The Cedars of Lebanon

Chicago Record-Herald

At an elevation of about six thousand feet above the sea, on the left of the road to Baalbek, is a group of the noblest specimens of the vegetable kingdom in the East, which are believed to be thousands of years old and the remnant of the far-famed cedars of Lebanon, of which David and Solomon sang, and from which came the timbers for the Temple.

The term Mount Lebanon is misleading. There is no peak of that name, which is applied to a lofty range with several conspicuous summits extending about one hundred miles from the neighborhood of Damascus to the sea, and being about twenty-five miles broad from base to base. The most elevated peaks are Mount Hermon, 9,383 feet; Daharel-Kudhib, 10,020 feet; Jebel-Makmai, 10,016; El Miskych, 10,037; Fum-el-Mizab, 9,900; Sannin, 8,900 feet. These peaks are broken by rugged ridges, precipitous cliffs, and deep gorges. A parallel range, which does not reach to so great a height, is known as Anti-Lebanon.

Of all the mighty forests which formerly covered the slopes of Lebanon only five remain to-day, and they are limited in area. The loftiest trees and those most celebrated for their antiquity are found near the town of Becherre at an altitude of 6.300 feet, and are known as "The Cedars of God" — "The cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted;" and according to the botanists, who count their age by the circles in their trunks, they are three or four thousand years old. Like the immortal cliffs that tower above them, they have watched the passage of a procession of kings down the centuries, led by David, Solomon, and Hiram.

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In Answer to a Criticism
October 16, 1902

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