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Assyria - Room 10 (Lachish room)

The Siege of Lachish (WA 124902 - 124915)

Lachish was one of the two cities which guarded the passage to Egypt. Sennacherib's strategy was to cut off any means of escape. In 701 BC, Sennacherib was besieging Lachish when he sent his deputation of his senior officers up to Jerusalem, to try to save himself the trouble of a long siege.

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. The king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. (Is 36:1-2)

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who was besieging Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah, king of Judah and to all the people of Judah that were in Jerusalem. (2 Chr 32:9)

The Rabshakeh lead the deputation who told those in Jerusalem to surrender, and did a daring thing - they challenged Yahweh to a fight, by saying:
Have any of the gods from any of the seven nations we have come to conquer, ever delivered any of the people out of the hand of Sennacherib? Don't trust Hezekiah to put your trust in your God. Come and surrender to us, for the gods are surely with us. (Is 36:4)

These wall reliefs are from Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh. The upper parts of the slabs were lost when his palace was destroyed in 612 BC. Sennacherib's Palace had 70 great halls, with two miles of these reliefs. Panels in room 9 show construction of his palace using slave labour.

Details of the siege on left wall - (1 of 12)

The city was sited on stony ground, shown by the scale pattern, and was surrounded by olive groves and vineyards.

The troops are advancing in pairs from the left: regiments of stone slingers, and regiments of archers. Both are clearing the walls of enemy soldiers, by sending alternate volleys of stones and arrows at the part of the wall they wanted to destroy to drive the defenders back from the ramparts.