A fruitful field,
1. A city of Judah, on a mountain of the same name, eight miles south by east of Hebron, Jos 15:55. On this mountain Saul, returning from his expedition against Amalek, erected a trophy; and here Nabal the Carmelite, Abigail's husband, dwelt, 1Sa 15:12,25. Its ruins indicate that it was a large place.
2. A celebrated range of hills running northwest from the Plain of Esdraelon, and ending in the promontory which forms the bay of Acre. Its greatest height is about 1,500 feet; at its northeastern foot runs the brook Kishon, and a little farther north, the river Belus. On its northern point stands a convent of the Carmelite friars, an order established in the twelfth century, and having at the present day various branches in Europe. The foot of the northern part approaches the water, so that, seen from the hills north-east of Acre, mount Carmel appears as if "dipping his feet in the western sea;" farther south it retires more inland, so that between the mountain and the sea there is an extensive plain covered with fields and olive-trees. Mariti describes it as a delightful region, and says the good quality of its soil is apparent from the fact that so many odoriferous plants and flowers, as hyacinths, jonquilles, tazettos, anemones, etc., grow wild upon the mountain. Von Richter says, "Mount Camel is entirely covered with green; on its summit are pines and oaks, and farther down olive and laurel trees. It gives rise to a multitude of crystal brooks, the largest of which issues from the so-called 'fountain of Elijah;' and they all hurry along, between banks thickly overgrown with bushes, to the Kishon. Every species of tillage succeeds admirably under this mild and cheerful sky. The prospect from the summit of the mountain out over the gulf of Acre and its fertile shores, to the blue heights of Lebanon and to the White cape, is enchanting." Mr. Carne also ascended the mountain, and traversed the whole summit, which occupied several hours. He says, "It is the finest and most beautiful mountain in Palestine, of great length, and in many parts covered with trees and flowers. On reaching, at last, the opposite summit, and coming out of a wood, we saw the celebrated plain of Esdraelon beneath, with the river Kishon flowing through it; mounts Tabor and Little Hermon were in front, (east); and on the right, (south,) the prospect was bounded by the hills of Samaria." From the southeast side of this ridge, a range of low wooded hills on the south spreads and rises into the high lands of Samaria. Those who visit mount Carmel in the last part of the dry season, find every thing parched and brown; yet enough remains to show how just were the allusions of ancient writers to its exceeding beauty, Isa 35:2, its verdure of drapery and grace of outline, Song 7:5, and its rich pastures, Isa 33:9; Jer 50:19; Am 1:2. The rock of the mountain is a hard limestone, abounding in natural caves, Am 9:3. These have in many cases been enlarged, and otherwise fitted for human habitation; and the mountain has been in various ages a favorite residence for devotees. It is memorable for frequent visits of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, 2Ki 2:25; 4:25, and especially for the destruction of the priests of Baal upon it, 1Ki 18.
a park; generally with the article, "the park."
Illustration: Mount Carmel from Haifa
(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 (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 Song 7:5 is compared to Carmel. It is ranked with Bashan on account of its rich pastures (Isa 33:9; Jer 50:19; Am 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 Am 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 (5/2/type/asv'>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.
Generally with the article, "the park," derived from kerem 'Eel, "the vineyard of God." Sometimes not a proper name: Isa 32:15, "a fruitful field," Hebrew Karmel; a characteristic feature of the Holy-Land.
1. A mountain promontory in Asher, 12 miles long, jutting out into the Mediterranean. a few miles S. of Ptolemais or Acre; toward its eastern extremity 1,600 feet above the level of the sea, at the W. end 600. Now Mar Elyas (Elijah), rarely Kurmul. The only bold headland of Palestine. It separates the plain of Sharon on the S. from the more inland plain of Esdraelon or Jezreel on the N., by which the river Kishon flows into the sea in a direction parallel to the mountain range. The stone is mostly soft white limestone, with nodules of flint; at the W. chalk; on the N.E. plutonic rocks. "Elijah's melons," or lapides Judaici, is the name applied to stones of light brown flint outside, hollow inside, and lined with quartz crystals or chalcedony, the geological "geodes."
Fossil spines of echinus are called "olives." The "apples" are the shells of the Cidaris glandifera. Carmel's characteristic shrubbery's are still to be seen, with rocky dells amidst jungles of copse oaks, evergreens, and numerous caves. The forests have disappeared. Flowering and fragrant herbs abound, hollyhocks, jasmine, and various vegetable creepers, "the excellency (i.e. the beauty) of Carmel" (Isa 35:2.) Hence it is the image of the bride's head with luxuriant tresses (Song 7:5). "thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple (Hebrew the pendulous hair is of glossy black, like purple), the king is held captivated with the flowing ringlets" (not galleries). The scene of Elijah's conflict with, and execution of, Baal's prophets was at the N.E. of the range, beside a spring said to be perennial.
But Blunt (Undesigned Coincidences) thinks that sea water was used, as water would not have been otherwise so wasted in a drought. The distance of the sea forbids this view; the sea is far W. of the scene. The spring is 250 feet below the steep rocky altar plateau. It is in the former a vaulted tank, with steps leading down to it. Carmel was so covered with thicket and forest as to be difficult of access, so that the fountain was not so available in the drought as otherwise it would have been. The shade of the trees and the vaulting (if it then existed) would check evaporation. The site of Elijah's sacrifice is still marked by the Arab name El-Maharrakah," the burning." The spring still flowing amidst the drought is close by. Josephus says the water was obtained from the neighboring spring (Ant. 8:13, section 5). The distance from Jezreel agrees with the narrative.
A knoll between the ridge and the plain is called Tell Kasis, "the hill of the priests;" the Kishon below is named Nahr el Mukatta, "the river of slaughter." From it Ahab "went up" to the sides of Carmel to take part in the sacrificial feast; Elijah went up to "the top" of the mountain to pray for rain: while Gehazi seven times climbed the highest point from whence the Mediterranean is to be fully seen over the W. shoulder of the ridge, and at last saw the little cloud rising out of the sea "like a man's hand," the sure forerunner of rain. An altar of Jehovah had existed on Carmel before that Baal worship was introduced; Jezebel had east it down (1Ki 22:53); this Elijah repaired and used as the altar for his sacrifice. Hence, as being a sacred spot, he had convened Israel and Ahab there. They and the 850 prophets of Baal stood close beneath the high place of the altar, near the spring, in full view of Jezreel and Ahab's palace and Jezebel's temple in the distance.
Subsequently it was the place of resort for worship on new moons and sabbaths (2Ki 4:23). Here too the successive fifties of king Ahaziah, at Elijah's call, were consumed by fire from heaven. (2Ki 1:9, where it ought to be "he sat on the top of THE hill," i.e. Carmel.) Elisha repaired there, after Elijah's ascension (2Ki 2:25). Here too Elisha was visited by the bereaved mother, with a view to his restoring to life her deceased son (2Ki 4:25). Tacitus mentions that ages afterward Vespasian went there to consult the oracle which was without image or temple, and with "only an altar and reverential sanctity" attached to the place.
On Carmel is the convent, the seat of the barefooted Carmelite monks, whose establishments spread over Europe from the 13th century. Bertholdt, a Calabrian, and a crusader in the 12th century, had founded the order, and Louis of France the convent, in the 13th century, at the traditional site of Elijah's abode. The Latin traditions as to Elijah being connected with the origin of that order of monks are purely mythical. Edward I of England was a brother of the order; Simon Stokes of Kent was one of its famous generals.
2. A city in the hilly country of Judah (Jos 15:55). The abode of the churl Nabal and Abigail "the Carmelitess" (1 Samuel 25; 1Sa 27:3). Saul set. up a "place," i.e. a memorial, there after his victory over Amalek (1Sa 15:12). Here Uzziah had his vineyards (2Ch 26:10). Ten miles S.E. of Hebron. In A.D. 1172 King Amalric held it against Saladin. The ruins of the castle (Kasr el Birkeh) are still visible, of great strength, with the large beveled masonry characteristic of Jewish architecture. To the E. is a glaring white desert, without shrub or water. inhabited by the partridge and ibex alone, the very two noticed in the narrative (1Sa 26:20): "the king of Israel doth hunt a partridge"; "David upon the rocks of the wild goats" (1Sa 24:2).
1. A town in the mountains south of Hebron, in the territory of Judah (Jos 15:55). Here Saul set up a memorial of his conquest of the Amalekites (1Sa 15:12), and here Nabal (1Sa 25:2) and Uzziah (2Ch 26:10 AV) had property. It was the home of Hezral or Hezro, one of David's followers (2Sa 23:35; 1Ch 11:37). It is identified with Kurmul, about 10 miles S.E. of Hebron. 2. A hilly promontory by which the sea-coast of Palestine is broken, forming the south side of the hay of Acca. It continues as a ridge running in a S.E. direction, bordering the plain of Esdraelon on the S., and finally joining the main mountain ridge of the country in the district round about Samaria. On this ridge was Jokneam, reduced by Joshua (Jos 12:22). The promontory was included in the territory of Asher (Jos 19:26). It was the scene of Elijah's sacrifice (1Ki 18), and hither after Elijah's translation Elisha came on the way to Samaria (2Ki 2:25). Elisha was for a time established here (2Ki 4:25). The fruitfulness of Carmel is alluded to (Isa 33:9; 35:2; Am 1:2); it was wooded (Mic 7:14), a fact which made it a good hiding-place (Am 9:3). The head of the Shulammite is compared to Carmel (Song 7:5).
The mountain seems from a very early period to have been a place of sanctity. In the list of Tahutmes III. of places conquered by him in Palestine, Maspero sees in one name the words Rosh Kodsu, 'holy headland,' referring to Carmel. The site was probably chosen for the sacrifice whereby the claims of Baal and Jehovah were tested, because it was already holy ground. An altar of Jehovah existed here before Elijah (1Ki 18:30). The traditional site is at the E. end of the ridge, but it is probably a mere coincidence that on the bank of the river Kishon just below there is a mound known as Tell el-Kasis, 'the mound of the priest.' Tacitus (Hist. ii. 78) refers to the mountain as the site of an oracle; the Druses hold the traditional site of the sacrifice of Elijah sacred; and the mountain has given its name to the Carmelite order of friars.
R. A. S. Macalister.
1. This name has generally the article, and signifies 'the park' or fruitful place. A mountain 12 miles in length that runs from the plain of Esdraelon in Galilee, in a N.W. direction toward the Mediterranean, where it forms a notable promontory, the only one in Palestine. It was the scene of Elijah's contest with the priests of Baal, that led to their destruction. 1Ki 18:19-40. One part towards its east end is still called Mukrakah, 'place of burning,' the traditional spot of the above encounter. There Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord: this may have been erected before the temple was built, and been broken down, but its moral bearing is obvious. God vindicated His servant, and answered by fire from heaven. A perennial well near by would, notwithstanding the drought, have supplied the water Elijah needed. The spot is about 1,600 feet above the sea, and Elijah's servant had to go but a short distance to have the Mediterranean in view and to watch for a cloud.
The mountain was afterwards the residence of Elisha, where he was visited by the Shunammite woman on the death of her child. 2Ki 4:25. It is well wooded with shrubberies and brushwood, Isa 33:9; Mic 7:14, and is beautiful with the multitude of its flowers, in fact the spot is declared to be even now the fragrant lovely mountain as of old. In Cant. 7:5 the head of the bride is compared to Carmel. It is now called Jebel Kurmul.
2. City in the hill-country of Judah, Jos 15:55, the abode of Nabal and Abigail the Carmelitess. 1Sa 25:2-40. Identified with el Kurmul, 31 26' N, 35 8' E. It is probable that 1Sa 15:12 refers to this city; also 2Ch 26:10, unless the word there is translated 'fruitful fields,' as in the margin and R.V. All other passages refer to No. 1.
(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,a bout four miles from the eastern end, being 1740 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.
It is now commonly called Mar Elyas; Kurmel being occasionally, but only seldom, hear.
2. A town in the mountainous country of Judah,
familiar to us as the residence of Nabal.
2. CARMEL was also the name of a celebrated mountain in Palestine. Though spoken of in general as a single mountain, it ought rather to be considered as a mountainous region, the whole of which was known by the name of Carmel, while to one of the hills, more elevated than the rest, that name was usually applied by way of eminence. It had the plain of Sharon on the south; overlooked the port of Ptolemais on the north; and was bounded on the west by the Mediterranean sea; forming one of the most remarkable promontories that present themselves on the shores of that great sea. According to Volney, it is about two thousand feet in height, and has the shape of a flattened cone. Its sides are steep and rugged; the soil neither deep nor rich; and among the naked rocks stinted with plants, and wild forests which it presents to the eye, there are at present but few traces of that fertility which we are accustomed to associate with the idea of Mount Carmel. Yet even Volney himself acknowledges that he found among the brambles, wild vines and olive trees, which proved that the hand of industry had once been employed on a not ungrateful soil. Of its ancient productiveness there can be no doubt; the etymology and ordinary application of its name being sufficient evidence of the fact. Carmel is not only expressly mentioned in Scripture as excelling other districts in that respect; but, every place possessed of the same kind of excellence obtained from it the same appellation in the language both of the prophets and the people. Mount Carmel is celebrated in the Old Testament, as the usual place of residence of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha. It was here that Elijah so successfully opposed the false prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18; and there is a certain part of the mountain facing the west, and about eight miles from the point of the promontory, which the Arabs call Man-sur, and the Europeans the place of sacrifice, in commemoration of that miraculous event. Near the same place is also still shown a cave, in which it is said the Prophet had his residence. The brook Kishon, which issues from Mount Tabor, waters the bottom of Carmel, and falls into the sea toward the northern side of the mountain, and not the southern, as some writers have erroneously stated. Its greatest elevation is about one thousand five hundred feet; hence, when the sea coast on one side, and the plain on the other, are oppressed with sultry heat, this hill is refreshed by cooling breezes, and enjoys a delightful temperature. The fastnesses of this rugged mountain are so difficult of access, that the Prophet Amos classes them with the deeps of hell, the height of heaven, and the bottom of the sea: "Though they dig into hell," (or the dark and silent chambers of the grave,) "thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down; and though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them," Am 9:2-3. Lebanon raises to heaven a summit of naked and barren rocks, covered for the greater part of the year with snow; but the top of Carmel, how naked and sterile soever its present condition, was clothed with verdure which seldom was known to fade. Even the lofty genius of Isaiah, stimulated and guided by the spirit of inspiration, could not find a more appropriate figure to express the flourishing state of the Redeemer's kingdom, than "the excellency of Carmel and Sharon."