Mt Tabor with its characeristic shape is visible and highly recognisable from most directions. Standing out in the plain of Jezreel it is placed like a beacon, and would be the place of highlighted courage. What is less known is that wadi Tabor runs from Mount Tabor and empties into the sea of Galilee and for those not willing to make a stand on Mt Tabor would provide an escape with little exposure. The Hebrew contains the idea of either quarry or lofty height, and although it appears volcanic, the mountain is in fact a horst, meaning that the summit of the mount has remained a stationary level while the level of the Jezreel valley surrounding the mountain has fallen, (called a graben). This means that when created in this fashion there was a distinct decision to maintain this very small block of land at the original height, and not to allow it to descend with its surrounds. This formed part of the divine commentary: “Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he (Nebuchadnezzar) come, Jer 46:18. Even as there is no missing Tabor standing in the surrounding plains, the campaign of Nebuchadnezzar would be obvious in its intents, and with significant force. Even as Carmel juts out into the Mediterranean, the direction from the east to the west would be the direction of his movements. The prediction of this invasion was predicated with the words “as surely as I live saith Yahweh of armies”. The inclusion of the swearing of the eternal indicates his resolute action. Paul would indicate this as “the willing more abundantly to shew [unto the heirs of promise] the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath” Heb 6:17 The Lord will sware and not repent Heb 7:21. Mount Tabor then stands as a confirmation of not only the promise of the coming of Nebuchadnezzar (who came) but of all the other oaths that Yahweh has made: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” Isa 55:11 What is even more remarkable was that the prophecy was coming at a time when the superpower of the world Egypt (under Necho) and Assyria (albeit disintegrating) with numerous allies were combining forces against Nebuchadnezzar, and Jeremiah was predicting that Nebuchadnezzar would enter Egypt and destroy their very own land, in spite of their military prowess! Jer 46:1f.
Tabor was “the reaching of the border” of Issachar Josh 19:22,23. The troops under Deborah and Barak would be “drawn towards” Tabor Judges 4:6 Sisera was shown that Barak had “gone up” Tabor Judges 4:12 Alongside other mountains in Israel, Tabor represented the “standing” or position of deity. This was to be declared in His son Rom 3:21,25,26 who was “lifted up” so that all men could see John 12:32 This fine example now draws men to serve God, Rom 2:4.
Tabor is used of the creating of spiritual sons. The heavens are thine, and the earth is thine, as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou has formed them. The north and the south, thou has created them, Tabor (the lifted up ones from quarrying) and Hermon (the consecrated ones) shall rejoice in thee. Thou hast spoken in vision to thy holy one and said, I have laid help upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one (parallel Tabor) chosen out (parallel consecrated) of the people Ps 89:11,12,19.
Tabor then becomes a location that is rich in language surrounding the victory over death in Christ. Typically revealed in Barak and Deborah the ecclesia who is enjoined with him. It later represented in the ones who were like Gideon killed by Zalma and Zalmanna on mount Tabor and typical of the time of Godly vengeance when the saints will in the millennium conquer the apostate church who killed the saints, sons like Jesus their master Judges 8:17-19 This testimony is critical as it indicates to us that our resolve to make a stand in the very same arena as our Lord. When Barak was to come down from Tabor he had 10,000 men with him. Judges 4:14 a picture of Christ coming with ten thousand of his saints Jude 14; Deut 33:2; language of the departure from Sinai interlaced with language of Barak in Ps 68:17 When the Lord gives the word, great is the company that publish it Ps 68:11,33 a delightful promise of inclusion to those willing to engage with Him!
Note that although Tabor is mentioned in 1Sam 10:3 it is likely a different location. It should probably be translated rather than a proper noun containing the idea of broken or ploughed country; The idea of Tabor being the elevated ridges along the furrows. [Tabor comes from a root word meaning to break, hence quarry] Note however that the elevated places of Mizpah and Tabor are placed together at the start of the reign of Saul in Hosea 5:1 Both were places of outlook and discovery of coming danger, but Saul was unwilling to take on the challenges, being ensnared by indecision, and by finally abandoning the word of Yahweh was to die. Saul a representative of a system that reflected the people’s desire, and not the heart of God.
At the start of the Jewish war in AD66 Josephus was to command troops here at Tabor. Later in 1799 Napoleon during his short interval in Palestine, engaged the Ottomans in a very unequal battle.