Archaeologists Reveal Evidence That King Hezekiah Really Did Destroy Idols
Israeli archaeologists believe they have evidence that the biblical King Hezekiah did indeed destroy the high places and idols in the land of Israel as described in the Bible, evidence officials say highlights Israel’s past connection to the land and helps draw the country’s boundaries today.
Calling it “an important and unusual discovery,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said excavations in the Tel Lachish National Park in central Israel revealed a “gate-shrine” from the First Temple period, about the 8th century B.C. It’s the largest known gate from the First Temple period in the country.
The Bible says King Hezekiah “removed the high places, broke down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles.” (2 Kings 18:4).
“The size of the gate is consistent with the historical and archaeological knowledge we possess, whereby Lachish was a major city and the most important one after Jerusalem,” excavation director Sa’ar Ganor said.
According to the biblical narrative, everything took place at the city gates where the elders, judges, governors, kings and officials sat on benches.
“These benches were found in our excavation,” Ganor said.
The IAA conducted the excavation from January through March at the initiative of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority. The excavation completely exposed the gate, which was partially uncovered in a joint Tel Aviv University, British excavation decades ago. The plan is to develop the Tel Lachish National Park.
The 80-by-80-foot Lachish city gate is preserved to a height of 16 feet. It consists of six chambers—three on each side, with the city’s main street passing between them.
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