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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Pharaohs Daughter

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Three Egyptian princesses, daughters of Pharaohs, are mentioned in the Bible. Our account of them includes whatever notices are extant in other writers.

1. The preserver of Moses, daughter of the Pharaoh who first oppressed the Israelites. She appears from her conduct towards Moses to have been heiress to the throne, something more than ordinary adoption seeming to be expressed in the passage in Hebrews respecting the faith of Moses (Hebrews 11:23-26), and the designation "Pharaoh's daughter" perhaps here indicating that she was the only daughter. She probably lived for at least forty years after she saved Moses, for it seems to be implied in the above passage of Hebrews that she was living when he fled to Midian. Artapanus, or Artabanus, a historian of uncertain date, who appears to have preserved traditions current among the Egyptian Jews, calls this princess Merrhis, and her father, the oppressor, Palmanothes, and relates that she was married to Chenephres, who ruled in the country above Memphis, for that at that time there were many kings of Egypt, but that this one, as it seems, became sovereign of the whole country (Frag. Hist. Graec. 3:220 sq.). Palmanothes may be supposed to be a corruption of Amenophis, the equivalent of Amen-hept, the Egyptian name of four kings of the eighteenth dynasty, and also, but incorrectly, applied to one of the nineteenth, whose Egyptian name, Meneptah, is wholly different from that of the others. No one of these, however, had, as far as we know, a daughter with a name resembling Merrhis, nor is there any king with a name like Chenephres of this time. These kings Amenophis, moreover, do not belong to the period of contemporary dynasties. The tradition is apparently of little value, excepting as showing that one quite different from that given by Manetho and others was anciently current. (See PHARAOH), 4.

2. Bithiah, wife of Mered, an Israelite, daughter of a Pharaoh of an uncertain age, probably about the time of the exodus. (See BITHIAH); (See PHARAOH), 6.

3. A wife of Solomon, most probably daughter of a king of the twenty-first dynasty. She was married to Solomon early in his reign, and apparently treated with distinction. It has been supposed that the Song of Solomon was written on the occasion of this marriage and the idea is, we think, sustained by sound criticism. She was at first brought into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1), and afterwards a house was built for her (1 Kings 7:8; 1 Kings 9:24), because Solomon would not have her dwell in the house of David, which had been rendered holy by the ark having been there (2 Chronicles 7:11). (See PHARAOH), 8.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Pharaohs Daughter'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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