On the principle that “the things that happened to them [Israel] are examples written down as warnings for us” (I Cor. 10:11), we must remember that all of Israel’s military campaigns that she initiated independent of God failed and that all of Israel’s legitimate wars were either defensive or involved the unique one-time disinheritance of Canaan. King Josiah was killed when he mounted a preemptive war against Neco II, Pharaoh of Egypt. In terms of domestic policy, Josiah did everything required in God’s Law. His undoing came when he indulged the presumption that military aggression against Egypt for the purpose of aiding Carchemish was a legitimate action. The tragic tale unwinds at 2 Ch. 35:20-25, where we learn that all the good Josiah had accomplished within Israel (2 Ch. 34:1-35:19) was undone by his initiation of this biblically unjustifiable war. He died, and his nation went into exile shortly thereafter.
- Martin G. Selbrede, National Defense and the Bible, (November 20, 2008), at http://www.chalcedon.edu/papers/NationalDefense.pdf.