Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cedars of Lebanon- The Cedars of God

Cedars of Lebanon

Cedars of Lebanon – Economy of Ancient Lebanon

In ancient times the cedars of Lebanon seemed to be very famous trees and were considered as the economy of ancient Lebanon. Usually mentioned in the Scripture as cedars of Lebanon, its wood is aromatic and durable and was preferred for building in Iron Age Israel. In the Bible it is mentioned that David utilised it in building his palace (2 Sam 5:11: 1 Chr 17:1) while Solomon made use of it in building the temple and his palace.

The cedars are massive, beautiful trees which grow in mountainous regions at altitudes of 3,300 to 6,500 feet. They are traced in Lebanon, Cyprus and south-central Turkey. The cedar trees produce cones which grow over the branches and reach a height of 100 feet. The trunk grows to 6 feet in diameter. In comparison to the trees of Israel, the cedar is an expansive tree which is very much praised in the Bible.

The Cedars of God: Land in the Midst of Mountain & Sea

The cedars of Lebanon were used from the dense forests of the mountains and beneath were the fertile land in Beqa Valley with natural harbours lined along the coast. Lebanon geography separates the country into various regions. Viewing the map of Lebanon, one observes it as a land in the midst of mountain and sea. This could help in creating international economy reaching to the far flung regions of the world.

Lebanon was positioned in the centre of Syria and Palestine and both the countries profited immensely from the cedars of Lebanon. Lebanon had been placed in an exclusion position to expand its wealth towards eastward along the trade routes as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Hence the history of Lebanon seems to have a diverse and rich history owing to its ease of travel, trade along the land caravan routes as well as the sea-trade routes.

Esh-Shouf Cedar Reserve

The cedars of Lebanon over the years got relentlessly exhausted. In order to refill the forests, the government of Lebanon has been taking great measures in preserving the cedars. The largest Lebanon’s naturereserve is the Esh-Shouf Cedar Reserve which had been established in 1996.It includes oak and juniper forests together with three cedar forests namely, Barouk Maasser Al-Shouf, Ain Zhalta-Bmohary.

The Esh-Shouf Cedar Reserve cedar forests comprises of 25% of all the rest of cedars prevailing in Lebanon. The cedars of Lebanon were transported west towards the coastal port cities after they were chopped from the snow-capped peaks and loaded to Phoenician ships where it was shipped all over the world.

The cedars of God in some cases like the one in the midst of Hiram and Solomon were bundled together on rafts and transported along the coast to scheduled ports. Byblos, Tyre and Sidon were some of the ports of Phoenician where its culture dominated Lebanon creating an impact on ancient Israel in a tremendous way. Its shoreline seems to be rocky towards the north and sandy in the south.

Cedars of Lebanon- Important Religious Significance

The name `Lebanon’ was derived from the snowcapped mountain peaks. Owing to its closeness to the sea, it enabled the growth of great port cities which molded from natural harbors.The Phoenician culture became expert sailors of ancient times who dominated the nautical occupation and activity. Over the years, several people utilised cedar of Lebanon from the forest.

It was used in building ships by the Phoenicians, while the Egyptians utilised the wood to make paper whereas the people like the Romans and Turks misused the natural treasure for the purpose of trade. It holds an important religious significance and on many occasions, a reference of it, has been made in the Bible. The wood was utilised by Solomon to build up Jerusalem while Emperor Hadrian administered them as royal domain which hindered their destructions.

World Heritage Site- Cedars of Lebanon

At present the cedar of God is still being exploited in spite of the attempt to protect them is being done by Queen Victoria. The British soldiers, had cut down the tree inhabited, by misusing it for railroads at the time of the World War One.

Currently the majority of Cedar trees are situated on the Arz Mountains in Lebanon where the site is considered as UNESCO and the forest has been considered as one of the World Heritage site which is well protected and cherished. As one moves eastward from the coast, Lebanon’s diagram tends to change significantly.You get to see the full view of the Lebanese Mountain towering over the horizon.Characteristic of Lebanon is separated by this range with the Anti-Lebanese Mountains further east which was the source of their prized cedars of Lebanon.

Also known as the Mount Lebanon, the Western Mountain Range of Lebanon are said to be the highest and most rocky of the two ranges wherein from this range, the most popular timber had been collected. These trees were utilised by the Phoenicians to construct their extensive navy and also to trade and build their massive evolution.

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