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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Tahpanhes

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(Heb. Tachpanches', תִּחְפִּנְחֵס, Jeremiah 2, 16 [marg.]; 43:7, 8, 9; 44:1; 46:14), Ta-hap'anes (Heb. Tachpanes', תִּחְפֲּנֵם, 2, 16 [text]), or Tehaph'nehes (Heb. Techaphneches', תְּחִפְנְחֵס, Ezekiel 30:18; all of Egyptian origin [see below]; Sept. Τάφνας or Τάφναι ; Vulg. Taphne or Taphnis), a city of Egypt, of importance in the time of the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The name is clearly Egyptian, and closely resembles that of the Egyptian queen TAHPENES (See TAHPENES) (q.v.), which, however, throws no light upon it. The Coptic name of this place, Taphnas (Quatremere, Mem. Geog. et Hist. 1, 297, 298), is obviously derived from the Sept. form: the Gr. and Lat. forms, Δάφναι, Herod., Δάφνη, Steph. Byz., Dafno, Itin. Ant., are perhaps nearer to the Egyptian original (see Parthey, Zur Erdkunde des alten Aegyptens, p. 528). Can the name be of Greek origin? If the HANES mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 30:4) be the same as Tahpanhes, as we have suggested (s.v.), this conjecture must be dismissed. No satisfactory Egyptian etymology of this name has been suggested, Jablonski's Taphenes, "the head" or "beginning of the age" (Opusc. 1, 343), being quite untenable; nor has any Egyptian name resembling it been discovered. Dr. Brugsch (Geogr. Inschr. 1, 300, 301, Taf. lvi, No. 1728), following Mr. Heath (Exodus Papyri, p. 174), identifies the fort Tebenet with Tahpanhes; but it is doubtless the present Tell Defenneh (described in the 4th Report of Egyptian Expl. Fund, Lond. 1888).

Tahpanhes was evidently a town of Lower Egypt near or on the eastern border. When Johanan and the other captains went into Egypt "they came to Tahpanhes" (Jeremiah 43:7). Here Jeremiah prophesied the conquest of the country by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:8-13). Ezekiel foretells a battle to be there fought apparently by the king of Babylon just mentioned (Ezekiel 30:18). The Jews in Jeremiah's time remained here (Jeremiah 46:1). It was an important town, being twice mentioned by the latter prophet with Noph or Memphis (Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 46:14), as well as in the passage last cited. Here stood a house of Pharaoh. Hophra before which Jeremiah hid great stones, where the throne of Nebuchadnezzar would afterwards be set, and his pavilion spread (Jeremiah 43:8-10). It is mentioned with "Ramesse and all the land of Gesen" in Judith 1, 9. Herodotus calls this place Daphnae of Pelusium (Δάφναι αὶ Πηλουσίαι ), and relates that Psammetichus I had here a garrison against the Arabians and Syrians, as at Elephantine against the Ethiopians, and at Marea against Libya, adding that in his own time the Persians had garrisons at Daphne and Elephantine (2:30). Daphne was therefore a very important post under the twenty-sixth dynasty. According to Stephanus, it was near Pelusium (s.v.). In the Itinerary of Antoninus this town, called Dafno, is placed sixteen Roman miles to the south-west of Pelusium (ap. Parthey, Map 6 where observe that the name of Pelusium is omitted). This position seems to agree with that of Tel-Defenneh, which Sir Gardner Wilkinson supposes to mark the site of Daphnae (Modern Egypt and Thebes, 1, 447, 448). This identification favors the inland position of the site of Pelusium, if-we may trust to the distance stated in the Itinerary. (See SIN). Sir Gardner Wilkinson (loc. cit.) thinks it was an outpost of Pelusium.

It may be observed that the Camps, τὰ Στρατόπεδα, the fixed garrison of Ionians and Carians established by Psammetichus I, may possibly have been at Daphnae.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tahpanhes'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/t/tahpanhes.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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