Mount Hermon is an impressive mountain situated in the Anti Lebanon range and is now divided between three Middle Eastern countries: Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. The mountain can be seen from each of these countries. I am thankful that my travels have allowed me to have some view of the mountain from each of the countries. On the current study trip Leon Mauldin and I were able to go up to the area of the ski trails in Israel. It was beginning to snow that day and I understand that the area was again covered with snow.
We are informed in the Bible that Mount Hermon was the northern boundary of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham; those with whom He made a covenant at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 3:8; Joshua 12:1-2; 1 Chronicles 5:23).
The mountain rises to a height of 9,232 feet above sea level, The melting snow provides the water of the significant rivers of Israel that join to become the Jordan River.
Psalm 133 is described as a Song of Ascents of David and reads,
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. (ESV)
Psalm 89:12 mentions both Hermon and Tabor:
“The north and the south, you have created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.” (ESV)
Mount Hermon is of interest to Christians because it may have been the mount of transfiguration spoken of in Matthew 17. Verse 1 specifically says that Jesus took certain of his disciples into a “high mountain.” Mount Tabor is the traditional mountain of Transfiguration but it is not the only plausible site.
Lange’s work is old but the reasoning here is good. I present it for your consideration.
“Since the fourth century tradition has fixed on Mount Tabor, in Galilee, as the locality of this event. See the description of it in Schubert and others. This opinion is, however, evidently untenable. Not only was Mount Tabor inhabited to its summit at the time (see Robinson), but it seems exceedingly improbable that Jesus would have so suddenly left His retreat in the highlands of Gaulonitis, and transferred the scene of one of His most secret revelations to Galilee, where He was everywhere persecuted. Besides, ver. 22 implies that the change of residence to Galilee took place at a later period, while in Mark 9:30 it is distinctly stated, that after these events Jesus had secretly passed through Galilee. “The highest mountain-top in Gaulonitis was Mount Hermon. Accordingly, some fix upon Hermon itself as the scene of this event; others on Mount panius, near Cæsarea Philippi. But from the description of the mountain, and the statement in ver. 9, that “they came down” from its height, it seems likely to have been Hermon. (Lange, John Peter, and Philip Schaff. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008.
(Lange, John Peter, and Philip Schaff. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008.
The next day day we visited Mount Bental. It is located in the Golan Heights but is a national park maintained by Israel. It serves as an honor to the military who fought there during the war with Syria. From there we could see the snow on Mount Hermon. Note that the top of the mountain is nearly three times higher than the location of our first picture.