|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:28-43 Joshua made speed in taking these cities. See what a great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we will be diligent, and improve our opportunities. God here showed his hatred of the idolatries and other abominations of which the Canaanites had been guilty, and shows us how great the provocation was, by the greatness of the destruction brought upon them. Here also was typified the destruction of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus, who, having slighted the riches of his grace, must for ever feel the weight of his wrath. The Lord fought for Israel. They could not have gotten the victory, if God had not undertaken the battle. We conquer when God fights for us; if he be for us, who can be against us?
Verse 29. - All Israel. The expression is not to be pressed in a literal sense. "All Israel" is simply equivalent to "all his disposable troops." Libnah. This belonged to the lowlands of Palestine. See note on ch. 9:1; also Joshua 15:42. It became a Levitical city. It revolted from Judah in the reign of Joram (2 Kings 8:22). It seems to have returned to its allegiance, since we find it not included in the conquest of Israel by Shalmaneser, while, on the other hand, it undergoes a siege among the fenced cities of Judah (2 Kings 18:13; 2 Kings 19:8). The cause (see Blunt 'Undesigned Coincidences,' part 2:27) of this return is not far to seek. The Levites cast off the authority of Joram "because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers" (2 Chronicles 21:10, 11). It probably remained independent - for it was not likely to have joined itself to Israel, either from geographical position or religious principles - until the accession of Joash terminated the connection between the royal house of Judah and the descendants of the wicked Ahab. Libnah, or the white city, has been identified with Tell es Safieh, the Blanche Garde of the Crusaders. See Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' pp. 207, 258. Lieut. Conder, however, supposes it to have been Eleutheropolis, now Beit Jibrin, and Capt. Warren believes he has found it at Ibna. Vanclevelde suggests yet another site. But Lieut. Conder's description of the hill on which Tell es Safieh stands as "a white precipice of many hundred feet" ('Pal. Expl. Fund, Quart. Paper,' July, 1875), would account for the name Libnah.
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And Joshua passed from Makkedah,.... After he had taken it, and destroyed its inhabitants, and its king:
and all Israel with him; that is, all the men of war he took with him from the camp at Gilgal, from whence he went to the relief of Gibeon:
unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah; a city that fell to the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:42. Jerom (r) says, in his time it was a village, in the region of Eleutheropolis, and was called Libnah; according to Bunting (s) it was but two miles from Makkedah.
(r) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. M. (s) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 96.
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