HOPHRA (Heb. חָפְרַע; Egyptian Haʿaibre-Wahibe, "the heart of Ra appears"), king of Egypt of the 26th dynasty, 589–570 b.c.e. It is not clear precisely what role Hophra played as an ally of *Zedekiah of Judah during the latter's revolt against the Babylonians in 589 (cf. Jer. 37: 5–11 with Jer. 44:30). As the Egyptian records make no mention of these events, the sole sources are Greek and biblical. Hophra (Apriēs in the Greek sources) apparently seized the opportunity presented by Zedekiah's revolt to invade Cyprus and Phoenicia (Herodotus, 2:161), at first successfully, taking "Sidon by storm" and returning to Egypt "with much booty" (Diodorus Siculus, 1:68). However, since Zedekiah's revolt was crushed two years later, it may be assumed that either the Egyptians were eventually repulsed by Nebuchadnezzar or else that the invasion of Phoenicia, undertaken on the pretext of aiding the Jews, was actually intended to aggrandize the Egyptians. According to Manetho (C. Mueller, Fragmenta historicorum Graecorum, 2 (1853), nos. 68–69) "the remnant of the Jews fled to him, when Jerusalem was captured by the Assyrians" (sic), a fact confirmed by Jeremiah 43:5–7. The reference to Hophra in Jeremiah 44:30 does not shed much light on these events; it foretells, rather, Hophra's death at the hands of his enemies.
Jer. 39–44; Herodotus, 2:161–3; 4:159; A. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs (1961), 360–1. add. bibliography: D. Redford, in: abd, 3:286–87.
[Alan Richard Schulman]