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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
A town in the foothills of the Shephelah on the border of the Philistine plain, belonging to Judah, and, from the mention of Eglon in connection with it, evidently in the southwestern portion of Judah's territory. Eusebius, Onomasticon locates it 7 miles from Eleutheropolis (
We first hear of it in the history of Israel when Joshua invaded the land. It was then an Amorite city, and its king, Japhia, joined the confederacy formed by Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, to resist Joshua. They were defeated in the remarkable battle at Gibeon, and the five confederate kings were captured and put to death at Makkedah (Joshua 10 passim ; Joshua 12:11 ). Lachish was included in the lot of Judah (Joshua 15:39 ), and it was rebuilt, or fortified, by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:5 , 2 Chronicles 11:9 ). It was besieged by Sennacherib in the reign of Hezekiah and probably taken (2 Kings 18:13 ) when he invaded Judah and besieged Jerusalem, but the other references to the siege leave it doubtful (2 Kings 18:14 , 2 Kings 18:17; 2 Kings 19:8; 2 Chronicles 32:9; Isaiah 36:2; Isaiah 37:8 ). The Assyrian monuments, however, render it certain that the place was captured. The sculptures on the walls of Sennacherib's palace picture the storming of Lachish and the king on his throne receiving the submission of the captives (Ball, Light from the East , 190-91). This was in 701 BC, and to this period we may assign the enigmatical reference to Lachish in Micah 1:13 , "Bind the chariot to the swift steed, O inhabitant of Lachish: she was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion." The cause of the invasion of Sennacherib was a general revolt in Phoenicia, Palestine, and Philistia, Hezekiah joining in it and all asking Egypt for aid (Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World , chapter ix). Isaiah had warned Judah not to trust in Egypt (Isaiah 20:5 , Isaiah 20:6; Isaiah 30:1-5; Isaiah 31:1 ), and as Lachish was the place where communication was held with Egypt, being a frontier fortress, perhaps even having an Egyptian garrison, it would be associated with the "sin" of the Egyptian alliance (HGHL , 234).
The city was evidently rebuilt after its destruction by Sennacherib, for we find Nebuchadnezzar fighting against it during his siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 34:7 ). It was doubtless destroyed by him, but we are informed by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:30 ) that some of the returned Jews settled there after the captivity. It is very likely that they did not reoccupy the site of the ruined city, but settled as peasants in the territory, and this may account for the transference of the name to
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Lachish'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/l/lachish.html. 1915.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29