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Hermon, Mount

Hermon, Mount (hûrˈmən) [key], Arabic Jabal Ash Shaykh [mountain of the chief] and Jebel-eth-Thelj [snowy mountain], on the Syria-Lebanon border. The highest of its three peaks (all of which are snow-covered in winter and spring) rises to 9,232 ft (2,814 m). Its seasonal snow melt is important to the headwater flow of the Jordan River. Mt. Hermon, a sacred landmark in ancient Palestine, is mentioned often in the Bible as Hermon, Sion, Senir, and Shenir. The name Baal-Hermon records the reverence in which it was held by the worshipers of Baal. The Romans also revered it, as did the Druze (there is a Druze shrine near Hasbayya). The ancient city of Caesarea Philippi was at its foot. Mt. Hermon is traditionally designated as the scene of the Transfiguration. Israel has possessed Mt. Hermon's southern and western slopes since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. They are used for winter skiing and as observation points for the Israeli military.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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