Mount Carmel is best remembered as the place where Elijah bested the Baal prophets by having his sacrifice to God lit afire by God himself.
The mountain is 16 miles long by 4-5 miles wide and 1,800 feet high. The city of Haifa lies at its base off to the west, and there’s an Israeli military airport nearby. The planes at the military base are kept underground. On a clear day, you can see the Mediterranean Sea.
Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him.” But the people didn’t answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only remaining prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us. They are to choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and place it on the wood but not light the fire. I will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood but not light the fire. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh. The God who answers with fire, He is God.”
|All the people answered, “That sounds good.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since you are so numerous, choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first. Then call on the name of your god but don’t light the fire.” So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound; no one answered. Then they did their lame dance around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them. He said, “Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away; or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!” They shouted loudly, and cut themselves with knives and spears, according to their custom, until blood gushed out on them. All afternoon, they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice, but there was no sound, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near me.” So all the people approached him. Then he repaired the LORD’s altar that had been torn down: Elijah took 12 stones–according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Israel will be your name”– and he built an altar with the stones in the name of Yahweh. Then he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold about four gallons. Next, he arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and placed it on the wood. He said, “Fill four water pots with water and pour it on the offering to be burned and on the wood.” Then he said, “A second time!” and they did it a second time. And then he said, “A third time!” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; he even filled the trench with water. At the time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached the altar and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that at Your word I have done all these things. Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that this people will know that You, Yahweh, are God and that You have turned their hearts back.” Then Yahweh’s fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
When all the people saw it, they fell facedown and said, “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!” Then Elijah ordered them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let even one of them escape.” So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and slaughtered them there. (1Ki 18:21-40 HCSB)
|We passed this sepulcher on the way to the mountain. There was no mention of a false prophet being buried there.|
|I believe this is the city of Haifa, at the base of the mountain.|