Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beqaa Valley and the Cedars of Lebanon

We traveled from Beirut to a location in the Beqaa Valley. The Beqaa Valley is the most agriculturally fertile region in Beirut. It was also home to many cities mentioned in the Old Testament such as Baal-gad and Mount Hermon.

Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, - Joshua 12:7

The Beqaa Valley. The right side of the picture continues on to Israel while the left side enters into Syria.

During our travel into the Beqaa Valley we went up into the mountains and saw the cedars of Lebanon. These trees are phenomenally beautiful and smell fantastic (see Hosea 14:6). I think each of us were a little bit surprised at how majestic these trees are. Truly fitting to be used to craft the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 5:5-6). I was shocked to learn that they grow at the rate of only 1 centimeter per year. Many of the trees we saw were no less than 3000 years old. Amazing.

In a forest of beautifully smelling, Cedars of Lebanon

Through your servants you have reproached the Lord, And you have said, 'With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of Lebanon; And I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses. And I will go to its highest peak, its thickest forest. - Isaiah 47:24

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. - Psalm 92:12

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. - Psalm 29:5

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