The Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Ranges
Lebanon is located in southwestern Asia, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. It measures approximately 130 miles / 210 kilometers north to south, and 25 to 50 miles / 40 to 80 kilometers wide. The capital city is Beirut, which is about 150 miles / 245 kilometers north of Jerusalem. Two rugged mountain ranges, the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, run parallel to the coast, from Tripoli to Tyre, with extensive ravines and valley systems between them. The heights average from 7,000 feet / 2,135 meters, up to about 10,200 feet / 3,100 meters above sea level. The highest peaks are covered with snow and ice all year round (perhaps one of the reasons that Lebanon got its name - the word in Hebrew means white) which can be seen from far to the south in Israel.
The name Lebanon has many interesting references in The Bible:
- The inhabitants of Lebanon at the time of the return of the Israelites to the Promised Land were Gebalites and Hivites (Joshua 13:5, Judges 3:3). It was part of the ancient Phoenician kingdom (1 Kings 5:1-6).
- Lebanon is the God-commanded northern boundary of Israel in the time of Joshua (Joshua 1:4)
- It was noted for magnificent natural beauty (Isaiah 60:13)
- Cedars Of Lebanon (modern-day remnants of which are seen in the photograph) were sent by Hiram, king of Tyre, to Solomon for construction of the First Temple (see Temples) (1 Kings 5:1,6,9)
- The Second Temple, constructed during the time of Persian rule (see Ancient Empires - Persia), after the return from the Babylonian Exile (see Why Babylon?), also used Cedars of Lebanon (Ezra 3:7).
- Jesus Christ was very well familiar with Lebanon. Galilee, where The Lord lived nearly all of His human life, and in which is found Nazareth, Capernaum and The Sea Of Galilee, is just to the south of Lebanon.
Fact Finder: How did the cedar lumber ordered by King Solomon from
King Hiram of Tyre travel most of the distance from Lebanon to Jerusalem?
(a) mule wagon (b) carried by slaves (c) floated as sea rafts
1 Kings 5:9