What is the significance of Mount Hermon in the Bible?
Mount Hermon is Israel's highest mountain at over 9,000 feet. Its three distinct peaks are visible from the Sea of Galilee some 60 miles away. Because of its height, it is also considered to be the holiest mountain in Israel. This mountain forms Israel's northeastern border with Syria and Lebanon. Mount Hermon's southern slopes are known as the Golan Heights in Israel and its northern face is owned by Syria.
Mount Hermon has long marked the northern border of the Promised Land as mentioned in Deuteronomy 4:48, Joshua 11:17, 1 Chronicles 5:23, and Psalm 42:6. This snow-capped mountain is also where the Jordan River begins. The headwaters flow from Mount Hermon down to the Sea of Galilee, bringing life and lushness to northern Israel. The psalmist compares brothers living in unity to "the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore" (Psalm 133:3).
Historically, Mount Hermon was home to the Sidonians, who called it Mount Sirion, and the Amorites, who called it Senir (Deuteronomy 3:9). Moses defeated Og King of Bashan there before being prohibited from crossing the Jordan River further into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 3:8–10). The Canaanites used Mount Hermon as a place of worship for the pagan god Baal, and many temple sites have been discovered in its caves. The city of Caesarea Philippi during Jesus's time sat at Mount Hermon's base. It is here that Peter declared Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). This mountain may also be where Jesus's transfiguration occurred when Peter, James, and John got to witness Jesus in all His heavenly glory (Matthew 17:1–9).
So Mount Hermon with its soaring height and three snow-capped peaks has long been considered a holy mountain both by Israelites and others who have inhabited the area. It is an important site both historically and religiously as well as an important landmark geographically in the region.
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