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Cedars of Lebanon

In Scriptural symbology, the cedar-tree, says Wemyss (Symbolic Language of Scripture), was the symbol of eternity, because its substance never decays nor rots.

Hence, the Ark of the Covenant was made of cedar; and those are said to utter things worthy of cedar who write that which no time ought to obliterate.

The Cedars af Lebanan are frequently referred to in the legends of Freemasonry, especially in the advanced Degrees; not, however, on account of any symbolical signification, but rather because of the use made of them by Solomon and Zerubbabel in the construction of their respective Temples.

Phillott (Smith's Bible Dictionary) thus describes the grove so Celebrated in Scriptural and Masonic history:

"The grove of trees known as the Cedars of Lebanon consists of about four hundred trees, standing quite alone in a depression of the mountain with no trees near, about six thousand four hundred feet above the sea, and three thousand below the summit.

About eleven or twelve are very large and old, twenty-five large, fifty of middle size, and more than three hundred younger and smaller ones.

The older trees have each several trunks and spread themselves widely round, but most of the others are of cone-like form, and do not send out wide lateral branches.

In 1550 there were twenty-eight old trees, in 1739, Pococke counted fifteen, but the number of trunks makes the operation of counting uncertain.

They are regarded with much reverence by the native inhabitants as living records of Solomon's power, and the Maronite patriarch was formerly accustomed to celebrate there the festival of the Transfiguration at an altar of rough stones."

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