15 Oct. 2 Kings 18:13-21,28-31,36

15 Oct. Sennacherib attacks and destroys Lachish

“During Hezekiah’s fourteenth year as king, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.”

“Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent a message to the king of Assyria at Lachish. He said, ‘I have done wrong. Leave me alone, and I will pay anything you ask.’ So the king of Assyria made Hezekiah pay about 10 tonnes of silver and 1 tonne of gold.”

“Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was in the Temple of the LORD and in the palace treasuries. Hezekiah stripped all the gold that covered all the doors and doorposts of the Temple of the LORD. Hezekiah had put gold on these doors himself, but he gave it all to the king of Assyria.”

“The king of Assyria sent out his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander. They went with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. When they came near the waterway from the upper pool on the road where people do their laundry, they stopped. They called for the king, so the king sent Eliakim, Shebna and Joah out to meet them. Eliakim son of Hilkiah was the palace manager, Shebna was the royal secretary and Joah son of Asaph was the recorder.”

“The field commander said to them, ‘Tell Hezekiah this: “The great king, the king of Assyria says: What can you trust in now? You say you have battle plans and power for war, but your words mean nothing. Whom are you trusting for help so that you turn against me? Look, you are depending on Egypt to help you, but Egypt is like a splintered walking stick. If you lean on it for help, it will stab your hand and hurt you. The king of Egypt will hurt all those who depend on him…”’”

“Then the commander stood and shouted in the Hebrew language, ‘Listen to what the great king, the king of Assyria says! The king says you should not let Hezekiah fool you, because he can’t save you from my power. Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely save us. This city won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria.” Don’t listen to Hezekiah.’”

“The people were silent. They didn’t answer the commander at all, because King Hezekiah had ordered, ‘Don’t answer him.’”

          (2 Kings 18:13-21,28-31,36)



The new king of Assyria, Sargon’s son Sennacherib, took some time to establish his rule. But during the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign (in 702BC), he attacked the fortified cities of Judah, and occupied and destroyed Lachish in order to punish his rebellious neighbour. He then moved on to attack Libnah. Hezekiah tried to buy the Assyrians off with a huge payment of silver and gold, but Sennacherib threatened to destroy Jerusalem.

Lachish, situated 25 miles / 40 km south west of Jerusalem, was one of the five Amorite cities of Canaan who attacked Gibeon at the start of the Israelite conquest in 1406BC. Its king was defeated by Joshua and killed in the cave at Makkedah (see Joshua 10:5-9 & 22-26).

After Israel and Judah became mutual enemies on the death of King Solomon, Lachish was fortified by King Rehoboam of Judah in c.930BC (see 2 Chronicles 11:5-12). By the time King Amaziah fled here from Jerusalem in 767BC, Lachish had probably become the second most important city in Judah (see 2 Kings 14:19). It became the headquarters of the Assyrian King Sennacherib when he invaded Judah and attacked Jerusalem in 702BC (see 2 Kings 18:13, 17 & 19:8).

Sennacherib installed huge carved reliefs showing his successful siege of Lachish inside his royal palace at Nineveh. These magnificent bas-reliefs, depicting Assyrian siege engines, archers and slingers attacking the double line of walls at Lachish, can now be seen at the British Museum in London. Also on display is the ‘Taylor Prism’, a six-sided baked clay tablet documenting Sennacherib’s destruction of forty-six cities in Judah and the deportation of over 200,000 people.

The photo shows Assyrian archers and a battering ram at the siege of Lachish.

You can read more about Lachish @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/33-judah-after-the-fall-of-israel/sennacherib-attacks-and-destroys-lachish/

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