|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Palestinae), a city on the shore of the Mediterranean, on the great road from Tyre to Egypt, about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, at the northern extremity of the plain of Sharon. It was built by Herod the Great (B.C. 10), who named it after Caesar Augustus, hence called Caesarea Sebaste (Gr. Sebastos = "Augustus"), on the site of an old town called "Strato's Tower." It was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the governors or procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was the great Gentile city of Palestine, with a spacious artificial harbour. It was adorned with many buildings of great splendour, after the manner of the Roman cities of the West. Here Cornelius the centurion was converted through the instrumentality of Peter (Acts 10:1, 24), and thus for the first time the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles. Philip the evangelist resided here with his four daughters (21:8). From this place Saul sailed for his native Tarsus when forced to flee from Jerusalem (9:30), and here he landed when returning from his second missionary journey (18:22). He remained as a prisoner here for two years before his voyage to Rome (Acts 24:27; 25:1, 4, 6, 13). Here on a "set day," when games were celebrated in the theatre in honour of the emperor Claudius, Herod Agrippa I. appeared among the people in great pomp, and in the midst of the idolatrous homage paid to him was suddenly smitten by an angel, and carried out a dying man. He was "eaten of worms" (12:19-23), thus perishing by the same loathsome disease as his granfather, Herod the Great. It still retains its ancient name Kaiseriyeh, but is now desolate. "The present inhabitants of the ruins are snakes, scorpions, lizards, wild boars, and jackals." It is described as the most desolate city of all Palestine.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ses-a-re'-a, se-za-re'-a (Kaisareia):
(1) Caesarea Palestina (pal-es-ti'na).
The ancient name in the Arabic form Qaisariyeh still clings to the ruins on the sea shore, about 30 miles North of Jaffa. It was built by Herod the Great on the site of Strato's Tower (Ant., XIII, xi, 2; XV, ix, 6), and the name Caesarea Sebaste was given it in honor of Augustus (ibid., XVI, v, 1). With his usual magnificence Herod lavished adornments on the city. He erected sumptuous palaces and public buildings, a theater, and amphitheater with prospect to the sea; while a spacious system of sewers under the city secured cleanliness and health. But "the greatest and most laborious work of all" was a magnificent harbor "always free from the waves of the sea," which Josephus says was not less than the Piraeus: this however is an exaggeration. It was of excellent workmanship, and all the more remarkable because the place itself was not suitable for such noble structures. The whole coast line, indeed, is singularly ill-fitted for the formation of harbors. The mighty breakwater was constructed by letting down stones 50 x 18 x 9 ft. in size into twenty fathoms deep. The mole was 200 ft. wide. Part was surmounted by a wall and towers. A promenade and dwellings for mariners were also provided. The work was done in ten or twelve years. It became the residence of the Roman procurator. It passed into the hands of Agrippa I; and here he miserably died (Acts 12:19, 23). Here dwelt Philip the Evangelist (Acts 8:40; Acts 21:8). To Caesarea Peter was sent to minister to the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 10). Thrice Paul passed through Caesarea (Acts 9:30; Acts 18:22; Acts 21:8); hither he was sent under guard from Jerusalem to escape danger from the Jews (Acts 23:23); and here he was imprisoned till his final departure for Rome.
Riots between Gentiles and Jews in Caesarea gave rise to the war (BJ, II, xiii, 7;. xiv, 4). Terrible cruelties were practiced on the Jews under Felix and Florus. Here Vespasian was hailed emperor by his soldiers. Titus here celebrated the birthday of his brother Domitian by setting 2,500 Jews to fight with beasts in the amphitheater. Eusebius was bishop of Caesarea (313-40 A.D.). In 548 A.D. a massacre of the Christians was organized and carried out by the Jews and Samaritans. The city passed into Moslem hands in 638. In the time of the Crusades it fell, now to the Christians and now to the Moslems; and was finally overthrown by Sultan Bibars in 1265 A.D.
The cathedral stood on the site of a temple built by Herod, where the ruins are seen today; as are also those of two aqueducts which conveyed water from Nahr ez-Zerqa. The landward wall of the Roman city was nearly 3 miles in length.
(2) Caesarea Philippi (fi-lip'-i) (Kaisareia he Philippou).
At the Southwest base of Mt. Hermon, on a rocky terrace, 1,150 ft. above sea-level, between Wady Khashabeh and Wady Za`areh, lie the ruins of the ancient city. It was a center for the worship of Pan: whence the name Paneas, applied not only to the city, but to the whole district (Ant., XV, x, 3). It is possible that this may have been the site of ancient Baal-hermon; while Principal G. A. Smith would place Daniel here (HGHL, 480). The district was given by Augustus to Herod the Great 20 B.C., by whom a temple of white marble was built in honor of the emperor. Paneas formed part of the tetrarchy of Philip. He rebuilt and beautified the town, calling it Caesarea as a compliment to Augustus, and adding his own name to distinguish it from Caesarea on the coast of Sharon (Ant., XVIII, ii, 1; BJ, II, ix, 1). From Bethsaida Jesus and His disciples came hither, and on the way Peter made his famous confession, after which Jesus began to tell them of His coming passion (Matthew 16:13 Mark 8:27). Some think that on a height near Caesarea Philippi Jesus was transfigured. See TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF. Agrippa II renamed the town Neronias (Ant., XX, ix, 4). The ancient name however outlived both Caesare a and Neronias, and survives in the Arabic form Banias. The modern village, built among the ruins, contains 350 inhabitants. The walls and towers of which the remains are seen date from Crusading times. The castle, ec-Cubeibeh, crowns the hill behind the town, and must have been a place of strength from the earliest times. Its possession must always have been essential to the holding of the valley to the west. Immediately to the north of the town, at the foot of a steep crag, the fountain of the Jordan rises. Formerly the waters issued from a cave, Magharet ras en-Neba`, "cave of the fountain head," now filled up with debris. Two niches cut in the face of the rock recall the idolatries practiced here in olden times. A shrine of el-Khudr stands on the west of the spring. With the rich soil and plentiful supplies of water, in a comparatively temperate climate, average industry might turn the whole district into a garden. As it is, the surroundings are wonderfully beautiful.
Caesarea (20 Occurrences)
Matthew 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Mark 8:27 Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the Good News to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 9:30 When the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 10:1 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 10:24 On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 11:11 Behold, immediately three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 12:19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn't find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 21:8 On the next day, we, who were Paul's companions, departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 21:12 As soon as we heard these words, both we and the brethren at Caesarea entreated Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. (WEY)
Acts 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY NAS NIV)
Acts 23:23 He called to himself two of the centurions, and said, "Prepare two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen, and two hundred men armed with spears, at the third hour of the night." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 23:33 When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 24:1 Five days after this, Ananias the High Priest came down to Caesarea with a number of Elders and a pleader called Tertullus. They stated to the Governor the case against Paul. (WEY NIV)
Acts 25:1 Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 25:4 However Festus answered that Paul should be kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to depart shortly. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 25:6 When he had stayed among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he sat on the judgment seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 25:13 Now when some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Acts 25:24 Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. (See NIV)