CARMEL

Mount Carmel was the only major headland on the Palestine coast (Jer 46:18). It rose steeply from the sea, then extended inland in a mountain range about twenty kilometres long that divided between the Plain of Esdraelon to the north and the Plain of Sharon to the south. The mountains had good forests and pasture lands (Isa 33:9; 35:2; Jer 50:19; Amos 1:2; 9:3; Nahum 1:4). (For maps and other details of the region see PALESTINE.) According to the beliefs of Baalism that Jezebel introduced into Israel from Phoenicia, Mt Carmel was a sacred Baal site. This gives added significance to the contest on Mt Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-46; see ELIJAH). (Mt Carmel had no connection with a town in Judah named Carmel; 1 Sam 15:12; 25:2-42.)

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