What is…

Meaning: a park; generally with the article, “the park”

This is the name of 2 biblical places.

  1. Mount Carmel

    This is a prominent mountain range of Central Israel, consisting of several connected hills extending from the plain of Esdraelon to the sea, a distance of some 12 miles or more

    The head of the bride in Song of Songs 7:5 is compared to Carmel (“Your head crowns you like Carmel”).

    At the east end, at its highest part, it is 1,792 feet (546 meters) high, and at the west end it forms a promontory to the bay of Acre about 600 feet above the sea. In biblical times, it lay within the tribe of Asher.

    The western extremity of the ridge is, however, more rocky and bleak than the eastern.

    It is ranked with Bashan on account of its rich pastures (Isaiah 33:9; Jeremiah 50:19; Amos 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 Amos 9:3.

    The prophets Elijah and Elisha

    Elijah and Elisha often went to Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19; 18:42; 2 Kings 2:25).

    It was on Carmel, 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 evil false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 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 (2 Kings 4:25-37).

    “In a fiery showdown with the prophets of Baal, Elijah confronted Israel with a choice: ‘Whom will you serve?’ Today, we must challenge our culture with the same question.” (from the “Who is God?” section of the video “On the Prophets & Kings of Israel”—Faith Lessons series

    “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.”

    Modern names

    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. On its northwest summit there is an ancient establishment of Carmelite monks. German colonists of nearby Haifa planted vineyards on the mount. Today, most of the mountain range is covered by Israel’s largest national park—Mount Carmel National Park.

    Mount Carmel, near Haifa, Israel, a coastal mountain range in northern Israel—satellite view. Israel’s largest national park extends over most of the Carmel mountain range (Mount Carmel National Park)

    More information

  2. The rural town of Carmel

    This place was located in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:55) and was the residence of Nabal (1 Samuel 25:2,5,7, 40), and the native place of Abigail, who became David’s wife (1 Samuel 27:3).

    Here king Uzziah had his vineyards (2 Chronicles 26:10). The ruins of this town still remain under the name of Kurmul, about 10 miles south-southeast of Hebron, close to those of Maon.

    Carmel in southern West Bank—satellite view
Article Version: May 22, 2021