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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Lebanon

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White, a long chain of mountains on the north of Palestine, so named from the whitish limestone of which they are composed and in part perhaps from their snowy whiteness in winter. It consists of two main ridges running northeast and southwest, nearly parallel with each other and with the coast of the Mediterranean. See view in Joshua 11:17 , at present Bukkah. It opens towards the north, but is exceedingly narrow towards the south, where the river Litany, anciently Orontes, issues form the valley and flows west to the sea, north of Tyre. The western ridge is generally higher than the eastern, and several of its peaks are thought to be towards, 10,000 feet high. One summit, however, in the eastern range, namely, Mount Hermon, now called Jebel-esh-Sheikh, is higher still, and rises nearly into the region of perpetual ice. See HERMON . An Arab poet says of the highest peak of Lebanon, "The Sannin bears winter on his head, spring upon his shoulders, and autumn in his bosom, while summer lies sleeping at his feet."

The Hebrew writers often allude to this sublime mountain range, Isaiah 10:34 35:2 , rising like a vast barrier on their north, Isaiah 37:24 . They speak of its sea of foliage agitated by the gales, Psalm 72:16; of its noble cedars and other trees, Isaiah 60:13 Jeremiah 22:23; of its innumerable herds, the whole of which, however, could not atone for one sin, Isaiah 40:16; its snow-cold streams, Jeremiah 18:14 , and its balsamic perfume, Hosea 14:5 . Moses longed to enter the Holy Land, that he might "see that goodly mountain and Lebanon," Deuteronomy 3:24,25; and Solomon says of the Beloved, the type of Christ, "his countenance is as Lebanon," Song of Song of Solomon 5:15 . "The tower of Lebanon which looketh towards Damascus," Song of Song of Solomon 7:4 , is brought to recollection by the accounts given by modern travelers of the ruins of ancient temples, built of stones of vast size. Many such ruinous temples have been discovered in different parts of Lebanon, several of them on conspicuous points, high up in the mountains, where the labor of erecting them must have been stupendous.

At present, Lebanon is inhabited by a hardy and turbulent race of mountaineers. Its vast wilderness of mountains forms almost a world by itself. Its western slopes particularly, rising by a succession of terraces from the plain of the coast, are covered with vines, olives, mulberries, and figs; and occupied, as well as the valleys among the mountains, by numberless villages. Anti-Lebanon are Drues and Maronites; the former Mohammedan mystics, and the latter bigoted Romanists. Among them are interspersed many Greeks and Armenians.

For "cedar of Lebanon," see CEDAR .

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Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Lebanon'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/l/lebanon.html. 1859.

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