[b-hebrew] Pharaoh Khepera'a in Jeremiah 44:30

Will Parsons wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Sun Jul 25 14:40:35 EDT 2010

Hello Arnaud,

I'll probably regret asking this, but...

On Sun, 25 Jul 2010 05:05:55 +0200, "Arnaud Fournet" <fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 9:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Pharaoh Khepera'a in Jeremiah 44:30
> > "Conventional wisdom" is that "Hophra" in Jer. 44:33 is the same as the
> > king that the Greek historians call Apries, 4th king of the 26th dynasty,
> > who ruled from 589 to 570 BCE. The form "Khepera" is not the name of a
> > king, but rather a title of the sun god Re, actually referring to the
> > sacred dung beetle. But if you or anyone else think that "Hophra" should
> > be identified with someone else, I'm sure that we would all be happy to
> > hear your evidence.
> My objection is not about Hophra being the same as Apries. I have no opinion
> about that.
> I have a problem with Khepera being compared with Hophra.
> The pronunciation kh_p_r is archaic Egyptian. Coptic is palatalized sh_p
> Archaic *khapar > Coptic shop
> Phonetically something is wrong.

What evidence is there that Egyptian ḫ/kh was pronounced [ʃ] at the time of
Jeremiah?  The time between "archaic" Egyption and Coptic stretches over a
lo-o-o-ng time, and I'm unaware of any confusion between ḫ/kh and š/sh in
classical Egyptian.

William Parsons

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