Then shall thou go on forward from thence
From Zelzah and Rachel's sepulchre there:
and thou shall come to the plain of Tabor;
not that which lay at the bottom of the famous and well known mountain Tabor; for that was in the tribe of Zebulun, at a great distance from hence: but a plain, so called perhaps from the name of the owner of it:
and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel:
the same with Luz, where Jacob built an altar, and called upon God; and so Elohimbethel here is the same with Elbethel, ( Genesis 35:6 Genesis 35:7 ) . Here was an high place as at Ramah, whither in those times, when there was no fixed place for worship, the tabernacle at one place, and the ark at another, the people went up to worship; and they might the rather choose this, because it was a place devoted to the worship and service of God by their father Jacob; so the Targum paraphrases it,
``going up to worship God in Bethel;''
so Josephus F3, they were going thither to pray, and, as it seems by what follows, to sacrifice: one carrying three kids; which were used in sacrifice, and were a pretty heavy load if carried far; though, according to Josephus F4, it was but one kid:
and another carrying three loaves of bread;
for the minchah, the meat offering, or rather bread offering, ( Leviticus 2:4 )
and another carrying a bottle of wine;
for the drink offering, the fourth part of an hin of wine being required for each kid, ( Numbers 15:5 Numbers 15:11 ) . This bottle, Ben Melech says, was a bottle made of skin, a leathern bottle or bag, or a potter's vessel or pitcher; the Targum renders it, a flagon of wine.
F3 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 4. sect. 2.