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Dictionaries :: Carmel

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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Carmel:

a park; generally with the article, "the park." (1.) A prominent headland of Central Palestine, consisting of several connected hills extending from the plain of Esdraelon to the sea, a distance of some 12 miles or more. At the east end, in its highest part, it is 1,728 feet high, and at the west end it forms a promontory to the bay of Acre about 600 feet above the sea. It lay within the tribe of Asher. It was here, at the east end of the ridge, at a place called el-Mukhrakah (i.e., the place of burning), that Elijah brought back the people to their allegiance to God, and slew the prophets of Baal (place of burning), that Elijah brought back the people to their 1Ki 18). Here were consumed the "fifties" of the royal guard; and here also Elisha received the visit of the bereaved mother whose son was restored by him to life (2Ki 4:25-37). "No mountain in or around Palestine retains its ancient beauty so much as Carmel. Two or three villages and some scattered cottages are found on it; its groves are few but luxuriant; it is no place for crags and precipices or rocks of wild goats; but its surface is covered with a rich and constant verdure." "The whole mountain-side is dressed with blossom, and flowering shrubs, and fragrant herbs." The western extremity of the ridge is, however, more rocky and bleak than the eastern. The head of the bride in Sgs 7:5 is compared to Carmel. It is ranked with Bashan on account of its rich pastures (Isa 33:9; Jer 50:19; Amo 1:2). The whole ridge is deeply furrowed with rocky ravines filled with dense jungle. There are many caves in its sides, which at one time were inhabited by swarms of monks. These caves are referred to in Amo 9:3. To them Elijah and Elisha often resorted (1Ki 18:19,42; 2Ki 2:25). On its north-west summit there is an ancient establishment of Carmelite monks. Vineyards have recently been planted on the mount by the German colonists of Haifa. The modern Arabic name of the mount is Kurmul, but more commonly Jebel Mar Elyas, i.e., Mount St. Elias, from the Convent of Elias.

(2.) A town in the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:55), the residence of Nabal (1Sa 25:2,5,7,40), and the native place of Abigail, who became David's wife (1Sa 27:3). Here king Uzziah had his vineyards (2Ch 26:10). The ruins of this town still remain under the name of Kurmul, about 10 miles south-south-east of Hebron, close to those of Maon.

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

Carmel:

circumcised lamb; harvest; full of ears of corn

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Carmel:

kar'-mel (karmel, or, with article, ha-karmel, "fruit garden"; Josephus, ho Karmelos, Karmelion oros):

(1) A beautifully wooded mountain range running for about 13 miles in a south-easterly direction from the promontory which drops on the shore of the Mediterranean near Haifa, at the southern extremity of the plain of Acre, to the height of el-Machraqah which overlooks the plain of Esdraelon. On the top of the promontory, at a height of 500 ft. the monastery of Elias stands. From this point there is a gradual ascent until the greatest height is reached at Esfiyeh (1,742 ft.), the peak at el-Machraqah being only some 55 ft. lower. The mountain-usually named with the article, "the Carmel"-still justifies its name, "the garden with fruit trees." The steep slopes on the North and East, indeed, afford little scope for cultivation, although trees and brushwood grow abundantly. But to the South and West the mountain falls away to the sea and the plain in a series of long, fertile valleys, where the "excellency" of Carmel finds full illustration today. There are a few springs of good water; but the main supply is furnished by the winter rains, which are caught and stored in great cisterns. The villages on the slopes have a look of prosperity not too often seen in Syria, the rich soil amply rewarding the toil of the husbandmen. Oak and pine, myrtle and honeysuckle, box and laurel flourish; the sheen of fruitful olives fills many a hollow; and in the time of flowers Carmel is beautiful in a garment of many colors. Evidences of the ancient husbandry which made it famous are found in the cisterns, and the oil and wine presses cut in the surface of the rock. There is probably a reference to the vine culture here in 2Ch 26:10. In the figurative language of Scripture it appears as the symbol of beauty (So 7:5), of fruitfulness (Isa 35:2), of majesty (Jer 46:18), of prosperous and happy life (Jer 50:19). The languishing of Carmel betokens the vengeance of God upon the land (Na 1:4); and her decay, utter desolation (Am 1:2; Isa 33:9).

Asylum and Sanctuary:

Roughly triangular in form, with plains stretching from its base on each of the three sides, the mountain, with its majestic form and massive bulk, is visible from afar. Its position deprived it of any great value for military purposes. It commanded none of the great highways followed by armies: the passes between Esdraelon and Sharon, to the East of Carmel, furnishing the most convenient paths. But the mountain beckoned the fugitive from afar, and in all ages has offered asylum to the hunted in its caves and wooded glens. Also its remote heights with their spacious outlook over land and sea; its sheltered nooks and embowering groves have been scenes of worship from old time. Here stood an ancient altar of Yahweh (1Ki 18:30). We may assume that there was also a sanctuary of Baal, since the worshippers of these deities chose the place as common ground for the great trim (1Ki 18). The scene is traditionally located at el-Machraqah, "the place of burnt sacrifice," which is still held sacred by the Druzes. A Latin chapel stands near, with a great cistern. A good spring is found lower down the slope. Just below, on the North bank of the Kishon stands the mound ca11ed Tell el-qissis, "mound of the priest." From the crest of Carmel Elijah descried the coming storm, and, descending the mountain, ran before the chariot of Ahab to the gate of Jezreel (1Ki 18:42 ff). Under the monastery on the western promontory is a cave, said to be that of Elijah. An older tradition locates the cave of the prophet at ed-Deir, near ‘Ain es-Sih. It may have been the scene of the events narrated in 2Ki 1:9 ff. Elisha also was a familiar visitor to Mt. Carmel. It was within the territory allotted to Asher; in later times it passed into the hands of Tyre (BJ, III, iii, 1).

(2) A city of Judah, in the uplands near Hebron, named with Maon and Ziph (Jos 15:55). Here Saul for some reason not stated set up a monument or trophy (1Sa 15:12; literally "hand"). It was the home of Nabal the churlish and drunken flockmaster, whose widow Abigail David married (1Sa 25); and also of Hezro, one of David's mighty men (2Sa 23:35; 1Ch 11:37). It is represented by the modern el-Karmil, about 10 miles to the Southeast of Hebron. Karmil is the pronunciation given me by several natives this spring. There are considerable ruins, the most outstanding feature being square tower dating from the 12th century, now going swiftly to ruin. There are also caves, tombs and a large reservoir.

Written by W. Ewing

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Carmel:

(fruitful place or park).

(1.) A mountain which forms one of the most striking and characteristic features of the country of Palestine. It is a noble ridge, the only headland of lower and central Palestine, and forms its southern boundary, running out with a bold bluff promontory, nearly 600 feet high, almost into the very waves of the Mediterranean, then extending southeast for a little more than twelve miles, when it terminates suddenly in a bluff somewhat corresponding to its western end. In form Carmel is a tolerably continuous ridge, its highest point, about four miles from the eastern end, being 1,740 feet above the sea. That which has made the name of Carmel most familiar to the modern world is its intimate connection with the history of the two great prophets of Israel, Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:25; 4:25; 1 Kings 18:20-42). It is now commonly called Mar Elyas; Kurmel being occasionally, but only seldom, heard.

(2.) A town in the mountainous country of Judah (Joshua 15:55) familiar to us as the residence of Nabal (1 Samuel 25:2; 25:5; 25:7; 25:40).

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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