A lofty mountain on the northeast border of Palestine, called also Sirion Shenir, and Sion, (not Zion,) De 3:8; 4:39. It is a part of the great Anti-Lebanon Range; at the point where an eastern and lower arm branches off, a little south of the latitude of Damascus, and runs in a southerly direction terminating east of the head of the sea of Galilee. This low range is called Jebel Heish. Mount Hermon is believed to be what is now known as Jebel esh-Sheikh, whose highest summit, surpassing every other in Syria, rises into the region of perpetual snow or ice, ten thousand feet above the sea.
For a view of Hermon, see MEROM. Professor Hackett thus describes its appearance as seen from a hill north of Nazareth: "The mountain was concealed one moment, and the next, on ascending a few steps higher, stood arrayed before me with an imposing effect which I cannot easily describe. It rose immensely above every surrounding object. The purity of the atmosphere caused it to appear near, though it was in reality many miles distant. The snow on its head and sides sparkled under the rays of the sun, as if it had been robed in a vesture of silver. In my mind's eye at that moment it had none of the appearance of an inert mass of earth and rock, but glowed with life and animation. It stood there athwart my path, like a mighty giant rearing his head towards heaven and swelling with the proud consciousness of strength and majesty. I felt how natural was the Psalmist's personification: "the north and the south thou hast created them; Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name,'" Ps 89:12.
The "little Hermon" of modern travellers, not mentioned in Scripture, is a shapeless mass of hills north of the smaller valley of Jezreel. "Hermonites," or Hermons, in Ps 42:6, denotes the peaks of the Hermons range.
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 Palestine (De 3:8,29; Jos 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 (De 3:9; Song 4:8). It is also called Baal-hermon (Jg 3:3; 1Ch 5:23) and Sion (De 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 Palestine or Syria. "In whatever part of Palestine 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.
Illustration: Mount Hermon
("mountain nose, or peak".) The highest of the Antilibanus range, at its S. end. N.E. of Palestine (Jos 12:1), over against Lebanon (Jos 11:17), adjoining Bashan (1Ch 5:23). Called Sion, "the lofty," distinct from Zion at Jerusalem (De 4:48); among the Amorites Shenir, rather Senir, i.e. cataract or else breast-plate, from senar "to clatter" (De 3:8-9; Eze 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" (Ps 29:6). A center to Syria and Palestine; 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 Palestine. 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 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 5:6), the mountain of the Lord's house (Isa 2:2), the good land (Isa 35:9). In Ps 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" (Ps 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" (Ps 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.
The highest mountain in Syria (9050 ft. high), a spur of the Anti-Lebanon. Its name means 'apart' or 'sanctuary,' and refers to its ancient sanctity (cf. Ps 89:12; and the name 'mount Baal-hermon,' Jg 3:3). Meagre traces of ruins remain on its summit, probably connected, at least partly, with a former high place. According to De 3:9, it was called Sirion by the Sidonians and Senir (wh. see) by the Amorites. It may have been the scene of the Transfiguration (Mr 9:2). The summit has three peaks, that on the S. E. being the highest. Snow lies on the top throughout the year, except in the autumn of some years; but usually there is a certain amount in the ravines. The top is bare above the snow-line; below it is richly wooded and covered with vineyards. The Syrian bear can sometimes be seen here; seldom, if ever, anywhere else. The modern name is Jebet esh-Sheikh, 'the Mountain of the Chief.'
R. A. S. Macalister.
A noble mountain on the north-east border of Palestine, forming the highest part of the Anti-Lebanon range. Its highest summit is 9200 feet above the sea, and is almost constantly covered with snow. It was called by the Sidonians SIRION, De 3:9; Ps 29:6; and SHENIR by the Amorites (or perhaps one of the summits was called SHENIR or SENIR. 1Ch 5:23; Cant. 4:8; Eze 27:5); and once it was called SION. De 4:48. The silent refreshing dews of Hermon are used to illustrate how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Ps 133:3. It is probable that some part of Hermon was the mount of transfiguration; the Lord was in that district, and it seems much more suitable from its privacy than the traditional mount Tabor. It is now called Jebel esh Sheikh, or Jebel eth The1j, 'mountain of snow,' 33 25' N, 35 51' E.
(a peak, summit), a mountain on the northeastern border of Palestine,
De 3:8; Jos 12:1
over against Lebanon,
adjoining the plateau of Bashan.
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 Palestine 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,
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, a celebrated mountain in the Holy Land, often spoken of in Scripture. It was in the northern boundary of the country, beyond Jordan, and in the territories which originally belonged to Og, king of Bashan, Jos 12:5; 13:5. The Psalmist connects Tabor and Hermon together, upon more than one occasion, Ps 89:12; 133:3; from which it may be inferred that they lay contiguous to each other. This is agreeable to the account that is given us by travellers. Mr. Maundrell, in his journey from Aleppo, says that in three hours and a half from the river Kishon, he came to a small brook near which was an old village and a good kane, called Legune; not far from which his company took up their quarters for the night, and from whence they had an extensive prospect of the plain of Esdraelon. At about six or seven hours' distance eastward, stood, within view, Nazareth, and the two mountains Tabor and Hermon. He adds that they were sufficiently instructed by experience what the holy Psalmist means by the dew of Hermon; their tents being as wet with it as if it had rained all night, Ps 133:3.