Archive for July 16, 2013

From around the year 900 BCE, the Assyrian Empire began to expand and by 700 BCE had reached as far as the Mediterranean and the northern borders of Egypt.

The expansion of the Assyrian empire 900-700 BCE

The expansion of the Assyrian empire 900-700 BCE

in 701 BCE King Hezikiah of Judah was implicated in a rebellion against the Assyrians. Sennacherib, King of Assyria, responded promptly and marched into Judah where he crushed the combined Judaean and Egyptian armies. He laid siege to but did not manage to capture the Judean capital, Jerusalem (an account of this story from a Judean point of view is told in the biblical second book of Kings). Sennacherib did however attack and capture the town of Lachish to the south-west, which served as his headquarters during the campaign against the Judeans (see 2Kings chapter 18).

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It was from here that Sennacherib negotiated the eventual peace settlement with Hezekiah.

The site of Lachish has been excavated and evidence for the city’s capture has been discovered. In addition, finds have cast light on some of the weapons used during the battle for the city

Finds from the gate area of Lachish

Finds from the gate area of Lachish

Sennacherib returned home to Ninevah and had his version of the story recorded on the walls of his palace.