Map of Ancient Israel
Cities of Ancient Israel

Caesaria Philippi Paneas

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Baniyas. "Caesarea of Philip" Capital city founded by Philip the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great. This city was located in the N part of Palestine, on the S slope of Mount Hermon near one of the main sources for the Jordan River. Ceasarea Philippi was about 120 miles from Jerusalem, 50 miles from Damascus, and 30 miles from Tyre. It was first formerly a Canaanite sanctuary for the worship of Baal, possibly Baal-hermon (Judg 3:3; 1 Chron 5:23). It was called by the Greeks Paneas because of its cavern, which had a peculiar similarity to the places dedicated to the worship of the god Pan. In 20 B.C. Herod the Great received the whole district from Augustus and dedicated a temple in honor of the emperor. Herod Philip built up the city and called it Caesarea Philippi to distinguish it from his father's Caesarea on the seacoast. Its modern name is Baniyas. It was visited by Christ and His disciples. (Matt 16:13; Mark 8:27). It was here that Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah:

Mark 8:27-30 "Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?" So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." Then He charged them that they should tell no one about Him."

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