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Carmel (Heb. כַּרְמֶל) was a city in the territory of Judah. It is mentioned in connection with the fateful meeting between Samuel and Saul after the war against the Amalekites (I Sam. 15:12). Carmel belonged to Nabal, the Calebite, who raised sheep and held great shearing feasts there (25:2). His wife Abigail, called the Carmelitess, married David after Nabal’s death and the estate thus passed into David’s hands (27:3). His descendant Uzziah still possessed vineyards in Carmel (II Chron. 26:10). Hezrai, one of David’s warriors, was originally from Carmel (II Sam. 23:35). In Roman times it was garrisoned with Illyrian cavalry and formed part of the Limes Palaestinae. Carmel is mentioned in Notitia dignitatum… 73, 20 (ed. 1876 by O. Seeck) as Chermela. In the fourth century Eusebius describes it as a large Jewish village (Onom. 92:19ff.). The remains of two Byzantine churches and tomb caves have been found there and the ruins of a crusader castle are still visible. The city is identified with Khirbat Karmil 9 mi. (15 km.) south of Hebron.


Alt, in: PJB, 26 (1930), 48; 27 (1931), 75–76; Press, Ereẓ, 3 (1952), 508; Aharoni, Land, index; Avi-Yonah, Land, index

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.