Mount Tabor, Israel (2017). Photographer: Noamdahary. Licensed (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0)
Mount Tabor, Israel (2017).Photo by Noamdahary. License: CC BY-SA 4.0 (image cropped).

What is…
Tabor in the Bible

hebrew: תָּבוֹר —transliteration: Tabor —meaning: (unknown), possibley “a height”

This is the name of a noteworthy mountain, a nearby town, a stream, and a town of Zebulun.

  1. Mount Tabor

    also known as: Har Tavor, Jebel Ṭābūr, Jebel Ṭabur, Itabyrium (Graeco-Roman name)

    Hebrew: הר תבור —translation: Mount Tavor

    This cone-like prominent mountain in northern Israel, is about 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee. It is about 1,843 feet high (562 meters)—one of the highest mountains in the Lower Galilee region. It rises to a height of about 1,312 feet (400 meters) above its surroundings.

    At the foot of Mount Tabor (Tavor) is the Jewish village of Kfar Tavor כְּפַר תָּבוֹר—9.3 square miles.

    Tabor is located on a major ancient trade route. The mountain also provides a strategic view of the surrounding plains.

    Mount Tavor (Tabor)—satellite view

    The view from the summit of it is said to be grand and extensive. This is alluded to in Psalms and Jeremiah.

    As I live, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come. —Jeremiah 46:18 KJV

    The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. —Psalm 89:12 KJV

    It was here that Barak encamped before the battle with Sisera Judges 4:6-14.

    There is an unfounded old tradition that it was the scene of the transfiguration of our Lord. (See Mount Hermon.)

    “The prominence and isolation of Tabor, standing, as it does, on the borderland 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 believe that this was the scene of the transfiguration. A commerative Greek Orthodox monastery, the Church of the Transfiguration, was built here in 1862. A Franciscan monastery and Basilica also commemerate the transfiguration, as do the ruins of an ancient Byzantine Church.

    The peak is visible to observers from distant places throughout the Galilee and the Golan. Looking from the city of Kfar Tabor in Lower Galilee, from east to west, the peak looks very pointed. Looking from south to north, from the city of Afula in the Jezreel Valley (the mountain being north of Jezreel), the peak looks rounded and moderate.

    Mount Tabor is south of the Nazareth mountain range.

  2. Chisloth-Tabor

    also known as: Chesulloth (Joshua 19:18 KJV)

    This is an ancient town close to Mount Tabor within the Tribe of Issachar. It is on the border with the Tribe of Zebulun.

    See: Chesulloth and Zebulun

  3. Nahal Tavor

    This is name of the Tabor Stream which now flows intermittently in the Lower Galilee of Israel. Starting in the hills of Nazareth, it runs east and south of Mount Tabor, eventually emptying into the Jordan River.

  4. Tabor, a town of Zebulun

    Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs: —1 Chronicles 6:77

  5. “Plain of” Tabor in the KJV

    The “plain of Tabor” mentioned in the King James Version of 1 Samuel 10:3 should be, as in the Revised King James Version, “the oak of Tabor.”

    This was probably the Allon-bachuth of Genesis 35:8.

    Then Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; it was named Allon-bacuth. —Genesis 35:8 LSB

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Article Version: June 19, 2024