THE ELEPHANT - In Piazza della Minerva, 100m behind the Pantheon, you can find this beautiful elephant statue designed by renowned artist and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1665.
THE OBELISK - From a Biblical point of view however, the Egyptian obelisk it supports is of much more value. The hieroglyphics on an obelisk pay homage to a Pharaoh and this example glorifies Pharaoh Hophra. (The Heart of Ra [the Sun god] Endures) Hophra is one of only 5 pharaohs mentioned by name in the Bible.
The obelisk originally stood as one of a pair in Sais, Egypt until Emperor Diocletian took it Rome some time in the late 3rd century for the nearby temple of Isis. After the city of Rome fell into ruin, it was lost until unearthed in 1655. On its discovery, it was commissioned as part of Bernini's now iconic sculpture and placed in Piazza della Minerva.
THE PROPHECY - Before Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 607 B.C.E., the prophet Jeremiah urged obedient Israelites to flee to Egypt to escape the inevitable coming destruction. Many obeyed (including Jeremiah himself) and took refuge in Egypt during the rule of Pharaoh Hophra.
Later these Israelites once again took up the practice of sacrificing to Isis - the Queen of the Heavens. This idolatry prompted Jehovah to say:
"And this is a sign for you...that I will punish you in this place, so that you will know that my words promising calamity against you will surely come true...Here I am giving Phar'aoh Hophra, the king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies and of those seeking to take his life..." ( Jer 44:29,30)
After Hophra returned from an unsuccessful battle campaign, he was usurped by Amasis II and strangled to death by his own people. Hophra's death was to be a sign of imminent calamity for those Jews dwelling in Egypt.
Ironically, when Emperor Diocletian took the obelisk from Egypt some 900 years later, he positioned it close to the temple of Isis (The Queen of the Heavens) in Rome. It stands to this day as a stark reminder that Jehovah doesn't tolerate any false God or Goddess before him and that his judgements of calamity always come true.