The Mountains of Bashan vs. Where God Dwells (Ps 68)

I was sucked into Psalm 68 this morning. Part of this psalm reads:

The mountains of Bashan are mighty mountains;
high-ridged mountains are the mountains of Bashan.
Why look with envy, you high-ridged mountains,
at the mountain where God has chosen to dwell?

Bashan (including the Golan Heights and southern slopes of Mt. Hermon) stand at what was the northern boundary between Judea and the gentile world. Rising some 9200 feet above sea-level, it is a beautiful and impressive site. Well watered, fruitful plains, rugged and snow-capped mountains, clearly the type of place you’d expect to find God (think Colorado Springs).

Mount Hermon

This fertile land was assigned to the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29-31), one of Joseph’s father’s favorite sons (Jacob even “adopted” his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons, giving them a special blessing above their brothers) An impressive physical specimen, and the father of a valorous and fruitful people, Jewish parents pronounce a blessing over their sons that includes the phrase “God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh” (from Gen. 48:20).

Mount Zion, on the other hand, not so much.

Mount Zion

Rising only 2500 feet above sea level, the Temple Mount would barely worth of the title mount, were it not for God’s presence (think West Texas and the Llano Estacado).

I love that our God chooses to dwell not in the unreachable heights of glory overlooking the richest land, but instead dwells where His people can live all around Him, where

…the just shall rejoice at the presence of God,
they shall exult and dance for joy…

18 thoughts on “The Mountains of Bashan vs. Where God Dwells (Ps 68)

  1. Joel Scott

    “Mount Zion, on the other hand, not so much.”

    Ha-ha! Great way to put it! 🙂

    Great photos, too.

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. Dan

    Wonderful insight to a very interesting verse. I just had to look up a commentaries on it and yours was at the top of the first page (serp) using the following search string…(why is the mountain of bashan special). FYI here is the actual serp direct from Google, “About 569,000 results (0.26 seconds)”. URL:

    Your search for the same search string may not yield the exact same result but it should be similar.

    It is a wonderment to me that God, our God would choose to identify with man, as omniscient, omnipotent and majestic God is, He chose to be like man and actually became a man so that He may redeem us from the clutches of sin.

    Jesus, what a wonder You are!

    Thank you for sharing your insight.

  3. Rob

    Good stuff … but you must read the final outcome as well … “and the mountains shall all be leveled, and every hill made low, and THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD shall be the PREMIER (highest) MOUNTAIN … and the Redeemed shall WALK UP to ZION.” Ywhen

  4. Rob

    Also, those three white peaks at Mt. Hermon are the northern flank where the fallen angels first came down to earth in Gen. 6 … later, their Nephillim descendants built the three major pyramids in Egypt (also once three white peaks; covered in white limestone) … the southern flank, with GOD’s MOUNTAIN in the middle … eventually, GOD’s MOUNTAIN will RISE UP and those mountains of Kings Og and Anak, along with the pagan pyramids of the sons of Amun-Ra (Lucifer) will be leveled … and the MOUNTAIN of The GREAT KING (Yeshua-Jesus) will be above them ALL … Praise GOD !!!

    1. Mr.P

      Firstly, the pyramids of Egypt are still there and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      Secondly, they were built by Egyptian artisans and mathematicians known as Harpendonaptes by the Greeks, not Jewish slaves or the children of Christian angels.

      Thirdly, the notion of God’s Mountains of Bashan is lifted from the Egyptian texts declaring the Mountains of Bakhu where the skies rest

      Fourthly, do you know the connection of King Og to Christendom
      and finally, if Amen Re is a pagan God, why do you proclaim his name at the end of each of your prayers.

      My point? There is but one God and many interpretations. Your interpretation is flawed to say the least.

      However, the fact that you have an interpretation means that you are interested in God’s word. It will be worth it, though, to seek the truth!

      1. p

        Amun-Ra and amen are not the same thing. Amun-Ra is a pagan god. Amen is a verb used in Hebrew and Greek. Being that modern day Christians use it more closely to its Greek context it means something akin to “let it be so” or “so be it.”

  5. Linda H

    Your thoughts were vey well written. I, too, was sucked into Psalms 68. I especially appreciate how you said God chooses to dwell in a place where His people can live all around Him. He loves us that much that He chooses to live among us.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and what God is speaking to you. It is much appreciated.

  6. Penny Shellswell

    Very interesting. I arrived this morning at Ps 68 via a very different route. Seeking to understand the ‘hill of the Lord’ I ‘landed up in Dt 32 v 14 ‘Butter of cows and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape’. Bashan can be a symbol of fertility and fruitfulness, plenty, abundance. Sound like Jesus? Milk and butter to feed the young and meat to feed the adult.

    The church should be the place today where new believers are nurtured on ‘milk’ and the ‘meat’ – sacrifice – for the more mature. But then we take it to share with the non believer so that the church becomes the hill top, the Light that people can see and look to.

    I got excited here. And thank you I was looking for pictures which led me to your site.

  7. Paul Dhinakaran

    . Your description as to where these mountains are, helped. Those areas will be a path to the end time highway of Isaiah 19 from Assyria. V 7,8 will come true there in the last days when the path will be formed to Mount Zion from there, where the Lord will reign from.
    The present PM of Israel shall negotiate the peace between the today’s enemy countries and Israel thru Egypt to move the capital of Israel to Mount Zion soon . The entry to that Israeli HQ will be thru the GOLDEN GATE .
    There will a period of peace then in Israel when the gospel will be preached the world over, as the Holy Spirit will be poured Zechariah 12:10 & acts 2:17 .
    After that brief period as the nations gather against Israel again thru these same mountain paths ( bashan) v 22,23 thru which peace came , then the Lord will return to Jerusalem to save His people and reign over the world .
    Pray for this peace to come to Jerusalem for the preaching of the gospel to bring forth 100 times fruit as the final harvest the world over as His righteousness flows thru the peace from Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:12-24 says it all. Our israel Prayer Tower on Ben Yehuda’s Migdal HAir building 20th floor has this mission to pray this into fruition. Come to pray. More of this prophesy in the website of Jesus Calls.

  8. Nowelle

    Thank you. Please label the pictures next time would be good. I like that you said the land is fertile there and you see a comparison to CO mountains.

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