To the south of the Jezreel Valley rise the towering rock scarps of Mount Carmel. The name Carmel means “plantation,” “garden-land,” and/or “garden-growth,” and in Scripture, the lushness of the vegetation on Mount Carmel became a symbol of great fertility (e.g., Song 7:5; Isa 35:2; etc.). Mount Carmel in a broad sense extends some 30 miles along a line running from the Mediterranean Sea in the northwest to the Dothan Valley in the southeast. The northeastern and western slopes of the triangular-shaped range are quite steep. Its highest point is at Muhraqa at 1,790 feet above sea level.
It was the site of the great contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Later, Elisha frequented the region (2 Kgs 2:25; 4:25). Because of its lush tree cover, it became a symbol of beauty and fruitfulness (SS 7:5; Isa 35:2; etc.) and its withering became a symbol of destruction and desolation (Amos 1:2; 9:3; etc.).