Lebanon Historically Linked to the Bible

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For centuries the breath-taking beauty of Lebanon has inspired poets.

"Come from Lebanon, my bride, come from Lebanon..." says Song of Solomon 4:8.

The earthy fragrance of the region's cedar trees is unforgettable.

"Well watered are the trees of the Lord, the cedars of Lebanon, which he planted," says the psalmist in Psalm 104:16.

King Solomon had some of these choice trees specially brought down to use in his temple for the Lord centuries ago.

For all these reasons and more, Lebanon has always been historically linked to the Bible.

Lebanon is mentioned more than 70 times in the Old Testament.

For example, it was in the town of Zarephath – between Tyre and Sidon – that Elijah healed the son of a widow, raising him from the dead.

The New Testament is also full of passages that talk about travels through Lebanon.

Jesus and his disciples traveled a lot in Lebanon – which was called Phoenecia then.

The Apostle Matthew writes that "Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon."......""then Jesus said to her in reply, 'O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.'" (Matt.15:21, 29)

Some experts think Lebanon's majestic snow capped Mount Hermon might have been the Mount of Transfiguration mentioned numerous times in the gospels.

Later, early Christians fled north for safety after Stephen was stoned to death by an angry mob.  A young Paul the Apostle – then called Saul – looked on while holding everyone's coats.

"Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews," it says in Acts 11:19.

And it was somewhere on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus that Paul found Jesus Christ.

When he started his traveling ministry, Paul's missionary journeys often took him through Lebanon.

But now, centuries later, the terrorist group Hezbollah has chosen some of these very same sites to launch their war against Israel. Israeli missiles have answered Hezbollah's missiles blow for blow.  Cities across Lebanon – including Tyre and Sidon – are being bombarded by the Israelis. And the valley of the springs talked about in the Old Testament is now the front lines of the brutal conflict.

Some wonder if the beauty so often talked about in the Bible might be marred by this latest war.

But over the centuries, no matter how horrible the conflict, Lebanon's beauty has always grown back. Both in the land and in the people. 

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