppression. During his forty years' residence at the court of Egypt, Moses must have known this ruler well. During his sojourn in Midian, however, Rameses died, after a reign of sixty-seven years, and his body embalmed and laid in the royal sepulchre in the Valley of the Tombs of Kings beside that of his father. Like the other mummies found hidden in the cave of Deir el-Bahari, it had been for some reason removed from its original tomb, and probably carried from place to place till finally deposited in the cave where it was so recently discovered.
In 1886, the mummy of this king, the "great Rameses," the "Sesostris" of the Greeks, was unwound, and showed the body of what must have been a robust old man. The features revealed to view are thus described by Maspero: "The head is long and small in proportion to the body. The top of the skull is quite bare. On the temple there are a few sparse hairs, but at the poll the hair is quite thick, forming smooth, straight locks about two inches in length. White at the time of death, they have been dyed a light yel
(See EGYPT; EXODUS for the list of the Pharaohs.) The official title of the Egyptian kings. The vocalization and diacritic points show the Hebrew read "Par-aoh," not "Pa-raoh". It is not from Ra "the sun," for the king is called Si-ra, "son of Ra," therefore he would not also be called "The Ra," though as an honorary epithet Merneptah Hotephima is so-called, "the good sun of the land." But the regular title Pharaoh means "the great house" or "the great double house," the title which to Egyptians and foreigners represented his person. The Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch is strikingly confirmed by the Egyptian words, titles, and names occurring in the Hebrew transcription. No Palestinian Hebrew after the Exodus would have known Egyptian as the writer evidently did. His giving Egyptian words without a Hebrew explanation of the meaning can only be accounted for by his knowing that his readers were as familiar with Egyptian as he was himself; this could only apply to the Israelites of the Exodus. Abraham's Pharaoh was probably of the 12th dynasty, when foreigners from western Asia were received and promoted.
Joseph was under an early Pharaoh of the 13th dynasty, when as yet Pharaoh ruled over all Egypt, or probably under Amenemha III, sixth king of the 12th, who first regulated by dykes, locks, and reservoirs the Nile's inundation, and made the lake Moeris to receive the overflow. The 12th dynasty, moreover, was especially connected with On or Heliopolis. The Hyksos or "shepherd kings", who ruled only Lower Egypt while native kings ruled Upper Egypt, began with the fourth of the 13th dynasty, and ended with Apophis or Apopi, the last of the 17th. Aahmes or Amosis, the first of the 18th, expelled them. He was the "new king who knew not Joseph." Finding Joseph's people Israel settled in fertile Goshen, commanding the entrance to Egypt from the N.E., and favored by the Hyksos, he adopted harsh repressive measures to prevent the possibility of their joining invaders like the Hyksos; he imposed bond service on Israel in building forts and stores. Moses as adopted son of the king's sister apparently accompanied Amenhotep I in his expedition against Ethiopia, and showed himself "mighty in words and deeds" (Acts 7).
Under Thothmes I, Moses was in Midian. Thothroes II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, drowned in the Red Sea. Thothmes III broke the confederacy of the allied kings of all the regions between Euphrates and the Mediterranean, just 17 years before Israel's invasion of Canaan, thus providentially preparing the way for an easy conquest of Canaan; this accounts for the terror of Midian and Moab at Israel's approach (Nu 22:3-4), and the "sorrow and trembling which took hold on the inhabitants of Palestina and Canaan" (Ex 15:14-16). (See BITHIAH and EGYPT on the influence which the Jewess wife (Tei) of Amenhotep III exercised in modifying Egyptian idolatry.) (See JOSIAH; NEBUCHADNEZZAR; JERUSALEM; EGYPT, on Pharaoh Necho II and Pharaoh Hophra.)
Herodotus (ii. 159) illustrates Necho's conquests in Syria and Palestine between 610 and 604 B.C.: "Necho made war by land upon the Syrians, and defeated them in a pitched battle at Magdolus" (Megiddo). Berosus (in Josephus, Apion 1:19) too says that toward the close of Nabopolassar's reign, i.e. before 605 B.C., Egypt, Syria, and Phoenicia revolted; so he sent his son Nebuchadnezzar to recover those countries. The sacred history harmonizes the two accounts. Necho designed to acquire all Syria as far as Carchemish on the Euphrates (2Ch 35:20-24). Josiah opposed his design and fell at Megiddo. So Necho for a time ruled all Syria, "from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt," deposed Jehoahaz for Eliakim = Jehoiakim, and levied tribute (2Ki 24:7; 23:31-35). Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish, 606 B.C. (Jer 46:2), and recovered all that region, so that Necho "came not again any more out of his land."
Necho was sixth king of the 26th (Saitic) dynasty, son of Psammetichus I, and grandson of Necho I. Celebrated for a canal he proposed to cut connecting the Nile and Red Sea. Brugsch (Eg. 1:252) makes his reign from 611 to 595 B.C. PHARAOH HOPHRA succeeded Psamme tichus II, Necho's successor. Herodotus writes Apries. Began reigning 589 B.C., and reigned 19 years. Hai-fra-het (Rawlinson Herodot. 2:210, 823). He took Gaza of the Philistines (Jer 47:1), and made himself master of Philistia and most of Phoenicia; attacked Sidon, and fought by sea with Tyre; and "so firmly did he think himself established in his kingdom that he believed not even a god could east hint down" (Herodotus ii. 161-169). So Ezekiel in harmony with the secular historian describes him as a great crocodile in his rivers, saying, "my river is mine own, and I have made it for myself" (Eze 29:3).
But his troops sent against Cyrene having been routed, the Egyptians, according to Herodotus, revolted and set up Amasis as king; then strangled Hophra, and raised Amasis to the throne. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 29-32) foretold the conquest of Pharaoh and invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. Hophra in 590 or 589 B.C. bad caused the Chaldaeans to raise the siege of Jerusalem, but it was only for a time (Jer 37:5-7). Jerusalem, under Zedekiah, fell before Nebuchadnezzar, 588 B.C. Jeremiah in Egypt subsequently foretold "Jehovah's giving Hophra into the hand of them that sought his life" (Jer 44:30; 46:25-26). The civil war between Amasis and Apries would give an opportunity for the invader Nebuchadnezzar (in the 23rd year of his reign: Josephus Ant. 10:11) to interfere and elevate Amasis on condition of his becoming tributary to Babylon. Or else the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar gave an opportunity for the revolt which ended in Hophra's death and Amasis' elevation.
Berosus alone records Nebuchadnezzar's invasion, but similarly we find Assyrian monuments recording conquests of Egypt either unnoticed by our historians extant or mentioned only by inferior authorities. National vanity would prevent the Egyptian priests from telling Herodotus of Egypt's loss of territory in Syria (which Josephus records) and of Nebuchadnezzar's share in raising Amasis to the throne instead of Hophra The language of Jer 44:30 is exact to the truth: "I will give Pharaoh Hophra into the hands of his enemies, and of them that seek his life," namely, Amasis and his party; Nebuchadnezzar is not mentioned until the end of the verse. In Eze 30:21, "I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt ... it shall not be bound up"; Ezekiel's prophecy (Eze 30:13), "there shall be no more a prince of ... Egypt," implies there should be no more a prince independent and ruling the whole land. Cambyses made Egypt a province of the Persian empire; since the second Persian conquest, 2,000 years ago, there has been no native prince.
The later Egyptian royal title, Per-'o, Great House,' adopted into Hebrew. Originally designating the royal establishment in Egypt, it graduailly became the appellative title of the king, and from the 22nd Dyn. (c. b.c. 950) onwards was regularly attached to the king's name in popular speech. The Hebrew Pharaoh-necho and Pharaoh-hophra are thus precise renderings of Egyptian. Shishak also was entitled Per-'o Sheshonk in Egyptian, but apparently Hebrew had not yet adopted the novel fashion, and so gave his name without Pharaoh (1Ki 11:40; 14:24). Tirhakah is not entitled Pharaoh as in Egyptian documents, but is more accurately described as king of Cush (2Ki 19:9).
The following Pharaohs are referred to without their names being specified: 1. Pharaoh of Abram (Ge 12:10-20), impossible to identify. The title Pharaoh and the mention of camels appear to be anachronisms in the story. 2. Pharaoh of Joseph (Ge 39 etc.). The proper names in the story, viz. Potiphar, Potiphera, Asenath, Zaphenath-paneah are at once recognizable (when the vocalization is discounted) as typical names (Petepre, Esnelt, Zepnetefonkh) of the late period beginning with the 22nd Dyn. (c. b.c. 950), and ending in the reign of Darius (c. b.c. 500). It has been conjectured that the Pharaoh of Joseph was one of the Hyksos kings, but it is not advisable to press for historical identifications in this beautiful legend. 3. and 4. The Pharaohs of the Oppression and the Exodus. The name of Raamses, given to a store-city built by the Hebrews (Ex 1:11), points to one of the kings named Ramesses in the 19th
This was the regal title of the kings of Egypt, so the mere appellation, 'Pharaoh' in no way intimates which king is alluded to. Some kings of Egypt are mentioned in scripture without this title, as Shishak, Necho, Hophra, So, and Tirhakah, the last two of whom were Ethiopians. Those specially referred to in the O.T. are:
1. The Pharaoh who took Abram's wife, Sarai, into his house (about B.C. 1919). Ge 12:14-20.
2. The Pharaoh who promoted Joseph (about B.C. 1715), and received into Egypt Jacob and his sons and their families. Gen. 40
the common title of the native kings of Egypt in the Bible, corresponding to P-ra or Ph-ra "the sun," of the hieroglyphics. Brugsch, Ebers and other modern Egyptologists define it to mean 'the great house," which would correspond to our "the Sublime Porte." As several kings are mentioned only by the title "Pharaoh" in the Bible, it is important to endeavor to discriminate them:
1. The Pharaoh of Abraham.
--At the time at which the patriarch went into Egypt, it is generally held that the country, or at least lower Egypt, was ruled by the Shepherd kings, of whom the first and moat powerful line was the fifteenth dynasty, the undoubted territories of which w
2. The Pharoah of Joseph.
... --One of the Shepherd kings perhaps Apophis, who belonged to the fifteenth dynasty. He appears to have reigned from Joseph's appointment (or perhaps somewhat earlier) until Jacob's death, a period of at least twenty-six years, from about B.C. 1876 to 1850 and to have been the fifth or sixth king of the fifteenth dynasty.
3. The Pharoah of the oppression.
--The first Persecutor of the Israelites may be distinguished as the Pharaoh of the oppression, from the second, the Pharoah of the exodus especially as he commenced and probably long carried on the persecution. The general view is that he was an Egyptian
4. The Pharoah of the exodus.
--Either Thothmes III., as Wilkinson, or Menephthah son of Rameses II., whom Brugsch thinks was probably the Pharaoh of the exodus, who with his army pursued the Israelites and were overwhelmed in the Red Sea. "The events which form the lamentable close o
5. Pharaoh, father-in-law of Mered. --In the genealogies of the tribe of Judah, mention is made of the daughter of a Pharaoh married to an Israelite--" Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh. which Mered took."
6. Pharaoh, brother-in-law of Hadad the Edomite. --This king gave Haadad. as his wife, the sister of his own wife, Tahpenes.
7. Pharaoh, father-in-law of Solomon. --The mention that the queen was brought into the city of David while Solomon's house and the temple and the city wall were building shows that the marriage took place not later than the eleventh year of the king, when the temple was finished, having been commenced in the Pharaoh led an expedition into Palestine.
8. Pharaoh, the opponent of Sennacherib. --This Pharaoh,
can only be the Sethos whom Herodotus mentions as the opponent of Sennacherib and who may reasonably be supposed to be the Zet of Manetho.
9. Pharoah-necho. --The first mention in the Bible of a proper name with the title Pharaoh is the case of Pharaoh-necho, who is also called Necho simply. This king was of the Saite twenty-sixth dynasty, of which Manetho makes him either the fifth or the sixth ruler. Herodotus calls him Nekos, and assigns to him a reign of sixteen years, which is confirmed by the monuments. He seems to have been an enterprising king, as he is related to have attempted to complete the canal connecting the Red Sea with the Nile, and to have sent an expedition of Phoenicians to circumnavigate Africa, which was successfully accomplished. At the commencement of his reign B.C. 610, he made war against the king of Assyria, and, being encountered on his way by Josiah, defeated and slew the king of Judah at Megiddo.
Necho seems to have soon returned to Egypt. Perhaps he was on his way thither when he deposed Jehoahaz. The army was probably posted at Carchemish, and was there defeated by Nebuchadnezzar in the fourth year of Necho, B.C. 607, that king not being, as it seems, then at its head.
This battle led to the loss of all the Asiatic dominions of Egypt.
10. Pharaoh-hophra. --The next king of Egypt mentioned in the Bible is Pharaoh-hophra, the second successor of Necho, from whom he was separated by the six-years reign of Psammetichus II. He came to the throne about B.C. 589, and ruled nineteen years. Herodotus who calls him Apries, makes him son of Psammetichus II., whom he calls Psammis, and great-grandson of Psammetichus I. In the Bible it is related that Zedekiah, the last king of Judah was aided by a Pharaoh against Nebuchadnezzar, in fulfillment of it treaty, and that an army came out of Egypt, so that the Chaldeans were obliged to raise the siege of Jerusalem. The city was first besieged in the ninth year of Zedekiah B.C. 590, and was captured in his eleventh year, B.C. 588. It was evidently continuously invested for a length of time before was taken, so that it is most probable that Pharaoh's expedition took place during 590 or 589. The Egyptian army returned without effecting its purpose.
comp. 2Kin 25:1-4 No subsequent Pharaoh is mentioned in Scripture, but there are predictions doubtless referring to the misfortunes of later princes until the second Persian conquest, when the prophecy, "There shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt,"
was fulfilled. (In the summer of 1881 a large number of the mummies of the Pharaohs were found in a tomb near Thebes --among them Raskenen, of the seventeenth dynasty, Ahmes I., founder of the eighteenth dynasty, Thothmes I,II, and III., and Rameses I. It was first thought that Rameses II, of the nineteenth dynasty, was there, But this was found to be a mistake. A group of coffins belonging to the twenty-first dynasty has been found, and it is probable that we will learn not a little about the early Pharaohs, especially from the inscriptions on their shrouds. --ED.)
PHARAOH, a common name of the kings of Egypt. We meet with it as early as Ge 12:15. Josephus says, that all the kings of Egypt, from Minaeus, the founder of Memphis, who lived several ages before Abraham, always had the name of Pharaoh, down to the time of Solomon, for more than three thousand three hundred years. He adds, that, in the Egyptian language, the word Pharaoh means king, and that these princes did not assume the name until they ascended the throne, at which time they quitted their former name.