Muhraka

Muhraka

Muhraka (alternatively written as Muhraqa, Deir Al-Mukhraka) is located on the southern end of the Mount Carmel range near the modern Druze town of Daliyat el-Carmel. The word Muhraka means ’the place of burning.’ Both tradition and key geographical details point to this site as the biblical site where Elijah fought the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:16-45). The site has a commanding view of both the Jezreel valley and the Mediterranean Sea, two important geographical features required to validate the Carmelite Monastery of Muhraka’s location. According to the Hebrew Bible, Elijah approaches and leaves the mountain into the Jezreel valley (1 Kings 18:45); moreover, the biblical passage ends with him sending his servant back up to the top of the mountain to ’look toward the sea’ (1 Kings 18:43). Other key components are the location of a body of water, most likely a nearby spring on the mountain, as Elijah repeatedly pours water on the altar of sacrifice, even though it is a period of drought. Indeed, there is a spring near the location of the monastery, approximately a 20-minute hike down the eastern slope of the mountain. The location of the Kishon Ravine is also important, as Elijah slaughters the prophets of Baal at that site immediately after his victory. The Kishon Ravine is located at the base of the mountain, perhaps an hour’s journey down the mountain and into the Jezreel valley.

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The Statue of Elijah at Muhraka

Upon entering the Monastery of Muhraka, one is struck by this impressive statue of Elijah the Prophet, sword in hand, killing one of the prophets of Baal. The inscription on the statute is in three languages and surprisingly is not a quote from 1 Kings 18, but from the apocryphal work Wisdom of Ben…

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Lookout over the Jezreel Valley

From the rooftop of the Carmelite Monastery of Muhraka, you are struck by an amazing view of the Jezreel Valley. On a clear day, one can see all of the Jezreel, from the base of Mount Carmel to Mount Gilboa in the south, with clear vistas of Nazareth and Mount Tabor to the…

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The Lookout Point Map at Muhraka (2 images)

With the often heavy winds on top of the lookout point, there’s no need to bring a map. The Carmelites have hand-painted a map with all of the coordinates on the floor beneath…

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The location of Muhraka on Mount Carmel

The Carmelite Monastery of Muhraka is surrounded by olive trees, which they maintain, and the natural growing oak tree. Image looking Northeast. Approximately 20 minutes hike in this direction and you’ll find yourself at the spring, which most likely was used to draw water from for the…

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The Story of Benjamin of Tudela at Muhraka

In 1170, the Jewish Medieval traveler Benjamin of Tudela visited the site of Muhraka, where the monastery stands today. In his journal, he claimed to have seen the original twelve stones that Elijah erected at the spot to challenge the prophets of Baal. Perhaps he had never read: "Then the fire of…

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