C7 on the Map.
Caesarea in Smiths Bible Dictionary. Ac 8:40; 9:30; 10:1,24; 11:11; 12:19;
18:22; 21:8,16; 23:23,33; 25:1,4,6,13 was situated on the coast of Israel, on
the line of the great road from Tyre to Egypt, and about halfway between Joppa
and Dora. The distance from Jerusalem was about 70 miles; Josephus states it in
round numbers as 600 stadia. In Strabo's time there was on this point of the
coast merely a town called "Strato's Tower," with a landing-place, whereas in
the time of Tacitus Caesarea is spoken of as being the head of Judea. It was in
this interval that the city was built by Herod the Great. It was the official
residence of the Herodian kings, and of Festus, Felix and the other Roman
procurators of Judea. Here also lived Philip the deacon and his four prophesying
daughters. Caesarea continued to be a city of some importance even in the time
of the Crusades, and the name still lingers on the site (Kaisariyeh), which is a
complete desolation, many of the building-stones having been carried to other
Caesarea (in Palestine): Qeisariyeh [Qeisari]. This ancient city on the
Mediterranean coast of Palestine was the capital of the Roman province of Judea
for about 600 years. It was given the name Caesarea maritima and Caesarea
Palaestina to distinguish it from the other cities with the same name Caesarea.
During the mid third century B.C. the Phoenicians built a small fortified
coastal station here which they called Strato's Tower (Straton was the Greek
form of a Sidonian king). In 96 B.C. was captured by the Hasmonean Alexander
Jannaeus, and thus it became a Jewish community, but after the Roman General
Pompey conquered Palestine in 66 B.C. Strato's Tower became a non-Jewish city.
Later Augustus allotted the city to Herod who rebuilt it into a new city in 10
B.C. in honor of Augustus. It became the administrative centre of the Roman
procurators of the province of Judea, and was the headquarters of the Roman
legions. During the first century A.D. most of its inhabitants were Syrian
Greeks, but many wealthy Jews lived there. Caesarea became the chief port of
Palestine and is mentioned many times in the book of Acts (9:30; 18:22; 21:8).
Philip the evangelist minister here, and Peter preached to gentiles in the home
of the Centurion, Cornelius. Because Caesarea was the residence of the
procurator, it was also the place of Paul's trial (Acts 23:23 ff). He was a
prisoner there for two years (Acts 27:1).
Later Caesarea became a famous church center and in the third-fourth centuries,
the church fathers, origin and Eusebius, taught in its school and its library
(from this library came the edition of the Bible known as the Hexapla. It is
interesting that Jerome said that he saw the original Heb. version of Matthews
They have been extensive excavations in this ancient city which are still going
on today, much of which are underwater explorations. The ancient amphitheatre
was restored and is being used today, more discoveries include: the city wall,
hippodrome, a paved square with huge statues, the remains of a synagogue and
churches, and many inscriptions including the first recorded discovery of a
reference to Pontius Pilate and Nazareth.
Acts 8:40; 10:1; 18, 22; 23:23, 33; 25:6, 13.
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Caesarea in Bible Cities
More about Ancient Caesarea
Israel in the First Century
Acts 10:1 -
There was a certain man in Caesarea called
Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian [band],
Acts 23:23 -
And he called unto [him] two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers
to go to Caesarea,
and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of
Acts 12:19 -
And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers,
and commanded that [they] should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea
and [there] abode.
Acts 21:8 -
And the next [day] we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea:
and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the
seven; and abode with him.
Acts 25:6 -
And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea;
and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
Acts 8:40 -
But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the
cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Acts 10:24 -
And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea.
And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near
Acts 21:16 -
There went with us also [certain] of the disciples of Caesarea,
and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should
Acts 25:4 -
But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea,
and that he himself would depart shortly [thither].
Acts 25:13 -
And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to
Acts 23:33 -
Who, when they came to Caesarea,
and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
Acts 25:1 -
Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to
Acts 9:30 -
[Which] when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea,
and sent him forth to Tarsus.
Acts 18:22 -
And when he had landed at Caesarea,
and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
Acts 11:11 -
And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where
I was, sent from Caesarea unto
Map of New Testament Israel (Click to Enlarge)
Israel in the First Century
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