Carmel (biblical settlement)
Carmel was an ancient Israelite town in Judea.
There are several references to Carmel in the Bible. Carmel is mentioned as a city of Judah in 1 Samuel 15:12 and also in Joshua 15:55. It is mentioned as the place where Saul erects a monument after the expedition against the Amelekites (1 Samuel 15:12). Carmel is mentioned in 1 Samuel 25 as the home of Nabal and his wife Abigail.
Later Jewish history
After the Bar Kochba revolt Carmel was used as a Roman garrison town. The Jews of the town being uncomfortable with the Roman presence moved their settlement 2 km southeast, occupying a hilltop ridge. The new Jewish settlement prospered until the Persian army of Chosroes forced the Roman garrison of Heraclius's army to quit Palestine. The Persian army was, in its turn, shortly destroyed by the Rashidun Caliphate. With a lack of market for their wine, the Jewish settlement declined with the synagogue finally being abandoned in the 9th Century. The abandoned synagogue, which still stands in the Palestinian town now known as al-Karmil, is one of the best preserved ancient synagogues in the West Bank.
- Kuhnen, H-P., Studien zur Chronologie und Siedlungsarchaologie des Karmel (Israel) zwischen Hellenismus und Spatantike (Wiesbaden, 1989).