LIBNAH (Heb. לִבְנָה). (1) Station of the Israelites on the route of the Exodus, between Rimmon-Perez and Rissah (Num. 33:20–21). It is perhaps identical with Laban (Deut. 1:1). (2) Canaanite city-state in the Shephelah which Joshua conquered and destroyed after Makkedah and before Lachish (Josh. 10:29ff.; 12:15). It was allotted to the levites (Josh. 21:13; I Chron. 6:42) and was included in the fourth district of Judah which extended over the eastern Shephelah (Josh. 15:42). The city revolted against Joram, king of Judah, at the same time as Edom, but was subdued (II Kings 8:22; II Chron. 21:10). Hamutal, the mother of kings Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, was a native of Libnah (II Kings 23:31; 24:18; Jer. 52:1). It was attacked by Sennacherib after the fall of Lachish (II Kings 19:8; Isa. 37:8). Eusebius identifies it with Lobana, a village of Eleutheropolis (Onom. 120:23ff.). The identification of the ancient city with Tell al-Ṣāfi, the crusader Blanche-Garde ("the white tower"; cf. Heb. lavan, "white"; see gath , now identified with this site), has been superseded in scholarly opinion by that with Tell Birnāt, 2 mi. (3.2 km.) northwest of Bet Guvrin or with nearby Tell-al-Judayda. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Albright, in: BASOR, 15 (1924), 9; Elliger, in: PJB, 30 (1934), 58ff.; Z. Kallai, Naḥalot Shivtei Yisrael (1967), 319–20; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 369–70; EM, 4 (1962), 421–3. (Michael Avi-Yonah)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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