Mount Hermon (Arabic: جبل الشيخ or جبل حرمون /
ALA-LC: Jabal al-Shaykh ("
Mountain of the Sheikh") or Jabal Haramun;
Hebrew: הר חרמון, Har Hermon) is a mountain cluster
constituting the southern end of the Anti-
Lebanon mountain range. Its
summit straddles the border between
Syria and Lebanon and, at
2,814 m (9,232 ft) above sea level, is the highest point in
Syria. On the top, in the United Nations buffer zone between Syrian
and Israeli-occupied territories, is the highest permanently manned UN
position in the world, known as "Hermon Hotel". The southern slopes
Mount Hermon extend to the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan
Heights, where the
Mount Hermon ski resort
Mount Hermon ski resort is located. A peak in
this area rising to 2,236 m (7,336 ft) is the highest
elevation in Israeli-controlled territory.
3 Epigraphy, archaeology and references in religious texts
5 Arab-Israeli conflict
6 Ski resort
7 See also
10 External links
Hebrews called the mountain "Hermon", meaning "sacred", while
Amorites referred to it as "Šeni'r". Another name of the
mountain is "Sirion" (Hebrew: שִׂרְיֹ֑ן Širyôn,[note
1] meaning "breastplate"),[note 2] the name that the
Phoenicians (especially Sidonians) gave to Mount Hermon, from
which the term "Syria" might be derived.
Mount Hermon is a cluster of mountains with three distinct summits,
each about the same height. The antilibanos (anti-
Lebanon range), of
which the Hermon range constitutes the southernmost part, extends for
approximately 150 km (93 mi) in a northeast-southwest
direction, running parallel to the
Lebanon range on the west. The
Hermon range covers an area of about 700 km2
(270 sq mi) of which about 70 km2 (27 sq mi)
are under Israeli control. Most of the portion of
Mount Hermon within
the Israeli-controlled area constitutes the Hermon nature reserve. The
entire relatively narrow range, with the Lebanon-
Syria boundary along
its spine, extends from 25km northeast of Mt. Hermon to 45km southwest
The mountain forms one of the greatest geographic resources of the
area. Because of its height it captures a great deal of precipitation
in a very dry area of the world. The
Jurassic limestone is broken by
faults and solution channels to form a karst topography. Mount Hermon
has seasonal winter and spring snow falls, which cover all three of
its peaks for most of the year. Melt water from the snow-covered
mountain's western and southern bases seeps into the rock channels and
pores, feeding springs at the base of the mountain, which form streams
and rivers. These merge to become the Jordan River. Additionally, the
runoff facilitates fertile plant life below the snow line, where
vineyards and pine, oak, and poplar trees are abundant.
The springs, and the mountain itself, are much contested by the
nations of the area for the use of the water.
Mount Hermon is also
called the "snowy mountain," the "gray-haired mountain", and the
"mountain of snow". It is also called "the eyes of the nation" in
Israel because its elevation makes it Israel's primary strategic early
Epigraphy, archaeology and references in religious texts
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh mentions that
Mount Hermon split after Gilgamesh
killed Humbaba, the Guardian of the Cedar Forest. One translation of
Tablet V states, "The ground split open with the heels of their feet,
as they whirled around in circles Mt. Hermon and
In the Book of Enoch,
Mount Hermon is the place where the Watcher
class of fallen angels descended to Earth. They swear upon the
mountain that they would take wives among the daughters of men and
take mutual imprecation for their sin (Enoch 6). The mountain or
summit is referred to as Saphon in
Ugaritic texts where the palace of
Ba'al is located in a myth about Attar. The Book of Chronicles
Mount Hermon as a place where Epher, Ishi, Eliel,
Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel were the heads of their
families. R.T. France, in his book on the Gospel of Matthew, noted
Mount Hermon was a possible location of the Transfiguration of
Temples of Mount Hermon
Temples of Mount Hermon can be found in villages on the
slopes. There is a sacred building made of hewn blocks of stone on the
summit of Mount Hermon. Known as Qasr Antar, it is the highest temple
of the ancient world and was documented by
Sir Charles Warren
Sir Charles Warren in 1869.
An inscription on a limestone stele recovered by Warren from Qasr
Antar was translated by George Nickelsburg to read "According to the
command of the greatest a (nd) Holy God, those who take an oath
(proceed) from here." Nickelsburg connected the inscription with oath
taken by the angels under
Semjaza who took an oath together, bound by
a curse, in order to take human wives in the
Book of Enoch
Book of Enoch (1 Enoch
6:6). Hermon was said to have become known as "the mountain of oath"
by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau. The name of
God was supposed to be
a Hellenized version of
Hadad and Nickelsburg connected it
with the place name of
Baal-Hermon (Lord of Hermon) and the deity
given by Enoch as "The Great Holy One". The mountain was said to
have become known as "the mountain of oath" by Charles Simon
Eusebius recognized the religious importance of
Hermon in his work Onomasticon, saying "Until today, the mount in
Lebanon is known as Hermon and it is respected by
nations as a sanctuary". It has been related to the
al-haram, which means "sacred enclosure". Another Greek
inscription found in a large temple at
Deir El Aachayer on the
northern slopes notes the year that a bench was installed "in the year
242, under Beeliabos, also called Diototos, son of Abedanos, high
priest of the gods of Kiboreia". The era of the gods of
not certain, nor is their location, which is not conclusively to be
identified with Deir al-Achayer, but was possibly the Roman sanctuary
or the name of a settlement in the area.
In Psalm 42, which leads the Psalms of the northern kingdom, the
God from the land of Jordan and the Hermonites. In
Song of Songs
Song of Songs 4:8, Hermon is an instance of an exotic locale, and the
Song of Ascents
Song of Ascents as well as Psalm 133:3 make specific reference to the
abundant dew formation upon Mount Hermon.
According to the controversial research by Professor
Israel Knohl of
the Hebrew University, in his book "Hashem",
Mount Hermon is actually
the Mount Sinai mentioned in the bible, with the biblical story
reminiscent of an ancient battle of the northern tribes with the
Egyptians somewhere in the Jordan valley or Golan heights.
Climate data for Hermon (1640 meters above sea level)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Six-Day War in June 1967, a part of
Mount Hermon in Syria
was captured by Israel. It was regained by
Syria on October 6, 1973,
the first day of the Yom Kippur War, following the First Battle of
Israel recaptured both the formerly Israeli-occupied
sector and the pre-
Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War Syrian-controlled sector on October
21, 1973, during Operation Dessert. The pre-Yom Kippur War
Syrian-controlled sector was returned to
Syria after the war.
The Israeli-occupied sector of the mountain became patrolled by the
Israel Defense Forces and the
Israel Police, and the Israeli Security
Forces have maintained a strategic observation post for monitoring
Syrian and Lebanese military activity near Mitzpe Shlagim ("Snow
Lookout"), which is at an elevation of about 2,224 m
(7,300 ft). Its neighboring peak, at 2,236 m
(7,336 ft), is the highest elevation in Israeli-occupied
Since the onset of Syrian Civil War, the Syrian-controlled Hermon has
continued to be under pro-Assad forces, though clashes have
sporadically erupted on the mountain range and spilled into Lebanon
and the Israeli-occupied portion. Most notably the Islamist rebel
Jaish al-Haramoun took part in the fighting on the
Southern slopes of the mountain.
Mount Hermon ski resort
Mount Hermon ski resort on the southeastern slopes of the mountain
Mount Hermon ski resort
Since 1981, when the
Golan Heights Law was passed, the
Israeli-occupied portion of the
Golan Heights has been governed under
Mount Hermon hosts the only ski resort in territory held
by Israel, including a wide range of ski trails at novice,
intermediate, and expert levels. It also offers additional winter
family activities such as sledding and Nordic skiing. Those who
operate the Hermon Ski area live in the nearby
Israeli settlement of
Neve Ativ and the
Druze town of Majdal Shams. The ski resort has a ski
school, ski patrol, and several restaurants located at either the
bottom or peak of the area. In 2005, the Syrian government had plans
to develop a 15-billion-dollar ski resort on the slopes of the
Hermon nature reserve
Mountains in the Golan Heights
First Battle of Mount Hermon
Second Battle of Mount Hermon
Third Battle of Mount Hermon
List of elevation extremes by country
^ The Semitic trilateral root of the word might be (Hebrew:
שָׂרָה), meaning to "persist" or "persevere".
^ Later on, Christian
Arameans used the term "Syriacs" in order to
distinguish themselves from pagan Arameans.
^ "ACME Mapper terrain display". mapper.acme.com. Retrieved 28 March
^ "CIA World Fact Book: Syria". 14 November 2011. Retrieved 27
November 2011. highest point:
Mount Hermon 2,814 m
^ Gröppel, Ekkehard (April–June 2013). "It is time to say Goodbye!"
(PDF). Golan: The UNDOF Journal. United Nations Disengagement Observer
Force (135): 10–15. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
^ The World's 18 Strangest Ski Resorts: The
Mount Hermon Ski Resort,
Shannon Hassett, Popular Mechanics
^ Jan N. Bremmer (2003). The Apocalypse of Peter. Peeters Publishers.
p. 76. ISBN 9789042913752.
^ Sir William Smith (1863). A Dictionary of the Bible: Red-Sea-Zuzims.
Princeton University. p. 1195.
^ Nissim Raphael Ganor (2009). Who Were the Phoenicians?. Kotarim
International Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 9659141521.
^ 8280. sarah, biblehub.com
^ Christoph Luxenberg (2007). The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A
Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran. Hans
Schiler. p. 9. ISBN 9783899300888.
^ "Sirion". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
^ "Hebrew: שִׁרְיוֹן, širyôn (H8303)". Retrieved 19 October
^ Pipes, Daniel (1992). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition.
Middle East Forum. p. 13. ISBN 0-19-506022-9. Retrieved 1
^ The Hermon entry area Israeli Liberary of Technology for Education
^ The Hermon Shoulder Israeli Ministry of Environment website (in
^ The vegetation of
Mount Hermon Mike Livneh (In Hebrew,
Unit of Research and Development, Dept. Of Education)
^ If UN positions on
Syria border fall to radicals
Israel will have to
respond Yacov Lapin, January 13, 2016 (Jerusalem Post)
^ The Eyes of the Country have Closed Death of the soldier who coined
the term "The eyes of the country" for a battle on the Hermon Mountain
(in Hebrew, Ynet, 30 November 2006)
^ Kovacs, Maureen (1989). The Epic of Gilgamesh. Stanford, California:
Stanford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0804715890.
^ John C. L. Gibson; Nick Wyatt; Wilfred G. E. Watson; Jeffery B.
Lloyd (1996). Ugarit, religion and culture: proceedings of the
International Colloquium on Ugarit, religion and culture, Edinburgh,
July 1994 : essays presented in honour of Professor John C.L.
Gibson. Ugarit-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-927120-37-2. Retrieved 20 June
^ Manfried Dietrich; Oswald Loretz (1996). Ugarit-Forschungen, p. 236.
Verlag Butzon & Bercker. ISBN 978-3-7887-1588-5. Retrieved 20
^ 1 Chronicles 5:23-24
^ R.T. France, Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale New
Testament Commentaries) (IVP Academic, 2008)
^ Harrington, Daniel (1991). Sacra Pagina: The Gospel of Matthew.
Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press. p. 253.
^ Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1. A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, 1–36;
81–108 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
^ E. A. Myers (11 February 2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near
East: Reassessing the Sources. Cambridge University Press.
pp. 65–. ISBN 978-0-521-51887-1. Retrieved 18 September
^ Fergus Millar (1993). The Roman Near East, 31 B.C.-A.D. 337.
Harvard University Press. pp. 311–.
ISBN 978-0-674-77886-3. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
^ Clifford, Richard J. (1 November 2003). Abingdon Old Testament
Commentaries: Psalms 73-150. Abingdon Press. pp. 263–264.
ISBN 978-1-4267-6009-9. “Hermon” is an instance of an exotic
locale, as in Song 4:8, where it occurs with several other place
Mount Hermon was famous for its heavy dew. Though the
Mediterranean climate of Palestine had no rainfall from May or June to
September, it had dew.
Dew was important in the summer and a
supplement to rain. Zion was therefore a place of fertility which even
in the rainless season has an abundance of dew, like that of mighty
Hermon to the north. So plentiful is it that it “runs down [NRSV:
“falls on”] the mountains of Zion” (Ps 133:3).
^ Pharaoh’s War with the Israelites: The Untold Story
Azure Magazine #41, Summer 2010 (Azure Magazine website)
^ "The Yom Kippur War". Ynetnews. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 24 November
^ "Syria". Ynetnews. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
^ Cordesman, Anthony H. (2008).
Israel and Syria. USA: Center for
Strategic and International Studies. p. 222.
ISBN 978-0-313-35520-2. Retrieved 2 September 2011. Its adjacent
peak, at 2,236 meters, is the highest elevation in Israel.
Syria unveils 15 billion dollar tourism project". Middle East
Online. Dec 20, 2005.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mount Hermon.
Media related to
Mount Hermon at Wikimedia Commons
"Hermon". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
Highest points of Asia
United Arab Emirates
British Indian Ocean Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands