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Tahpanhes

Tahpanhes (also variously rendered Tahapanes and Tehaphnehes) is the English transliteration (a transliteration is the writing of a word in the alphabet of one language according to how it sounds when spoken in the alphabet of another language, see also The Hebrew Alphabet and The Greek Alphabet) of the Hebrew transliteration of an ancient Egyptian city. It was known as Daphne, or Daphnae (another transliteration) by the Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece and The Ptolemies). Located in the eastern frontier of The Nile Delta region of Egypt (see The Ancient Egyptians, also The Land Of Goshen), it was a royal city of commerce that also served as a fortress against military advances from the east i.e. from Assyria and later Babylon. It was well-known to the people of Israel.

Tahpanhes In Bible History

The Nile River Prior to their fall to the Babylonians (see Why Babylon?), the people of Judah were committing religious and political fornication and adultery with the pagan nations around them, from Memphis and Tahpanhes in the west, to Assyrians in the east (where the people of the northern kingdom of Israel were exiled long before after they were conquered as a punishment for their own unfaithfullness - see The Galilee Captivity):

"The word of The Lord came to me, saying ... Israel was holy to The Lord, the first fruits of His harvest [see Seasons Of The Harvest] ... Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says The Lord, for My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of Living Waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water ... Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking The Lord your God, when He led you in the way? And now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates?" (Jeremiah 2:1,3,12-13,16-18 RSV)

When the Babylonians returned and completed the devastation of their nation and Jerusalem (see also Temple Mount Treasures and Raiders Of The Lost Ark), some of the people of Judah fled to Tahpanhes, in disobedience to The Lord's command not to go there. They forced the prophet Jeremiah to go with them, who all the time warned them that their only hope was in obedience to God, not running to somewhere else where they could continue in their harlotry. They wouldn't listen, so The Lord had the Babylonians destroy Tahpanhes as well:

"And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of The Lord. And they arrived at Tahpanhes."

"Then the word of The Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes:"

"Take in your hands large stones, and hide them in the mortar in the pavement which is at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah, and say to them, 'Thus says The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and he will set his throne above these stones which I have hid, and he will spread his royal canopy over them. He shall come and smite the land of Egypt, giving to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword. He shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them and carry them away captive; and he shall clean the land of Egypt, as a shepherd cleans his cloak of vermin; and he shall go away from there in peace. He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he shall burn with fire.'" (Jeremiah 43:7-13 RSV)

Fact Finder: What other major prophet of God in that time, even while he himself was a captive in far-away Babylon, prophesied the destruction of Tahpanhes?
Ezekiel 30:18
See also Ezekiel The Prophet


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