|tabhor (choice; purity; bruising, a mount, height)
RELATED: Barak, Jesus, Mount Hermon, Mount of Olives, Tabor, Transfiguration, Mount of, Transfiguration (of Jesus), The
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) Now Jebel et-Tur, a cone-like prominent mountain, 11 miles west of the Sea
of Galilee. It is about 1,843 feet high. The view from the summit of it is said
to be singularly extensive and grand. This is alluded to in Psalms 89:12 ; Jeremiah
46:18 . It was here that Barak encamped before the battle with Sisera (q.v.) Judges
4:6-14 . There is an old tradition, which, however, is unfounded, that it was
the scene of the transfiguration of our Lord. (See HERMON .) "The prominence and
isolation of Tabor, standing, as it does, on the border-land between the northern
and southern tribes, between the mountains and the central plain, made it a place
of note in all ages, and evidently led the psalmist to associate it with Hermon,
the one emblematic of the south, the other of the north." There are some who still
hold that this was the scene of the transfiguration (q.v.).
(2) A town of Zebulum ( 1 Chronicles 6:77 ).
(3) The "plain of Tabor" ( 1 Samuel 10:3 ) should be, as in the Revised Version,
"the oak of Tabor."
(4) This was probably the Allon-bachuth of Genesis 35:8.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
choice; purity; bruising
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(1) (a mound), or Mount Tabor, one of the most interesting
and remarkable of the single mountains in Palestine. It rises abruptly from the
northeastern arm of the plain of Esdraelon, and stands entirely insulated, except
on the west where a narrow ridge connects it with the hills of Nazareth. It presents
to the eye, as seen from a distance, a beautiful appearance, being symmetrical
in its proportions and rounded off like a hemisphere or the segment of a circle,
yet varying somewhat as viewed from different directions. The body of the mountain
consists of the peculiar limestone of the country.
It is now called Jebel-et-Tur . It lies about six or eight miles almost due east
from Nazareth. The ascent is usually made on the west side, near the little village
of Deburieh --probably the ancient Daberath, ( Joshua 19:12 ) --though it can
be made with entire ease in other places. It requires three quarters of an hour
or an hour to reach the to the top. The top of Tabor consists of an irregular
platform, embracing a circuit of half an hours walk, and commanding wide views
of the subjacent plain from end to end.
Tabor does not occur in the New Testament, but makes a prominent figure in the
Old. The book of Joshua ( Joshua 19:22 ) mentions it as the boundary between Issachar
and Zebulun, See ver. 12. Barak, at the command of Deborah, assembled his forces
on Tabor, and descended thence, with "ten thousand men after him," into the plain,
and conquered Sisera on the banks of the Kishon. ( Judges 4:6 - 15 ) The brothers
of Gideon each of whom "resembled the children of a king," were murdered here
by Zebah and Zalmunna. ( Judges 8:18 , 8:19 )
There are at present the ruins of a fortress round all the summit of Tabor. The
Latin Christians have now an altar here at which their priests from Nazareth perform
an annual mass. The Greeks also have a chapel, where, on certain festivals they
assemble for the celebration of religious rites. The idea that our Saviour was
transfigured on Tabor prevailed extensively among the early Christians, and still
reappears often in popular religious works. It is impossible, however, to acquiesce
in the correctness of this opinion. It can be proved from the Old Testament and
from later history that a fortress or town existed on Tabor from very early times
down to B.C. 53 or 50; and as Josephus says that he strengthened the fortifications
there about A.D. 60, it is morally certain that Tabor must have been inhabited
during the intervening Period that is in the days of Christ. Tabor, therefore,
could not have been the Mount of Transfiguration [see HERMON]; for when it is
said that Jesus took his disciples "up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured
before them ( Matthew 17:1 , 17:2 ) we must understand that he brought them to
the summit of the mountain, where they were alone by themselves.
(2) is mentioned in the lists of 1 Chronicles 6 as a city of the Merarite Levites,
in the tribe of Zebulun. ver. ( 1 Chronicles 6:77 ) The list of the towns of Zebulun.
Josh 19 contains the name of Chisloth-tabor. ver. ( Joshua 19:12 ) It is, therefore,
possible, either that Chisloth-tabor is abbreviated into Tabor by the chronicler,
or that by the time these later lists were compiled the Merarites had established
themselves on the sacred mountain, and that Tabor is Mount Tabor.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) (tabhor, har tabhor; oros Thabor, to Itaburion):
This mountain seems to be named as on the border of Issachar (Joshua 19:22). It
is possibly identical with the mountain to which Zebulun and Issachar were to
call the peoples (Deuteronomy 33:19). Standing on the boundary between the tribes,
they would claim equal rights in the sanctuary on the top. The passage seems to
indicate that it was a place of pilgrimage. The worshippers, bringing with them
the "abundance of the sea" and the "treasures of the sand," would be a source
of profit to the local authorities. The mountain can be no other than Jebel et-Tur,
an isolated and shapely height, rising at the northeast corner of the Plain of
Esdraelon, about 5 miles West of Nazareth. The mountain has retained its sacred
character, and is still a place of pilgrimage, only the rites being changed. The
present writer has mingled with great interest among the crowds that assemble
there from all parts at the Feast of the Transfiguration.
It was on the summit and slopes of this mountain that Deborah and Barak gathered
their forces; and hence, they swept down to battle with Sisera in the great plain
(Judges 4:6,12,14). Here probably the brothers of Gideon were murdered by Zeba
and Zalmunna (Judges 8:18). Moore ("Jgs," ICC, at the place) thinks the scene
of the slaughter must have been much farther South. He does not see what the brothers
of Gideon were doing so far North of their home in Abiezer. There is, however,
no reason for placing Ophrah so far to the South as he does; and in any case the
men were probably captured and taken to Tabor as prisoners. Josephus (Ant., VII,
ii, 3) says it was in one of Solomon's administrative districts (compare 1 Kings
4:17). Such a prominent and commanding position must always have invited fortification.
In the time of Antiochus the Great, 218 BC, we find a fortress here, which that
king took by stratagem, Atabyrion by name (Polyb. v. 70, 6). It was recovered
by the Jews, and was held by them under Janneus, 105-70 BC (Ant., XIII, xv, 4).
The place fell to the Romans at the conquest under Pompey; and not far from the
mountain Alexander, son of Aristobulus II, suffered defeat at the hands of Gabinius,
proconsul of Syria, 53 BC (Ant., XIV, iv, 3; BJ, I, viii, 7). Josephus, who commanded
in Galilee at the outbreak of the Jewish war, recognized the importance of the
position, and built a wall round the summit. After the disaster to Jewish arms
at Jotapata, where Josephus himself was taken prisoner, many fugitives took refuge
here. Placidus the Roman general did not attempt an assault upon the fortress.
Its defenders were by a feint drawn into the plain, where they were defeated,
and the city surrendered.
A tradition which can be traced to the 4th century AD places the scene of the
Transfiguration on this mountain. Allusion has been made above to the sacred character
of the place. To this, and to the striking appearance of the mountain, the rise
of the tradition may have been due. Passing centuries have seen a succession of
churches and monasteries erected on the mountain. The scene of the Transfiguration
was laid at the southeastern end of the summit, and here a church was built, probably
by Tancred. Hard by was also shown the place where Melchizedek met Abraham returning
from the pursuit of Chedorlaomer. The mountain shared to the full the vicissitudes
of the country's stormy history. In 1113 AD the Arabs from Damascus plundered
the monasteries and murdered the monks. An unsuccessful attack was made by Saladin
in 1183, but 4 years later, after the rout of the Crusaders at Hattin, he devastated
the place. Twenty-five years after that it was fortified by el-Melek el-`Adel,
brother of Saladin, and the Crusaders failed in an attempt to take it in 1217.
In 1218, however, the Saracens threw down the defenses. Sultan Bibars in 1263
ordered the destruction of the Church of the Transfiguration, and for a time the
mountain was deserted. The Feast of the Transfiguration, however, continued to
be celebrated by the monks from Nazareth. During the last quarter of the 19th
century much building was done by the Latin and Greek churches, who have now large
and substantial monasteries and churches. They have also excavated the ruins of
many of the old ecclesiastical buildings. The remains now to be seen present features
of every period, from Jewish times to our own.
Mt. Tabor rises to a height of 1,843 ft. above the sea, and forms the most striking
feature of the landscape. Seen from the South it presents the shape of a hemisphere;
from the West, that of a sugar loaf. Its rounded top and steep sides are covered
with thick brushwood. It is about half a century since the oak forest disappeared;
but solitary survivors here and there show what the trees must have been. A low
neck connects the mountain with the uplands to the North. It is cut off from Jebel
ed-Duchy on the South by a fertile vale, which breaks down into Wady el-Bireh,
and thence to the Jordan. A zigzag path on the Northwest leads to the top, whence
most interesting and comprehensive views are obtained. Southward, over Little
Hermon, with Endor and Nain on its side, and Shunem at its western base, we catch
a glimpse of Mt. Gilboa. Away across the plain the eye runs along the hills on
the northern boundary of Samaria, past Taanach and Megiddo to Carmel by the sea,
and the oak forest that runs northward from the gorge of the Kishon. A little
to the North of West, 5 miles of broken upland, we can see the higher houses of
Nazareth gleaming white in the sun. Eastward lies the hollow of the Jordan, and
beyond it the wall of Gilead and the steep cliffs East of the Sea of Galilee,
broken by glens and watercourses, and especially by the great chasm of the Yarmuk.
The mountains of Zebulun and Naphtali seem to culminate in the shining mass of
Great Hermon, rising far in the northern sky. Standing here one realizes how aptly
the two mountains may be associated in the Psalmist's thought, although Hermon
be mighty and Tabor humble (Psalms 89:12). Tabor is referred to by Jeremiah (46:18),
and Hosea alludes to some ensnaring worship practiced on the mountain ( Hosea
The present writer spent some weeks on Mt. Tabor, and as the result of careful
observation and consideration concluded that the scene of the Transfiguration
cannot be laid here. The place would appear to have been occupied at that time;
and the remoteness and quiet which Jesus evidently sought could hardly have been
See TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF.
(2) ta'-ber, tar'-bor (tabhor; Codex Vaticanus Thachcheia; Codex Alexandrinus
One of the towns in the territory of Zebulun, given to the Merarite Levites (1
Chronicles 6:77). The parallel list in Joshua 21:24 f contains no name like this.
There is no indication of its position. Some have thought that it may correspond
to Daberath in the territory of Issachar (21:28), now represented by Deburiyeh
on the western slope of Mt. Tabor; others that it may be the mountain itself;
and yet others that it may be a city on the mountain, which probably was occupied
from very early times. There is a Tabor mentioned as on the border of Issachar
(Joshua 19:22); but that is almost certainly the mountain. It has been suggested
that Tabor in 1 Chronicles 6:17 may be a contraction of Chisloth-tabor (Joshua
19:12), the modern Iksal, 3 miles West of the mountain. No certainty is possible.
barak, bible study, deborah, history of, jebel et-tur, jesus, mount tabor, transfiguration of jesus