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Pharaoh Tirhakah
2 Kings 19:9 And when he heard say of Tirhakah King of Ethiopia
Pharaoh Tirhakah
Statuette of Taharqa and the Falcon God Third Intermediate Period, 25th Dynasty, reign of Taharqa (690-664 BC) - Lourve Paris.
Pharaoh Tirhakah
Statuette of Taharqa and the Falcon God Louvre Paris.
Pharaoh Tirhakah
Granite shabti of King Tirhakah From the pyramid of Tirhakah at Nuri, Nubia 25th Dynasty, 664 BC. British Museum
Pharaoh Tirhakah
Sphinx of Tirhakah 25th Dynasty, about 680 BC From Temple T at Kawa, Sudan. British Museum
Taharqa (also spelled Tirhakah, Taharka, Manetho's Tarakos) was king of Egypt, and a member of the Nubian or Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt, whose reign is usually dated 690 BC to 664 BC. He was also the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt.

Scholars have identified him with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9).

It was during his reign that Egypt's enemy Assyria at last invaded Egypt. Esarhaddon led several campaigns against Taharqa, which he recorded on several monuments. His first attack in 677 BC, aimed to pacify Arab tribes around the Dead Sea, led him as far as the Brook of Egypt. Esarhaddon invaded Egypt proper in Taharqa's 17th regnal year, after Esarhaddon had settled a revolt at Ashkelon. Taharqa defeated the Assyrians on that occasion, but three years later (671 BC) the Assyrian king captured and sacked Memphis, where he captured numerous members of the royal family. Taharqa fled to the south, and Esarhaddon reorganized the political scene in the north, establishing Necho I of the 26th dynasty as king at Sais.

Statuette of Taharqa and the Falcon God
The statue represents King Taharqa, the third sovereign of the 25th Dynasty (ruled by Nubian kings). He reigned over Egypt for nearly half a century until the country was invaded and conquered by the Assyrians. The kneeling pharaoh offers two round vases to a falcon god holding a rearing cobra. This sculpture in the round depicts a traditional scene: an offering of wine to a deity.

The small bronze statuette in this group is a magnificent portrait of King Taharqa, born in the Sudan but crowned in Memphis. His power and dual reign over Egypt and Nubia is affirmed by the two uraeus cobras on his forehead. His birth name is engraved on his belt: "The perfect god, Taharqa alive for eternity." Taharqa was the most famous pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty, also known as the reign of the Kushites. He renovated old temples, constructed new shrines, and had official inscriptions written throughout his large empire. A monumental column in the first court of Karnak marks his architectural participation in the great temple of Amun. He is kneeling and clad in the traditional Egyptian kilt. He is much smaller than the majestic falcon, which is covered in gold leaf; the king is offering vases of wines to the animal.


Tirhakah’s Name Appears on Ancient Documents
The ANET is a collection of ancient inscriptions from various civilizations written by James Pritchard an American archaeologist with a PHD from the University of Pennsylvania. The volume provides reliable translations of documents from Ancient Near Eastern history in relation to the Hebrew Bible. The following inscriptions come from Esarhaddon an Assyrian King that is also named in the Bible:

“Balu, king of Tyre who had put his trust upon his friend Tirhakah, king of Nubia, and therefore had thrown off the yoke of Ashur, my lord” - ANET 292

“I fought daily, without interruption, very bloody battles against Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia.”- ANET 293

“From the town of Ishhupri as far as Memphis, his royal residence, a distance of 15 days march, I fought daily, without interruption, very bloody battles against Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia”
– ANET 293


2 Kings 19:9 And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah

Isaiah 37:9 And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah