Daily Archives: October 13, 2008

Byblos in Lebanon

Byblos is located on the Mediterranean Sea about 25 miles north of Beirut, Lebanon.The ancient Phoenician city of Gebal (modern Arabic Jbeil) was called Byblos by the Greeks because they saw scrolls there made from imported papyrus sheets. The Greek word byblos is translated book in our English versions of the Bible. In fact, our word Bible is derived from the work byblos.

The Gebalites worked with the builders of  Solomon and Hiram to fashion and prepare timber and stone to build the temple (1 Kings 5:17-18). The old men of Gebal are mentioned in the lamentation over Tyre.

The elders of Gebal and her skilled men were in you, caulking your seams; all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in you to barter for your wares. (Ezekiel 27:9 ESV)

Byblos is now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of Byblos is revealed in the excavated ruins.

  • Canaanite or Phoenician ruins as early as 3000 B.C.
  • Egyptian ruins from about 1300 B.C. Rib Addi, king of Byblos wrote letters to Pharaoh Amenophis III to request reinforcements against his neighbors. These letters are part of the collection of letters found at Amarna.
  • Roman ruins from the time of Pompey, about 65 B.C.
  • Crusader ruins from the 12th century A.D.

My last visit to Byblos was in 2002. This is a photo I took of the Egyptian Temple of Obelisks which was dedicated to the Egyptian god Reshef.

The Temple of Obelisks at Byblos. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Temple of Obelisks at Byblos. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.