New Archaeological Evidence Unearthed in Lachish


(Friday Church News Notes, November 11, 2016,,, 866-295-4143)

The city of Lachish was one of the largest and best fortified cities in ancient Israel, and archaeological research since the 1930s has unearthed a wealth of material supporting the Bible’s account of ancient history. There is evidence of the city’s destruction by the Assyrian king Sennacherib in the eighth century BC during the reign of Hezekiah (2 Ch. 32:9): the siege ramp, hundreds of iron arrowheads, lance heads, sling stones, and stone ballistae. The siege and destruction of Lachish is described from the Assyrian perspective in an amazing series of bas-reliefs from Sennacherib’s palace discovered by Henry Layard in the mid-1800s. Today the 90-foot-long series of pictorial reliefs line the walls of the Lachish Room in the British Museum, standing as mute witness before the world of the historical accuracy of the Bible for those who have eyes to see. The reliefs show the Assyrians attacking the city, building a siege ramp, using battering rams to destroy the walls, and brutally mistreating the Jewish prisoners. New evidence confirming biblical accounts pertaining to Lachish and ancient Israeli history was discovered earlier this year during a new excavation of the main Lachish gate. The gate has now been completely exposed, and it is 13 feet tall, 80 feet wide, and 80 feet deep. It is the largest known gate of the First Temple period and is one of the best preserved. It is a three-chambered gate (three large chambers on each side), and the benches with armrests where judges and city elders sat are still extant. On the side of the gate is a chamber with stairs leading down to another chamber where offerings were made to Baal on two four-horned altars. This confirms the Bible’s account of Judah’s descent into idolatry during the days of Ahaz (2 Ki. 16:3-4). Further, the altars were found to have been desecrated by breaking the horns, which confirms the account of Ahaz’s son Hezekiah’s zeal against idolatry (2 Ki. 18:4). And to top it off, archaeologists have found a toilet in the Baal chambers. It is “a stone fashioned in the shape of a chair, with a hole in its center.” We read in 2 Kings 10:27 how that Jehu made the Baal temple in Samaria into a toilet, and in Lachish we now find evidence of this practice. (For an extensive visual study of Lachish see the course Bible Times and Ancient Kingdoms and the accompanying PowerPoint presentation “Hezekiah and His Times,” available from Way of Life Literature.)

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