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What is Lebanon?
By Kevin Smith



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Genesis 12:

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. (KJV)

Genesis 15:

6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. (KJV)

"This land" was the land possessed by the descendants of Canaan, the descendant of Ham, who was declared by Noah to be cursed (Gen 9:25), and thus, Canaan was shown to be standing contrary to God and His Plan. And, who were the Canaanites? They are, of course, the descendants of Canaan, and by Genesis 10:15-18 they are Sidon, Heth, the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

Genesis 15:

18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. (KJV)

The list of descendants of Canaan in Gen 10:15-18 does not match directly with the list of tribes occupying the covenant land, promised by God to the seed of Abraham, as given in Gen 15:19-21. And, by the above verses, we know that in addition to the known descendants of Canaan there were other tribes, which may or may not be descendants of Canaan, that were occupying the land of Canaan at the time God had made His land covenant with Abram. A comparison between the verses of the two chapters will give a better understanding of what groups are named.

The Sons of Canaan Per Genesis 10:15-18

Sidon (first born son), Heth (second son), the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

Occupiers of Canaan called out in Gen 15:19-21

Major tribes of the Canaanites------ Hittites (Heth) Amorites Girgashites Jebusites

Smaller tribes labeled as The Canaanites------- Sidon, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite

Others (descendants of Canaan?)------- the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Perizzites, the Rephaims,

Notice, in Gen 15:19-21 there is no mention of a tribe called Lebanonites, nor is there any land called Lebanon mentioned. God said that He had given "...this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates... " The land given was the land of Canaan.

And in Genesis chapter 17, God told Abraham:

8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (KJV)

And, again there is no mention of Lebanon. Yet, in Deuteronomy chapter 1, Moses tells us that God had said:

7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount [or hill country] of the Amorites, and unto all the places [inhabitants] nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and {unto} [the] Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. (KJV) Note: ({unto}is not in the original Hebrew)

As it is written in the Hebrew text, the underlined phrase would read as: "...to the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon unto (until/as far as) the great river, the river Euphrates."

Where is Lebanon, and why is it not mentioned in the land descriptions as given by God in Numbers 34:7-9 and Ezekiel 47:15-17? And, why is it not mentioned as a possession of one of the tribes of Israel? The answer is right in front of our eyes. If we read again verse 7 carefully we will notice the phrase, '...the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon...’. We then must ask ourselves, what is God saying?

God is saying: The land of the Canaanites IS the Lebanon! YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is declaring to the Israelites His purpose for the Hebrews and the land. When His people possess the land of Canaan, it will be a land dedicated to YHWH, a land reborn with a people with a new heart, a heart dedicated to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

God’s purpose in the reclamation of the land of the Covenant "...from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates..." was to produce a new beginning for the world which was to last for all eternity. I believe that the Bible is telling us that the word 'lebnon’ was God’s creation, and it was the combination of the word 'leb’ (Strong’s 3820) "heart" and the word 'nuwn’ (Strong’s 5126) "resprout & perpetuity", i.e. 'A permanent and perpetual reborn heart’. And, I believe the key to understanding this meaning of the word Lebanon is in God’s declaration to Zedekiah, the king of Judah, through the prophet Jeremiah, prior to their Babylonian captivity.

God is warning the king as to what would happen to Jerusalem, if he did not follow His word.

Jeremiah 22:6

6 For thus saith the Lord unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art gilead unto me, and the head of [the] Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. (KJV)

In other words "...thou art gilead [a sign or heap of testimony] unto Me and the head [first or leader] of [the land of the reborn heart] Lebanon..."

Jerusalem and Judah were the head of the land of the Promise (i.e. Israel, the Lebanon) and therefore, they were God’s sign (gilead) of His Authority to the world. And, we know what God allowed to happen to Judah because of their refusal to do His Will. While it didn’t work out the way God had intended then, God is nevertheless determined to bless the world through Israel, and the land is key to accomplishing that end. God would return His people to His land, and so, weread in Ezekiel 36:

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (KJV)

The word Lebanon has its origin in God’s Holy Bible, and the first time it is mentioned is by the Lord, Himself, and that was in reference to the Covenant Land of Abraham. The land we know today as Lebanon was referred to as Amurru by the Assyrians, the Hittites and the Egyptians in the archeological records prior to the Hebrews entering Canaan. And, at that, it was only mentioned in passing a very few times in the historical record and then only after the Hebrews had begun occupying the land of Canaan.

So, why is the word 'Lebanon’ (Strong’s 3844) defined as "the white mountain" and as being derived from the Hebrew word 'laban’ (Strong’s 3835) meaning "to be or become white" as well as meaning "to make bricks"? The reason has to be because the Biblical scholars, ancient and modern, have missed God’s message for us regarding His purpose for Israel in His plan to reclaim the world through Righteousness. And, since they missed that message, as had the Israelites themselves, the Bible scholars concluded that the word must have its origin in the Hebrew word for the color white.

We know today that the Hebrew language has its roots in the Akkadian language. And, through the research of the archeological records it has been determined that the Akkadian word for the color white is 'petsu’ or 'patsu’ meaning "white, pale or bleached" or "to become white".

However, in Biblical Hebrew, the word used for the color white is almost exclusively 'laban’ (Strong’s 3836) which clearly has its origin in the Akkadian word 'labanu’ meaning "to make bricks". And, in Biblical Hebrew, the word 'patsach’, (Strong’s 6476) meaning "to break forth into joy" or "make a loud noise or shout for joy", can quite plainly be seen to have come from the Akkadian word 'petsu’ or 'patsu’, and, as was stated previously, it means "white, pale or bleached". What could have caused these semantic shifts of the word 'laban’ from "making bricks" to "the color white" and of the word 'patsach’ from "white, pale or bleached" to "break forth into joy"?

That cause had to be an event or a process in the Israelites’ historical past involving the words which were used in their language at the time for "white" or "become white" and for "to make brick". I refer you now, to the Book of Exodus and the period of the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians – in particular, to the following two chapters and verses.

Exodus 1:

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. (KJV)

Exodus 5:

6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. (KJV)

During this period of enslavement, from its beginning to its end, the Israelites spoke a changing language. They entered Egypt speaking a form of Akkadian and exited speaking what is called Biblical Hebrew. When they went from Ex 1:7: "...the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty..." to Ex 1:8: "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.", they were still speaking their Semitic language. And, the forced labor that a large number of the Hebrews did was brick making, and the method they used to make bricks was the sun drying method. This method is known to us today as the adobe method. The term 'adobe’ is a Spanish word, and it is said to have its root in the Egyptian word "dAbAt" meaning "mud brick". What concerns us is the actual process the Egyptians used to make their structure walls. Without going into a great deal of technical detail, that process was this. The Egyptians mixed the native soils with fibrous organic material, such as straw, and then they pressed this mixture into forms, and the mud bricks were allowed to dry. As the mud dried, the brick turned a whitish or grey color. The bricks were then used to build walls for structures. The fully constructed walls were then coated with a whitewash of plaster to reflect the sun and help cool the building. We can now see that we have two terms in our description of the adobe wall construction process that are integral to our question posed: What could have caused these semantic shifts? It is easy to imagine that after working many long and hot hours constructing the walls of a building, the Hebrew slaves would have shouted for joy upon seeing the completed plaster walled building. That is to say, when the building was 'petsu’, i.e. "became white", they would shout for joy. This custom likely would have continued as a method of letting their Egyptian overseers know of their progress. It may well have been something encouraged or even instituted by the Egyptians.

Over time then, the word 'petsu’, later 'patsach’, would have lost its meaning as "become white" and taken on the meaning of the action of "shout for joy". And, likewise the word 'labanu’, later 'laban’, would have assumed the meaning of "white", in effect describing the condition of the brick upon drying. And finally, we must ask ourselves this simple question. What purpose would God have had in Mind for calling out a "white mountain" to His chosen people? The answer has to be none, therefore that can not be what He was saying.



~ The Biblical Context of Lebanon ~

Deuteronomy 1:7 (KJV)

7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount [hill country] of the Amorites, and unto all the places [inhabitants] nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and [the] Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

God was telling the Israelites, through Moses, that He wanted them to: "... go to the mount [hill country] of the Amorites and to all of the places [inhabitants] near to it...". And, He gave the geographic description of that land, i.e. the desert plain, the hills, the valley, the south, and along the coast. He then gave the name of that land, i.e. "...the land of the Canaanites...". He then gave a new name for that land, i.e. "...and the Lebanon...", with the same upper limit as He described to Abraham when He promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s seed, "...as far as the great river, the river Euphrates." The Lebanon then is the covenant land on the west side of the Jordan that was to be taken by the Israelites as commanded by YHWH.

Deuteronomy 3:25 (KJV)

25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain [hill country], and [the] Lebanon.

Moses is describing the covenant land of Abraham (the Lebanon), not a single mountain.

Deuteronomy 11:24 (KJV)

24 Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and [the] Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

"...from the wilderness [and the Lebanon], from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

The placement of the phrase 'and the Lebanon’ in the sentence of the verse is meant to emphasize that it is the area within the limits given, and is, in fact, "the land of Canaan", that same land of the Promise that God gave to Abraham’s seed and referred to in. Deut 1:7.

Joshua 1:4 (KJV)

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

God told Joshua in the previous verse 3, that just as He told Moses, wherever the sole of his foot shall tread, God has given the land to him, "From the wilderness and [this Lebanon] even unto the great river..."

Once again, the Lord is stating that "this Lebanon" means the landmass of the nation of Israel within the limits described (i.e. the covenant land of Abraham) in the verse .

Joshua 9:1 (KJV)

1 And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against [the] Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;

The verse is describing kings in the Promised Land (the Lebanon) as along all the sea coast and occupied by the tribes to be driven out.

Joshua 11:17 (KJV)

17 Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of [the] Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.

'Valley of the Lebanon’ (i.e. valley of the Promised Land containing Baalgad).

Joshua 12:7 (KJV)

7 And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of [the] Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions;

'Valley of the Lebanon’ (i.e. valley of the Promised Land containing Baalgad).

Joshua 13:5 (KJV) Note: This was land yet to be conquered

5 And the land of the Giblites, and all [the] Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

It is all of the land of the Promised Land (the Lebanon) along the sea coast in Syria, the land that was known as Amurru in Syria, and that was yet to be conquered. Note: This is the upper limit of the Promised Land as given in Num 34:7-9 and Ezek 47:15-17. Notice: It is not called out as being Lebanon in either reference, but only as "land of inheritance".

Joshua 13:6 (KJV) Note: This was land yet to be conquered.

6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from [the] Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

Just as in the previous verse, the Lord was reminding the Israelites that this land was also part of "the land of inheritance", the Promised Land (the Lebanon) and it too needed to be taken. That land was still occupied by Canaanites and Amorites, and the Lord wanted them gone.

Judges 3:3 (KJV)

3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount [the hill country of] Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.

These were five kings of the nations that remained in the hill country of the Promised Land (the Lebanon) which God had told Joshua, in Joshua 13, that still needed to be removed.

Judges 9:15 (KJV)

15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of [the] Lebanon.

Jotham is clearly speaking to the people of Shechem regarding their making his brother, Abimelech, king over them. The 'bramble’ refers to Abimelech, and the phrase "...unto the trees..." is referring to the men, i.e."trees", of Shechem. And the phrase "... and devour the cedars of Lebanon" is clearly referring to the leaders ( i.e. 'cedars) of Israel, and therefore, the Lebanon is a reference to the Promised Land (i.e. that portion of it which the divided kingdom of Israel occupied).

1 Kings 4:33 (KJV)

33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in [the] Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

Under King David, the Kingdom of Israel spread to the limits in the north as called for by God. He conquered the lands of Aram-Damascus and Hamath and to the Euphrates river. That military occupation and rule included the area of Amurru which included the port cities as well as the mountain ranges for Mt. Hor and Mt. Hermon. Even though the Israelite populations did not occupy that area outright, as God had commanded, the fact that King David administered rule over Amurru (and was included in the instructions by God for the limits of the Promised Land) meant that, as part of the kingdom, those areas were considered as included in the "land of inheritance" the "Promised Land" (i.e. the Lebanon). And, therefore "the Lebanon" refers to the land of Israel within the limits as intended by God.

1 Kings 5:6 (KJV)

6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of [the] Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

The 'Phoenician’ port cities as well as the mountain ranges for Mt. Hor and Mt. Hermon (i.e. Amurru) were part of the kingdom of David (i.e. vassals) and within the limits of the "land of inheritance" described by God, and were therefore considered part of the Promised Land. King Solomon was ordering cedar trees to be cut from the Promised Land/the Lebanon.

1 Kings 5:9 (KJV)

9 My servants shall bring them down from [the] Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.

Hiram was acknowledging that Amurru was part of David’s kingdom, and would gladly comply with his order to fell cedar trees from the Promised Land/the Lebanon and send them by ship.

1 Kings 5:14 (KJV)

14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.

(2 Chr 2: 17-18) King Solomon used David’s census to determine the number of foreign men able to do work. These men were gathered from the vassal states of the kingdom of Israel which were not considered a part of the covenant land of Abraham. These foreign vassal subjects worked shifts of a month in the Promised Land/the Lebanon and two months at home.

1 Kings 7:2 (KJV)

2 He built also the house of the forest of [the] Lebanon; the length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars.

The building was called "the house of forest of the Promised Land/the Lebanon".

1 Kings 9:19 (KJV)

19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in the Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

Storage facilities of forts (i.e. cities/towns) in Jerusalem, in the covenant land of Abraham/ the Lebanon and the vassal states.

1 Kings 10:17 (KJV)

17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of [the] Lebanon.

The forest of the Promised Land/the Lebanon.

1 Kings 10:21 (KJV)

21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of [the] Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.

"The forest of the Promised Land/the Lebanon".

2 Kings 14:9 (KJV)

9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

These two kings are clearly and undoubtedly reigning within the borders of the Promised Land, i.e. the covenant land of Abraham, the land in which the Hebrews lived – one in Samaria and the other in Jerusalem. Jehoash was insulting Amaziah by calling him a 'thistle’ in Lebanon and claiming he, Jehoash, was a 'cedar’ in Lebanon. Lebanon is a clear reference to the "land of inheritance", the Promised Land/the Lebanon, and the type of tree is a reference to their power stature.

2 Kings 19:23 (KJV)

23 By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel (garden/vineyard).

This is a strong rebuke against Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, by the Lord. God’s use of the word Lebanon is most certainly His reference to the "land of the inheritance", the Promised Land. This is made clear in 2 Kings 19:21 where the Lord refers to "...the daughter of Zion..." which is a reference to the people of Israel. The Lord also makes it clear in 2 Kings 19:22 that the Assyrian king was reproaching and blaspheming none other than the God of Abraham, the Holy One of Israel, and by 2 Kings 19:23, we know that it is God’s vineyard the king was threatening. And, the fact that the Lord says that the king has "...come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon..." when we know that the king had come up against Jerusalem, tells us that God definitely means He is talking about the covenant land of Abraham, when He uses the word Lebanon – it is His vineyard, His Lebanon.

2 Chronicles 2:8 (KJV)

8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,"

See the explanation for 1 Kings 5:6 given above.

2 Chronicles 2:16 (KJV)

16 And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.

See the explanation for 1 Kings 5:9 given above.

2 Chronicles 8:6 (KJV)

6 And Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had, and all the chariot cities, and the cities of the horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and throughout all the land of his dominion.

See the explanation for 1 Kings 9:19 given above.

2 Chronicles 9:16 (KJV)

16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

See the explanation for 1 Kings 10:17 given above.

2 Chronicles 9:20 (KJV)

20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon.

See the explanation for 1 Kings 10:21 given above.

2 Chronicles 25:18 (KJV)

18 And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

See the explanation for 1 Kings 14:9 given above.

Ezra 3:7 (KJV)

7 They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from [the] Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

Ezra was certainly aware that Amurru is included in the land limits as described by God through Ezekiel, and this then is referencing those cedars as being within the land of Israel.

Psalm 29:5-6 (KJV)

5 The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of [the] Lebanon.
6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

This is a psalm written by King David. David understood God’s use of the word Lebanon and that it referred to the Promised Land. The psalm concerns the Glory of God and the very power of His Voice and His position of authority as being the Author of creation. God spoke and the world was created. God was on His throne at the time of the flood, and He is still King. David wants the Hebrews to know that while God established the nation of Israel and granted it peace, He has a purpose for Israel. That purpose is to glorify God’s Name to the world. And, David is reminding them that God has the power to create, and He has the power to destroy. And, by His Voice or command He can break the "cedars" (figuratively the lifted up) of the Lebanon/Promised Land and shake the foundations of the Lebanon/promised Land and Sirion (i.e. Mt. Hermon).

Psalm 72:16 (KJV)

16 There shall be an handful [abundance] of corn [grain] in the earth upon the top of the mountains [or hills]; the fruit [or reward] thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city [from the city] shall flourish like grass of the earth.

This is the last psalm attributed to David, and in it, David is describing the kingdom reign of the Messiah. The Hebrew version is more in line with that shown below.

There shall be abundance of grain in the earth, the top of the hills will wave (quake or shake) like the fruit/reward of Lebanon, and shall flourish from the city (population/people) like grass on the earth.

The "fruit or reward of Lebanon" has to refer to the blessings and rewards as intended from the Promised Land, the covenant land of Abraham.

Psalm 92:12 (KJV)

12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Lebanon is the Land of the Promise and the phrase "The righteous shall flourish" is referencing "...those that be planted in the house of the Lord...".

Psalm 104:16 (KJV)

16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

Lebanon is the covenant land of Abraham, God’s garden.

Song of Solomon 3:9 (KJV)

9 King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of [the] Lebanon.

4:8 (KJV)

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

4:11 (KJV)

11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

4:15 (KJV)

15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

5:15 (KJV)

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

7:4 (KJV)

4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of [the] Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Lebanon refers to the covenant land of Abraham in all of the above verses of Song of Solomon. Solomon inherited David’s kingdom and understood God’s meaning of Lebanon.

Isaiah 2:13 (KJV)

13 And upon all the cedars of [the] Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of [the] Bashan,

In Isaiah 2:2, "In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be exalted", the Lord is speaking of His purpose for Israel – to bring Righteousness to the world. The Lord then pleads with Judah to "...walk in the Light of the Lord (Is. 2:5). And continuing in Isaiah 2;

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, (Is. 2:14)
15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,

18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish. (Is. 2:18)

It must be noted that "the Lebanon" refers to the land of the 9 ½ tribes on the west side of the Jordan, and "the Bashan" refers to the land of the 2 ½ tribes on the east side of the Jordan. The phrases "cedars of the Lebanon that are high and lifted up", and "all the oaks of the Bashan", are references to the pride and idolatry of the Amorites that have been adopted by all of Israel and have led to their sin – 'cedars’ (Strong’s 730) comes from 'awraz’ (Strong’s 729) meaning 'to be firm’. And, 'oaks’ (Strong’s 437) comes from 'ahyil’ (Strong’s 352) and means 'strength’ and is the same as 'uwl’ (Strong’s 193) meaning 'to twist’ and by implication means 'to be strong’, powerful, mighty, strength. The trees are the prideful leaders. Isaiah is telling of the coming judgement of Judah and Jerusalem, due to their idolatry. Again, Lebanon refers to the land of the Promise – the covenant land of Abraham.

Isaiah 10:34 (KJV)

34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and [the] Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one [Mighty One].

From Isaiah 10:3 we read: "And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?" – 'glory’ (Strong’s 3519) 'kabowd’ meaning; 'weight’, figuratively 'honor’. And, in the verses before Isaiah 10:34 we are told that the Assyrians are preparing to attack Jerusalem. God, through Isaiah, is telling the people that this punishment is from Him. In Isaiah 10:24, God told the people of Zion not to fear the Assyrian, because in verse 5, God refers to the Assyrian as, "...the rod of My anger...". The Assyrian will strike them with the rod, but in His good time God will strike the Assyrian. And, by verse 33, we know that it is God Who is punishing Judah and Jerusalem.

32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.

Because the house of Jacob sinned against the Lord, the Lebanon, i.e. the covenant land of Abraham, shall fall by the Assyrian, "...the rod of My anger...".

Isaiah 14:8 (KJV)

8 Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.

Isaiah chapter 14 begins; "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land...". The Lord is telling Israel that the king of Babylon will be punished, and when that occurs, and they are given rest from him, they will take up a proverb. And, part of that proverb will be as stated in verse 8. Lebanon is the land of the Promise, and the fir trees and the cedars are the people and their leaders.

Isaiah 29:17 (KJV)

17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

This verse refers to the time of the Messiah’s kingdom, and when Lebanon, i.e. the covenant land of Abraham, will be fruitful.

Isaiah 33:9 (KJV)

9 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

Lebanon is the land of the Promise, and it will become a wasteland.

Isaiah 35:2 (KJV)

2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Lebanon is the land of the Promise and it will be blessed in the Messiah’s kingdom.

Isaiah 37:24 (KJV)

24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel.

See the response given for 2 Kings 19:23. This is the Lord’s rebuke to Sennacherib.

Isaiah 40:16 (KJV)

16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.

In this chapter, Isaiah is telling us of the kingdom of the Messiah, the Creator of the Universe. There is no nation or power to compare to God, and, as He reigns, the world will know the insufficiency of sacrifices. Lebanon, even being God’s garden, is not sufficient.

Isaiah 60:13 (KJV)

13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

The future glory of Israel under the reign of YHWH will be in its intended position of grace and glory with God.

Jeremiah 18:14 (KJV)

14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

Describing Lebanon as a place of plenty and asking "who would leave such a place?".

Jeremiah 22:6 (KJV)

6 For thus saith the Lord unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

"For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire." Jer. 21:10 (KJV) "But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation." Jer. 22:5 (KJV) Therefore in verse 6, the Lord is saying that Judah is 'gilad’ (1567) 'a heap of testimony’ to Him, i.e. a monument or sign to the world, and not the territory 'Gilad’ (1568) 'Gilead’. Therefore verse 6 would be "...thou art a monument or marker to Me, the 'leader’ the 'captain’ the 'chief ’ of Lebanon (i.e. the covenant land of Abraham ) – I will make you a wilderness of uninhabited cities." This is made clear in verse 8 "And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?"

Jeremiah 22:20 (KJV)

20 Go up to [the] Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.

The Lord is telling Judah if they refuse to repent, to go look at Israel (part of the covenant land of Abraham) and Bashan and cry out – all of thy idolatrous lovers are gone.

Jeremiah 22:23 (KJV)

23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!

With the coming judgement of Judah approaching, the Lord is telling the people of Judah, i.e. Lebanon, who have trusted (make thy nest in the cedars) in their king and leaders, that they are to be pitied when the judgement comes upon them.

Ezekiel 17:3 (KJV)

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:

"Parable to the house of Israel" In this puzzle, God is referring to Judah as the remaining portion of Lebanon, the covenant land of Abraham, with Jerusalem as the nation’s capital. The cedar is the king’s house of Judah, the highest branch is the king and the great eagle is the king of Babylon, and we know this because in verse 12 of Ezekiel 17 the Lord explains;

12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;

Ezekiel 27:5 (KJV)

5 They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.

Lebanon: recognized by Ezekiel as the covenant land of Abraham. (Ezek. 47:15-17)

Ezekiel 31:3,15,16 (KJV)

3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.

15 Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

Assyria was a great empire above all others (Ezek. 31:5-6) because God allowed it to become so. Assyria was used by the Lord to bring judgement on the kingdom of Israel, and God also used it to discipline Judah (Is. 10:5). Thus, God allowed Assyria to enter the covenant land of Abraham, the Lebanon, "the garden of God", and was allowed to rule over it. But, because of its arrogance (Is. 10:7-16), God brought destruction to Assyria (c.616 B.C.).

Ezek. 31:10

"...Because thou [i.e. Egypt] hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;" (KJV)
(Note: the pronouns shown in bold above refer to Judah, and God is declaring Judah’s arrogance in its trust in Egypt.)

Because Egypt sought to make a vassal of Judah after Assyria’s fall, and Judah was thereby convinced that there was a way to counter God’s plan of using Babylon to discipline Judah, God is going to use Babylon to destroy Egypt. This was also the reason that Judah was delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and driven from the land. (Ezek. 31:10-11) The Lord is also stating in verse 15 that after Assyria’s fall, gloom fell over Lebanon, and the people of Judah (i.e. the trees of the field) became somber. Assyria was allowed to be a "cedar in the Lebanon" and Judah was the "cedar in the Lebanon". The Lord is asking to which of those trees in Eden (i.e. God’s garden) would Egypt liken itself. They were brought down to the depths, and Egypt will be brought down as well.

Hosea 14:5,6,7 (KJV)

5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

The Lord is pleading with the northern kingdom of Israel to give up their belief that Assyria will save them and to reject their idolatry and return to the Lord, and He will plant them and bless them as being God’s garden, i.e. Lebanon.

Nahum 1:4 (KJV)

4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

The Lord is declaring His anger against the city of Nineveh. After heeding the warnings of Jonah about 100 years earlier , the city had slipped back into idolatry, and the Lord was expressing His anger at them for doing so. The time of this prophecy is c. 660 B.C. At that time, Bashan (the 2 ½ tribes of Israel east of the Jordan), Carmel (the mountain of Samaria, the northern kingdom of Israel east of the Jordan) and the flower of Lebanon (the kingdom of Judah) are all in a weakened state because of their idolatry and unfaithfulness. God’s point is – If He did not spare His chosen, what makes Nineveh think they will escape?

Habakkuk 2:17 (KJV)

17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

The time of Habakkuk’s prophecy is very likely around the time of Jehoiakim (c. 609 B.C.) and Egypt’s involvement with Judah. The Medes and Babylonians conquered Nineveh c. 612 B.C., and the Lord was telling Habakkuk that He was going to call down the Chaldeans (Babylonians) upon Judah. The violence and the iniquity that Habakkuk witnessed in Judah (i.e. Lebanon) and, had complained to the Lord about, was going to engulf Judah when the Lord sends the Babylonians against it.

Zechariah 10:10 (KJV)

10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.

The Lord is declaring, through Zechariah, to the returned captives in Judah of His disappointment that they have not completed the task of rebuilding the Lord’s Temple. The Lord tells them that if they return to Him, He will return to them. God’s purpose in returning the Hebrews to the covenant land of Abraham is so that they may be the blessing to the world that He had intended them to be. And so, the Lord says through Zechariah, He will bring them into the land of gilead, 'a heap of testimony’ (His sign to the world) and Lebanon, God’s garden.
~ ‡ ~
We can clearly see God’s intended purpose for Israel, and His land of Promise was to be the land of a NEW HEART, a REBORN HEART, the Lebanon, through which the whole world will have an opportunity to share in that REBIRTH. And, we know this because God tells us so through His prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 36:24 (KJV)

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

HOWEVER, in the very next chapter of Zechariah we read;

Zechariah 11:1 (KJV)

11 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

The Lord tells us through Zechariah that His people will reject and kill the Messiah, Who is the very reason for the covenant land of Abraham (the Lebanon). Once again, the Lord’s Promise of the Messiah’s kingdom will unfortunately be delayed because of sin. I say delayed and not stopped – the Lord WILL have His Kingdom, and He will reign over the world from the throne of David in Jerusalem. "

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