The latter part of Nahum 1:4 reads “Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.”
This verse speaks about three lands that languished, the second of which that is mentioned is Carmel.
Carmel was a city known for its forest (Isaiah 37:24), fruits (Isaiah 33:9), mountains (1 Kings 18) by the sea (Jeremiah 46:18). It was known for its excellency (Isaiah 35:2), its beauty (Song of Solomon 7:5), its fruitfulness (Isaiah 35:2), its vine culture (2 Chronicles 26:10), and its prosperity (Jeremiah 50:19).
Carmel’s forest is also mentioned as the one that Sennacherib, the evil king of Assyria, said he would enter through (Isaiah 37:24), when Sennacherib reproached the Lord by sending the message to king Hezekiah that he would come against the people of God with his might and even God would not be able to defend them (2 Kings 19:23). But the Lord overthrows Assyria and strips Carmel bare of its fruits (Isaiah 33:9) showing his glory and excellency as he delivers Israel (Isaiah 35:2), stripping the excellency of Carmel (Isaiah 35:2; Amos 1:2).
King Saul was commanded by the Lord to destroy all of the Amalekites, but he spared Agag the king of Amalekites and took the choicest of the cattle. After he did not obey the commandment of the Lord to destroy all of the Amalekites, he came by Carmel and set up a monument for himself (1 Samuel 15:12). King Saul disobeyed God commandments and was rejected as king for he rejected the word of the Lord (1 Samuel 15:23), setting up a monument for himself, instead of an altar for the Lord.
Abigail, the wise wife of Nabal who became the wife of king David, after her evil husband Nabal, a son of Belial, died, was from Carmel (1 Samuel 25:2, 40; 1 Samuel 27:3). One of the chief mighty men of king David was Hezrai who was also from Carmel (2 Samuel 23:35).
Mt. Carmel was an idolatrous place of worship of Baal, and is the place where, God’s prophet, Elijah slew the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of the groves (1 Kings 18:19,20,40).
Of the thirty one kings that Joshua and the children of Israel smote, one of them was of Jokneam of Carmel (Joshua 12:22). The children of Israel possessed the land of Carmel (Joshua 15:55; Joshua 19:26).
The languish of Carmel refers to the vengeance of the Lord against the land and her complete withering away (Isaiah 33:9) and utter desolation (Amos 1:2).
Points to ponder:
Carmel means “fruit garden” or “garden with fruit trees”. But even an excellent place that is idolatrous, and which gives way to evil kings (Sennacherib), allows kings to erect monuments for themselves (Saul), and which houses sons of Belial (Nabal), will come to utter desolation and wither away, languishing as it is stripped bare of its fruit and utterly destroyed, so much so that it can no longer be called a garden with fruit trees. The garden of Eden was filled with fruit trees, and in it man attempted to erect himself as a god, becoming a son of Belial (John 8:44) by disobeying God’s commandment, and was stripped from the garden of Eden, making all of creation itself languish (groan). Jesus had to come and become a man of agony, sweating blood (Luke 22:44) so that the world no longer needs to languish. Let us stop being idolatrous chasing after the gods of this world and follow the God who languished for us, so that we do not need to. To continue to be idolatrous would mean certain death as it did happen to the prophets of Baal, on mount Carmel.
Nahum 1:4 (KJV)
4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.