“Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name” (Psalm 89:12)

Accord, the prophet King David pronouncement about the great feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ on his psalm “Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name” on August 19, the festivity of our Lord Jesus Christ and how His appearance was changed on Mount Tabor, is commemorated.

As written in the Holy Scripture, when there were with Him three of His disciples, that is to say, Peter, and James, and John.  Our Lord said, “There stand here those who shall not taste death until they see the Son of God and of man coming in His glory.” This is the glory wherein the Apostles saw Him.  His apparel was white as snow, and His countenance was changed and became like lightning, emitting light.

Behold Moses and Elias came to Him, and they talked with Him that all men might know that He was the God of Moses, whom He had raised from the dead, and the God of Elias, whom He had brought down from heaven (sic).  Because of this, Peter said unto our Lord, “Dost Thou wish, O Lord, that we should make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias?”  In these words, which Peter spoke, there is a sign of lowliness and humility.  He saw our Lord, and thought that He would live on the mountain . . . and he wished to make for Him a place where He could hide from the sun.  Peter did not wish for himself, and for his fellow-apostles, as he wished for our Lord, and for Moses, and for Elias; but he made himself and his fellow-apostles like slaves of those lords.  And marvel not at the little knowledge of the apostles, for they were not perfect in knowledge at that time.  When Peter said this, a cloud overshadowed them, so as to make it clear to Peter that He did not want a habitation made by the hand of man.  And a voice came forth from the cloud which confirmed the belief in the Godhead of our Lord in the minds of the apostles, saying, “This is My Son, Whom I love, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”

Then, Moses and Elias talked with Him, and they confessed His grace and His goodness, for by the coming of our Lord and by His going up upon the mountain [the truth] of the prophecy of the prophets was made known of a certainty.  And the apostles and the prophets rejoiced, for they saw His Incarnation which they had known not of, and the apostles rejoiced also when they heard the voice of the Father, which they had never before heard.  They heard it at that time, and by the voice of the Father they became certain of the Incarnation of our God the Son, which was hidden from them; and when they heard the voice of the Father the glory of the kingdom appeared, and the apostles knew that it was our Lord Jesus Christ Who had raised up the soul of Moses, and that it was He Who had brought up Elias, for verily none save God Who buried him knew where the grave of Moses was, and none save He Who had brought him up to heaven knew where Elias was. And none was able to make the dead to live save Almighty God, Who hath dominion over the heavens and the earth.

Mount Tabor is a similitude of the Church, and our Lord gathered together therein the Two Laws, the New and the Old.  When the disciples heard the voice of the Father, they fell down and became like dead men; and Moses returned to his grave, and Elias went up to heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ stood alone, for the voice came because of Him, and the prophets were frightened and the apostles fell down upon their faces, for the Father revealed the Name of His son, and that He existed for ever with His Father.  Because of that voice the Apostles preached that He was God indeed, and also that the flesh (or, body), which He had put on, was of the race of the children of man.  And in the Gospel our Redeemer preached saying . . .. If He was not flesh, why did the angel Gabriel say unto Mary, “God be with thee!”  And if He was not flesh, Whom did they lay in the manger?  And if He was not God, Whom did the angels praise when He went down from heaven on the day of His birth, saying, “Glory to God in the heights, and peace on earth, His goodwill to man.”  If He was not flesh, Whom did John baptize in the Jordan?  And if He was not God, Who was it that raised up Lazarus from his grave?  It was Christ, the Only Son, the Word of God.  We confess that He is perfect God and perfect man, One Person without separation.

When the apostles fell down upon the earth, and became like dead men, our Lord touched them with His Life- giving  hand,  and  He  said  unto  them,  “Rise  up,  and  fear  not.”  They then rose  up straightway, and they lifted up their eyes and saw no one except our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was alone.

Salutation to Debre Tabor, which is called Debre Telul and Glory to God; Amen!

Source: Ethiopic Syanaxarium page 694-695