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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Pharaoh

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Pha´raoh, the general title of the kings of Egypt in the Old Testament, and found only there and in the writers who have drawn from that source. It often stands simply like a proper name (;; , sq.; 44:1, sq.; and so generally throughout the Pentateuch, and also in;; ). 'King of Egypt' is sometimes subjoined to it (;; ); and sometimes also the more specific designation or real proper name of the monarch is indicated as Pharaoh Necho (), Pharaoh Hophra (). Josephus intimates that the word signifies 'the king' in the Egyptian language (Antiq. viii. 6. 2). The idea has, however, been more recently started that Pharaoh corresponds to the Egyptian phra, 'the sun,' which is written as an hieroglyphic symbol over the titles of kings. It seems to us that this explanation might be admitted without contradicting the other, seeing that it is not only possible, but highly probable, that the Egyptians should make the name of the sun a royal title, and that at length custom rendered it equivalent to 'king.' The practice of ancient, and, indeed, modern Oriental kings, of associating the idea of their own dignity with the glory of the sun, is well known.

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Pharaoh'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/p/pharaoh.html.

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