Room 6


Ruler Tarharqa


Tirhakah and the ‘Black’ Pharaohs



2 Kings 19:9 “When he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you,” he sent messengers again to Hezekiah…”


  • Tirhakah is the king-regent of Cush (Ethiopia) who became King of Egypt.


  • In 730B.C., Tirhakah’s father, Piye, decided the only way to save Egypt from itself was to invade it.


  • Piye was the first of the so-called ‘black’ pharaohs—a series of Nubian kings who ruled over all of Egypt for three-quarters of a century.



When Plye died in 715 BC, his brother Shabaka solidified this dynasty by taking up residence in the Egyptian capital Memphis
At this time Assyria were building up their empire so when they marched into Judah the Nubians decided to act.



  • In 701 B.C., when the Assyrians marched into Judah, the Cushites mobilised their army.


  • Sennacherib was assassinated by two of his sons on his return to Nineveh. Another son, Esarhaddon, became king and finally defeated Tirhakah. (2 Kings 19:36-3,7; 2 Chronicles 32:21 and Isaiah 37 and 38.)


Sennacherib brags that he “inflicted defeat upon them”, but a young Nubian prince, Tirhakah, managed to survive and remained a thorn in the Assyrian’s side until his eventual defeat by Sennacherib’s son Esarhaddon




There is the headless statue of Pharaoh Necoh, who killed King Josiah at Carchemish in 609 BC