The city of Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir in Arabic) was located about 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem, nestled in the foothills, the Shephelah, of Judah. The site covers about 18 acres. It was previously a principle Canaanite city and then after the conquest under Joshua, it was one of the most important Israelite cities.
Our photo gives an aerial view of biblical Lachish.
Aerial of Lachish, one of Judah's most important cities. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
On the far right the siege mound built by the Assyrians under Sennacherib in 701 B.C. can still be seen. You can also see the ancient wall of the city and the gate complex.
1. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, rebuilt Lachish as a city for defense, a fortified city (2 Chron. 11:5-11).
2. Later, King Amaziah of Judah, following his apostasy from God (he began worshiping the gods of Edom), was killed while hiding in Lachish (2 Kgs. 14:19; 2 Chron. 25:27).
3. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, captured Lachish (2 Kgs.18:13-17; 2 Chron. 32:9). He considered its capture to be of such significance that he depicted it in elaborate relief on the wall of his palace at Nineveh, as illustrated in our photo here below. Note the Assyrian archers; others are scaling the wall by means of a ladder.
Lachish Relief. Metro Museum NY. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
Additionally, Lachish is known for the “Lachish Letters,” twenty-one pottery sherds on which were written letters in clear Hebrew information regarding the attack on Lachish and Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 B.C. One of those letters says that the signal fires from Azekah could no longer be seen. Just prior to that, Jeremiah had observed that only Lachish and Azekah were left as fortified cities in Judah (Jer. 34:7).
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