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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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Libnah (2)
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(Heb. Libnah', לַבְנָה , transparency, as in Exodus 24:10), the name of two places. (See SHIHOR-LIBNATH).

1. (Sept. Λεβωνᾶ v.r. Λεμωνᾶ .) The twenty-first station of the Israelites in the desert, between Rimmonparez and Rissah (Numbers 33:20-21); probably identical with LABAN (Deuteronomy 1:1), and perhaps situated near wady el-Ain, west of Kadesh-Barnea. (See EXODE).

2. (Sept. Λεβνά, sometimes Λοβνά , occasionally Λοβνάν, and even Λεβονά .) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Joshua 12:15), taken and destroyed by Joshua immediately after Makkedah and before Lachish (Joshua 10:29-32; Joshua 10:39). It lay in the plain within the territory assigned to Judah (Joshua 15:42), and became one of the Levitical towns in that tribe, as well as an asylum (Joshua 21:13; 1 Chronicles 6:57). In the reign of king Jehoram, Libnah is said to have revolted from him (2 Kings 8:22; 2 Chronicles 21:10). From the circumstance of this revolt having happened at the same time with that of the Edomites, it has been supposed by some to have reference to another town of the same name situated in that country. But such a conjecture is unnecessary and improbable, for it appears that the Philistines and Arabians revolted at the same time (2 Chronicles 21:16). Libnah of Judah rebelled because it refused to admit the idolatries of Jehoram; and it is not said in either of the passages in which this act is recorded, as of Edom, that it continued in revolt "unto this day." It may be inferred either that it was speedily reduced to obedience, or that, on the re-establishment of the true worship, it spontaneously returned to its allegiance, for we find it was the native place of the grandfather of two of the last kings of Judah (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 24:18; Jeremiah 52:1). It appears to have been a strongly fortified place, for the Assyrian king Sennacherib was detained some time before it when he invaded Judaea in the time of Hezekiah. (See HEZEKIAH).

On completing or relinquishing the siege of Lachish which of the two is not quite certain Sennacherib laid siege to Libnah (2 Kings 19:8; Isaiah 37:8). While there he was joined by Rabshakeh and the part of the army which had visited Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:8; Isaiah 37:8), and received the intelligence of Tirhakah's approach; and it would appear that at Libnah the destruction of the Assyrian army took place, though the statements of Herodotus (2:141) and of Josephus (Ant. 10:1, 4) place it at Pelusium (see Rawlinson, Herod. 1:480). Libnah was the native place of Hamutal or Hamital, the Queen of Josiah, and mother of Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:31) and Zedekiah (24:18; Jeremiah 52:1). It is in this connection that its name appears for the last time in the Bible. It existed as a village in the time of Eusebius and Jerome, and is placed by them in the district of Eleutheropolis (Onomast. s.v. Λοβανά; compare Josephus, Ant. 10:5, 2). Dr. Robinson was unable to discover the least trace of its site (Bib. Res. 2:389). Stanley inclines to find the site at Tell es-Safieh (Sinai and Pal. pages 207, 258); but this is probably Gath. Van de Velde suggests Arak el-Mensahiyeh, a hill about four miles west of Beit-jebrsin (Memoir, page 330), which seems to answer to the requirements of location. It stood near Lachish, west of Makkedah, and probably also west of Eleutheropolis (Keil, Comment. on Joshua 10:29), and was situated in the district immediately west of the hill region, in the vicinity of Ether, Ashan, etc. (Joshua 15:42).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Libnah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​l/libnah.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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