Lachish Relief

In 2 Kings 18:13-14, in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: "I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me." The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.

Illustration Depicting King Sennacherib of Assyria

Lachish was the most important city in Judah after Jerusalem. During his campaign in 701 BC, Sennacherib sent an embassy to Jerusalem from Lachish. By the time it returned, he had already overrun Lachish, something he must have seen as a significant military victory, since he portrayed the scene in a relief on the palace walls in his capital, Nineveh.

Lachish is Southwest of Jerusalem
Lachish Relief

In a series of scenes, the Assyrian infantry storm the walls of Lachish, with rows of archers taking aim at the defenders on the walls:

  • the outer walls of the city are stormed
  • Assyrian battering rams and siege machines advance and then penetrate the walls
  • Judean captives are marched out of the city, while others are stripped naked and impaled on the Assyrian spears
  • the captives are tortured and murdered
  • in the last panel King Sennacherib sits on his throne, receiving the servile captives and the booty that has been taken from Lachish.
  • Today the relief is exhibited at the British Museum in London.

    British Museum
    Pool of Bethesda

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