Holy Land – Shall I build three tents?

Mt. Tabor sits at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 11 miles (17 km) west of the Sea of Galilee. Its elevation at the summit is 1,843 feet (575 m) high.  It is used in Scripture as a symbol of majesty. (Jeremiah 46:18, Ps 89:12).

One translation of Tabor in Arabic is ‘the belly button’. If you take your belly button to be the centre of a map then Moses was camped in the South West on Mount Nebo and Elijah was on Mount Carmel in the North West and in the centre was Mt Tabor where Jesus meets both of them on the Mount of Transfiguration . The law represented by Moses, meeting the prophets, represented by Elijah. Even though Moses did not see the promised land in his life time, he did stand in it on the day of the Transfiguration.

Mt. Tabor is probably not the location for the Transfiguration for scripture tells us that Jesus and his disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi just prior to the Transfiguration. This is most likely a traditional site as the Gospel accounts are silent as to the location of the Mountain of Transfiguration

In the 2nd millennium BC there was a Canaanite shrine, a “high place,” on Mount Tabor, as there was on other hills like Mount Carmel and Mount Hermon. The god worshipped here was Baal, whose cult spread in the 2nd millennium, as a result of trading links, to the island of Rhodes, where he was worshipped on Mount Atabyrion (1,215 meters) under the name of Zeus Atabyrios. (Atabyrion was also the Greek name for Mount Tabor).

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