Israel Journey — Day 8
Off to Gezer, the city that Joshua conquered (and then didn’t destroy and decided instead to marry the women) where we found Solomon’s chambered gate and the stones that the Israelites were supposed to tear down, but didn’t and found syncretism to be more to their liking.
Also in the slideshow, an expensive McDonald’s episode, the Kidron Valley, picking up 5 smooth stones from the brook, an olive press, the Bell Caves (where I wish I could have spent an entire day taking photographs — wow!), and Lachish, where the stone circle shows the room where the Lachish letters were found.
Some of Lachish’s significance is written here in Wikipedia:
Under Rehoboam, Lachish became the second most important city of the kingdom of Judah. In 701 BC, during the revolt of king Hezekiah against Assyria, it was captured by Sennacheribdespite determined resistance (see Siege of Lachish).  Some scholars believe that the fall of Lachish actually occurred during a second campaign in the area by Sennacherib ca. 688 BC. The town later reverted to Judaean control, only to fall to Nebuchadnezzar in his campaign against Judah in 586 BC.During Old Testament times Lachish served an important protective function in defending Jerusalem and the interior of Judea. The easiest way to get a large attacking army (such as an Assyrian army, see Isaiah 36:2, Isaiah 37:8 and Jeremiah 34:7) up to Jerusalem was to approach from the coast. Lachish was one of several city/forts guarding the canyons that lead up to Jerusalem and greater Judea. In order to lay siege to Jerusalem an invading army would first have to take Lachish, which guarded the mountain pass. During the reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah, the Assyrians, under King Sennacherib, attempted to take Jerusalem, and, in that campaign, succeeded in taking Lachish (see 2 Chronicles 32:9 and Isaiah 36:2). Modern excavation of the site has revealed that the Assyrians built a stone and dirt ramp up to the level of the Lachish city wall, thereby allowing the soldiers to charge up the ramp and storm the city. Excavations revealed approximately 1,500 skulls in one of the caves near the site, and hundreds of arrowheads on the ramp and at the top of the city wall, indicating the ferocity of the battle.Biblical references to Lachish include Joshua 10:3, 5, 23, 31-35; Joshua 12:11; Joshua 15:39; 2Kings 14:19; 2 Kings 18:14, 17; 2 Kings 19:8; 2 Chronicles 11:9; 2 Chronicles 25:27; 2 Chronicles32:9; Nehemiah 11:30; Isaiah 36:2; Isaiah 37:8; Jeremiah 34:7; and Micah 1:13.
This photo bears repeating because it is that skinny white windy road there in Beth-Shemesh that once saw the Ark of the Covenant. You can imagine the men working in their fields below and hearing the cattle lowing as they hauled the Ark away from the Philistines and back to its rightful place after it had been captured.