At The Base Of Mount Hermon
After Dan we will travel about 4 miles to the city of Caesarea Philippi. It is located at the southwest base of Mount Hermon at approximately 1150 ft above sea level, at the headwaters for the Jordan River. Being almost 25 miles to the north of the Sea of Galilee, the location in itself was strategic in defending the fertile plains to the west. Prior to the Hellenistic Period, the name of area is relatively unknown. However, a shrine built there to the idols Baal-gad or Baal-hermon (Joshua 11:17ff; Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 5:23) may have been the actual cave site discussed next.
A cave of individual note is located there where a spring emerges and particularly floods during the spring rains. Greeks who came to stay there dedicated the existing shrine to their idol “Pan,” and “the Nymphs.” During the reign of Antiochus the Great (ca. 200 BC), the name of the city was refined to Panion (or Paneion). The title remained for the region and would etymologically change to “Paneas.”