Journey Through The Scriptures

Mountains and Waters of Israel

Lesson 3: The “Gray-Haired” Mountain

(Scripture to Read: Deuteronomy 3:8–11; Psalm 133:1–3)

Viewing the beautiful, snow-covered peaks of Mount Hermon in northern Israel is one of the breathtaking sights that await a visitor to the Holy Land. Towering some 9,200 feet above sea level, it is the highest point in Israel. A cluster of three distinct peaks of about the same height, Mount Hermon was the northern boundary of the Promised Land as recorded by Moses, and also the farthest point north in the conquest by Joshua (see Joshua 11:17).

The “dew of Hermon,” the snow melt that the psalmist referred to poetically, runs down the mountain’s western and southern slopes, forming several streams and rivers that flow down to become the source of the Jordan River. Mount Hermon was considered a sacred site, its name meaning “a consecrated place” or “a sanctuary.”

Unfortunately, the mountain was used for the worship of the Canaanite god Baal during the period of the judges (Judges 3:3 calls it “Mount Baal Hermon”), and many temples and shrines have been found there. Hermon’s peaks are covered with snow for much of the year; another name for it translates as “the grayhaired mountain.”

Study Questions

  1. How were the Israelites under Moses able to conquer the powerful kingdoms that held the Promised Land as far north as Mount Hermon? (Hint: Read Deuteronomy 3:3)
  2. What can we learn from Israel's experience in Deuteronomy 3 about the "mountains" and other obstacles we face in our lives?
  3. Our unity as Jews and Christians who share the same spiritual roots is compared to the refreshing "dew of Hermon" in Psalm 133:3. In what ways can we be refreshed by this unity?
  4. List three ways that you can help strengthen the unity we share as Jews and Christians.

Something to Think About

The refreshing dew of Mount Hermon has been flowing for thousands of years—truly a symbol of both the Lord’s goodness to Israel and His desire for the spiritual unity the psalmist longed and prayed for. Pray that as members of The Fellowship, we will stand together on the common ground of our heritage while respecting the differences in our faith communities.