Le'habim (Heb. Lehabim', להָבַים, preb.for לוּבַים, Lubim; Sept. Λαβιείμ, v. r. in Chron. Λαβείν; Vulg. Laabim), a people reckoned among the Midianitish stock (Ge 10:13; 1Ch 1:11). See ETHNOLOGY. The word is in the plural, and evidently signifies a tribe, doubtless taking the name of Lehab, Mizraim's third son (Ge 10:13). Bochart affirms that the Lehabim are not, as is generally supposed, identical with the Libyans. His reasons are, That Libya was much too large a country to have been peopled by one son of Mizraim; and that in other parts of Scripture Libya is either called Phut (פוט, Jer 46:9; Eze 30:5), or Lubim לובים, 2Ch 12:3; Na 3:9), and Phut was a brother, and not a son of Mizraim (Ge 10:6; Bochart, Opera, 1:279). These arguments do not stand the test of historical criticism. Phut and Lubim are not identical (Na 3:9); and the Lehabim may have been joined by other tribes in colonizing Libya. It is quite true there is no direct evidence to identify the Lehabim and Lubim; yet there seems a high probability that the words are only different forms of the same name — the former being the more ancient, the middle radical ה was afterwards softened (as is not unusual in Hebrew, Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 743, 360) into ו quiescent. The Lehabim are not again mentioned in Scripture, but we find the Lubim connected with Mizraim (2Ch 12:3), and the Kushites or Ethiopians (16:8). We may therefore safely infer that the Lehabim were the ancient Lubim or Libyans, who perhaps first settled on the borders of the Nile, among or beside the Mizraim; but, as they increased in number, migrated to the wide regions south-west, and occupied the vast territory known to classical geographers as Libya (Kalisch On Genesis 10:13; see also Michaelis, Spicileg. Geogr.; Knobel Völkertafel des Pent.). Dr. Beke maintains that the Lehabim, as well as the Mizraim, were a people of north-western Arabia; but his views are opposed alike to the opinions of ancient and modern geographers, and his arguments (do not appear of sufficient weight to command acceptance (Origines Biblicae, p. 167, 198 sq.). There can be no doubt that the Lubim are the same as the ReBU or LeBU of the Egyptian inscriptions, and that from them Libya and the Libyans derived their name. These primitive Libyans appear, in the period at which they are mentioned in these two historical sources, that is, from the time of Menptah, B.C. cir. 1250, to that of Jeremiah's notice of them late in the 6th century B.C., and probably in the case of Daniel's, prophetically to the earlier part of the second century B.C., to have inhabited the northern part of Africa to the west of Egypt, though latterly driven from the coast by the Greek colonists of the Cyrenaica, as is more fully shown under LUBIM. Geographically, the position of the Lehabim in the enumeration of the Mizraites immediately before the Naphtuhim suggests that they at first settled to the westward of Egypt, and nearer to it, or not more distant from it than the tribes or peoples mentioned before them. SEE MIZRAIM. Historically and ethnologically, the connection of the ReBU and Libyans with Egypt and its people suggests their kindred origin with the Egyptians. SEE LIBYA.

Bible concordance for LEHABIM.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.