"Mount Tabor looking across the Jezreel Valley."
"Broken iron linchpin found in Jezreel Valley"
Judges 1:19 The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.
Judges 4:1-2 1. After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 2. So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim.
Extracting iron from ore is a much more complicated process than the copper, tin, lead, and gold that ancient civilizations had been using before. The Hittites are credited for refining the process around 1200 BC. The events in Deborah's story take place in 1144 BC. Like so many technologies, iron production came into use quickly because it had military applications. Only a government could afford iron chariots.
Judges 4:6-7 6. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The LORD , the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. 7. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.' "
FYI 1 - From Mount Tabor to the Kishon river is about ten miles. Ten miles of fertile land. The Kishon River is not a wide river and it's only 43 miles long (the Saline river is 202 miles), but it irrigates the valley.
FYI 2 - Sisera's home town, Harosheth Haggoyim, is about another ten miles up the river. His chariot army is camped by the shores of the Kishon River.
FYI 3 - You can't use iron chariots on a mountain side and you can't use them in the mud either.
Judges 4:14-16 14. Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, followed by ten thousand men. 15. At Barak's advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot. 16. But Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim. All the troops of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.
The Kenites were a clan of shepards and metalworkers: sheeps and shears. Moses' father-in-law Jethro was a Kenite and Jabin would have needed metallurgists to build his arsenal of iron chariots. Despite the clan's history with the Israelites there is a subtle implication in the story that Heber the Kenite may have been an active agent working for the Canaanites and may have been the one to inform Sisera of the gathering army on Mount Tabor. A businessman selling out his own people to secure a military contract is not completely unthinkable.
The forth chapter of Judges contain the story above, the story of Deborah. The fifth chapter is comprised of The Song of Deborah. I will confess to "skimming" when I get to the songs and the poems (and especially, the begats) when I'm reading the bible. I don't like the beat and the lyrics never make any sense. But if you do not read the song of Deborah in chapter five, you will miss a lot of the detail of the story. For instance, unless you read chapter five, you don't know that God made it rain just before the battle. This information is in chapter five. Also, you don't know who fought with Naphtali and Zebulun unless you read chapter five. Sometimes you just gotta read through the pain.
Mount Tabor is about 1300 feet in elevation. By comparison, Pinnacle mountain is about 1000 feet, so Tabor would be similar in height. ALSO, the bible doesn't say exactly where the Mount of Transfiguration is, the place where Jesus took Peter, John, and James to witness his transfiguration, but there are a fair number of Christian traditionalists that place it atop Mount Tabor. (The other place is Mount Hermon. There are others, as well.)
Caleb is alive and well in the first chapter of Judges. Contrast his faith and success with the other Israelites.
Numbers 14:20-24 20. The Lord replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22. not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times- 23. not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Hebron figures extensively in the old testament. Called Kiriath Arba (city of Arba), Abraham negotiated with the Hittites to acquire a tomb there when Sarah died, the cave of Machpelah. The cave is the burial sight of Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah (Rachel is buried in Bethlehem.) The cave is currently under a Muslim shrine, the Mosque of Abraham in Hebron. It is currently inaccessible. Google Cave of the Patriarchs
Nephilim only appears in the bible three times; once prior to the flood and twice in the report by the Canaanite spies. The bible is not long on information. They are inferred as the offspring of the "Sons of God" and "Daughters of Man" and are said to be "heroes of old, men of renown." And apparently good swimmers. The Anakites are said to be descendants of the Nephilim. This is one of those things it's fun to speculate about. Was Goliath a descendant of the Nephilim? How big were these guys? I think of Polyphemus (the cyclops in the Odyssey) was a Nephilim. But that's just me...
Joshua Joshua was an Ephraimite, originally named Hoshea. Moses changed his name to Joshua. Of the millions that walked out of Egypt during the Exodus, ONLY Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land. Think about that.