The north and the south, You have created them;
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name. (Psalm 89:12)
For the Christians, Mount Tabor is a holy place as it was chosen by Lord Jesus to be site of His transfiguration.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured (Grk: metamorphosis) before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
And behold, Moses (representing the law) and Elijah (representing the Prophets) appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-8)
Other Gospel References of this event: Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36
If you read Numbers 20, God told Moses to speak to the rock; instead Moses struck the rock with his rod disobeying the command of God. Scriptures says: The Lord was displeased with Moses’ actions and said: “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12). Moses was only allowed to see the promised land from Mount Nebo.
However, when grace of God manifested ie Lord Jesus Christ, Moses did enter the promised land – not physically but spiritually.
Mount Tabor’s winding road access is seen in the above photo. Early pilgrims used to climb thousands of steps cut into the rocky slope to reach the summit. These days hired taxis or mini-buses help get to the top.
This is also believed to be the site for the battle where Prophetess Deborah and Barak together fought against Sisera commander of the Canaanite army of King Jabin of Hazor,and the army of Jabin
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?” (Judges 4:4-7)
Daburiyya an arab village (named in honor of the Prophetess Deborah) is located at the foot of Mount Tabor, near the area where the prophetess Deborah judged.
The Church of the Transfiguration
The Church of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan church built by the architect Antonio Barluzzi located on Mount Tabor in Israel. It is traditionally believed to be the site where the Transfiguration of Christ took place. It was built on the ruins of an ancient (4th–6th-century) Byzantine church and a 12th-century church of the Crusader Kingdom period.
The church contains three grottoes belonging to the Crusader church. They are called tabernacles, and they are said to represent the three huts which Peter desired to build, one for his Master (Jesus) the other two for Moses and Elijah)”. The Grotto of Christ is in the eastern part of the church. Steps lead down to a lower level containing a sanctuary roofed with a modern vault.
Barluzzi had created a roof built of alabaster panels, meant to let in as much light as possible in accordance to the biblical event celebrated here. However, the alabaster roof could not be made watertight and had to be covered over with a common, non-translucent roof.
Mount Tabor’s height affords uninterrupted panoramas. From the balcony of the Franciscan hospice, the view is of the plain of Jezreel, bounded by the Carmel range and the mountains of Samaria.
The fertile plain is called “the breadbasket of Israel”, a reminder that one of the meanings of Jezreel is “God sows”.
Armies of all the great generals who campaigned in the Middle East have tramped across the plain, from the pharaoh Thutmose III to General Edmund Allenby, and including Alexander the Great and Napoleon.
And in the Book of Revelation, it is named as the scene of the battle of Armageddon (also called Harmagedon or Har-Megiddo), in which good will triumph over evil.