Christian Pilgrim


155. Carchemish

Carchemish is on the River Euphrates, north of Israel. In King Josiah's day, the two major powers were Egypt and Assyria. Pharaoh Necho of Egypt was on his way to Carchemish on the Euphrates to fight with Assyria, but Josiah stopped him and fought with him at Megiddo, in Israel, on the way. Josiah lost his life there.

2 Kings 23:29-30 - "In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s stead."

2 Chronicles 35:20-24 - "After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah."

But four years later, Assyria had been conquered by Babylon and Egypt was defeated in battle in Carchemish by the Babylonians. Jeremiah 46 prophesies the defeat of Pharoah.

Jeremiah 46:1-2 - "The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah."

Whereas Jehoahaz, Josiah's heir, was taken into captivity by Pharoah Necho, the rest of the kings of Judah were taken captive by the rising power, the king of Babylon, until he came and destroyed Jerusalem completely.