Joppa (Jaffa, Yafo) Overview
Places of Interest
1. Joppa (Jaffa or Yafo), is one of the oldest port cities in the land of Israel and the Mediterranean area.
2. It is located on a hill and has a strategic location on the crossroads of Israel, and the main travel routes linking Africa with Asia and Europe. This travel route was called the “Via Maris.”
3. Joppa is located about 45 miles (72 km.) west of Jerusalem.
1. Legend holds that the founder of Joppa (also called Jaffa) was Japheth, one of Noah’s sons.
2. Joppa was inhabited by the Canaanites, the Egyptians, the Israelites, the Greeks, Romans, and continuing until modern times.
3. Joppa was the main seaport and entry gate to Israel for thousands of years until just before the time of Christ when Herod the Great built another seaport at Caesarea, about 35 miles (56 km.) north of Joppa.
Places of Interest (See Maps Above)
1. Simon the Tanner's House
2. Egyptian fortress built by Ramses II, in about 1250 BC.
3. Tel Joppa (Jaffa, Yafo)
4. St. Peter's Monastery
5. Old City Joppa
6. Abrasha Park
7. The Suspended Orange Tree
8. Old Sea Port
9. Beach by Joppa
10. Llana Goor Museum
12. Jaffa Museum
Joppa In the Bible
1. The seaport of Joppa is where the trees of Lebanon arrived that Solomon used to build the Temple in Jerusalem around 950 BC. 2 Chronicles 2:16: Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon - And we will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may take it up to Jerusalem.
2. Joppa was also the seaport from which King Solomon’s ships came and went on their journeys around the known world at that time.
3. Joppa was the seaport from which Jonah sailed when he attempted to disobey the Lord’s calling and flee to Tarshish rather than preach a message of repentance to the Ninevites.
Jonah 1:3: But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.
4. Joppa was the seaport where logs arrived for rebuilding the second temple after the return of the Israelites from their deportations in about 535 BC.
Ezra 3:7: So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
5. After preaching to the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip the Evangelist passed through Joppa preaching the gospel on his way to Caesarea.
Acts 8:39–40: When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus (modern-day Ashdod), and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea.
6. Joppa was the place a famous woman, Dorcas, lived and was raised from the dead.
Acts 9:36-43: Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, "Please come to us without delay." 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.
7. Simon the Tanner lived in Joppa and was the place the Apostle Peter was staying when he received the vision to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.
Acts 10:9-15: The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." 14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common.
Faith Lesson from Joppa
1. Jonah disobeyed the Lord here and ran from the presence of the Lord. Are we running away from something God wants us to do?
2. Peter obeyed the Lord here, trusted in God, and took the gospel to the Gentiles in Caesarea. Are we taking the gospel to those around us?
3. When we obey, we find life, and when we disobey, we find destruction and problems. What kind of problems are we facing because of some area of disobedience in our lives?