Oak of Tabor

TABOR, OAK OF (אֵלֹ֣ון תָּבֹ֔ור KJV TABOR, PLAIN OF). A place somewhere in the area of Bethel, mentioned only in 1 Samuel 10:3. The context of the passage tells that Saul, son of Kish, had qualms about whether or not God wanted him to be king of Israel. Samuel gave him some signs to confirm the divine nature of his anointing. The second sign was fulfilled on his way home; when he approached the oak of Tabor he met three men going up to God at Bethel. The exact site is unknown.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Thus the Revised Version (British and American) in 1Sa 10:3 for the King James Version "plain of Tabor" (the Revised Version margin "terebinth"). Tabor was famous for its groves of oak, but what "oak" is meant here is not known. Ewald thinks that "Tabor" is a different pronunciation for "Deborah," and connects with Ge 35:8; but this is not likely.

See Oak, 3.


(PLAIN OF TABOR in the nodetitle) (elon tabhor; he drus Thabor): A place mentioned only in Samuel’s directions to Saul after his anointing (1Sa 10:3). It lay between the city where the two met and Gibeah whither Saul was returning. Ewald and Thenius thought it might be identical with the palm tree of Deborah, but there is nothing to support this conjecture. Others have thought we might read "oak of Deborah," as signifying the place where Rachel’s nurse was buried (Ge 35:8). The truth is that nothing whatever is now known of the site.