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The Land of Israel in Old Testament Times
 Map of the Israel's Natural Features
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Map of the Natural Features of the Land of Ancient Israel

During Old Testament times Israel was referred to originally as the land of Canaan, which was the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The entire land of Canaan was approximately 6,6oo square miles. Later when the land was conquered by the Israelites under Joshua it was divided to the 12 tribes of Israel. The total area consisted of around 12,000 square miles, from Syria in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and from Mount Hermon in the north to the Arabian Desert in the south. It was not until the time of king David that the land promised to Abraham, the first Hebrew (Genesis 13:14-15) was greatly fulfilled, from the River of Egypt in the south to the Euphrates in the east.  

The Natural Divisions (Five Great Divisions)

There were five natural divisions laying parallel to each other running through the entire land from north to south. The Maritime Plain, The Shephelah, The Hill Country, The Jordan Valley, and the Eastern Mountain Range.

1. The Maritime Plain was a very fertile region located along the western shores of the Mediterranean Sea. the thin strip of land was nearly 10 miles wide extending from Phoenicia in the north to Philistia in the south. The Maritime Plain actually was divided into 3 main sections: Phoenicia to Mount Carmel in the north, Sharon in the middle, and Philistia in the south. 

2. The Shephelah were the fertile foothills between the Maritime Plain and the Hill Country.

3. The Hill Country, or mountain region were part of the mountains of Lebanon, and they were naturally divided into four regions: Upper Galilee in the north, below that was Lower Galilee, the Mountains of Judah, and the Hills of the Negeb Desert.

4. The Jordan Valley, which follows the Jordan River descending into a gorge which continues to descend into the deepest land trench, 1300 feet below sea level.

5 . The Eastern Mountain Range, situated east of the Jordan River were fertile mountains naturally divided into 3 sections: Bashan in the north, Gilead in the middle, and Moab in the south.
 

The Rivers and Seas (Rivers, Lakes, and Brooks)

There were many Rivers, lakes, and mountain streams in Old Testament Israel.

Israel's Major Rivers and Seas

1. The Jordan River has its source in three places near Mount Hermon. The main source of the Jordan River is 1800 feet above sea level, and it flows downward to the south winding through the Jordan Valley and finally empties into the Dead Sea which is 1300 feet below sea level. It is very windy, perhaps 200 miles of twist and turns, while the actual distance is perhaps 135 miles from Mount Hermon to the Dead Sea in a straight line.

2. Lake Merom was a triangular shaped lake situated in Upper Galilee, it was about 3 miles distance across the lake.

3. The Sea of Galilee was also known as the Sea of Tiberias, and the Sea of Chinnereth. It was shaped like a pear, and it was 14 miles across. The Sea of Galilee was 700 feet below sea level in Biblical times.

4. The Dead Sea was 46 miles long and 10 miles wide. In Bible times the Dead Sea was just as salty as it is today. It is also 1300 feet below sea level and was the place of many events in Biblical times.

Rivers and Streams East of the Jordan flowing westward:

5. The Jarmuk River flowed into the Jordan River near the south of the Sea of Galilee.

6. The Jabbok River flowed into the Jordan River a little more than half way toward the Dead Sea. It was near this stream that the Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32:22).

7. The Arnon River also flowed westward but into the Dead Sea forming the boundary between Israel and Moab (Joshua 13:15, 16).

8. The Zered Brook also flowed into the Dead Sea at the southern end forming the boundary between Moab and Edom. It was at this stream that Israel began the conquest of Canaan (Deuteronomy 2:13, 14).

Rivers and Streams West of the Jordan flowing eastward:

9. The Farah River flowed east and empties into the Jordan River near Shechem and just east of Mount Gerizim. It was also called the Waters of Aenon, and was the location which the Bible mentioned where John the Baptist baptized (John 3:23).

10. The Brook Cherith flowed into the Jordan River at the very north portion of the Dead Sea. This is the brook where Elijah was hid and fed by the ravens (1 Kings 17:3)

11. The Brook Kidron flowed between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives eastward emptying into the Dead Sea (John 18:1).

Rivers and Streams West of the Jordan flowing into the Mediterranean.

12. The Leontes River was the northernmost river which flowed westward into the Mediterranean Sea. It was the northern boundary of Israel, situated east of the city of Dan.

13. The Kishon River was the river which drained the Plain of Esdraelon and emptying into the Mediterranean Sea just north of Mount Carmel. The Bible reveals in the Old Testament that this river destroyed part of Sisera's army (Judges 5:21).

14. The Besor River flowed westward in the territory of the ancient Philistines just south of Gaza, west of ancient Beersheba. It formed part of the southern boundary of ancient Israel.


The Mountains (12 Great Mountains)

Mountains East of the Jordan River

1. Mount Hermon was the source of the Jordan River.

2. Mount Gilead, was east of the Jordan and famous for the balm of healing (Jer. 8:22).

3. Mount Nebo, was the mountain where Moses died (Deut. 34:1-6).

Mountains West of the Jordan River

4. Mount Lebanon was famous for its cedars (1 Kings 5:6).

5. Mount Tabor was famous for Deborah's victory (Judges 4:6).

6. Mount Gilboa was the mountain where Saul and his son Jonathan died (1 Sam. 31:1).

7. Mount Carmel was famous as the place of Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20, 42).

8. Mount Ebal was known as the Mount of Cursing (Deut. 27:4).

9. Mount Gerizim was known in the Old Testament as the Mount of Blessings (Josh. 8:33).

10. Mount Zion was the mount of David's castle (1 Chronicles 11:5).

11. Mount Moriah was the mount where Abraham, the first Hebrew offered his only son Isaac (Genesis 22:2) and the location where the temple of Solomon was later built.

12. Mount of Olives was the location where Jesus ascended into heaven and will also later return to the earth (Acts 1:9, 12)

 

The Ancient Jordan River

Map of the Ancient Jordan River

Jordan in Easton's Bible Dictionary Heb. Yarden, "the descender;" Arab. Nahr-esh-Sheriah, "the watering-place" the chief river of Israel. It flows from north to south down a deep valley in the centre of the country. The name descender is significant of the fact that there is along its whole course a descent to its banks; or it may simply denote the rapidity with which it "descends" to the Dead Sea. It originates in the snows of Hermon, which feed its perennial fountains. Two sources are generally spoken of. (1.) From the western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the northern border-city of Israel, there gushes forth a considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan. (2.) Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell- el-Kady). (3.) But besides these two historical fountains there is a third, called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el- Kady. It joins the main stream about a mile below...

Jordan River in Hitchcock's Bible Names the river of judgment

Jordan River in Naves Topical Bible (A river in Israel) -Empties into the Dead Sea Jos 15:5 -Fords of Ge 32:10; Jos 2:7; Jud 3:28; 7:24; 8:4; 10:9; 12:5,6; 2Sa 2:29; 17:22,24; 19:15,31; 1Ch 19:17 -Swelling of, at harvest time Jos 3:15; Jer 12:5 -Swelling of, in the early spring 1Ch 12:15 -The waters of, miraculously separated for the passage Of the Israelites Jos 3; 4; 5:1; Ps 114:3 Of Elijah 2Ki 2:6-8 Of Elisha 2Ki 2:14 -Crossed by a ferry boat 2Sa 19:18 -Naaman washes in, for the healing of his leprosy 2Ki 5:10-14 -John the Baptist immerses in Mt 3:6; Mr 1:5 -John the Baptist immerses Jesus in Mt 3:13; Mr 1:9 -PLAIN OF Ge 13:10-12 Israelites camped in Nu 22:1; 26:3,63 Solomon's foundry in 1Ki 7:46; 2Ch 4:17

Jordan River in Smiths Bible Dictionary (the descender), the one river of Israel, has a course of little more than 200 miles, from the roots of Anti- Lebanon to the head of the Dead Sea. (136 miles in a straight line. --Schaff.) It is the river of the "great plain" of Israel --the "descender," if not "the river of God" in the book of Psalms, at least that of his chosen people throughout their history. There were fords over against Jericho, to which point the men of Jericho pursued the spies. Jos 2:7 comp. Judg 3:28 Higher up where the fords or passages of Bethbarah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites, Jud 7:24 and where the men of Gilead slew the Ephraimites. ch. Jud 12:6 These fords undoubtedly witnessed the first recorded passage of the Jordan in the Old Testament. Ge 32:10 Jordan was next crossed, over against Jericho, by Joshua. Jos 4:12,13 From their vicinity to Jerusalem the lower fords were much used. David, it is probable, passed over them in one instance to fight the Syrians. 2Sa 10:17; 17:22 Thus there were two customary places at which the Jordan was fordable; and it must have been at one of these, if not at both, that baptism was afterward administered by St. John and by the disciples of our Lord. Where our Lord was baptized is not stated expressly, but it was probably at the upper ford. These fords were rendered so much more precious in those days from two circumstances. First, it does not appear that there were then any bridges thrown over or boats regularly established on the Jordan; and secondly, because "Jordan overflowed all his banks all the time of harvest." Jos 3:15 The channel or bed of the river became brimful, so that the level of the water and of the banks was then the same. (Dr. Selah Merrill, in his book "Galilee in the Time of Christ" (1881), says, "Near Tarichaea, just below the point where the Jordan leaves the lake (of Galilee), there was (in Christ's time) a splendid bridge across the river, supported by ten piers." - -ED.) The last feature which remains to be noticed in the scriptural account of the Jordan is its frequent mention as a boundary: "over Jordan," "this" and "the other side," or "beyond Jordan," were expressions as familiar to the Israelites as "across the water," "this" and "the other side of the Channel" are to English ears. In one sense indeed, that is, in so far as it was the eastern boundary of the land of Canaan, it was the eastern boundary of the promised land. Nu 34:12 The Jordan rises from several sources near Panium (Banias), and passes through the lakes of Merom (Huleh) and Gennesaret. The two principal features in its course are its descent and its windings. From its fountain heads to the Dead Sea it rushes down one continuous inclined plane, only broken by a series of rapids or precipitous falls. Between the Lake of Gennesaret and the Dead Sea there are 27 rapids. The depression of the Lake of Gennesaret below the level of the Mediterranean is 653 feet, and that of the Dead Sea 1316 feet. (The whole descent from its source to the Dead Sea is 3000 feet. Its width varies form 45 to 180 feet, and it is from 3 to 12 feet deep. -Schaff.) Its sinuosity is not so remarkable in the upper part of its course. The only tributaries to the Jordan below Gennesaret are the Yarmuk (Hieromax) and the Zerka (Jabbok). Not a single city ever crowned the banks of the Jordan. Still Bethshan and Jericho to the west, Gerasa, Pella and Gadara to the east of it were important cities, and caused a good deal of traffic between the two opposite banks. The physical features of the Ghor, through which the Jordan flows, are treated of under PALESTINE.

Jordan River in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE jor'-dan (yarden, "flowing downward"; 'Iordanes): 1. Source: The Jordan river proper begins at the junction of four streams (the Bareighit, the Hasbany, the Leddan, and the Banias), in the upper part of the plain of Lake Huleh. The Bareighit receives its supply of water from the hills on the West, which separate the valley from the river Litany, and is the least important of the four. The Hasbany is the longest of the four (40 miles), issuing from a great fountain at the western foot of Mt. Hermon near Hasbeiya, 1,700 ft. above the sea, and descends 1,500 ft. in its course to the plain. The Leddan is the largest of the four streams, issuing in several fountains at the foot of the mound Tell el-kady (Dan, or Laish) at an elevation of 505 ft. above the sea. The Banias issues from a celebrated fountain near the town of Banias, which is identified as the Caesarea Philippi associated with the transfiguration. The ancient name was Paneas, originating from a grotto consecrated to the god Pan. At this place Herod erected a temple of white marble dedicated to Augustus Caesar. This is probably the Baal-gad of Josh 11:17 and 12:7. Its altitude is 1,100 ft. above tide, and the stream falls about 600 ft. in the 5 miles of its course to the head of the Jordan. 2. Lake Huleh: The valley of Lake Huleh, through which the Jordan wends its way, is about 20 miles long and 5 miles wide, bordered on either side by hills and mountains attaining elevations of 3,000 ft. After flowing 4 or 5 miles through a fertile plain, the Jordan enters a morass of marshy land which nearly fills the valley, with the exception of 1 or 2 miles between it and the base of the mountains upon the western side. This morass is almost impenetrable by reason of bushes and papyrus reeds, which in places also render navigation of the channel difficult even with a canoe. Lake Huleh, into which the river here expands, is but 7 ft. above tide, and is slowly contracting its size by reason of the accumulation of the decaying vegetation of the surrounding morass, and of the sediment brought in by the river and three tributary mountain torrents. Its continued existence is evidence of the limited period through which present conditions have been maintained. It will not be many thousand years before it will be entirely filled and the morass be changed into a fertile plain. When the spies visited the region, the lake must have been much larger than it is now. At the southern end of Lake Huleh, the valley narrows up to a width of a few hundred yards, and the river begins its descent into levels below the Mediterranean. The river is here only about 60 ft. broad, and in less than 9 miles descends 689 ft. through a narrow rocky gorge, where it meets the delta which it has deposited at the head of the Sea of Galilee, and slowly winds its way to meet its waters. Throughout this delta the river is easily fordable during a great part of the year. 3. Sea of Galilee: The Sea of Galilee occupies...

Judges 7:25 - And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Joshua 13:23 - And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border [thereof]. This [was] the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof.

Jeremiah 12:5 - If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

Joshua 18:12 - And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven.

Joshua 22:25 - For the LORD hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the LORD: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD.

Numbers 35:14 - Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, [which] shall be cities of refuge.

Joshua 4:23 - For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

2 Kings 2:6 - And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

1 Chronicles 19:17 - And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set [the battle] in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.

Joshua 4:8 - And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

1 Samuel 31:7 - And when the men of Israel that [were] on the other side of the valley, and [they] that [were] on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

Joshua 4:10 - For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

Joshua 22:11 - And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.

Joshua 12:7 - And these [are] the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel [for] a possession according to their divisions;

Ezekiel 47:18 - And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel [by] Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And [this is] the east side.

Joshua 1:15 - Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Joshua 3:14 - And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;

Psalms 114:5 - What [ailed] thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, [that] thou wast driven back?

Joshua 18:7 - But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD [is] their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

Joshua 19:34 - And [then] the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.

Joshua 22:7 - Now to the [one] half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given [possession] in Bashan: but unto the [other] half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them,

Numbers 32:29 - And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession:

Deuteronomy 3:27 - Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold [it] with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

Deuteronomy 12:10 - But [when] ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and [when] he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Joshua 13:8 - With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, [even] as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;

Zechariah 11:3 - [There is] a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Joshua 1:11 - Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Judges 10:8 - And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that [were] on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which [is] in Gilead.

Deuteronomy 27:2 - And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister:

Joshua 18:19 - And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this [was] the south coast.

Mount Hermon

Hermon in Easton's Bible Dictionary a peak, the eastern prolongation of the Anti-Lebanon range, reaching to the height of about 9,200 feet above the Mediterranean. It marks the north boundary of Israel (Deut. 3:8, 4:48; Josh. 11:3, 17; 13:11; 12:1), and is seen from a great distance. It is about 40 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. It is called "the Hermonites" (Ps. 42:6) because it has more than one summit. The Sidonians called it Sirion, and the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8). It is also called Baal-hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23) and Sion (Deut. 4:48). There is every probability that one of its three summits was the scene of the transfiguration (q.v.). The "dew of Hermon" is referred to (Ps. 89: 12). Its modern name is Jebel- esh-Sheikh, "the chief mountain." It is one of the most conspicuous mountains in Israel or Syria. "In whatever part of Israel the Israelite turned his eye northward, Hermon was there, terminating the view. From the plain along the coast, from the Jordan valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, from the plateau of Bashan, the pale, blue, snow-capped cone forms the one feature in the northern horizon." Our Lord and his disciples climbed this "high mountain apart" one day, and remained on its summit all night, "weary after their long and toilsome ascent." During the night "he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun." The next day they descended to Caesarea Philippi.

Hermon in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("mountain nose, or peak".) The highest of the Antilibanus range, at its S. end. N.E. of Israel (Joshua 12:1), over against Lebanon (Joshua 11:17), adjoining Bashan (1 Chronicles 5:23). Called Sion, "the lofty," distinct from Zion at Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 4:48); among the Amorites Shenir, rather Senir, i.e. cataract or else breast-plate, from senar "to clatter" (Deuteronomy 3:8-9; Ezekiel 27:5); among the Sidonians Sirion, the breast-plate, a name given from the rounded snowy top glittering in the sun, from shaarah "to glitter" (Psalm 29:6). A center to Syria and Israel; the watershed of the Jordan fountains, and of the Syrian Abana and Pharpar of Damascus, the Orontes of Antioch, and the Leontes. Bashan, Damascus, Syria, and Israel converged there. It had numerous Baal sanctuaries, which gave it a name very anciently. (See BAAL HERMON.) Rising 9,500 feet, it is seen even from the Jordan valley and the shores of the Dead Sea. Lebanon means the "white" mountain, the Mont Blanc of Israel. Now Jebel es Sheykh, "the old white-headed man's mountain," referring to the long streaks of snow remaining in the ravines radiating from the center, when the snow has disappeared elsewhere, like an old man's scanty white locks. Jebel esh Tilj, "the mount of ice." Shenir and Hermon are mentioned distinctly, Song of Solomon 4:8. The whole was called Hermon. The part held by the Sidonians was "Sirion," that by the Amorites Shenir, infested by devouring "lions" and swift though stealthy "leopards," in contrast to "the mountain of myrrh" (Song of Solomon 5:6), the mountain of the Lord's house (Isaiah 2:2), the good land (Isaiah 35:9). In Psalm 89:12 Tabor is made the western, Hermon the eastern landmark. Thus, N., S., E., and W. represent the whole earth. "The dew of Hermon" (Psalm 133:3) is used proverbially of an abundant, refreshing dew. (See DEW.) The distance precludes the possibility of the literal dew of Hermon "descending upon the mountains of Zion." But a Hermon dew was a dew such as falls there, the snow on the summit condensing the summer vapors which float in the higher air, and causing light clouds to hover round and abundant dew to fall on it, while the air is elsewhere without a cloud and the whole country parched. The "ointment" sets forth "how good" and "precious" is brotherly "unity"; the dew "how pleasant" it is. Zion is the mountain where this spiritual dew descends, as pleasant as the natural dew that descends on Hermon. It has three summits, a quarter of a mile from each other; hence arises the plural "Hermons" (Psalm 42:6), not "Hermonites." A rude wall of massive stones surrounds the crest of the peak, within are the remains of a small ancient temple. Jerome refers to this, and no doubt it is one of those Baal high places set up by the former inhabitants, and so often condemned in the Old Testament. A circle of temples surrounded Hermon, facing its summit, so that Hermon seems to have been the great sanctuary of Baal. At the top, says Capt. Warren, is a plateau comparatively level; here are two small peaks lying N. and S., about 400 yards from each other. The third peak is 500 yards to the W. On the southern peak a hole scooped out is surrounded by an oval of hewn stones; at its southern end is the temple nearly destroyed, with Roman moldings, and of later date than the stone oval, of stones from 2 to 8 ft. long, 2 1/2 broad and thick.

Hermon in Hitchcock's Bible Names anathema; devoted to destruction

Hermon in Naves Topical Bible A mountain in the north of Israel -Called SIRION De 3:8,9; Ps 29:6 SION De 4:48; Ps 133:3 SHENIR De 3:9; 1Ch 5:23; So 4:8

Hermon in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a peak, summit), a mountain on the northeastern border of Israel, De 3:8; Jos 12:1 over against Lebanon, Jos 11:17 adjoining the plateau of Bashan. 1Ch 5:23 It stands at the southern end, and is the culminating point of the anti- Libanus range; it towers high above the ancient border city of Dan and the fountains of the Jordan, and is the most conspicuous and beautiful mountain in Israel or Assyria. At the present day it is called Jebel esh-Sheikh, "the chief mountain," and Jebel eth-Thelj, "snowy mountain." When the whole country is parched with the summer sun, white lines of snow streak the head of Hermon. This mountain was the great landmark of the Israelites. It was associated with their northern border almost as intimately as the sea was with the western. Hermon has three summits, situated like the angles of a triangle, and about a quarter of a mile from each other. In two passages of Scripture this mountain is called Baal-hermon, Jud 3:3; 1Ch 5:23 possibly because Baal was there worshipped. (It is more than probable that some part of Hermon was the scene of the transfiguration, as it stands near Caesarea Philippi, where we know Christ was just before that event --ED.) The height of Hermon has never been measured, though it has often been estimated. It may safely be reckoned at 10,000 feet.

Hermon in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE hur'-mon (chermon; Codex Vaticanus, Haermon): 1. Description: The name of the majestic mountain in which the Anti-Lebanon range terminates to the South (Dt 3:8, etc.). It reaches a height of 9,200 ft. above the sea, and extends some 16 to 20 miles from North to South. It was called Sirion by the Sidonians (Dt 3:9; compare Ps 29:6), and Senir by the Amorites (Dt 3:9). It is also identified with Sion (Dt 4:48). See SIRION; SENIR; SION. Sometimes it is called "Mt. Hermon" (Dt 3:8; Josh 11:17; 1 Ch 5:23, etc.); at other times simply "Hermon" (Josh 11:3; Ps 89:12, etc.). 2. The Hermons: Once it is called "Hermons" (chermonim). the King James Version mistakenly renders this "the Hermonites" (Ps 42:6). It must be a reference to the triple summits of the mountain. There are three distinct heads, rising near the middle of the mass, the two higher being toward the East. The eastern declivities are steep and bare; the western slopes are more gradual; and while the upper reaches are barren, the lower are well wooded; and as one descends he passes through fruitful vineyards and orchards, finally entering the rich fields below, in Wady etteim. The Aleppo pine, the oak, and the poplar are plentiful. The wolf and the leopard are still to be found on the mountain; and it is the last resort of the brown, or Syrian, bear. Snow lies long on the summits and shoulders of the mountain; and in some of the deeper hollows, especially to the North, it may be seen through most of the year. Mt. Hermon is the source of many blessings to the land over which it so proudly lifts its splendid form. Refreshing breezes blow from its cold heights. Its snows are carried to Damascus and to the towns on the seaboard, where, mingled with the sharab, "drink," they mitigate the heat of the Syrian summer. Great reservoirs in the depths of the mountain, fed by the melting snows, find outlet in the magnificent springs at Chasbeiyeh, Tell el-Kady, and Banias, while the dew-clouds of Hermon bring a benediction wherever they are carried (Ps 133:3). 3. Sanctuaries: Hermon marked the northern limit of Joshua's victorious campaigns (Josh 12:1, etc.). It was part, of the dominion of Og (Josh 12:5), and with the fall of that monarch, it would naturally come under Israelite influence. Its remote and solitary heights must have attracted worshippers from the earliest times; and we cannot doubt that it was a famous sanctuary in far antiquity. Under the highest peak are the ruins of Kacr `Antar, which may have been an ancient sanctuary of Baal. Eusebius, Onomasticon, speaks of a temple on the summit much frequented by the surrounding peoples; and the remains of many temples of the Roman period have been found on the sides and at the base of the mountain. The sacredness of Hermon may be inferred from the allusion in Ps 89:12 (compare Enoch 6:6; and see also BAAL-HERMON). Some have thought that the scene of the Transfiguration should be sought here; see, however, TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF. The modern name of Hermon is Jebel eth-thilj, "mount of snow," or Jebel esh-sheikh, "mount of the elder," or "of the chief." Little Hermon, the name now often applied to the hill between Tabor and Gilboa, possibly the Hill of Moreh, on which is the sanctuary of Neby Dahy, has no Biblical authority, and dates only from the Middle Ages.

Joshua 12:1 - Now these [are] the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east:

Joshua 12:5 - And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

Joshua 11:17 - [Even] from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.

Deuteronomy 3:9 - ([Which] Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)

Song of Solomon 4:8 - Come with me from Lebanon, [my] spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Joshua 11:3 - [And to] the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and [to] the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and [to] the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

1 Chronicles 5:23 - And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto Baalhermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon.

Deuteronomy 3:8 - And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that [was] on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon;

Joshua 13:5 - And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

Psalms 133:3 - As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.

Joshua 13:11 - And Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salcah;

Psalms 89:12 - The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

Deuteronomy 4:48 - From Aroer, which [is] by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which [is] Hermon,
 

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