“Against the king of Assyria” or “Up to the king of Assyria” in 2 Kings 23:29?
"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." (2 Kings 23:29, KJV)
Critics say that the KJV translators were ignorant of history and unaware that Pharaoh Nechoh was an ally of the king of Assyria. Thus critics say that Pharaoh Nechoh did not go “against” the king of Assyria, but rather went “up” to the king of Assyria to assist him. But these critics are the ones who are ignorant of history. Just prior to Josiah’s death (609 BC), King Nabopolassar the Chaldean had taken over Ninevah, the capital of Assyria (612 BC). However, Assyria as a nation did not immediately cease to exist even after the king of Assyria lost his power. Over the following years the Babylonians and the Medes divided the conquered regions of Assyria. Eventually, the Medes took the regions in northern Mesopotamia, eastern Anatolia and Cappadocia, and the Babylonians took the regions in southern Mesopotamia and lands adjacent to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. While the regions were being divided, Assyria continued to exist until about 605 BC. Thus, while Josiah was still alive Assyria still existed as a nation although the seat of the empire was now in Babylonia, and its king was now the king of Babylon. Thus, when the KJV says, “In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates,” who is referred to as the king of Assyria is King Nabopolassar of Babylonia, not the king from Ninevah who had an alliance with Pharaoh Nechoh. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says concerning Pharaoh Nechoh, “the king he went against was the king of Babylon, who had conquered the Assyrian monarchy, and therefore called king of it;”
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