Let’s look at Necho 2 from the context of the military campaigns as described in the Bible…
I. First Campaign
In the spring of 609BC, Necho personally led a sizable force to help the Assyrians. At the head of a large army, consisting mainly of mercenaries, Necho took the coast route by way of Maris into Syria, supported by his Mediterranean fleet along the shore, and proceeded through the low tracts of Philistia & Sharon. He prepared to cross the ridge of hills… but was blocked by the Judean army.
See 2Ki. 23:25-30; 2Chron. 35:20-27. With King Josiah…
A Foolish War & a Fatal Wound.
Necho met King Josiah of Judah at Megiddo… and killed him.
The Bible says Necho – not Josiah – was the one acting in accord with God’s command!
See 2Ki. 23:31-34; 2Chron. 36:1-4. With King Jehoahaz…
During the brief power between that existed between the Assyrian Empire and the Babylonian Empire, Pharaoh Necho played king-maker in Judah. Having killed one Judean king already, he imprisoned Josiah’s successor, imposed a heavy tribute-tax on Judea, and appointed Judah’s next king, Jehoiakim.
On his return march, he learned the Judeans had selected Jehoahaz to succeed his father, Josiah. So, he took Jehoahaz back to Egypt as his prisoner, where Jehoahaz ended his days.
II. Second Campaign
See 2Ki. 23:35–24:7; 2Chron. 36:5-8. With King Jehoiakim…
Necho 2 seemed destined to become a world-power… until Nebuchadnezzar rose to prominence. And no one could compete with Nebuchadnezzar!
Nebuchadnezzar led the Babylonians to a decisive victory over the Egyptians at Carchemish, and pursued those who survived to Hamath. Nebuchadnezzar was a force it seemed no one could oppose… just as Jeremiah foretold in Jer. 46.
III. Death & Succession
Necho’s reign lasted just 15years. He died in 595BC, and was succeeded by his son, Psamtik 2. Psamtik 2 then removed almost every reference to Necho 2 on monuments… and history does not tell us why.
God can use good guys – and bad guys – in His plan. But, it’s always better for you if you’re a good guy being used in God’s plan.
God’s plan will eventually outlast the plans and power of all… no matter how powerful one might think he/she is.
You can read Necho’s biblical story in 2Kings 23:25–24:7; 2Chronicles 35:20–36:8; Jeremiah 46.