The battle with King Neco of Egypt (2 Chr 35:20-35:22)

“After all this, when King Josiah had set the temple in order, King Neco of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates. King Josiah went out against him. However, King Neco sent envoys to him, saying. ‘What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but against the house with which I am at war. God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, so that he will not destroy you.’ Nevertheless King Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of King Neco from the mouth of God, but joined battle in the plain of Megiddo.”

This is an expansion of 2 Kings, chapter 23. Apparently, there was a fight with Egypt as King Neco met King Josiah at Megiddo, in the upper Manasseh territory. King Neco of Egypt was probably King Nekau II (610-594 BCE). As the Assyrian empire was falling apart he took a lot of land from Assyria. He had a battle at Megiddo with the Assyrians and King Josiah. He warned King Josiah that he did not care about him, only the Assyrians. He said that God had sent him to fight them, not the people of Judah. King Josiah, for some reason, wanted to fight with King Neco anyway.

 

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