The easternmost of the two ranges forming the mountain system of Lebanon. The Anti-Lebanon Range parallels the Lebanon Range for about 100 km (60 mi), extending from the plateau of Bashan, E of Dan, up to the great Plain of Emesa, not far from the site of Riblah. Between the two ranges lies a long valley formed by the Orontes and Litani rivers and called Coele-Syria (“Hollow Syria”) or the Beqaʽ.—Jos 11:17.
In the N the ridge is narrow and broken by a series of prominent peaks. The central mass is broader, higher, and rougher, while the southern zone is cut by long torrent valleys that lead off to the E and S. To the E of the main ridge there is a series of descending plateaus that gradually drop to the level of the Plains of Damascus. The southern zone includes Mount Hermon, which reaches 2,814 m (9,232 ft). The geology of these mountains is similar to that of the Lebanon Range, and they are composed mainly of limestone, having gray cliffs and round gray summits.
The Anti-Lebanon Range is evidently referred to in the Hebrew by the name “Amanah” at Song of Solomon 4:8, where it is mentioned in connection with Mount Hermon. While some have considered Amanah to be a particular mountain peak, it appears rather to refer either to the entire Anti-Lebanon Range or some part of it. The mountain ranges of “Libana” and “Ammanana” are mentioned jointly in inscriptions of Assyrian monarchs Tiglath-pileser III and Sennacherib. The Abanah River (modern Barada) is also called “Amanah” at 2 Kings 5:12 in the Syriac Peshitta and the Aramaic Targums, and this river, the principal one of Damascus, has its source in the southern part of the Anti-Lebanon mountains. Hence the name may refer either to that part of the range or to the range as a whole.
Since the major part of the Anti-Lebanon Range is not snowcapped, it has few rivers or streams. Little vegetation grows, but thin forests of dwarf oak and juniper trees are seen on various parts of the slopes. Few cedars remain today. The lower slopes still support vineyards, olive groves, and orchards, as they did in Bible times.