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The Lachish Invasions

Lachish, from the Hebrew word pronounced law-keesh, meaning obstinate, or impregnable, was an ancient Canaanite city located in the plain of west-central "Palestine" (a term derived from "Philistine"). It became Israelite in the time of Joshua (see also Joshua's Timnath and Joshua's Warning), along with most of the other cities in the area.

"10:31 And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: 10:32 And the LORD [i.e. Jesus Christ; see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament'] 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. 10:33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

10:34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it: 10:35 And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish." (Joshua 10:31-35 KJV)

"Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish"

After the time of Joshua came the approximately three centuries of The Judges. Then came the establishment of the Israelite monarchy (see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin and The Civil War). Israel remained a united kingdom until after the death of King Solomon (see The United Kingdom and The Division Of Israel). From then, the tribes of Israel divided into two independent kingdoms, "Israel" (see The Northern Kingdom) and "Judah" (see The Southern Kingdom; also Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah). They were never reunited (although they will be in the future, after Christ's return - see The Gathering of Israel and Judah and David, Future King Of Israel).

Lachish The northern kingdom of "Israel" was the first to fall. They were taken away by and to Assyria (see The Galilee Captivity), thereafter becoming known as the "lost ten tribes of Israel." In their place, the Assyrians brought in foreign people (who weren't all that foreign to Abraham - the "Samaritans" came from Iraq, as did Abraham long before - see Israel's Iraqi Roots) to inhabit the territory of the northern ten tribes; they became known as The Samaritans Of Israel.

"17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. 17:19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 17:20 And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

17:21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. 17:22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day." (2 Kings 17:18-23 KJV)

The northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians by 721 BC. The southern kingdom of Judah did not fall to Assyria however because they were yet still relatively righteous in the sight of the LORD (see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?). Judah did eventually become just as corrupt as Israel, but by the time of their being conquered and exiled in 586 BC, the Assyrian Empire (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) had itself been conquered by the Babylonian Empire (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) i.e. Israel fell to Assyria in 721 BC, while Judah fell to Babylon in 586 BC.

The Assyrians did however attempt to take Judah after they took Israel. That happened in the time of King Hezekiah of Judah (see Kings of Israel and Judah) when "Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them." Sennacherib's headquarters at that time was at Lachish. In a show of pathetic cowardice, Hezekiah attempted to appease the invader with a payment of silver and gold - much of which was stripped from the Temple of God. Hezekiah hadn't yet learned the lesson that you never surrender to invaders - you kill them (as a lawful member of the military or militia), as the LORD was about to do for Hezekiah.

"18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 18:14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 18:15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house.

18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria." (2 Kings 18:13-16 KJV)

The LORD then gave Hezekiah ample time and encouragement to grow a backbone and defend his nation. While waiting for Hezekiah to do that, Sennacherib directly blasphemed the LORD. The LORD then responded in the only way that people like Sennacherib are able to respect and understand - He annihilated Sennacherib's entire invasion army (see the Fact Finder question below).

"32:7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 32:8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, 32:10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?" (2 Chronicles 32:7-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: What happened when Sennacherib's arrogance reached its peak when he blasphemed the LORD?
See The Day Sennacherib Challenged God

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