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NECO, NECHO, NECHOH (nē'kō, Heb. par‘ōh nekhōh or nechoh). Ruler of Egypt (609-595 b.c.), son of Psamtik I, famous in Greek history. Neco began his rule at a propitious time: the Assyrian Empire was falling, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire was emerging. He thus was able to gain and retain control over Syria until his humiliating defeat at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar at the battle of Carchemish. Of particular interest to the reader of the Bible is Josiah’s defeat by Neco at the battle of Megiddo (
Victories in Asia.
Defeats by the Babylonians.
In 605 Nabopolassar of Babylon sent his son Nebuchadnezzar against Neco’s garrison at Carchemish on the Euphrates in N Syria. The Babylonians defeated the Egyptians not only at Carchemish (
Jeremiah warned of judgments to come on Egypt and on Pharaoh Neco (
Herodotus records some peaceful efforts of Neco, including an incompleted canal from the Nile to the Red Sea (II. 158) and sending a fleet manned by Phoenicians around Africa (IV. 42).
J. Bright, “A New Letter in Aramaic, Written to Pharaoh of Egypt,” BA, XII (1949), 46-52; D. J. Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldean Kings (1956); D. N. Freedman, “The Babylonian Chronicle,” BA, XIX (1956), 50-60; J. Yoyotte, “Nechao,” Dictionnaire de la Bible, Supplement, VI (1960), cols. 363-393; A. H. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs (1961).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)