Neco (Necho)

Neco was a Pharaoh of Egypt. He was the second king of Egypt's 26th dynasty. He ruled from 610 to 595 B.C. As Neco and his army marched north to fight the Babylonians at Carchemish, Josiah, the King of Judah, went out to intercept him.

Neco warned Josiah not to interfere saying "What quarrel is between us, King of Judah? I have not come against you this day, for my war is with another kingdom, and God has told me to hasten" (2 Chronicles 35:20-24).

Josiah did not listen and was killed in the battle. Neco later lost the battle of Carchemish, to Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 605 B.C. Neco withdrew back to Egypt, and stopped a Babylonian army on Egypt's frontier, with heavy losses on both sides, in 601 B.C. He died six years later.

The Greek historian Herodotus writes that Neco sent a Phoenician crew on a three-year voyage around Africa to construct a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea, a project that cost the lives of 120,000 Egyptians.

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