Archeologists digging around the site of ancient Lachish, mentioned as having been destroyed by an Israelite army in Joshua 10:31-32, have uncovered the remains of a Canaanite temple along with many other artifacts.
The team was led by Hebrew University’s Prof. Yosef Garfinkel and Prof. Michael Hasel from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee. Garfinkel told the Jerusalem Post that the dig had uncovered remains which help fortify the Biblical accounts of the city’s ancient history.
“The city was a major Canaanite center city, as we know from historical sources,” Garfinkel said. “There is no other site in this region as prominent. It is the right location, the right place, and the name ‘Lachish’ was found on some inscriptions found there. We uncovered the temple and we dedicated three or four years to it, because it is very rare to find Canaanite sites in Israel. This kind of structure was only discovered in Megiddo, Nablus and Hazor. But this is the first time we revealed such a large monumental symmetrical kind of temple.”
“The Bible says that Rehoboam, the grandson of David, fortified 15 cities, including Lachish,” Garfinkel added, going on to explain that previously undiscovered ruins which can be dated to the period described in the Book of 2 Chronicles had indeed been uncovered by his team. “This is why we went to Lachish. It was our goal,” he said. “The Bible says that the city was destroyed by the people of Israel, Garfinkel told the Post. “But it doesn’t talk specifically about a palace, a temple or what was in the city. We know that the destruction of Canaanite tribes was a long process which took about a hundred years. In the site we found traces of destruction at two levels, one dating back to the end of the 13th century BCE and another one to the middle of the 12th century. There are therefore about 50 years between the two events. Which of the two destructions is the one that was carried out by Joshua remains a big question.”
Originally posted at news.kehila.org