ISRAEL - How the Assyrians Conquered Lachish

Arno Froese

A group of Israeli and American archaeologists have now shed light on how that dramatic war was conducted, specifically how the conquering troops built the siege ramp that allowed them to capture the city. The results of their research, which combined analysis of the biblical and historical sources with the study of archaeological remains and the landscape, were recently published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology.

“In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them,” reads a passage from the 36th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. “From Lachish, the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, with a large force, to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem.”

“The area had already emerged as a clear site of a battlefield,” said Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, lead author of the paper. “The top was excavated around 40 years ago and hundreds of flint stones and arrow heads were found. In addition, around 40% or 50% of the ramp has survived. Now we understand how it was built.”, 9 November 2021

Arno's Commentary

It is comforting to know that the Bible confirms archaeology. More than 700 years before Isaiah writes about the king of Assyria conquering the cities of Judah, we read in Joshua of five kings—including one of Jerusalem and another of Lachish—attempting to destroy Gibeon, who had made deceptive peace with Israel: “Wherefore Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon…” (Joshua 10:3). The result is recorded in verse 11: “And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.”

But to the question, why were Lachish and the cities of Judah taken, we may answer with one word: disobedience. Deuteronomy 28:64 clearly prophesied what would happen to the children of Israel, the Jews: “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.”

However, that’s not the end; in chapter 30, verse 3 we read: “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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