Evidence for Pharaoh Hophra
      You would think that the Israelites would have known better to ever trust the Egyptians to be their deliver, especially after God had once delivered them from their bondage many years earlier during the Exodus. And this was ingrained in their minds every year when they celebrated Passover.
      But during the days of Jeremiah the prophet the thought of serving the king of Egypt was never given much thought by some Israelites who decided it was better to be allies with Egypt, then to face correction from the Lord at the hands of the Babylonians.
      During this time God had instructed King Zedekiah and the princes of Judah that every man should set free their Hebrew male and female slaves, that no one should keep a Jewish brother or sister in bondage. They initially obeyed, but just like the pharaoh of the Exodus, they changed their minds and refused to let their Hebrew brothers go free.  Jeremiah 34:8-10  
      Therefore God's anger was aroused against them, and He brought judgement on the cities of Judah including Jerusalem which would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. King Zedekiah was also captured and became the last king to rule over Judah.
       Afterwards, as recorded in Jeremiah chapters 42 and 43, the captains of what was left of the Judean army asked Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord as to what He would have them do. So the Lord instructed Jeremiah the prophet to tell them that they should stay in the land of Israel and serve the king of Babylon, whom He would cause to show mercy upon them.
      But that if they refused and went down to Egypt, they would perish by the sword.
       After hearing these words, one of the men in the company convinced the others that Jeremiah the prophet had spoken lies and was trying to trick them into staying in Israel so that he could turn them over to be captured by the Babylonians.
Prophet Jeremiah warning regarding Babylon and Egypt
      So the people disobeyed God and obeyed their captains instead, and they traveled down to Egypt to seek refuge there.
      In anger, God declares His judgement upon them as recorded in Jeremiah 43:8-44:30. As well as upon the cities of Egypt where they take refuge, and also upon Pharaoh Hophra whom they would initially allie themselves with.  
      What's amazing is that all these things accurately came to pass as recorded in history. The first judgement God declares is that Nebuchadnezzar would one day invade Egypt and execute judgement on those whom God had appointed for death and captivity.
      Jeremiah 43:10-13  "‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden. And he will spread his royal pavilion over them. When he comes, he shall strike the land of Egypt and deliver to death those appointed for death, and to captivity those appointed for captivity, and to the sword those appointed for the sword.”
Israelites captured by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians
      “I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garment, and he shall go out from there in peace.”
      “He shall also break the sacred pillars of Beth Shemesh that are in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians he shall burn with fire.”’
      Did this happen?  
      Oh yes.  
      An inscription on display in the British Museum with the assigned Museum number of 33041 records Nebuchadnezzar's attack on Egypt. The clay tablet reads: "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army] . . . distant regions from the sea (Greeks) . . . who are in Egypt . . . carrying weapons, horses, and chariots . . . he called upon them to assist him . . . [they did battle] in front of him." (ANET 308 - BM#33041)
      The Bible also indicates in Jeremiah 43:13-44:1  which route the Babylonians would use to attack the northland of Egypt where the fleeing Israelites had set up residence. The Babylonians would come down along the coast of Israel known as the "Way of the Philistines" and then attack Migdol, Taphenes, Beth Shemesh (House of the Sun also known as ON or Heliopolis), and then attack Noph (Memphis), all of which lie along this route which  begins in Egypt.
      So we do have evidence that Nebuchadnezzar's forces did invaded Egypt and evidently had help from the Greeks who had come to Egypt, being called there by King Hophra, to be used as mercenaries against the rebellion of his ex-general King Amasis. We also know that Nebuchadnezzar's army did not stay very long in Egypt, just long enough to execute judgement on the Israelites who fled to Egypt. To kill and take them captive and then to return in peace to Babylon, just as the Bible states in Jeremiah 43:12 " . . . he shall go from there (Egypt) in peace."
      Now some might say, I thought you said God would bring judgement against Pharaoh Hophra instead of Pharaoh Amasis which the inscription mentions?  Yes, indeed I did. But see during this period there were two co-rulers in Egypt. Amasis was one of Hophra's generals who was later crowned  king by soldiers of the Egyptian army who had rebelled against Hophra. This would eventually lead to a civil war between Hophra and Amasis. They became bitter enemies and in fact pharaoh Hophra would be delivered into the hands of Amasis in fulfillment of Jeremiah 44:30 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.”
      There is much evidence concerning this from archaeology and ancient history. The first comes from an artifact known as the Nesuhor Statue inscription which states: "Hophra . . . For you rescued me from an evil plight, from the mercenary foreign soldiers, Asiatics and Greeks, from lands of foreign countries, enemies who had it in their hearts to (rebel), and who had it in their hearts to go to Shas-heret (Capital of Egyptian Nome 11 in the southern part of Egypt). His majesty feared because of the evil which they did. I changed their hearts by reasoning with them, not permitting them to go to Nubia but bringing them to the place where his majesty was; and his majesty executed their punishment (death)."  
      So essentially what happens is the foreign mercenaries, which would have included the Israelites (Asiatics), decided to no longer serve in Hophra's army. But Hophra convinced them to come and help him, whereas once they arrived he had them killed.
      The second piece of evidence  comes from the Histories of Herodotus, which verifies the fulfillment of Jeremiah 44:30, of God's pending judgement on Pharaoh Hophra. Jeremiah 44:30 states: "Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life."
      So just like how Zedekiah was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken back to the palace of Babylon, so to would Hophra be captured and taken back to the palace of his enemy. And that is exactly what happened in history.  
       One of Hophra's ex-gernerals, by the name of Amasis, was declared king by what was left of the Egyptian army after they suffered a defeat in battle, who blamed their loss on pharaoh Hophra. Egypt at this point basically has two pharaohs and a civil war breaks out between their two armies right after Amasis assumes power.
       Herodotus describes this battle in which Hophra is defeated and captured. Herodotus states: "Hophra armed his mercenaries (which likely included the Israelites who came down to dwell in Egypt) and marched against the Egyptians; he had a bodyguard of Carians and Ionians, numbering thirty thousand, and his royal palace was in the city of Sais, a great and worthy palace. Hophra and his men marched against the Egyptians, and so did Amasis and his army against the foreign mercenaries. So they both came to Momemphis and were going to battle one another.
      So when Hophra leading his foreign mercenaries, and Amasis at the head of the army of Egyptians, in their approach to one another had reached the city of Momemphis, they engaged in battle: and although the foreign mercenaries fought well, yet being much inferior in number they were defeated because of this. But Hophra is said to have supposed that not even God would be able to cause him to lose his rule, so firmly did he think that it was established. In that battle then, as I said, he was defeated, was taken alive and taken to the city of Sais, which had once been his own dwelling but from then on was to be the palace of Amasis." Histories 2,161 ff
      What is amazing here is that Hophra, just like the pharaoh of the Exodus, thought that even God would not be able to end his rule. When in fact God had ordained and made it known to all that He would punish him.
       The third piece of evidence  comes from an artifact known as the Elephantine stela which describes in detail how pharaoh Hophra, after his initial capture, must have been released. Within a few years he then gathers a mercenary army of Greeks to go throughout northern Egypt starting another war with Amasis, in which Hophra eventually is defeated and killed.
       The Elephantine stela states:  "Year 3, second month of the third season (tenth month), under the majesty of King Amasis, . . . (Here follows the statement that his majesty was in the palace-hall, deliberating the affairs of the land, when one came to his majesty saying:) "Hophra has sailed southward  . . .  while Greeks without number are coursing through the Northland  .  .  . They are wasting all Egypt; they have reached Malachite-Field, and those who are of thy party flee because of them."  Then his majesty caused the royal companions to be called, and informed them of what had happened. He addressed them with reassuring exhortations, and they replied with praise of Amasis, declaring that Hophra had acted like a dog at a carcass." Said his majesty: "Ye shall fight tomorrow! Every man to the front!"  
Pharaoh Amasis battles Hophra
      “His majesty mustered his infantry and his cavalry. His majesty mounted upon his chariot; he took arrows and bow in his hand, . . . he reached Andropolis, the army jubilating and rejoicing on the road.  . . .  His majesty fought like a lion, he made a slaughter among them, whose number was unknown. Numerous ships he took with them, falling into the water, they sank just like a fish. Amasis triumphed.
       Year 3, third month of the first season (third month), day 8, came one to say to his majesty: "The enemy infest the ways, there are thousands there, invading the land; they cover every road. As for those who are in the ships, they bear hatred of thee in their hearts' without ceasing." Amasis then gave his troops instructions to scour every road, not letting a day pass, without pressing the enemy; whereupon the army greatly rejoiced, and proceeded to their task. The enemy's ships were taken, and Hophra was probably surprised and slain while resting on one of the vessels. (Amasis) saw his favorite fallen  . . . Amasis had him (Hophra) buried as befitted a king."
      Now, what is the lesson to be learned from all of this?  
 
      Simple. Judgement came upon the Israelites because they refused to heed God's word, and they choose to follow their own ways and seek Hophra's protection instead of obeying God.
 
       How about you?
 
      God has told you that there is only one way to Salvation and that way is through his Son, Jesus Christ. Don't be like the proud Israelites or the proud pharaoh who decided to go their own way and believed that God would not bring judgement upon them for not heeding his Word.
It will only lead to your eternal destruction in the end.
Want more evidence? Our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links to Artifacts Mentioned in this Article
Nebuchadnezzar's
Attack on Egypt
BM33041 ANET 308
Neshor statue Heiroglyphic
Elephantine Stela Heiroglyphic
Sources:
 
Artwork: “Jeremiah warns the people of Israel”  'Hurlbut's Story of the Bible (1932) Author: Hurlbut, Charles C.
 
Artwork: “The Israelites enslave by the Babylonians.“ Hurlbut's Story of the Bible (1932) Author: Hurlbut, Charles C.
 
Artwork: “Egyptian king and troops ready for battle.  Picturesque Tale of Progress - Beginings 1(1935)  Author: Miller, Olive Beaupre, Illustrator: Crane, Donne P.
Publisher: The Book House For Children
 
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. ISBN 0-691-03503-2  Author: James Pritchard. Pg. 308 - "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], . . . distant regions from the sea (Greeks)  . . .  who are in Egypt . . .  carrying weapons, horses, and chariots . . .  he called upon them to assist him. . . . [they did battle] in front of him,"  British Museum  #BM33041
 
Ancient Records of Egypt - Volume 4 Edited and Translated with commentary by  James Henry Breasted pg.508 translation of the Nesuhor Statue inscription: "Hophra . . . For ye rescued me from an evil plight, from the mercenary foreign soldiers, Asiatics and Greeks, from lands of foreign countries, enemies who had it in their hearts to (rebel) and who had it in their hearts to go to Shas-heret (Capital of Egyptian Nome 11 in the southern part of Egypt). His majesty feared because of the evil which they did. I reestablished their heart in reason by advice, not permitting them to go to Nubia but bringing them to the place where his majesty was; and his majesty executed their punishment (death)."
 
Herodotus Histories 2,161 ff - Account of the first battle between Hophra (Apries) and Amasis where Hophra is defeated and captured.
 
Ancient Records of Egypt - Volume 4 Edited and Translated with commentary by  James Henry Breasted pg.584 translation of the Elephantine stela from the third year of Amasis accounting a second battle between Hophra and Amasis where Hophra is defeated once again and killed.
 
Die Siegesstele des Amasis - Author Karl Jansen-Winkeln - Illustration of Elephantine Stela Hieroglyphic Text.
Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde (1884) - pages 88-89 Illustration of Nesuhor Statue Hieroglyphic text.
Copyright © 2017 BibleHistory.net
All Rights Reserved
No permission is granted to download and save these images