The harbor at Joppa/Jaffa/Yafo was once a much more significant harbor, but never an adequate one. Only a small leisure harbor remains today. Our late afternoon photo shows the lighthouse rising above some of the buildings of the city.
Joppa is located in the Plain of Sharon and served as the seaport for Jerusalem which is about 35 miles away. The city is now called Jaffa, or Yafo. Joppa was a walled town as early as the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1490-1435 B.C.) who mentions Joppa in his town lists.
Here are a few of the biblical highlights for Joppa.
- Joppa was assigned to the tribe of Dan, but was not controlled by the Israelites till the time of David (Joshua 19:46).
- Hiram of Tyre floated cedar from Lebanon to Joppa for Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 2:16).
- Jonah sought a ship for Tarshish at Joppa to avoid going to Nineveh (Jonah 1:3).
- Cedars from Lebanon again were floated to Joppa for the rebuilding of the temple (520-516 B.C.; Ezra 3:7). The port of the city is behind St. Peter’s Church.
- Tabitha (Dorcas) lived in Joppa. When she died the disciples sent for Peter who was a Lydda. He came to Joppa and raised Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42). (Acts 10:6).
- Peter stayed many days in Joppa with Simon the tanner (Acts 9:43). His house was by the sea (Acts 10:6). A house near the port is shown as the house of Simon, but there is no way to know this with certainty.
- Peter received the housetop vision and learned that he was to go to Caesarea to preach the gospel to the Gentiles at the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 10:23).