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Mount Carmel is located on The Mediterranean Sea coast of Israel, overlooking the modern-day city of Haifa. Its location is easy to find on a map because it forms the only major mountainous outcrop into the sea along Israel's otherwise relatively smooth coastline. Just look for the big "bump" on the northern coast.

Galilee 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 Plain of Esdraelon, or "Valley of Armageddon," is easily seen from Mount Carmel.

Mount Carmel was apparently one of the favorite places of Elijah, one of the major Prophets of God (see also Why Elijah? and Where Did Elijah Go?). Elijah had a rather intense personality, 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. As the Scriptures describe, he often led a lonely (which not necessarily means alone - Jesus Christ was often a lonely man even when with those closest to Him because they just didn't get it until after He was gone, see "God Forbid, Lord!") and persecuted life.

It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah made his stand against the many pagan prophets of Baal and Asherah who were corrupting the Israelites at the time. The account is given in 1 Kings 18:16-40. After a miraculous demonstration of the difference between the true God and dead-end idolatry, the Israelites were convinced to turn back to the true God, for a while anyway. 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 confront at Carmel?
(a) 15 (b) 150 (c) 370 (d) 850
1 Kings 18:19 (total both the prophets of Baal and Asherah)

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