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Bible Encyclopedias
Hophra

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

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Hoph´ra (or Pharaoh-hophra), king of Egypt in the time of Zedekiah king of Judah, and of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He formed alliance with the former against the latter, and his advance with an Egyptian army constrained the Chaldeans to raise the siege of Jerusalem (); but they soon returned and took and destroyed the city. This momentary aid, and the danger of placing reliance on the protection of Hophra, led Ezekiel to compare the Egyptians to a broken reed, which was to pierce the hand of him that leaned upon it (). This alliance was, however, disapproved by God; and Jeremiah was authorized to deliver the prophecy contained in Jeremiah 44, which concludes with a prediction of Hophra's death and the subjugation of his country by the Chaldeans [comp. EGYPT].

This Pharaoh-hophra is identified with the Apries or Vaphres of ancient authors, and he may be the Psamatik III of the monuments. Under this identification we may conclude that his wars with the Syrians and Cyrenacans prevented him from affording any great assistance to Zedekiah. Apries is described by Herodotus (ii. 169) as a monarch who, in the zenith of his glory, felt persuaded that it was not in the power even of a deity to dispossess him of his kingdom, or to shake the stability of his sway; and this account of his arrogance fully accords with that contained in the Bible. Ezekiel () speaks of this king as 'the great dragon that lieth in the midst of the rivers, which hath said, my river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.' His overthrow and subsequent captivity and death are foretold with remarkable precision (by ); 'I will give Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, into the hands of his enemies, and into the hands of them that seek his life.' This was brought about by a revolt of the troops, who placed Amasis at their head, and after various conflicts took Apries prisoner. He was for a time kept in easy captivity by Amasis, who wished to spare his life; but he was at length constrained to give him up to the vengeance of his enemies, by whom he was strangled.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Hophra'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​kbe/​h/hophra.html.
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