II Kings 23, II Chronicles 35
From the Journals of Jeremiah
Egypt was to our southwest and Assyria was to our north.
King Josiah had done a great job leading the people of Judah back to worshiping God and God alone. Although everything went well for us, our country happened to be stuck in the middle of Assyria and Egypt.
A while ago, the prophet Jonah had gone to Nineveh as God told Him to. God warned the people of Nineveh they would be destroy for all their evil. The people said they were sorry and stopped..for a little while.
One day the Pharaoh Neco from Egypt decided to fight the Assyrians at Carchemish. To get there he had to go through Israel and Judah.
King Josiah became very concerned. He didn't want the Egyptians to conquer our land. He called his army to battle and marched them to meet Neco in battle.
Neco told his army to let Josiah through so they could talk. "Why did you come? I don't have any reason to fight with you. I didn't come to attack you this time, I am at war with someone else. God told me to hurry, so leave me alone or you will be destroyed, too."
I guess Josiah didn't believe Neco. He put on a disguise and went to battle at the plains of Megiddo.
Archers from Neco's army shot King Josiah.
"Take me away. I am badly wounded," said Josiah. His men took him to another chariot and drove to Jerusalem. Josiah died.
Everyone from Judah and Jerusalem loved Josiah and mourned his death. He was buried in the tombs with the other kings.
God inspired me to write several poems to show my sadness over Josiah's death. Men and women from Jerusalem and Judah sang these laments and after some time they became a traditional song to sing in Israel.
Not only did we weep over the death of a good king, but also because we knew his son, Jehoahaz the new king of Judah, was evil.
Pharaoh Neco attacked and put king Jehoahaz in chains and carried him off to Egypt. He forced Judah to pay him lots of money and put Jehoahaz's brother, Eliakim on the throne. Eliakim was no better than Jehoahaz. He didn't worship God and God alone. He made the people pay lots of money to Neco from Egypt. We hardly had anything to eat.
I wish Josiah was still king.
1. Who was pharaoh of Egypt?
2. Who did pharaoh attack?
3. We don't know exactly why Josiah attacked this pharaoh, but what might have happened?
4. What happened to Josiah in the battle?
5. Why did the people mourn?
6. Who became the new king?
7. What happened to him?