Cave of Elijah

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One cave associated with Elijah, Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel in Haifa

The Cave of Elijah is a grotto written about in the Hebrew Bible, where the prophet Elijah took shelter during a journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19:8).

In the Books of Kings Elijah had been travelling for 40 days and nights, when he takes shelter in the cave on Mount Horeb for the night. Upon awakening he is talked to by God.

The exact location of the cave is unknown. There is a "Cave of Elijah" on Mount Carmel approximately 40 m above sea level in Haifa, venerated for centuries by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Another cave associated with Elijah is located nearby under the altar of the main church of the Stella Maris Monastery, also on Mount Carmel.[1][2]

The name of the cave is also known as el-Khatser or el-Khader in Arabic[2]

Cave in the historical sources[edit]

“Cave Elijah” has been presented primarily as part of Mount Carmel in the works of travellers, historians, pilgrims and other visitors.[2]

The Pilgrim of Bordeaux who visited Mount Carmel didn't mention in his notes about the cave, but describes it as: “… there is Mount Carmel, there Elijah sacrificed …”[2]

Ioannes Phokas, a pilgrim went to the cave in 1185 writes: "… After these (places) there is Mt. Carmel, … At the end of the ridge of Mt. Carmel facing the sea, there is the cave of the Prophet Elijah, …"[2]

A Jewish pilgrim who visited cave during the period between 1270 and 1291 briefly mentions: “There on the slopes of Mt. Carmel is a cave, and there the synagogue dedicated to Elijah, be he remembered for good. Above the cave, on the top of the mountain there is Elisha’s Cave. “[2]

An English prelate and traveller Richard Pococke wrote in his notes in 1738 that Elijah had lived and worshipped in the prayer hall of the cave, the cave was indeed admired by Christians, Jews and Turks and visited on Elijah's birthday, visiting the cave on Saturday after Sabbath of Consolation became a custom.[2]


  1. ^ "Stella Maris". Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Elijah's Cave on Mount Carmel and its Inscriptions" (PDF).

Coordinates: 32°49′47″N 34°58′11″E / 32.829816°N 34.969588°E / 32.829816; 34.969588