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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Lubim

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(Heb. Lubimz', לוּבַים, from the Arab., signifying inhabitants of a thirsty land, Nahum 3:9; "Lubims," 2 Chronicles 12:3; 2 Chronicles 16:8; also Lubbin', לֻבַּים Libyans," Daniel 11:43; Sept. everywhere Λίβυες ), the Libyans, always joined with the Egyptians and Ethiopians; being "mentioned as contributing, together with Cushites and Sukkiim, to Shishak's army (2 Chronicles 12:3); and apparently as forming with Cushites the bulk of Zerah's army (2 Chronicles 16:8); spoken of by Nahum (Nahum 3:9) with Put or Phut, as helping No-Amon (Thebes), of which Cush and Egypt were the strength; and by Daniel (Daniel 11:43) as paying court with the Cushites to a conqueror of Egypt or the Egyptians. These particulars indicate an African nation under tribute to Egypt, if not under Egyptian rule, contributing, in the 10th century B.C., valuable aid in mercenaries or auxiliaries to the Egyptian armies, and down to Nahum's time, and a period prophesied of by Daniel, probably the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, (See ANTIOCHUS IV), assisting, either politically or commercially, to sustain the Egyptian power, or, in the last case, dependent on it. These indications do not fix the geographical position of the Lubim, but they favor the supposition that their territory was near Egypt, either to the west or south. For more precise information we look to the Egyptian monuments, upon which we find representations of a people called REBU or LEBU (R and L having no distinction in hieroglyphics), who cannot be doubted to correspond to the Lubim. These Rebu were a warlike people, with whom Menptah (the son and successor of Rameses II) and Rameses III, who both ruled in the 13th century B.C., waged successful wars. The latter king routed them with much slaughter. The sculptures of the great temple he raised at Thebes, now called that of Medinet Abui, give us representations of the Rebu, showing that they were fair, and of what is called a Shemitic type, like the Berbers and Kabyles. They are distinguished as northern, that is, as parallel to, or north of, Lower Egypt. Of their being African there can be no reasonable doubt, and we may assign them to the coast of the Mediterranean, commencing not far to the westward of Egypt.

We do not find them to have been mercenaries of Egypt from the monuments, but we know that the kindred Mashashasha-u were so employed by the Bubastite family, to which Shishak and probably Zerah also belonged; and it is not unlikely that the latter are intended by the Lubim, used in a more generic sense than Rebu, in the Biblical mention of the armies of these kings (Brugsch, Geogr. Isschr. 2:79 sq.). We have already shown that the Lubim are probably the Mizraite LEHABIM: if so, their so-called Shemitic physical characteristics, as represented on the Egyptian monuments, afford evidence of great importance for the inquirer into primeval history. The mention in Manetho's Dynasties that, under Necherophes, or Necherochis, the first Memphite king, and head of the third dynasty (B.C. cir. 2600), the Libyans revolted from the Egyptians, but returned to their allegiance through fear, on a wonderful increase of the moon, may refer to the Lubim, but may as probably relate to some other African people, perhaps the Naphtuhim, or Phut (Put).

The historical indications of the Egyptian monuments thus lead us to place the seat of the Lubim, or primitive Libyans, on the African coast to the westward of Egypt, perhaps extending far beyond Cyrenaica. From the earliest ages of which we have any record, a stream of colonization has flowed from the East along the coast of Africa, north of the Great Desert, as far as the Pillars of Hercules. The oldest of these colonists of this region were doubtless the Lubim and kindred tribes, particularly the Mashawasha-u and Tahen-nu of the Egyptian monuments, all of whom appear to have ultimately taken their common name of Libyans from the Lubim. They seem to have been first reduced by the Egyptians about B.C. 1250, and to have afterwards been driven inland by the Phoenician and Greek colonists. Now, they still remain on the northern confines of the Great Desert, and even within it, and in the mountains, while their later Shemitic rivals pasture their flocks in the rich plains. Many as are the Arab tribes of Africa, one great tribe, that of the Beni 'Ali, extends from Egypt to Morocco, illustrating the probable extent of the territory of the Lubim and their cognates. It is possible that in Ezekiel 30:5, Lub, לוּב, should be read for Chub, כּוּב; but there is no other instance of the use of this form: as, however, לוּד and לוּדַים are used for one people, apparently the Mizraite Ludim, most probably kindred to the Lubim, this objection is not conclusive. (See CHUB); (See LUDIM). In Jeremiah 46:9, the A.V. renders Phut 'the Libyans;' and in Ezekiel 38:5, Libya.'" (See LIBYA).

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

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