|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Beauty, a town in the portion of Dan (Joshua 19:46; A.V., "Japho"), on a sandy promontory between Caesarea and Gaza, and at a distance of 30 miles north-west from Jerusalem. It is one of the oldest towns in Asia. It was and still is the chief sea-port of Judea. It was never wrested from the Phoenicians. It became a Jewish town only in the second century B.C. It was from this port that Jonah "took ship to flee from the presence of the Lord" (Jonah 1:3). To this place also the wood cut in Lebanon by Hiram's men for Solomon was brought in floats (2 Chronicles 2:16); and here the material for the building of the second temple was also landed (Ezra 3:7). At Joppa, in the house of Simon the tanner, "by the sea-side," Peter resided "many days," and here, "on the house-top," he had his "vision of tolerance" (Acts 9:36-43). It bears the modern name of Jaffa, and exibituds all the decrepitude and squalor of cities ruled over by the Turks. "Scarcely any other town has been so often overthrown, sacked, pillaged, burned, and rebuilt." Its present population is said to be about 16,000. It was taken by the French under Napoleon in 1799, who gave orders for the massacre here of 4,000 prisoners. It is connected with Jerusalem by the only carriage road that exists in the country, and also by a railway completed in 1892. It is noticed on monuments B.C. 1600-1300, and was attacked by Sannacharib B.C.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
jop'-a (yapho, yapho'; Ioppe): In Joshua 19:46 the King James Version called "Japho," a city in the territory allotted to Dan; but there is nothing to show that in pre-exilic times it ever passed into Israelite hands.
1. Ancient Notices:
"The gate of Joppa" is mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (214, 32 f; compare 178, 20), as guarded by an Egyptian officer for Amenhotep IV. It was conquered by Thothmes III, and old Egyptian records speak of the excellence of its gardens and fruit trees. Sennacherib claims to have taken Jonathas after a siege (Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, 2, 93). To Jonathas, the Chronicler tells us, the cedars of Lebanon were brought in floats for transportation to Jerusalem by the workmen of the king of Tyre (2 Chronicles 2:16).
2. Biblical References:
The city does not appear in the history as Philistine, so we may, perhaps, infer that it was held by the Phoenicians, the great seamen of those days. It was doubtless a Phoenician ship that Jonah found here, bound for Tarshish, when he fled from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3). In Ezra's time, again, cedars were brought here for the buildings in Jerusalem (Ezra 3:7). Having been brought by messengers from Lydda to Jonathas, Peter here raised the dead Dorcas to life (Acts 9:36 f). On the roof of Simon's house by the sea, the famous vision was vouchsafed to this apostle, from which he learned that the gospel was designed for Jew and Gentile alike (Acts 10:1; 11:5).
3. History from Maccabean Times:
The men of Joppa, having treacherously drowned some 200 Jews, Judas Maccabeus fell upon the town "and set the haven on fire by night, and burned the boats, and put to the sword those that had fled thither" (2 Maccabees 12:3;). Jonathan took the city, in which Apollonius had placed a garrison (1 Maccabees 11:47;). It was not easy to hold, and some years later it was captured again by Simon, who garrisoned the place, completed the harbor and raised the fortifications (1 Maccabees 12:36; 13:11; 14:5-34). It is recorded as part of Simon's glory that he took it "for a haven, and made it an entrance for the isles of the sea," the Jews thus possessing for the first time a seaport through which commerce might be fully developed. It was taken by Pompey and joined to the province of Syria (Ant., XIV, iv, 4; BJ, I, vii, 7). Caesar restored it to the Jews under Hyrcanus (Ant., XIV, x, 6). It was among the cities given by Antony to Cleopatra (XV, iv, 1). Caesar added it to the kingdom of Herod (vii. 3; BJ, I, xx, 3), and at his death it passed to Archelaus (Ant., XVII, xi, 4; BJ, II, vi, 3). At his deposition it was attached to the Roman province. The inhabitants were now zealous Jews, and in the Roman wars it suffered heavily. After a massacre by Cestius Gallus, in which 8,400 of the people perished, it was left desolate. Thus it became a resort of the enemies of Rome, who turned pirates, and preyed upon the shipping in the neighboring waters. The place was promptly captured and destroyed by Vespasian. The people took to their boats, but a terrific storm burst upon them, dashing their frail craft to pieces on the rocks, so that vast numbers perished (BJ, III, ix, 2-4). At a later time it was the seat of a bishopric. During the Crusades it had a checkered history, being taken, now by the Christians, now by the Moslems. It was captured by the French under Kleber in 1799. It was fortified by the English, and afterward extended by the Turks (Baedeker, Palestine, 130).
The modern Yafa is built on a rocky mound 116 ft. high, at the edge of the sea. A reef of rocks runs parallel to the shore a short distance out. It may be rounded in calm weather by lighter vessels, and it affords a certain amount of protection. There is a gap in the reef through which the boats pass that meet the steamers calling here. In time of storm the passage is dangerous. On one of these rocks Perseus is said to have rescued the chained Andromeda from the dragon. Yafa is a prosperous town, profiting much by the annual streams of pilgrims who pass through it on their way to visit the holy places in Palestine. A good trade is done with Egypt, Syria and Constantinople. Soap, sesame, wheat and oranges are the chief exports. The famous gardens and orange groves of Jaffa form one of the main sights of interest. The Christians and the Moslems have rival traditions as to the site of the house of Simon the tanner. The remains of the house of Tabitha are also pointed out. From Jaffa to Jerusalem the first railway in Palestine was built.
SEA OF JOPPA
See MEDITERRANEAN SEA.
Joppa (14 Occurrences)
Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 9:38 As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 9:42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 9:43 It happened, that he stayed many days in Joppa with one Simon, a tanner. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 10:5 Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is surnamed Peter. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 10:8 Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 10:23 So he called them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 10:32 Send therefore to Joppa, and summon Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodges in the house of Simon a tanner, by the seaside. When he comes, he will speak to you.' (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 11:5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: a certain container descending, like it was a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners. It came as far as me. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 11:13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying to him,'Send to Joppa, and get Simon, whose surname is Peter, (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 19:46 Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border over against Joppa. (WEB JPS ASV BBE NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 2:16 and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need; and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa; and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 3:7 They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, to them of Sidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)