Mount Hermon. Photographer: LucidWaters. Licensed: DP
Mount Hermon, Lebanon

What is…
Mount Hermon

Hebrew: הר חֶרְמוֹן —meaning: sacred (mountain)

also known as: Mt. Hermon, Baal-hermon (Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 5:23), Chermon, Sion (Deuteronomy 4:48), the Hermonites (Psalm 42:6), Sirion, Shenir, Jabal al-Shaykh, Jabal ash-Shaykh, mountain of snow, snowy mountain

This a mountain cluster (the narrow Hermon range) on the most southern part of the anti-Lebanon range. Hermon has 3 summits and reaches a height of 9,232 feet (2,814 meters) above the Mediterranean Sea.

The name of this mountain appears 13 times in the Old Testament.

The Book of Chronicles mentions Mount Hermon as a place where Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel were the heads of their families (1 Chronicles 5:23–24).

Jesus Christ 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.

Mt. Hermon—satellite view

This mountain marked the north boundary of ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 3:8, 4:48; Joshua 11:3, 17; 13:11; 12:1), and can be seen from a great distance. It is about 40 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. Some of its melt water feeds the Jordan River.

“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.”

It is called the Hermonim or “the Hermonites” (Psalm 42:6) because it has more than one summit.

The Sidonians called it Hermon Sirion or simply Sirion, and the Amorites called it Shenir (Deuteronomy 3:9; Song of Songs 4:8). 1 Chronicles 5:23 seems to distinguish between Senir and Hermon, probably using the names for two of the three peaks of the Hermon range.

It is also called Baal-hermon (Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 5:23) and Sion (Deuteronomy 4:48).

The abundant dew of Mt. Hermon is referred to (Psalm 133:3).

Its modern names are Mt. Hermon and Jabal al-Shaykh or Jabal ash-Shaykh—“Mountain of the Sheikh.” Today, it has a ski resort, and the mountain range’s spine is the border between modern Syria and Lebanon.

More information

Article Version: September 5, 2017