Archive for July 1, 2014

Tel Lachish (The gateway)
photo by Orientalizing (

At some point in the late seventh century, the area around Lachish once again became part of the Judean kingdom. It is possible that this occurred during the reign of King Josiah, as in 622 BCE the Assyrians withdrew from ‘Eber-Nari’ – the land over the River – the river in question of course being Euphrates. Faced with increasing problems in the Eastern Empire, problems which would eventually lead to the rise of the neo-Babylonian Empire and the fall of the Assyrian empire, the Assyrians decided to throw all their resources into controlling the eastern empire. In their absence Egypt asserted its control and influence over the lands all the way to the banks of the Euphrates. The actual degree of this control is not clear. It may well be that there was some agreement between the Egyptians and the Assyrians, as in the following years a number of joint military projects were carried out against the advancing Babylonian forces. It is quite possible that as part of this readjustment, the lands of the Judean Shepelah, which had been lost following the rebellion against Sennacherib were handed back. Certainly around this period we find a new city built at Lachish, although it was by no means as well fortified or as populous as its predecessor. From the finds, it is clear that this was a Judean enterprise, rather than an Egyptian or Philistine one.