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Phase 1 of the Battle at Mount Tabor

Deborah's Victory over Sisera

For the story of this battle, go to BIBLE WOMEN, DEBORAH 


After all, the city of Dan did not fight in it.

But as it happened, NOT fighting it was the important thing.

Almost all the other Israelites tribes took part in this great battle. Deborah, judge of Israel, had summoned them, and they had responded to her call.

The confrontation was like the classic David and Goliath story. Small, poorly equipped and trained Israelite soldiers stood up to the might of a technologically superior and disciplined Canaanite army.

Heavy iron wheeled chariot

A heavy iron wheeled chariot, from the wall reliefs at Nineveh



Against all odds, the Israelites won - by God's intervention, or a gigantic stroke of luck, or both.

The Canaanite chariots hurtling across the plain on their fearsome iron wheels were stopped dead in their tracks by a sudden downpour. Bogged in the mud, sinking under their own weight, they were easy prey for the Israelite sling men and archers, who picked off the enemy soldiers one by one.

It was a rout, a great military triumph, just when the tribes were at a low point and needed reassurance that God was on their side. The Battle at Mount Tabor gave them this reassurance.

But the Danites had refused to help when Deborah summoned them. They not only missed out on the glory of the victory, but were branded as cowards as well.

And since the victory was such an unexpected triumph, it was celebrated again and again throughout Israel's history, with Dan's cowardice (or prudence?) mentioned every time.

The Danites had established a lasting reputation for themselves, and not a good one. 

Mount Tabor and the plain beneath it

Where it happened: the plains at the foot of Mount Tabor 



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