A "Snapshot" of Lachish

In the concluding verses of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote: “Of making many books there is no end” (12:12). In a similar vein, if a person attempted to record every archaeological find that confirms some detail of the biblical record, then the books that this list would contain would seem endless. It is, however, beneficial on occasion to bring to light unique archaeological finds that add credence to the biblical record.

Among the list of kings of Judah during the tumultuous years of Israel’s “divided kingdom,” Hezekiah stands out as one of Judah’s most righteous rulers. Although not without faults, Hezekiah was hailed as “one who did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Chronicles 29:2). During Hezekiah’s illustrious reign, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, ravaged the land of Judah in an attempt to capture Hezekiah and the capital city of Jerusalem. In 2 Chronicles 32:9, it is recorded: “After this Sennacherib, king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (but he himself, and all the forces with him, laid siege against Lachish), to Hezekiah king of Judah….” Rare, indeed, is the chance to “watch” an ancient battle take place, but that is the opportunity afforded us by a 90-feet-long mural found decorating the palace of the ancient Assyrian king Sennacherib.

On this huge mural, the siege of Lachish is depicted in amazing detail. Randall Price stated: “The scene shows (from left to right) the Assyrian camp, their siege and conquest of the city with Assyrian troops storming the walls, the torture of some of the city’s inhabitants, and finally the exile of the prisoners and their presentation before Sennacherib…” (1997, p. 79). An up-close look at the mural reveals a vicious battle, complete with spears, arrows, stones, battering rams, and the like. Currently housed in the British Museum, this mural stands as a corroborating witness to the validity and accuracy of the Old Testament text. As Price noted: “Once again, archaeology has made it possible to actually view one of the great historical events mentioned in the Bible” (1997, p. 81).


Price, Randall (1997), The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).


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