on Micah 1 :13
Inhabitant of Lachish - This city was in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:39, and was taken by Sennacherib when he was coming against Jerusalem, 2 Kings 18:13, etc., and it is supposed that he wished to reduce this city first, that, possessing it, he might prevent Hezekiah's receiving any help from Egypt.
She is the beginning of the sin - This seems to intimate that Lachish was the first city in Judah which received the idolatrous worship of Israel.
on Micah 1 :13
O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast - (steed.) Lachish was always a strong city, as its name probably denoted, (probably "compact." It was one of the royal cities of the Amorites, and its king one of the five, who went out to battle with Joshua Jos 10:3. It lay in the low country, Shephelah, of Judah Joshua 15:33, Joshua 15:39, between Adoraim and Azekah 2 Chronicles 11:9, 2 Chronicles 11:7 Roman miles south of Eleutheropolis (Onomasticon), and so, probably, close to the hill-country, although on the plain; partaking perhaps of the advantages of both. Rehoboam fortified it. Amaziah fled to it from the conspiracy at Jerusalem 2 Kings 14:19, as a place of strength. It, with Azekah, alone remained, when Nebuchadnezzar had taken the rest, just before the capture of Jerusalem Jeremiah 34:7. When Sennacherib took all the defensed cities of Judah, it seems to have been his last and proudest conquest, for from it he sent his contemptuous message to Hezekiah Isaiah 36:1-2.
The whole power of the great king seems to have been called forth to take this stronghold. The Assyrian bas-reliefs, the record of the conquests of Sennacherib, if (as the accompanying inscription is deciphered), they represent the taking of Lachish, exhibit it as "a city of great extent and importance, defended by double walls with battlements and towers, and by fortified riggings. In no other sculptures were so many armed warriors drawn up in array against a besieged city. Against the fortifications had been thrown up as many as ten banks or mounts compactly built - and seven battering-rams had already been rolled up against the walls." Its situation, on the extremity probably of the plain, fitted it for a depot of cavalry. The swift steeds, to which it was bidden to bind the chariot, are mentioned as part of the magnificence of Solomon, as distinct from his ordinary horses (1 Kings 4:28, English (1 Kings 5:8 in Hebrew)). They were used by the posts of the king of Persia Esther 8:10, Esther 8:14.
They were doubtless part of the strength of the kings of Judah, the cavalry in which their statesmen trusted, instead of God. Now, its swift horses in which it prided itself should avail but to flee. Probably, it is an ideal picture. Lachish is bidden to bind its chariots to horses of the utmost speed, which should carry them far away, if their strength were equal to their swiftness. It had great need; for it was subjected under Sennacherib to the consequences of Assyrian conquest. If the Assyrian accounts relate to its capture, impalement and flaying alive were among the tortures of the captive-people; and awfully did Sennacherib, in his pride, avenge the sins against God whom he disbelieved.
She is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion - Jerome: "She was at the gate through which the transgressions of Israel flooded Judah." How she came first to apostatise and to be the infectress of Judah, Scripture does not tell us . She scarcely bordered on Philistia; Jerusalem lay between her and Israel. But the course of sin follows no geographical lines. It was the greater sin to Lachish that she, locally so far removed from Israel's sin, was the first to import into Judah the idolatries of Israel. Scripture does not say, what seduced Lachish herself, whether the pride of military strength, or her importance, or commercial intercourse, for her swift steeds; with Egypt, the common parent of Israel's and her sin. Scripture does not give the genealogy of her sin, but stamps her as the heresiarch of Judah. We know the fact from this place only, that she, apparently so removed from the occasion of sin, became, like the propagators of heresy, the authoress of evil, the cause of countless loss of souls. Beginning of sin to - , what a world of evil lies in the three words!
on Micah 1 :13
1:13 Lachish - A strong fortress on the confines of Judah. Bind the chariot - To fly from the sword of the enemy. She - Lachish, which being the nearest to idolatrous Israel, took the infection of them, and conveyed it to Jerusalem. The transgressions - Not only the idolatry, but other sins also. Of Israel - Of the ten tribes.