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"Strong Is He Who Has Come Down"
by Wayne Blank
"Strong is he who has come down"
The advancing Israelites were documented by the people of Lachish themselves, as recorded in a cuneiform tablet (the Amarna tablets) discovered by archaeologists:
"They have entered the land to lay waste ... strong is he who has come down. He lays waste."
The "they" were the Israelites. The "He" was God.
The same tablets record a plea from another Canaanite ruler to the king of Egypt:
"All the lands of the king have broken away ... The Habiru [Hebrews] are plundering the lands of the king. If no troops come in this very year, then all the lands of the king are lost."
And then, the Israelites came:
"And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining." (Joshua 10:31-33 KJV)
Lachish was then assigned within the territory of Judah (see Tribal Lands):
"And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were ... Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon" (Joshua 15:21,39 KJV)
"And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah. He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam, And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities." (2 Chronicles 11:5-10 KJV)
Fact Finder: How is it that the Israelites could lawfully assume ownership of the promised land?