This is what it came to. Lachish was the end of the line.

More than 400 jars have been found at Lachish with LMLK seals on the handles. (Some of) These have been dated with the time of Hezekiah. The notation meaning “belonging to the king” Melek is a common addition to a number of names within the scriptures such as Abimelech (My father/Father-king) Gen 20, Judges 9) Melchizedek (King of righteousness Gen 14, Ps 110) Adonmelek etc. One of the first of these kings was Japhia (Heb splendid), a Canaanite king disposed by Joshua, Joshua 10:3, 5, 23, 31-35; 12:11;  [In one of the Amarna letters this king is noted to be also the king of Gezer, although listed separately in Josh 12:12, perhaps referring to an earlier time.] Lachish was then taken into the territory of the tribe of Judah Joshua 15:39.

Rehoboam built a strong point here at Lachish 2 Chronicles 11:9. Called cities of defence 11:5, fenced cities 11:10; fortified and strong hold 11:11. But the real strength lay in the distribution of the Levites and Priests 11:13-16 and in men whose hearts were set to seek Yahweh. SO the nation was strengthened 11:17.

Amaziah after his conspiracy fled to Lachish, but was killed. 2 Kings 14:19; 2 Chronicles 25:27.

The most famous of events at Lachish was the Assyrian invasion under Sennacherib [illustrated above from panels at Israel Museum] 2 Kings 18:14, 17; 19:8; 2 Chronicles 32:9  Isaiah 36:2; 37:8; His position of strength at Lachish led Hezekiah to provide tribute monies to the Assyrian king, but the tribute did not prevent the siege of Jerusalem. There was a conquest of the territory of the Philistines, with Ashdod being taken, Isa 20.  Tartan was the field-marshal of Sargon II and possible co-regent with Sennacherib.  Tartan was in control of the highest affairs of state. [And most likely the equivalent to Tattani of the Persians see Ezra 5:6; 6:6,13] The Akkadian spelling of the name is used in the Dead Sea Isaiah scroll and indicates a title of office, and not a name.  Usually two men held the office to prevent the planning of a coup d’etat but a subordinate. The two men were known as Tartan (right) and Tartan (left).  It is interesting that only one title is used in Isa 20:1, indicating that Egypt will not be successful against a united Assyria force. Its fall was the subject of prophecy Micah 1:13 where the town was condemned for its apostacy and association with the Philistines.

The city of Lachish appears to be the last of the line at the time of the Babylonian conquest  under Nebuchadnezzar. A clay tablet with the following inscription was found at the tel: “And (let my lord) know that (for) the signal stations of Lachish we are watching, according to all the signs which my lord gives, because we do not see (the signals of) Azeqah”. Yigal Yadin and Albright  translate a little differently indicating the watching was (from) Lachish making the city the last to stand out against the Babylonian hosts. This aligns with the testimony of Jeremiah 34:7 after the fall of Jerusalem.

The area was re-inhabited by the returning exiles in Nehemiah 11:30 where the parable within the names of the area are enlightening: Zanoah (cast off), Adullum (the justice of the people), Lachish (invincible), Azekah (broken up) with the villages (daughters) thereof.  When justice is not valued, even the most entrenched man will fall, and will affect his daughters or the works of his hands.  Lachish needed a just king, and we expect Him to come soon, Rev 15:3.

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