The name Carmel in the Bible
There are two Carmels mentioned in the Bible, a village and a mountain:
- The lesser known Carmel was a village south of Hebron. At this Carmel king Saul erected a monument for himself after his battle with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:12) and that would cost him his crown (15:23). Nabal, the Calebite lived in Carmel (1 Samuel 25:1-2) with his wife Abigail. Nabal was rude to David's men, and David rode out to avenge his honor. Abigail stopped David, by riding towards him and saying just about the worst things about her husband a wife can. Ten days after that, Nabal died and Abigail became David's wife (25:42).
- The better known Carmel is a mountain on the Mediterranean coast (Jeremiah 46:18). It's where Israel's prophet Elijah the Tishbite had his encounter with the 450 priest of Baal (1 Kings 18:19). This Carmel became a symbol for beauty (Song of Solomon 7:5). HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes that today the Carmelite mountain range forms the harbor of Haifa. The town Megiddo is located close to Mount Carmel.
Etymology of the name Carmel
The name Carmel is identical to the Hebrew word כרמל (karmel), meaning plantation or orchard:
For a meaning of the name Carmel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Field, Park, Garden. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names renders Fruitful Field.