Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Verses 20-27

3. Josiah’s death 35:20-27

Josiah died at Megiddo, in 609 B.C., when he interrupted Pharaoh Neco’s military advance against the Babylonians.

"Fearing the advance of the Babylonians, Pharaoh Neco and the Egyptian army were on their way to assist the Assyrians. Josiah, who apparently was an ally of the Babylonians (or at least an opponent of the Assyrians), attempted to impede the march of Neco." [Note: Thompson, p. 385.]

This is similar to what Ahab had done years earlier, when he and Jehoshaphat had opposed the Arameans at Ramoth-gilead (cf. ch. 18). Quite clearly Pharaoh’s word to Josiah to turn back was from the Lord (2 Chronicles 35:22). Probably the writer included this event in his narrative because Josiah came closer to the Davidic ideal than any other king since Solomon. Yet he, too, was disobedient to God. Thus David’s greatest Son was yet to come. When He comes back to the earth He will win the battle that will be raging at the very place where Josiah died: the Plain of Megiddo (i.e., Armageddon, lit. the mountain of Megiddo). [Note: See H. G. M. Williamson, "The Death of Josiah and the Continuing Development of the Deuteronomic History," Vetus Testamentum 32:2 (April 1982):242-48.]

"He [Josiah] was a shepherd whose flock never really accepted or understood him, though his concern was for its own welfare . . ." [Note: Wilcock, p. 270.]

Josiah’s death is another example of immediate retribution for sin, of which we have seen many in Chronicles. He is one more king who began well but ended up doing something wrong (cf. Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah). He was not the only king to hear a warning before his tragic military error (cf. 2 Chronicles 11:1-4; 2 Chronicles 18:16-22; 1 Samuel 28:19). Like the other reforming kings (Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah), he sensed a military threat by an external enemy after enacting his religious reforms. [Note: Christopher T. Begg, "The Death of Josiah in Chronicles: Another View," Vetus Testamentum 37:1 (Januray 1987):1-3.]

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands