A city in the southwest part of Judah, Jos 10:3,5,31; fortified by Rehoboam, 2Ch 11:9, and strong enough to resist for a time the whole army of Sennacherib, 2Ki 18:17; 19:8; 2Ch 32:1,9,21; Mic 1:13. It was here that king Amaziah was slain, 2Ki 14:19. For a wonderful confirmation of the truth of Scripture, see SENNACHERIB.
impregnable, a royal Canaanitish city in the Shephelah, or maritime plain of Palestine (Jos 10:3,5; 12:11). It was taken and destroyed by the Israelites (Jos 10:31-33). It afterwards became, under Rehoboam, one of the strongest fortresses of Judah (2Ch 10:9). It was assaulted and probably taken by Sennacherib (2Ki 18:14,17; 19:8; Isa 36:2). An account of this siege is given on some slabs found in the chambers of the palace of Koyunjik, and now in the British Museum. The inscription has been deciphered as follows:, "Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment before the city of Lachish: I gave permission for its slaughter." (See Nineveh.)
Lachish has been identified with Tell-el-Hesy, where a cuneiform tablet has been found (Illustration: Clay Tablet from Tell-El-Hesy), containing a letter supposed to be from Amenophis at Amarna in reply to one of the Amarna tablets sent by Zimrida from Lachish. This letter is from the chief of Atim (=Etam, 1Ch 4:32) to the chief of Lachish, in which the writer expresses great alarm at the approach of marauders from the Hebron hills. "They have entered the land," he says, "to lay waste...strong is he who has come down. He lays waste." This letter shows that "the communication by tablets in cuneiform script was not only usual in writing to Egypt, but in the internal correspondence of the country. The letter, though not so important in some ways as the Moabite stone and the Siloam text, is one of the most valuable discoveries ever made in Palestine" (Conder's Tell Amarna Tablets, p. 134).
Excavations at Lachish are still going on, and among other discoveries is that of an iron blast-furnace, with slag and ashes, which is supposed to have existed B.C. 1500. If the theories of experts are correct, the use of the hot-air blast instead of cold air (an improvement in iron manufacture patented by Neilson in 1828) was known fifteen hundred years before Christ. (See Furnace.)
A royal Canaanite city which joined the confederacy against Gibeon for submitting to Israel, and was taken by Joshua (Jos 12:11; 10:3,5,31-32) "on the second day," which shows its strength; the other cities were taken in one day (Jos 10:35). Assigned to Judah, in the shephelah or "low hilly country" (Jos 15:33,39). Rehoboam fortified it (2Ch 11:9). To Lachish Amaziah fled from the conspirators, and was slain there (2Ki 14:19; 2Ch 25:27). Sennacherib was at Lachish when Hezekiah begged peace. Thence he sent his first message to Hezekiah by Rabshakeh, and then having left Lachish to war against Libnah, from the latter sent again (2Ki 18:14,17; 19:8). The strength of Lachish as a fortress is implied in 2Ch 32:9, "Sennacherib laid siege against Lachish and all his power with him."
It held out against Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 34:7). Sennacherib's siege of Lachish is still to be seen at Koyunjik represented on the slabs of his palace walls as successful, with the inscription "Sennacherib, the mighty king of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment before the city of Lachish, I give permission for its slaughter." The Assyrian tents appear pitched within the walls, and the foreign worship going on. The town, as in Scripture, is depicted as on hilly ground, one part higher than the other. The background shows a hilly country covered with vines and fig trees; but immediately round the town are palms, indicating its nearness to the maritime plain where the palm best flourishes. His boasted success is doubtful from 2Ch 32:1, "Sennacherib encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself"; 2Ki 19:8; Jer 34:7.
Lachish was foremost in adopting some of the northern idolatry. Hence, Micah (Mic 1:13) warned the inhabitants of Lachish to flee on the swift beast (there's a play of like sounds between Lachish and rechesh), Sennacherib being about to make it his head quarters, for "she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion, for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee." The Jews returning from Babylon re-occupied Lachish (Ne 11:30). Now Um Lakis, on a low round swell, with a few columns and fragments; in the middle of the plain, on Sennacherib's road to Egypt, where he was marching, according to Robinson. Rather it answers to the great mound of Tel el Hesy ("hillock of the waterpit"), ten miles from Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), and not far from Ajlan (Eglon). Hesy is a corruption of Lachish, the Hebrew caph) being changed into the guttural. Tel el Hesy commands the approach to the hills (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1878, p. 19-20).
A town in the south country of Judah referred to several times in the Tell el-Amarna tablets. In the Biblical records it first appears as joining the coalition headed by the king of Jerusalem against the Gibeonites (Jos 10:3), and as being in consequence reduced by Joshua (Jos 10:31) in spite of the assistance given to it by the king of Gezer (Jos 10:33). It is enumerated among the cities of the tribe of Judah (Jos 15:39). Rehoboam fortified it (2Ch 11:9). Hither Amaziah, king of Judah, fled from conspirators, and here he was murdered (2Ki 14:19). In the reign of Hezekiah, Sennacherib took Lachish, and while he was quartered there Hezekiah sent messengers to him to make terms (2Ki 18:13-17). Sennacherib's Lachish campaign is commemorated by a sculpture from Nineveh, now in the British Museum. Lachish and Azekah were the last cities to stand against the king of Babylon (Jer 34:7). Lachish was one of the towns settled by the children of Judah after the Exile (Ne 11:30). Micah's denunciation of Lachish as 'the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion' (Mic 1:13) doubtless refers to incidents of which we are quite ignorant.
Lachish was identified by Conder with Tell el-Hesy, an important mound in the Gaza district, which was partially excavated with success by Flinders Petrie and Bliss for the Palestine Exploration Fund (1890
An Amorite city in the lowlands of Judah. Its king was one of the four called upon by the king of Jerusalem to join him in attacking Gibeon because it had made peace with the Israelites. But the Amorites were smitten, and Lachish was taken by Joshua after a siege of two days. It was a fortified city in the route running from north to south. On the division of the kingdom it was garrisoned by Rehoboam. It was taken by Sennacherib, and among the slabs discovered at Nineveh is one representing the king sitting on his throne, with captives from Lachish kneeling before him, while his troops, passing in review, show the spoils they have taken. The inscription reads, "Sennacherib, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, sitteth upon a lofty throne, and the spoil of the city of Lachish passeth before him." This slab is now in the British Museum. Jos 10:3-35; 12:11; 15:39; 2Ki 14:19; 18:14,17; 19:8; 2Ch 11:9; 25:27; 32:9; Ne 11:30; Isa 36:2; 37:8; Jer 34:7; Mic 1:13. Identified by some with Tell el Hesy, 31 33' N, 34 44' E.
At this mound 60 feet have been dug through and explored. The ruins of as many as eight cities have been discovered, which are judged by the marks on the pottery, etc., to extend back to about 1500 B.C. Nearer the surface have been found scarabs (beetles) and an inscription which makes it evident that at one time it was subject to Egypt. This is proved also by records on the Tell Amarna Tablets, alluded to under 'Egypt'.
(invincible), a city lying south of Jerusalem, on the borders of Simeon, and belonging to the Amorites, the king of which joined with four others, at the invitation of Adonizedek king of Jerusalem, to chastise the Gibeonites for their league with Israel.
They were routed by Joshua at Beth-horon, and the king of Lachish fell a victim with the others under the trees at Makkedah. ver.
The destruction of the town shortly followed the death of the king. vs.
In the special statement that the attack lasted two days, in contradistinction to the other cities which were taken in one (see ver. 35), we gain our first glimpse of that strength of position for which Lachish was afterward remarkable. Lachish was one of the cities fortified and garrisoned by Rehoboam after the revolt of the northern kingdom.
In the reign of Hezekiah it was one of the cities taken by Sennacherib. This siege is considered by Layard and Hincks to be depicted on the slabs found by the former in one of the chambers of the palace at Kouyunjik. After the return from captivity, Lachish with its surrounding "fields" was reoccupied by the Jews.