Caesarea Overview

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Places of Interest

Caesarea Overview




Caesarea is located on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea about 35 miles (56 km.) north of Joppa.


Historical Background


1. Caesarea was built by Herod the Great about 25 to 13 BC as the port city called, “Caesarea Maritime.”


2. It was named after the Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar.


3. King Herod the Great was the one who had all the children 2 years and younger slaughtered in Bethlehem in his attempt to kill Christ.  He was a jealous king who feared losing his power and control.


4. King Herod built Caesarea out of nothing and was a great builder. Some of his major building projects included:

  • This seaport of Caesarea

  • The new platform, and temple in Jerusalem

  • Masada

  • The Herodian by Bethlehem


5. He was known for his building ventures and no one equaled him in this respect.


6. Caesarea was the largest seaport in the Roman Empire during the time of Herod.


7. Caesarea was the capital of Israel during the time of Christ and during the whole Roman occupation of Israel. 


Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above)


1. Crusader Fortress Entrance

2. Crusader Fortress

3. Caesarea Harbor

4. Caesarea Historic Port

5. Governor's Palace

6. Roman Toilet

7. Mosaic Hall

8. Hippodrome

9. Promontory Palace

10. Caesarea Columns

11. Roman Theater

12. Submerged Garden Castle

13. Pontius Pilate Stone

14. Paul Appeals to Caesar


Caesarea in the Bible


1. After the Apostle Paul received Christ, he was sent to Tarsus from this seaport.

Acts 9:30: And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.


2. Cornelius, the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit, lived here.

Acts 10:1–8: At Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.


3. Caesarea was the place where the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles.

Acts 10:44–48: While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.


4. King Herod Agrippa the 1st, the son of Herod the Great, met his death in Caesarea.

Acts 12:21–24: On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

5. Philip the Evangelist lived in Caesarea.

Acts 21:8: On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.


6. The Apostle Paul sailed to and from Caesarea on his missionary travels.

Acts 21:7–8: When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. 8 On the next day, we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.


7. The Apostle Paul stood trial here for his faith.

Acts 23:33–35: When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive." And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's Praetorium.


8. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned here for 2 years because of his faith.

Acts 24:27: When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.


9. The Apostle Paul, after spending 2 years of imprisonment in Caesarea, sailed from Caesarea to Rome where he stood trial for his faith.

Acts 25:8, 11: Paul argued in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense. Paul then declares, in verse 11 “I appeal to Caesar.”

Faith Lesson from Caesarea


1. The Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles here. This shows that God loves all people from all races and backgrounds and wants them to be saved.


2. Paul spent 2 years in prison here because of his faithfulness to Christ. It’s possible he wrote some of the Prison Letters while here. We, too, should be willing to suffer like Paul for the advancement of the gospel.


3. God opposes the proud and caused King Herod Agrippa the 1st, the son of Herod the Great, to meet his death here because of his arrogance. We should be certain we always give God the glory for what He does through us and avoid pride in our lives.



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