A fruitful field,
1. A city of Judah, on a mountain of the same name, eight miles south by east of Hebron, Joshua 15:55. On this mountain Saul, returning from his expedition against Amalek, erected a trophy; and here Nabal the Carmelite, Abigail’s husband, dwelt, 1 Samuel 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, Isaiah 35:2, its verdure of drapery and grace of outline, Song of Solomon 7:5, and its rich pastures, Isaiah 33:9 Jeremiah 50:19 Amos 1:2. The rock of the mountain is a hard limestone, abounding in natural caves, Amos 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, 2 Kings 2:25 4:25, and especially for the destruction of the priests of Baal upon it, 1 Kings 18:1-46.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.