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 SIDON. The western ridge was called Libanus by the Greeks, and the eastern Anti-Libanus. Between them lies a long valley called Coele-Syria, that is, Hollow Syria, and the "valley of Lebanon," Jos 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, Isa 10:34; 35:2, rising like a vast barrier on their north, Isa 37:24. They speak of its sea of foliage agitated by the gales, Ps 72:16; of its noble cedars and other trees, Isa 60:13; Jer 22:23; of its innumerable herds, the whole of which, however, could not atone for one sin, Isa 40:16; its snow-cold streams, Jer 18:14, and its balsamic perfume, Ho 14:5. Moses longed to enter the Holy Land, that he might "see that goodly mountain and Lebanon," De 3:24-25; and Solomon says of the Beloved, the type of Christ, "his countenance is as Lebanon," Song 5:15. "The tower of Lebanon which looketh towards Damascus," Song 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.
white, "the white mountain of Syria," is the loftiest and most celebrated mountain range in Syria. It is a branch running southward from the Caucasus, and at its lower end forking into two parallel ranges, the eastern or Anti-Lebanon, and the western or Lebanon proper. They enclose a long valley (Jos 11:17) of from 5 to 8 miles in width, called by Roman writers Coele-Syria, now called el-Buka'a, "the valley," a prolongation of the valley of the Jordan.
Lebanon proper, Jebel es-Sharki, commences at its southern extremity in the gorge of the Leontes, the ancient Litany, and extends north-east, parallel to the Mediterranean coast, as far as the river Eleutherus, at the plain of Emesa, "the entering of Hamath" (Nu 34:8; 1Ki 8:65), in all about 90 geographical miles in extent. The average height of this range is from 6,000 to 8,000 feet; the peak of Jebel Mukhmel is about 10,200 feet, and the Sannin about 9,000. The highest peaks are covered with perpetual snow and ice. In the recesses of the range wild beasts as of old still abound (2Ki 14:9; Song 4:8). The scenes of the Lebanon are remarkable for their grandeur and beauty, and supplied the sacred writers with many expressive similes (Ps 29:5-6; 72:16; 104:16-18; Song 4:15; Isa 2:13; 35:2; 60:13; Ho 14:5). It is famous for its cedars (Song 5:15), its wines (Ho 14:7), and its cool waters (Jer 18:14). The ancient inhabitants were Giblites and Hivites (Jos 13:5; Jg 3:3). It was part of the Phoenician kingdom (1Ki 5:2-6).
The eastern range, or Anti-Lebanon, or "Lebanon towards the sunrising," runs nearly parallel with the western from the plain of Emesa till it connects with the hills of Galilee in the south. The height of this range is about 5,000 feet. Its highest peak is Hermon (q.v.), from which a number of lesser ranges radiate.
The Lebanon range is now inhabited by a population of about 300,000 Christians, Maronites, and Druses, and is ruled by a Christian governor. The Anti-Lebanon is inhabited by Mohammedans, and is under a Turkish ruler.
exceeding white, namely, with snow, as Mont Blanc. In Hebrew Lebanon, related to "alp". The double mountain range N. of Palestine, running in parallel lines from S.W. to N.E., having between the fertile valley anciently called Coelosyria, now El Beka'a (where are the grand ruins of the temple of the sun), about six or seven miles wide, "the valley of Lebanon" (Jos 11:17). The range is about 80 miles long, 15 broad. It forms the northern head of the Jordan valley and the southern head of the Orontes valley. (See HAMATH.) The western range is the region of the Hivites and Giblites (Jos 13:5; Jg 3:3). (See GIBLITES.) The eastern range was Antilibanus, or "Lebanon toward the sunrising." The wady et Teim separates the southern part of Antilibanus from Lebanon and also from the Galilee hills. The river Leontes (Litany) sweeps round its southern end, and drains Coelo-Syria, falling into the Mediterranean five miles N. of Tyre.
Lebanon runs parallel to the coast in the plain of Emesa opening from the Mediterranean, in Scripture "the entering in (i.e. entrance) of Hamath" (1Ki 8:66). The river Eleutherus (nahr el Kebir) here sweeps round its northern end. The average height is 7,000 ft. But one peak, Dhor el Khodib, N. of the cedars, is 10,051 ft.; and Hermon in Antilebanon is 10,125 ft.. Lebanon is of grey limestone, with belts of recent sandstone along the western slopes. Eastward in the glens of Antilibanus flow toward Damascus Abana (Barada) and Pharpar (nahr el Awaj). All that now represents Hiram's cedar forests is the cluster called "the cedars," 6,172 ft. above the sea, in the center of the vast recess or semicircle formed by the highest summits of Lebanon above the deep valley of the sacred river Kadisha. (See CEDARS.) Odorous flowers and aromatic shrubs and vines still yield" the smell of Lebanon" wafted by the mountain breeze (Song 4:11).
The line of cultivation runs at the height of 6,000 ft. Every available space is utilized for figtrees, vines, mulberry trees, and olives. Numerous villages nestle amidst the rocks. The trees striking their roots into the fissures of rocks illustrate Ho 14:5, "Israel shall strike forth his roots as Lebanon." Lebanon is a delightful retreat from the sultry heat of the plains and of Palestine, cooled as it is by the snows which crown its peaks. Jeremiah (Jer 18:14) asks, "will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field (a poetical name for Lebanon towering above the surrounding plain)? Or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place (from the distant rocks) be forsaken?" None. Yet Israel forsakes Jehovah the living fountain, ever near, for broken cisterns. Hyaenas, panthers, jackals, wolves, and bears still haunt its glens and peaks (compare Song 4:8; 2Ki 14:9).
The river Adonis (nahr Ibrahim) springs from a cave beneath the high peak Sunnin. The plain of Phoenicia, two miles wide, runs at the base of Lebanon between it and the sea. The eastern slopes are less abrupt and fertile than the western. Maronite Christians people the northern part of the range; Druses abound more in the southern. Lebanon was assigned to Israel, but never conquered (Jos 13:2-6; Jg 3:1-3). It was under the Phoenicians in Solomon's time and subsequently (1Ki 5:2-6; Ezr 3:7). Antilibanus is less peopled than Lebanon, and has more wild beasts: Song 4:8, "look from the top of Amana, from ... Shenir and Hermon ... the lions' den ... the mountains of the leopards," referring to the two higher peaks, Hermon, and that near the fountain of Abana, where panthers still are found. "The tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus" is Hermon (Song 7:4).
LEBANON, now Jebel Lebn
Lebanon, Leb'anon Tower of.
Only mentioned symbolically in Cant. 7:4: it is supposed to refer to mount Hermon.
The mountain range in the north of Palestine. Its name signifies 'white,' and may have arisen from some of its peaks being always covered with snow, or from the whiteness of its limestone cliffs. It is mentioned as the northern boundary of Palestine. De 1:7; 11:24; Jos 1:4. There are two ranges bearing this name, the southern terminus of both being about 33 23' N. They run N.E. nearly parallel with the Mediterranean; a fertile valley, from five to eight miles wide, running between them. This is mentioned in Jos 11:17. Its modern name is El Bukeiah. The valley may be considered as being prolonged southward in the Jordan valley.
The western range is the Lebanon generally referred to in scripture and the one from whence Solomon obtained cedar and fir trees for the temple. 1Ki 5:8-9; Ps 29:5; Isa 14:8. Of the cedars only a few remain. There are many villages situated on the small plains on the mountains, with patches of grain growing here and there; vines also are cultivated from which excellent wine is made. Ho 14:7. Firs grow, clinging as it were to the bare rock, yet quite secure. Ho 14:5. Olives, figs, and mulberries also abound, and a number of aromatic shrubs, which perfume the air, as alluded to in Cant. 4:11. Wild beasts still inhabit the glens and peaks as they did in O.T. times. 2Ki 14:9; Cant. 4:8; Hab 2:17. Its modern name is Jebel Libnan.
The eastern range is often called ANTI-LEBANON, but in scripture it is alluded to as 'Lebanon toward the sun-rising.' Jos 13:5. Its modern name is Jebel esh Shurky. Mount Hermon is its southern point. The road from Beyrout Beirut to Damascus crosses both the mountains of Lebanon.
a mountain range in the north of Palestine. The name Lebanon signifies white, and was applied either on account of snow which, during a great part of the year, cover its whole summit, or on account of the white color of its limestone cliffs and peaks. It is the "white mountain" --the Mont Blane of Palestine. Lebanon is represented in Scripture as lying upon the northern border of the land of Israel.
De 1:7; 11:24; Jos 1:4
Two distinct ranges bear this name. They run in parallel lines from southwest to northeast for about 90 geographical miles, enclosing between them a long, fertile valley from five to eight miles wide, anciently called Coele-Syria. The western range is the "Libanus" of the old geographers and the Lebanon of Scripture. The eastern range was called "Anti-Libanus" by geographers, and "Lebanon toward the sunrising" by the sacred writers.
1. Lebanon --the western range-- commences on the south of the deep ravine of the Litany, the ancient river Leontes, which drains the valley of Cole-Syria, and falls into the Mediterranean five miles north of Tyre. It runs northeast in a straight line parallel to the coast, to the opening from the Mediterranean into the plain of Emesa, called in Scripture the "entrance of Hamath."
Here Nehr el-Kebir --the ancient river Eleutherus-- sweeps round its northern end, as the Leontes does round its southern. The average elevation of the range is from 6000 to 8000 feet; but two peaks rise considerably higher. On the summits of both these peaks the snow remains in patches during the whole summer. The line of cultivation runs along at the height of about 6000 feet; and below this the features of the western slopes are entirely different. The rugged limestone banks are scantily clothed with the evergreen oak, and the sandstone with pines; while every available spot is carefully cultivated. The cultivation is wonderful, and shows what all Syria might be if under a good government. Fig trees cling to the naked rock; vines are trained along narrow ledges; long ranges of mulberries, on terraces like steps of stairs, cover the more gentle declivities; and dense groves of olives fill up the bottoms of the glens. Hundreds of villages are seen-- here built among labyrinths of rocks, there clinging like among labyrinths of rocks, there clinging like swallows' nests to the sides of cliffs; while convents, no less numerous, are perched on the top of every peak. The vine is still largely cultivated in every part of the mountain. Lebanon also abounds in olives, figs and mulberries; while some remnants exist of the forests of pine, oak and cedar which formerly covered it.
Considerable numbers of wild beasts still inhabit its retired glens and higher peaks; the writer has seen jackals, hyaenas, wolves, bears and panthers.
; Habb 2:17 Along the base of Lebanon runs the irregular plain of Phoenicia --nowhere more than two miles wide, and often interrupted by bold rocky spurs that dip into the sea. The main ridge of Lebanon is composed of Jura limestone, and abounds in fossils. Long belts of more recent sandstone run along the western slopes, which are in places largely impregnated with iron. Lebanon was originally inhabited by the Hivites and Giblites.
The whole mountain range was assigned to the Israelites, but was never conquered by them.
During the Jewish monarchy it appears to have been subject of the Phoenicians.
From the Greek conquest until modern times Lebanon had no separate history.
2. Anti-Libanus. --The main chain of Anti-Libanus commences in the plateau of Bashan, near the parallel of Caesarea Philippi, runs north to Hermon, and then northeast in a straight line till it stinks down into the great plain of Emesa, not far from the site of Riblah. Hermon is the loftiest peak; the next highest is a few miles north of the site of Abila, beside the village of Bludan, and has an elevation of about 7000 feet. The rest of the ridge averages about 5000 feet; it is in general bleak and barren, with shelving gray declivities, gray cliffs and gray rounded summits. Here and there we meet with thin forests of dwarf oak and juniper. The western slopes descend abruptly into the Buka'a; but the features of the eastern are entirely different. Three side ridges here radiate from Hermon, like the ribs of an open fan, and form the supporting walls of three great terraces. Anti-Libanus is only once distinctly mentioned in Scripture, where it is accurately described as "Lebanon toward the sunrising."
LEBANON, or LIBANUS, signifying white, from its snows,