Population: 5,882,562 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1% - Note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians
Religions: Muslim 54% (27% Sunni, 27% Shia), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Greek Catholic, 6.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons Note:18 religious sects recognized (2012 est.)
Lebanon in Bible Prophecy:
Isaiah 10:33-34 "Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one."
Isaiah 29:17-19 "Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
Ezekiel 17:1-10 "And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew."
Zechariah 11:1-6 "Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them."
History of Lebanon:
Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516-1918. After World War I, France was given a League of Nations mandate over Lebanon and Syria. In 1920, the State of Greater Lebanon was created out of the provinces of Mount Lebanon, north and south Lebanon, and the Bekaa.
Lebanon proclaimed independence on November 26, 1941, but full independence came in stages. Under an agreement between representatives of Lebanon and the French National Committee of Liberation, most of the powers exercised by France were transferred to the Lebanese government on January 1, 1944. The evacuation of French troops was completed in 1946.
Civil war broke out in 1958, with Muslim factions led by Kamal Jumblat and Saeb Salam rising in insurrection against the Lebanese government headed by President Camille Chamoun. At Chamoun's request, President Dwight Eisenhower, sent U.S. troops to re-establish the government's authority.
A Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975. In the fighting, 40,000 Lebanese were estimated to have been killed and 100,000 wounded between March 1975 and November 1976. Syrian troops intervened at the request of the Lebanese and brought large-scale fighting to a halt. In 1977, the civil war flared again.
Palestinian guerrillas staging raids on Israel from Lebanon led to two Israeli invasions in 1978 and 1982. In the first invasion, Israelis entered Lebanon in March 1978 and withdrew in June after the UN Security Council created a peacekeeping force called United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The second Israeli invasion came on June 6, 1982, after an assassination attempt by Palestinian terrorists on the Israeli ambassador in London. On September 14, president-elect Bashir Gemayel, was killed by a bomb that destroyed the headquarters of his Christian Phalangist Party.
In 1985, the majority of Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanon, but Israel left some troops along a buffer zone on the southern Lebanese border. The Palestinian terrorist group Hezbollah, or "Party of God," was formed in the 1980s during Israel's second invasion of Lebanon.
In July 1986, Syrian observers took up a position in Beirut to monitor a peacekeeping agreement. The agreement broke down and fighting between Shiite and Druze militia in West Beirut became so intense that Syrian troops mobilized in February 1987, suppressing resistance. In 1991, a treaty of friendship was signed with Syria, and the Lebanese government regained control over the south and disbanded various militias, ending the civil war.
In June 1999, Israel bombed southern Lebanon. In May 2000, Israel's prime minister, Ehud Barak, withdrew Israeli troops.
In the summer of 2001, Syria withdrew nearly all of its troops from Beirut and surrounding areas. In 2002, Hezbollah began building up forces again along the Lebanese-Israeli border.
In August 2004, Syria insisted that Lebanon's pro-Syrian president, Émile Lahoud, remain in office beyond the constitutional limit of one six-year term. Despite outrage, the Lebanese parliament permitted Lahoud to serve for three additional years.
In September 2004, a UN Security Council resolution asked Syria to withdraw its remaining troops from Lebanon. Syria moved about 1,000 troops from the vicinity of Beirut to eastern Lebanon. Prime Minister Rafik Hariri resigned.
On February 14, 2005, Rafik Hariri was killed by a car bomb. Many implicated Syria in his death. Hariri opposed Syrian involvement in Lebanon. Lebanese protests called for Syria's withdrawal, a demand backed by the U.S., European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN).
After protests by Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Druze parties, pro-Syrian prime minister Omar Karami resigned. Hezbollah sponsored a pro-Syrian rally on March 8, 2005. The demonstrations led to the reappointment of Karami as prime minister on March 9. An anti-Syrian protest followed. In April, Omar Karami resigned for the second time. Lebanon's new prime minister, Najib Mikati, announced that elections would be held. On April 26, Syria withdrew all of its troops from Lebanon.
In May and June 2005, Syria held four rounds of parliamentary elections. An anti-Syrian alliance led by Saad Hariri, the son of assassinated former prime minister leader Rafik Hariri, won 72 out of 128 seats. Former finance minister Fouad Siniora, became prime minister.
Four men were charged in the murder of Rafik Hariri on September 1, 2005. The commander of Lebanon's Republican Guard, the former head of general security, the former chief of Lebanon's police, and the former military intelligence officer were indicted for the assassination.
On October 20, 2005, the UN released a report on Hariri's slaying, concluding that the assassination was organized by Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials, including Asef Shawkat, Syria's military intelligence chief.
On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah fighters entered Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded by launching a military attack, bombing the Lebanese airport and other major infrastructures. Hezbollah, led by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, retaliated by launching hundreds of rockets and missiles into Israel. Although much of the international community demanded a cease-fire, the United States supported Israel's plan to continue the fighting until Hezbollah was drained of its military power. An UN-negotiated cease-fire went into effect on August 14.
Pierre Gemayel, minister of industry and member of a Maronite Christian political dynasty, was assassinated in November 2006, the fifth anti-Syrian leader to be killed since the death of Rafik Hariri. Pro-government protesters staged large demonstrations. Those protests were followed by demonstrations by Hezbollah supporters. Beginning December 1, demonstrators led by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, occupied the center of Beirut and called for the resignation of the coalition government.
A commission investigating the war between Israel and Lebanon released a scathing report in April 2007, saying Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was responsible for "a severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility, and prudence." Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former army chief Dan Halutz were also rebuked in the report.
Many people were killed in May 2007 battles between government troops and members of the Islamic militant group, Fatah al-Islam.
In June 2007, anti-Syrian member of Parliament Walid Eido was killed in a bombing in Beirut. In September 2007, another anti-Syrian lawmaker, Antoine Ghanem, was assassinated. Those assassinations were followed in December with the killing of Gen. François al-Hajj.
In September 2007, Hezbollah legislators boycotted the session of Parliament at which lawmakers were to vote on a new president. Parliament adjourned the session and re-scheduled elections. On November 24, a caretaker government, led by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, took over.
In February 2008, a top Hezbollah military commander, Imad Mugniyah, was killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria. Mugniyah is thought to have orchestrated a series of bombings and kidnappings, and he was one of America's most wanted men with a price tag of $25 million on his head. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who accused Israel of arranging the assassination, called for an "open war" against Israel.
In May 2008, violence between Hezbollah, a Shiite militia, and Sunnis broke out. Fighting began when the government said it was shutting down a telecommunications network run by Hezbollah and attempted to dismiss a Hezbollah-backed head of airport security. Members of Hezbollah took control of large areas in western Beirut, forced a government-supported television station off the air, and burned the offices of a newspaper loyal to the government. After a week of violence, the government rescinded its plans.
Hezbollah and the government reached a deal that had Hezbollah withdrawing from Beirut. The government agreed that Parliament would vote to elect as president Gen. Michel Suleiman, the commander of Lebanon's army. Prime Minister Siniora formed a cabinet in July.
Lebanon and Israel exchanged prisoners in July 2008. Israel released five Lebanese prisoners, including Samir Kuntar, who killed an Israeli policeman, a man, and his young daughter in 1979. Lebanon returned the bodies of two soldiers to Israel who were captured in a cross-border raid.
On March 1, 2009 an international court at The Hague was set up to investigate the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. In April, the court freed four pro-Syrian generals who had been linked to the murder, claiming it lacked evidence to convict them.
In June 2009 parliamentary elections, a coalition led by Saad Hariri retained its majority in Parliament. Hariri assembled a 30-member government of national unity in November. His coalition received 15 cabinet posts, Hezbollah and its allies 10, and President Suleiman selected the other five.
Lebanon's government fell apart in January 2011, when Hezbollah's ministers resigned from the cabinet to protest Prime Minister Hariri's refusal to reject the UN tribunal investigating the assassination of his father. Two weeks after the government's collapse, Hezbollah won enough support in Parliament to form a new government with Najib Mikati as prime minister.
When anti-government protests broke out in Syria in early 2011, Prime Minister Mikati said he intended to disassociate from Syria to avoid being drawn into the conflict. In May 2012, battles broke out in Lebanon between pro- and anti-Assad groups. Tensions increased in August during a cross-border kidnapping spree between Shiite and Sunni groups. On October 19, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was killed in a bombing in Beirut.
On March 22, 2013, Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned in protest over parliament's failure to agree on how to oversee upcoming elections. Mikati remained acting prime minister until President Suleiman accepted his resignation and a new prime minister was chosen. Tammam Salam was named prime minister on April 6, 2013, and asked to form a government.
On May 25, 2013, Hezbollah and Syrian forces bombed Al-Qusayr, Homs. The following day, multiple rockets hit Beirut. On May 27, the ban against arming Syrian rebels was lifted by the European Union.
Fighting also erupted in Tripoli in late May 2013. At least 24 people were killed. On May 31, the Lebanese parliament voted to delay elections, citing indecision over a new electoral law and deteriorating security as a result of the Syrian crisis spilling over into Lebanon.
In June 2013, violence broke out again when an armed Sunni group, led by Sheikh Ahmed Assir, attacked an army checkpoint in Sidon.
On December 27, 2013, former Lebanese finance minister and U.S. ambassador, Muhammad Shatah, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut.
In August 2014, Syrian rebels attacked Arsal. The rebels withdrew after being challenged by the military, but took 30 soldiers and police captive.
On January 18, 2015, one Iranian general and six Hezbollah fighters were killed during an Israeli air strike. Ten days later, Hezbollah fired missiles into an Israeli-occupied area along the Lebanon border, killing two Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces responded with strikes on several villages in southern Lebanon.
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel
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