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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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("height, mound"); (tabar related to tsabar ).

1. Psalms 89:12, "the N. and S. Tabor (i.e. the W.) and Hermon (E. of Jordan) shall rejoice," etc. Their existence and majestic appearance are a silent hymn to their Creator's praise; the view from Tabor comprises as much of natural beauty and sacred interest as any in the Holy Land. Accurately corresponding to its name; a large isolated mound-like mountain, 1865 ft. high, N.E. of Esdraelon plain. On the W. however a narrow ridge connects it with the hills of Nazareth, which lies six or eight miles off due W. The southern end of the lake of Galilee lies 12 miles off to the E. It consists of limestone; thick stone; thick forests of oak, etc., cover the sides, affording covert to wolves, boars, lynxes, and reptiles. The summit is a mile and a half in circuit, surmounted with a four-gated fortress' ruins, with an Arabic inscription on one of the gateways recording its building or rebuilding by the sultan Abu Bekr.

Named among Issachar's boundaries (Joshua 19:22), but the fortified city at Mount Tabor's base may be meant there. (See CHISLOTH TABOR.) From Tabor Barak descended with his 10,000 men into the plain, at Deborah's command, and conquered Sisera at the Kishon (Judges 4:6-15). (See KEDESH.) Here Zebah and Zalmunna slew Gideon's brothers (Judges 8:18-19). Herder makes Tabor to be meant when Hoses says of Issachar and Zebulun (Deuteronomy 33:19), "they shall call the people unto the mountain, there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness." The open glades on the summit would form a suitable sanctuary, and were among "the high places" which ensnared Israel in idolatry; so Hosea 5:1, "a net spread upon Tabor."

Jewish tradition states that liers in wait in Tabor and Mizpah intercepted and murdered Israelites going from the northern kingdom up to Jerusalem to worship in Jehovah's temple (compare Hosea 5:2). Jeremiah 46:18, "as Tabor is among the mountains," i.e. as it towers high and unique by itself, so Nebuchadnezzar is one not to be matched as a foe. The large, beveled stones among the ruins at the top belong to Roman times. The Lord's transfiguration Jerome and others assigned to Tabor. But the buildings on Tabor (see Josephus, B.J. 4:1, section 8, and 1 Chronicles 6:77) are inconsistent, with the solitude "apart" of which the narrative (Matthew 17:1-2) speaks. Moreover, the transfiguration took place near Caesarea Philippi; this fact, and the reference to the "snow," accord best with Mount Hermon being the scene (Mark 8:27; Mark 9:1-3).

2. The city of the Merarite Levites (1 Chronicles 6:77). (See CHISLOTH TABOR; Joshua 19:12).

3. "The plain of Tabor." Eelon, rather "the oak of Tabor" (1 Samuel 10:3). Identified by Ewald with the oak of Deborah (or Tabor differently pronounced), Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 35:8), and the palm of Deborah the prophetess (Judges 4:5; the distance from Rachel's sepulchre at Bethlehem is an objection), and the oak of the prophet of Bethel (1 Kings 13:14).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Tabor'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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