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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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a king of Egypt, called in the sacred writings Pharaoh Hophrah, Jeremiah 44:30 . Apries was the son of Psammis, and grandson of Necho, or Nechao, who waged war against Josiah, king of the Jews. He reigned twenty-five years, and was long considered as one of the happiest princes in the world; but having equipped a fleet for the reduction of the Cyrenians, he lost in this expedition almost the whole of his army. The Egyptians resolved to make him responsible for this ill success, rebelled, and pretended that he undertook the war. only to get rid of his subjects, and that he might govern the remainder more absolutely. Apries deputed Amasis, one of his officers, to suppress the rebellion, and induce the people to return to their allegiance. But, while Amasis was haranguing them, one of the multitude placed a diadem about his helmet, and proclaimed him king. The rest applauded him; and Amasis having accepted their offer, continued with them, and confirmed them in their rebellion. Amasis put himself at the head of the rebels, and marched against Apries, whom he defeated and took prisoner. Amasis treated him with kindness; but the people were not satisfied till they had taken him from Amasis and strangled him. Such was the end of Apries, according to Herodotus. Jeremiah threatened this prince with being delivered into the hands of his enemies, as he had delivered Zedekiah, king of Judah, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Apries had made a league with Zedekiah, and promised him assistance, Ezekiel 17:15 . Zedekiah, therefore, relying on his forces, revolted from Nebuchadnezzar, in the year of the world 3414, and before Jesus Christ 590. Early in the year following, Nebuchadnezzar marched against Hezekiah; but as other nations of Syria had shaken off their obedience, he first reduced them to their duty, and toward the end of the year besieged Jerusalem, 2 Kings 25:5; 2 Chronicles 36:17; Jeremiah 39:1; Jeremiah 52:4 . Zedekiah defended himself in Jerusalem, long and obstinately, that he might give time to Pharaoh Hophrah, or Apries, to come to his assistance. Apries advanced with a powerful army; and the king of Babylon raised the siege, and marched to meet him. But Apries not daring to hazard a battle against the Chaldeans, retreated into Egypt, and abandoned Zedekiah. Ezekiel reproaches Egypt severely with this baseness, and says that it had been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, and an occasion of falling; for when they took hold of it by the hand, it broke and rent all their shoulder. He therefore prophesies that Egypt should be reduced to a solitude, and that God would send against it the sword, which would destroy in it man and beast, Ezekiel 29. This was afterward accomplished, first, in the time of Apries; and secondly, in the conquest of Egypt by the Persians.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Apries'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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