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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Lib´ya. This name, in its largest acceptation, was used by the Greeks to denote the whole of Africa. But Libya Proper, which is the Libya of the New Testament and the country of the Lubim in the Old, was a large tract, lying along the Mediterranean, to the west of Egypt.

Libya is supposed to have been first peopled by, and to have derived its name from, the Lehabim or Lubim [NATIONS, DISPERSION OF]. These, its earliest inhabitants, appear, in the time of the Old Testament, to have consisted of wandering tribes, who were sometimes in alliance with Egypt, and at others with the Ethiopians, as they are said to have assisted both Shishak, king of Egypt, and Zerah the Ethiopian in their expeditions against Judea (; ; ). They were eventually subdued by the Carthaginians; and it was the policy of that people to bring the nomad tribes of Northern Africa which they mastered into the condition of cultivators, that by the produce of their industry they might be able to raise and maintain the numerous armies with which they made their foreign conquests. But Herodotus assures us that none of the Libyans beyond the Carthaginian territory were tillers of the ground. Since the time of the Carthaginian supremacy the country, with the rest of the East, has successively passed into the hands of the Greeks, Romans, Saracens, and Turks. The name of Libya occurs in , where 'the dwellers in the parts of Libya about Cyrene' are mentioned among the stranger Jews who came up to Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Libya'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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