joppa in the bible

Joppa in the Bible | The ancient city of Jaffa

Jaffa, the biblical Joppa in the Bible, is south of Tel Aviv and has retained its old-world charm. Many artists live in the district. According to legend, the city was founded by Japhet, a son of the biblical Noah, after the great flood. After all, she was mentioned as Yapu in Egyptian writings (Amarna letters) as early as 3,500 years ago. So in 1468 BC Pharaoh Thutmosis III. marched here at the head of his troops. A lot of wood was needed to build the first temple under King Solomon. Solomon bought it from King Hiram of Tire, and he sent the felled trees – all from Lebanon – including on rafts across the sea to Joppa in the Bible.

Greek tradition connects the names Iopeia or Cassiopeia with the mother of Andromeda. So, a ledge near the harbor is thought to be the place where Perseus rescued Andromeda. Pliny the Elder associates the name with Joppa, daughter of Aeolus, god of the wind. The Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi called it Joppa in the Bible. Tel Jaffa (Jaffa Hill) rises to a height of 40 meters and offers an impressive view of the coast. This once had crucial strategic importance in military history. Over the centuries, the hill has become even higher through accumulated rubbish and a dump. So, archaeological finds indicate that Joppa in the Bible was inhabited as early as 7500 years before Christ.

History of Joppa in the Bible

After the reigns of the Canaanites and the Philistines, King David and his son Solomon conquered Joppa in the Bible. And used the city’s port for shipments of cedar wood to build the First Temple in Jerusalem. The town remained in the hands of Israel even after the separation from the United Kingdom of Israel. (Northern Kingdom – 914 BC). So, in the year 701 BC BC, in the days of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, marched against Israel and advanced to the region of Joppa in the Bible. After a period of Babylonian rule, Joppa in the Bible came under Persian control. Later, the commander Alexander the Great stationed troops in Joppa in the Bible, and the city fell into the hands of the Seleucids.

In the 1st century AD, Joppa in the Bible came under the Roman procurator of the province of Judea. For a time (10 years), this was the procurator Pontius Pilate. Under Constantine the Great, the city became a bishopric. Indeed, in 636, warriors of Caliph Omar conquered the place, and in 1099, the Christian crusaders came. In 1268, the Mamelukes conquered the city, ending Crusader rule. In 1515, Joppa in the Bible was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I. Therefore, in the 17th century, the restoration of churches and hostels for Christian pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem and galilee. During the 18th century, the coastline around Joppa in the Bible was often besieged by pirates, and this caused the residents to migrate to Ramla and Lod.

Joppa riots in 1920

In 1921 the so-called Jaffa pogrom broke out, which began with a May Day parade and ended in violent clashes between two Jewish workers’ organizations. Afterward, Arab rioters attacked Jewish residents and buildings, killing many people on both sides or seriously injuring them. At the end of 1922, Joppa in the Bible had 32,000 inhabitants, and Tel Aviv already had 15,000. By 1927 Tel Aviv’s population had increased to 38,000. The Arab revolt in Palestine of 1936-1939 caused significant economic and infrastructural damage to the city of Jaffa. On April 19, 1936, the Arab leaders declared a general strike that paralyzed the economy. Tel Aviv was also affected by this. The strike began in Jaffa Port, which had become a symbol of Arab resistance.

The British Mandate ordered military reinforcements from Malta and Egypt to quell the riots that had spread across the country. Jaffa’s old town, with its winding houses, alleys, and underground sewage system, was the ideal escape route for the insurgents from the British army. In 1945 Joppa in the Bible had a population of 101,580. Of whom 53,930 were Muslim, 30,820 were Jewish, and 16,800 were Christian. While neighboring Tel Aviv, with a Jewish majority, was added to the Jewish state in the UN partition plan for Palestine. Joppa in the Bible was initially intended as an enclave of the Arab state. On May 14, 1948, Joppa in the Bible was seized by Israeli militias of the Haganah and taken by the Irgun. As a result, most of the Arab population fled, reduced by around 65,000 to almost 5,000 inhabitants.

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Around 1820, Isaiah Ajiman of Istanbul had a synagogue and hostel built to accommodate Jews to the holy cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed. This area became known as Dar al-Yehud (Arabic for “House of the Jews”) and was the basis of the Jewish community in Joppa in the Bible. The appointment of Mahmud Aja as Ottoman governor was the beginning of a period of stability and growth for the city, only ending in 1832 with the city’s conquest by the Khedive Muhammad Aliinterrupted in Egypt. In 1839, 153 Sephardic Jews arrived in Jaffa under the leadership of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi from Ragusa.

The American missionary Ellen Clare Miller visited Joppa in the Bible in 1867 and reported that the city’s population was about 5000 people, of which 1000 were Christians, about 800 Jews, and the rest were Muslims. In 1892, transportation was improved with the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. Construction began on March 31, 1890, and the line opened on September 26, 1892. The builder was a French company. By the early 20th century, Jaffa’s population had increased significantly. A group of Jews from Jaffamoved to the dunes in the north in 1909, where they raffled off plots of land in a lottery and divided them among themselves. The settlement they subsequently established here, first known as Ahuzat Bayit, was renamed Tel Aviv after a residents’ assembly on May 21, 1910.

joppa in the bible

Representation of Joppa in the Bible


Therefore, landing goods and people in the port of Joppa in the Bible, like in some other ports in the Ottoman dominion. It was challenging and dangerous. Indeed, until well into the 20th century, ships had to rely on teams of rowers with boats to bring their cargo safely to shore. Napoléon Bonaparte conquered Joppa in the Bible during his Egyptian expedition in March 1799. And had 2000 Arnauts (soldiers from Albania) shot here as perjurers. Egyptian troops under Muhammad Ali Pasha. The ruler of Egypt – moved into the city in 1832, and the Ottoman Empire took over Ottoman Empire in 1841. In the early 19th century, the town was gradually repopulated.