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by Wayne Blank
Mount Carmel is made up of several joining highlands that extend from the Plain of Esdraelon (see Armageddon ) to the Mediterranean for a distance of nearly 12 miles (20 kilometers). The inland (eastern) section is much higher than the western part that reaches into, and causes to be formed, the Bay of Haifa.
The meaning of Carmel can be something like "park," or "fertile ground". The view of Haifa and the surrounding region from Mount Carmel is quite beautiful. The photograph shows the Plain of Esdraelon, or "Valley of Armageddon," from Mount Carmel.
Mount Carmel was apparently a favorite place of Elijah, Israel's eccentric prophet. Elijah seems to have had an intense personality, often brooding, and was very likely not an easy man to get along with, but he was always completely loyal and obedient to The Lord. His strong personality could either have been a requirement for, or perhaps was the result of, the difficult job that he had been given to do. He may well have led a lonely and persecuted life.
It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah made his stand against the many prophets of Baal and Asherah who were corrupting the Israelites at the time. The account is given in 1 Kings 18. After a supernatural demonstration of the difference between the true God and idolatry, the Israelites were convinced to turn back to the true God. The outcome of the contest was not as happy for Elijah's opponents, who all lost their lives.
Fact Finder: How many pagan prophets did Elijah alone face there?