(par`oh chophra`; Houaphre):
1. Sole King, 589-570 BC:
He is so called in Scripture (
2. Alliance with Zedekiah:
No sooner had he mounted the throne than he yielded to the overtures of Zedekiah of Judah, who thought Hophra’s accession a good opportunity for throwing off the yoke of Babylon. So, as Ezekiel says (17:15), "he rebelled against him (Nebuchadrezzar) in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people." Zedekiah had entered into the intrigue against the advice of Jeremiah, and it proved fatal to Zedekiah and the kingdom. Nebuchadrezzar was not slow to punish the disloyalty of his vassal, and in a brief space his armies were beleaguering Jerusalem. The Egyptians did indeed march to the relief of their allies, and the Chaldeans drew off their forces from Jerusalem to meet them. But the Egyptians returned without attempting to meet the Chaldeans in a pitched battle, and Jerusalem was taken, the walls broken down and the temple burnt up with fire.
3. Reception of Jeremiah and Jewish Captives:
When Jerusalem had fallen and Nebuchadrezzar’s governor, Gedaliah, had been assassinated, the dispirited remnant of Judah, against the advice of Jeremiah, fled into Egypt, carrying the prophet with them. They settled at Tahpanhes, then Daphnae (modern Tell Defenneh), now identified with a mound bearing the significant name of Qatsr Bint el Yahudi, "the palace of the Jew’s daughter." Here Pharaoh had a palace, for Jeremiah took great stones and hid them in mortar in the brickwork "which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house at Tahpanhes," and prophesied that Nebuchadrezzar would spread his royal pavilion over them (
4. Palace of Memphis:
More recently, in 1909, in the course of excavations carried on by the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, the palace of King Apries,
Pharaoh Hophra, as Jeremiah prophesied (44:29 f), became the victim of a revolt and was finally strangled.
Flinders Petrie, History of Egypt, III, 344 f; Wiedemann, Geschichte von Alt-Aegypten, 190 ff; Flinders Petrie and J. H. Walker, Memphis, I, II ("The Palace of Apries"); Herodotus ii.161-69.