King Zedekiah (Jer 52:1-52:1)

“King Zedekiah

Was twenty-one years old,

When he began to reign.

He reigned eleven years

In Jerusalem.

His mother’s name

Was Hamutal

The daughter

Of Jeremiah

Of Libnah.”

This is very similar to the ending of 2 Kings, chapter 24, almost word for word. However, there is no mention here that the king of Babylon established Mattaniah, the son of King Josiah, as the king and then gave him a new name, King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE). This 21 year old King Zedekiah was 3 years older than his nephew, the deposed King Jehoiachin (598 BCE). He had the same mother, Hamutal from Libnah, as King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), so that they were blood brothers with the same mother and father. King Zedekiah ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem.

Rabshakeh returned to his king (Isa 37:8-37:9)

“Rabshakeh returned to his king.

He found the king of Assyria

Fighting against Libnah.

He had heard

That the king had left Lachish.

Now the king of Assyria heard

Concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia.

‘He has set out to fight against you.’”

Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 19. Rabshakeh wanted to return to his king to let him know what was happening in Jerusalem. However, the king of Assyria had left Lachish to fight against the town of Libnah since Lachish and Libnah were about 10 miles apart in the Judah territory, about 25 miles west of Jerusalem. The Assyrian king also got word that the Ethiopian King Tirhakah was setting out to fight against him. This King Tirhakah is sometimes known as Taharqa. As a young 20 year old general, he fought with King Sennacherib in Palestine. He then served as king of Egypt and Ethiopia from 690-664 BCE. So he would not have been king when this occurred about 10-15 years earlier. Nevertheless, there was a constant war between these two great Mideast powers, Egypt and Assyria.

 

The revolt of Edom (2 Chr 21:8-21:10)

“In days of King Jehoram, Edom revolted against the rule of Judah. They set up a king of their own. Then King Jehoram crossed over with his commanders and all his chariots. He set out by night. He attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. At that time, Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his ancestors.”

This is once again based on 2 Kings, chapter 8. The revolt of Edom, which was south east of Judah on the other side of the Jordan River, was successful. There is no mention of the town Zair here. King Jehoram attacked or seemed to be successful, but there is no indication of what happened. The area of Libnah which was south west of Judah also revolted successfully against this southern King Jehoram. Here it says that Libnah revolted because King Jehoram was not true to Yahweh. Things did not go well with him as king. Edom was still in revolt at the time of this biblical writer, which would be about 500 years later. This looks like an attempt to blame the loss of Edom on King Jehoram.

The dwelling places of the Kohathite Levites (1 Chr 6:54-6:61)

“These are their dwelling places according to their settlements within their borders. To the sons of Aaron of the families of Kohathites, for the lot fell to them, to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasture lands. However, the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge, Hebron, Libnah with its pasture lands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, Hilen with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, Ashan with its pasture lands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands. From the tribe of Benjamin, Geba with its pasture lands, Alemeth with its pasture lands, and Anathoth with its pasture lands. All their towns throughout their families were thirteen. To the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the family of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities.”

Here we have the dwelling places for the Levite Kohathites, based on Joshua, chapter 21. Although the Levites were to receive no territory, they were given certain cities and some pasture land. The Kohathites won the first lottery and got the towns in Judah. There is no mention of the fact that in Joshua, they also got cites from the territories of Simeon. Although the ending is the same as in Joshua, that they got 13 towns from the south and 10 towns from the north from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, some details are different here. Definitely, the Kohathite branch of the Levites ended up with 23 towns. (1) Hebron became a center of attention because it was a refugee town and the fields of the town and its villages had been given to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Then this ancient city of Hebron and its surrounding pasture lands were given to the Kohathites. Thus there might be some arguments about this town. The Kohathites also got (2) Libnah, a refuge town also, (3) Jattir and (4) Eshtemoa with their pasture lands. There are a few discrepancies with Joshua, since 2 towns have a different name. (5) Debir and (6) Beth-shemesh were the same, but (7) Holon has become Hilen and (8) Ain has become Ashan here. (9) Juttah is missing here in 1 Chronicles. These were the nine towns out of the two tribes of Judah and Simeon. There were 4 other towns from Benjamin but (1) Gibeon is missing here. (2) Geba and (3) Anathoth are the same as in Joshua, but (4) Alemeth has become Almon. Here there is no mention of the names of the 10 towns from the north given to the Kohathites, just the fact that it happened.

The conquest of southern Canaan (Josh 10:28-10:39)

“Joshua took Makkedah on that day. He struck it and its king with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed every person in it. He left no one remaining. He did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.”

First up on the slaughter journey was Makkedah, a Canaanite royal city. As long as they were in the neighborhood, Joshua killed the king of that town and destroyed everyone in it. No one was left.

“Then Joshua passed on from Makkedah and all Israel with him, to Libnah. He fought against Libnah. Yahweh gave it also with its king into the hand of Israel. He struck it with the edge of the sword, every person in it. He left no one remaining in it. He did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.”

Libnah, which was west of Makkedah, came next with the same results as above.  The king and everyone in the town killed and destroyed.

“Next Joshua crossed on from Libnah and all Israel with him, to Lachish. He laid siege to it and assaulted it. Yahweh gave Lachish into the hand of Israel. He took it on the second day. He struck it with the edge of the sword, every person in it, as he had done to Libnah. Then King Horam of Gezer came up to help Lachish. Joshua struck him and his people, leaving him no survivors.”

Joshua then attacked 1 of the cities of the 5 kings since the King of Lachish was already dead. Who is next?  It took 2 days for this victory even with the outside help of Gezer. Once again, there are no survivors.

“From Lachish, Joshua passed on with all Israel to Eglon. They laid siege to it and assaulted it. They took it that day. They struck it with the edge of the sword. Every person in it he utterly destroyed that day, as he had done to Lachish.”

He seems to be following the path of the towns of the 5 kings. The King of Eglon was also 1 of the 5 kings that was dead already. It only took 1 day to destroy everyone Eglon.

“Then Joshua went up with all Israel from Eglon to Hebron. They assaulted it and took it. He struck it with the edge of the sword, and its king and its towns, and every person in it. He left no one remaining, just as he had done to Eglon. He utterly destroyed it with every person in it.”

This pattern seems familiar. The King of Hebron was also 1 of the 5 kings but he was already dead. How were they able to kill him here, unless there was a new king? Once again, everyone is destroyed.

“Then Joshua, with all Israel, turned back to Debir. He assaulted it. He took it with its king and all its towns. They struck them with the edge of the sword. They utterly destroyed every person in it. He left no one remaining. Just as he had done to Hebron and as he had done to Libnah and its king, so he did to Debir and its king.”

I guess that this takes care of those 5 kings and their territories. Debir was west of Hebron. He actually only destroyed 3 of the cities because Jarmuth and Jerusalem are not mentioned here.