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Joppa

Joppa (See also wiki article Jaffa.)

JOPPA - The principal seaport of S. Palestine: a place of high antiquity, being mentioned in the tribute lists of Thothmes III., but never before the Exile in Israelite hands, being in Philistine territory. It was theoretically assigned to the tribe of Dan (Jos.19.46), and is spoken of as a seaport in 2 Ch.2.16 and Ezr.3.7 (where read with RSV 'to the sea, to Joppa' [cf RV], in place of AV 'to the sea of Joppa'): these, and its well-known connexion with the story of Jonah (1.3) are the only reference to the city to be found in the OT. The Maccabees wrested it more than once from the hands of their Syrian oppressors (1 Mac.10.75, 12.33, 13.11); it was restored to the latter by Pompey (Jos. Ant. xiv. iv. 4 [76]), but again given back to the Jews (ib. xiv. x. 6 205]) some years later. Here St. Peter for a while lodged, restored Tabitha to life, and had his famous vision of the sheet (Ac.9.36-10.48). The traditional sites of Tabitha's tomb and Simon the tanner's house are shown to tourists and to pilgrims, but are of course without authority. The city was destroyed by Vespasian (AD 68). In the Crusader period the city passed from the Saracens to the Franks and back more than once: it was captured first in 1126, retaken by Saladin 1187, again conquered by Richard Coeur de Lion in 1191, and lost finally in 1196. In more recent times it is remarkable for Napoleon's successful storming of its walls in 1799. Its modern name is Jaffa, and it is now a flourishing seaport. A railway connects it with Jerusalem. It is also one of the chief centres of the fruit-growing industry in Palestine, and its orange gardens are world-famed. Tradition places here the story of Andromeda and the sea-monster. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963. - R.A.S.M.]