The defeat of the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco (Jer 46:2-46:2)

“Concerning Egypt.

The army of Pharaoh Neco,

King of Egypt,

Was by the Euphrates River,

At Carchemish.

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Of Babylon

Defeated him

In the fourth year

Of King Jehoiakim,

The son of Josiah,

King of Judah.”

King Neco II ruled Egypt from 610-595 BCE. He had a huge impact on Judah because he had killed King Josiah (640-609 BCE) in 609 BCE at Megiddo. King Josiah of Judah was on the Babylonian side of this war against the Egyptians. King Neco then replaced the son of King Josiah, King Jehoahaz or King Shallum of Judah, with his brother King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE). King Jehoahaz (609 BCE) was brought back to Egypt, while his brother ruled in Judah. The incident mentioned here took place 4 years later in 605 BCE, in the 4th year of the reign of King Jehoiakim at Carchemish, on the Euphrates River. This is where King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated King Neco of Egypt.

During the time of King Jehoiakim (Jer 36:1-36:1)

“In the fourth year

Of King Jehoiakim,

The son of King Josiah,

Of Judah,

This word

Came to Jeremiah

From Yahweh.”

Once again, there is an exact date for this oracle of Yahweh to Jeremiah, the 4th year of King Jehoiakim, 605 BCE. King Eliakim, or King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE) as he was called, was the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE). He took over for his brother King Jehoahaz or King Shallum, who just lasted a few months in 609 BCE. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 43, not chapter 36 as here.

King Jehoiakim (Jer 26:1-26:1)

“In the beginning

Of the reign

Of King Jehoiakim

The son of King Josiah

Of Judah,

This word came

From Yahweh

To Jeremiah.”

Once again we have an exact time frame for this communication of Yahweh to Jeremiah. This oracle took place at the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE). He was the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE). His brother King Jehoahaz or King Shallum (609 BCE) had preceded him for a couple of months. Then King Necho of Egypt appointed King Jehoiakim as the king and then brought his deposed brother King Jehoahaz to Egypt. Thus this oracle took place in 609 or 608 BCE. Like the preceding chapter, there are different numbers in the Greek translation of the Septuagint. This section is from chapter 33 of the Septuagint, and not chapter 26 as here.

King Shallum (Jer 22:11-22:12)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning King Shallum

The son of King Josiah

Of Judah.

He succeeded his father,

King Josiah.

He went away from this place.

He shall never return here.

But in the place

Where they have carried him captive,

There he shall die.

He shall never

See this land again.”

King Shallum or King Jehoahaz (609-609 BCE) was the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE). At the age of 23 he succeeded his father who had died in battle. As you can see, he lasted less than a year, only 3 months, before he was banished to Egypt by King Necho II of Egypt (610-595 BCE), where he died in prison. His brother King Eliakim or King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE) succeeded him with the blessings of King Necho II of Egypt. Jeremiah recounts that Yahweh had him succeed his father. Then he was sent away to Egypt from which he never returned. He never saw his homeland again. There is a good deal of historical artifacts about this time, showing the problems of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians with the king of Judah in the middle.