Friday, September 11, 2009

Israelite Temple of Lachish Th Israelite Temple of Lachish

The site of Lachish, 40 km SW of Jerusalem, is famous for its siege in 701 by the Assyrian king Sennacherib, memorialized by relief panals now in the British Musuem.

However, it was also the site of an important Israelite temple. The basic structure of the temple can be seen in slides 1 and 2, with the courtyard in the foreground, and steps leading up to the Holy Place

Slide 3 shows the Holy Place (right) and Holy of Holies to the left, a small room reached by another set of steps. The basic structure is similar to that of Solomon's Temple, although it is much smaller, and has a broad Holy Place rather than a long one as described in the Bible for Solomon's Temple.
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1 comment:

  1. How is Israel Bill? I was in Lachish summer before last. I spent a good deal of time reviewing the stone walls around the holy place and the holy of holies to the supposedly Cannanite temple. Supposedly King Rehoboam first constructed a square edifice, and then a Cannanite temple was built on that. However, that makes little sense to me. The stonework is the same as the Jewish portions of the archaelogical record. It seems to me that there is some political interpretation going on here to hide the fact that the Jews had a temple outside of Jerusalem. The old cedar roof and the painted walls of the old temple are still partly visible and the steps that rise from the outer court to the holy placle, and the additional stairs from the holy place to the holy of holies are still clearly in place and visible. It may be that Lachish was one of the "high places" that were destroyed by Josiah -- but I doubt it. I think it is more likely that it was destroyed by the Babylonians rather than Sennacherub.

    Any thoughts?