It was past this spot that the noise of the boots of Titus and Vespasian’s troops headed south to finish the job at Jerusalem in AD70 could have been easily heard. It is the only large division of the coastal mountain ranges that extend alongside the Orontes (Wadi al Hasa)  from central Lebanon to its exit at Sammandag in southern Turkey (biblical Seleucia the port for Antioch in Syria) This perforation is the valley adjacent to nahr Kabir (the great river) that now divides the country of Lebanon and Syria and geographically extends to Tadmor or Palmyra in the central Syrian desert.

That this passage into the interior of the middle east from its face at the Mediterranean was important through history, is amply depicted in the scale of the castle built here called Krak des Chevaliers (the fortress of the knights).  This castle was the last strategic point held by the crusaders before being deported from these lands via Arwad and Rhodes.

The entering in of Hamath is a geographic border mentioned in the bible: Josh 13:5; Judges 3:3; 1Kings 8:65; 2Kings 14:25; 2Chron 7:8 and near here were the battles of Kadesh and the encampment at Riblah by Necho and Nebuchadnezzar.

Originally it was the territory of the sons of Canaan Gen 10:18; It was the limit of the land examined by the spies Num 13:12; It was the northern limits of the land of inheritance of the tribes of Israel Num 34:8; Josh 13:5; a land taken by David in his campaigns against the Syrians. The land of Hamath then known as Hamath the Great submitted to David, bringing materials for the building of the temple,  2Sam 8:9f.

Hamath was on the route of Alexander mentioned in the route of Zech 9:2 Hamath- Gebal (should not have been translated, but really a proper noun, modern Byblos) – Sidon-Tyre. This was the route of the arrogant Greek, a direct contrast to the coming of the meek king of Israel, coming with salvation, delivering men from the pit to which Alexander so amply dispatched them.

Hamath heb. enclosure represents the wall of the ecclesia. As a geographical border at the north, it also was the entry and represents all the ideals of entering the tabernacle at the door of the congregation. The inheritance of the faithful will be “as a man goeth” to Hamath and is an indication that inheritance in the kingdom will be related to a man’s conduct during his probation.

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