Every Bible class teacher has probably learned to sketch the coastline of Canaan (Palestine, Israel). Be sure to make that little jut out into the Mediterranean Sea to represent Mount Carmel. But Mount Carmel is much more; it is a range. Consisting largely of limestone, the mountain is almost 15 miles long by 5 miles wide. The elevation is about 1500 feet above sea level. From the western promontory one can overlook the city and port of Haifa. The Roman general Vespasian, who later became emperor, offered sacrifices on Mount Carmel before the war against the Jews (A.D. 66-70) (Hoade, Guide to the Holy Land, 665).
The location of Mount Carmel made it practical for travelers going north or south to travel around the mountain through the Jezreel Valley (or Valley of Megiddo). To the Greeks it was the Valley of Esdraelon.
Carmel is best known as the place of the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Elijah had king Ahab to call all Israel and the 450 prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40). The traditional site for this event is shown at Muhrakah on the eastern end of Mount Carmel. Below the Carmelite monastery of St. Elijah can be seen the valley of Megiddo and the tell of Jokneam (Josh. 12:22). The brook Kishon, where the prophets of Baal were slain, is nearby (1 Kings 18:40).
The photo below of the Jezreel Valley was made from the roof of the monastery. The view is a little to the north, but mostly to the east. The tell in the center of the photo immediately below the mountain is Jokneam. The Bible mentions its “pasture lands” in Joshua 21:34. In the distant left you can see the mountains of lower Galilee, where Nazareth is located. Mediddo, not visible, is to the extreme right. The River Kishon is just a little to the left of this view.
The Valley of Megiddo was the scene of many significant historical battles and provides the background for the setting of Armageddon (or Har-Magedon) in Revelation 16.
The photo below is intended to remind travelers to wear a hat and sunscreen when visiting Israel. It is much brighter than most Americans are accustomed to in the spring of the year.