Mount Hermon

This high mountain range reaches more than 9,000 feet above sea level, is 28 miles in length, and is more than 10 miles wide. It is covered with snow more than eight months a year. Water from melting snow is the main source of water for the Jordan river, both through the runoff that flows into the Hula Valley (as the Great Rift Valley is called to the west of Mount Hermon) and through the water that gushes from springs at the foot of the mountains, at Dan and Caesarea Philippi.

In the Bible, Mount Hermon is noted for its dew (Ps. 133:3) and its height (Ps. 42:6). It was always a religious place, probably because of the abundance of water, the fertile fields on its lower slopes, and the springs at its base. (Judg. 3:3 indicates that it had its own god of fertility). In Roman times, there were temples on its slopes, including one at Caesarea Philippi and one on its summit. The lesson Jesus taught at Caesarea Philippi, near the foot of Mount Hermon, was highlighted by the mountain's massive rock peaks, its beautiful snow-covered slopes, its rushing streams, and its sacredness to the pagan population.

Jesus was at Caesarea Philippi, about seven miles west (left) from this photograph, immediately before his transfiguration. Many scholars believe the "high mountain" mentioned in the account of the transfiguration was Mount Hermon (Matt. 17:1). Although the name is not mentioned in the Bible, this site seems far more likely than other possibilities miles away.