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"Givet Hamoreh" (Moreh hill) south of Mount Tabor

Moreh is the name of a location or a person mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible.

Giv'at ha-More (Hebrew: גבעת המורה; English also as Giv'at ha-Moreh, Givat HaMoreh etc.; in the Septuagint the hill's Hebrew name was transliterated into 3rd Century BCE Greek as Γαβααθ Αμωρα, "Gabaath Amora") is a mountain range in northern Israel, located on the northeast side of the Jezreel Valley. The highest peak reaches an altitude of 515 metres, while the bottom of the Jezreel Valley is situated at an altitude of 50–100 metres. North of it are the plains of the Lower Galilee, out of which about 8 kilometers away appears the more isolated Mount Tabor. In easterly direction Giv'at ha-More connects to the Issachar Plateau. To the southeast Giv'at ha-More descends into the Harod Valley, where the Harod spring flows eastwards into the Jordan Valley.

Arabs call this mountain Jebel Dahi after the Muslim shrine of Nabi Dahi (lit. Prophet Dahi) situated at its top, and holding the tomb of the 7th-century saint Nabi Dihyah Wahi al-Kalbi.[1]

In the 20th century, in the valley below the mountain, the city of Afula was developed as the main Jewish center of the region. Afula gradually expanded from the plains to the slopes of Giv'at ha-More.[1] During the War of Independence in 1948, the area was completely dominated by Israeli forces, but local Arab population was not displaced. On the slopes of the mountain there are several Arab villages, especially ad-Dahi and Nein.

On the central part of Giv'at ha-More there is a nature reserve, partly wooded thanks to the activities of the Jewish National Fund. The Nazareth Iris blooms here in spring.[1]

Biblical site[edit]

The "hill of Moreh" is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible three times, in Genesis 12:6, Deuteronomy 11:30 and Judges 7:1).

The Hebrew phrase elon moreh [2] has been subject to various translations in English versions of the Bible. Translators who consider elon moreh to be the name of a locality, render it as "the plain(s) of Moreh", e.g. King James Version and the Geneva Bible, but translators who consider the term to refer to a sacred tree or grove often render it as "terebinth", referring to the pistacia palaestina tree which is notable for its size and age in dry landscapes of the region. For example, the New International Version translation of Genesis 12:6a reads:

"Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem"

and the New King James Version translates Deuteronomy 11:30 as:

"Are they (Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal) not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh?"

"Moreh" is often understood to mean "teacher" or "oracle", referring to the owner of the tree or the land on which it grew.

Genesis 35:4:

"And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] earrings which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem."

A neutral reading discovers that the tree, oak or not, grew above buried idols and dedicated treasure, the Hebrews remembered, and they associated the burial of these things with the patriarchal age.

John Wesley noted that the plains of Moreh was one of the first places that Abram came to in Canaan, so when Moses sent the incoming Israelites to this place "to hear the blessing and the curse, they were minded of the promise made to Abram in that very place".[3]

The site of Moreh, a hill by which Gideon camped before he attacked the Midianites, is sometimes identified with modern Nabi Dahi, south of Mount Tabor, but this has not been confirmed on the ground.[dubious ]


  1. ^ a b c "גבעת המורה-שמורת טבע" (in Hebrew). Yigal Alon Museum. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Genesis 12:6a
  3. ^ John Wesley's Notes on the Bible on Deuteronomy 11:30, accessed 25 November 2015

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°36′57″N 35°21′49″E / 32.61583°N 35.36361°E / 32.61583; 35.36361