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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Libya

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(Λιβύη, the country of the Λίβυες or Lubim)

Libya was the name given by the Greeks to the great undefined region lying to the west of Egypt. It was for a long time equivalent to Africa, a Roman term which did not embrace Egypt till the days of Ptolemy (2nd cent. a.d.). Libya was made known to Greece in the 7th cent. b.c. by the Dorian colonists who founded Cyrene. The beautiful and fertile country occupied and developed by them remained independent till it was annexed by the Macedonian conquerors of Egypt in 330 b.c. It finally (in 90 b.c.) came under the power of the Romans, who combined it with Crete to form a single province, Creta-Cyrene. Its original name was revived by Vespasian, who divided Cyrene into Libya Superior and Libya Inferior. This country attracted the Jews at an early period. Philo bears testimony to their diffusion in his time ‘from the Katabathmos of Libya (ἀπὸ τοῦ πρὸς Λιβύην καταβαθμοῦ) to the borders of Ethiopia’ (in Flaccum, 6). Jews from ‘the parts of Libya about Cyrene’ (τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην) were in Jerusalem at the time of the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:10). St. Luke’s designation of Cyrenaïca closely resembles that of Josephus, ἡ πρὸς Κυρήνην Λιβύη (Ant. xvi. vi. 1), and that of Dio Cassius, Λιβύη ἡ περὶ Κυρήνην (liii. 12). The possession of this fertile region was the bone of contention between the Turks and Italians in 1912.

James Strahan.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Libya'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/l/libya.html. 1906-1918.

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