Ptolemais was a seaport city of Galilee, located about 8 miles / 13 kilometers north of Mount Carmel and 30 miles / 49 kilometers south of Tyre. In earlier times, as a Phoenician seaport, it was originally called Accho or Acco, but was known to the ancient Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece) and Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) by the name of Ptolemais, from Ptolemy the king of Egypt, who rebuilt it about 100 BC (see the The Ptolemies). During the crusades of the Middle Ages (see The Crusades) it was called Acra, and after it was occupied by the so-called Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem, it was called St. Jean d'Acre, or simply Acre.

In The Old Testament

When the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land, Acco was assigned to the tribe of Asher (see Tribal Lands), but it was never fully acquired by them. The Canaanites who lived there provided labor to Israel, but remained a hostile entity within Israel's God-given national borders - a situation that, ever more tragically for themselves, modern Israelites, the people of Judah at least, are again experiencing today.

In The New Testament

In the New Testament, Ptolemais is mentioned as the port where the apostle Paul landed before making a very dangerous return to Jerusalem.

Fact Finder: During Paul's three major missionary journeys, did he often use ships for travel through the region of the Mediterranean Sea?
See Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey

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