A royal Canaanite city which joined the confederacy against Gibeon for submitting to Israel, and was taken by Joshua (Joshua 12:11; Joshua 10:3; Joshua 10:5; Joshua 10:31-32) "on the second day," which shows its strength; the other cities were taken in one day (Joshua 10:35). Assigned to Judah, in the shephelah or "low hilly country" (Joshua 15:33; Joshua 15:39). Rehoboam fortified it (2 Chronicles 11:9). To Lachish Amaziah fled from the conspirators, and was slain there (2 Kings 14:19; 2 Chronicles 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 (2 Kings 18:14; 2 Kings 18:17; 2 Kings 19:8). The strength of Lachish as a fortress is implied in 2 Chronicles 32:9, "Sennacherib laid siege against Lachish and all his power with him."
It held out against Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 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 2 Chronicles 32:1, "Sennacherib encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself"; 2 Kings 19:8; Jeremiah 34:7.
Lachish was foremost in adopting some of the northern idolatry. Hence, Micah (Micah 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 (Nehemiah 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 (Israel Exploration Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1878, p. 19-20).
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