Jaffa, or Joppa, meaning beautiful, was located on Israel's Mediterranean seacoast between Caesarea and Gaza, about 35 miles / 57 kilometers northwest of Jerusalem. It's known variously in The Bible as Jaffa, Joppa, Japho, Jaffe, or Yafo. Today, the ancient city of Jaffa (in photograph) is annexed to the modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city.
- The earliest known written reference to Jaffa is found in inscriptions on the wall of the temple of Karnak at Thebes (see Ancient Egypt). In it, Thutmose II (see Egyptian Pharaohs), who ruled from 1490 to 1436 B.C., boasts of capturing a number of cities of Israel, including Jaffa.
- After the Israelites (see Children Of Jacob) entered the Promised land under Joshua, the tribe of Dan received Jaffa (see Division Of The Land and Tribal Lands), but it was later lost to the Philistines.
- King David re-took Jaffa in his time, and when Solomon succeeded his father as king, he developed it into Israel's major seaport. It was to Jaffa that Hyram, king of Tyre sent cedar logs (see Cedars Of Lebanon) to use in building the original Temple (see Temples) of God in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 2:11,16)
- Through Bible History, the city was in turn taken by the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria), Babylonians (see Why Babylon? and King Nebuchadnezzar), Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia), Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece) and Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome and Daniel's Statue) in which it was included in the kingdom of Herod The Great.
- In the New Testament, Jaffa was the home of Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, a Christian lady known for her goodness and generosity. When she became ill and died, Peter, by the power of God, restored her to life (Acts 9:36-41). It was also at Jaffa, while in the home of Simon the tanner, that Peter had the vision that showed him that The Gospel (see also The Greatest Secret) was to go out to Gentiles as well as Jews (Acts 10:9-16, 36-43).
Fact Finder: What was the name of the port that Jonah sailed from on his fateful voyage?
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