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LACHISH (Λαχίς, LXX.; Λάχεις, Λαχείσα, Joseph.), a city to the south of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15.39), the capital of one of the petty kings or sheikhs of the Canaanites (10.3). It was taken and destroyed by Joshua (4.31--33), and is joined with Adoraim and Azekah (2 Chron. 11.9) as one of the cities built, or rather fortified, by Rehoboam. It was besieged by Sennacherib on his invasion of Judaea, B.C. 713. (2 Kings, 18.14, 17, 19.8.) It is placed by Eusebius and St. Jerome (Onomast. s. v.) seven miles south of Eleutheropolis, in Daroma or “the valley.” (Josh. 15.39.) But for this it might have been identified with Um Lâkis, on the left of the road between Gaza and Hebron, about five hours from the former, where is an ancient site “now covered confusedly with heaps of small round stones, among which are seen two or three fragments of marble columns.” (Robinson, Bibl. Res. vol. ii. p. 388.) The objections to the identification are not, perhaps, so great as is represented: the title Um, equivalent to metropolis, would seem to mark it as a place of importance; and there is no other vestige of a town in those parts that can be referred to Lachish. It is considerably south of west from Beit Jebrin (Eleutheropolis), which is near enough to satisfy the description of Eusebius, who is not remarkable for precise accuracy in his bearings, nor, indeed, in his distances, except in the parts with which he was familiar, and on the more frequented thoroughfares. No argument can be drawn from its juxtaposition with Adoraim and Azekah, in 2 Chron. 11.9, as it might be near enough to group with them in a list of names which, it is evident, does not pretend to geographical precision.


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