Tyre to Jerusalem

Luke continues his account:

"We continued our voyage [south] from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais..."

Below, the concluding segments of  Paul's third missionary journey.



Ptolemais was situated on a low promontory at the northern extremity of what is now Haifa Bay. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in Israel, dating back to the time of the Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450 BC). Originally called Acco, it was a Canaanite city at the time of the Hebrew conquest under Joshua, but it was never taken. The tribe of Asher settled among its inhabitants. it commanded the only natural harbor on the Mediterranean coast and guarded access to the Plain of Sharon leading into the center of the country.  It remained an important Phoenician city until captured by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Following the death of Alexander it was seized by Ptolemy II Philadelphus (238-246 BC), ruler of Egypt and renamed Ptolemais.

Paul stayed there one day near the end of his third missionary journey, and it was already home to a Christian church (Acts 21:7).

Below, modern harbor at Acre, as the city is known today.

Ptolemais - modern Acco

Below, Khan el Umdan, which means "Inn of the Columns" or "Caravanserai of Pillars." It incorporates forty granite columns taken from Caesarea, Atlit and the ruins of Crusader monuments in Acre itself.

 Khan el Umdan

Below, part of the massive underground complex of buildings once occupied by the Knights of St John (Hospitallers). It was buried under a great mound of earth on which Ahmed el-Jazzar built his Citadel and dates to the time of Louis VII of France, who stayed  in the town in 1148.

Crussader hall

"Leaving [Ptolemais] the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied." (Acts 21:8-9)



Caesarea Maritima was originally a small Phoenician port called Straton's Tower. Between 22 and 10 BC it was rebuilt by Herod the Great, who renamed it for his benefactor, Augustus Caesar. Caesarea became the major port of his kingdom, replacing Acre. In 6 AD, it became the seat of the Roman governor of Judea and it played an important part in early church history.

Ancient port at Caesarea

After a number of days in the house of Philip in Caesarea, a prophet named Agabus — the same Agabus who, 12 years earlier in Antioch, predicted a sever famine in Palestine came to him and performed a symbolic act. He took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it, warning:

"The Holy Spirit says, `In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'" (Acts 21:11)

Everyone took the dire warning seriously and pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. But Paul dismissed the warning:

"Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 21:13)


Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

"After this, we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us [on the 64 mile journey to Jerusalem] and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples. When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. [Paul also handed over the money collected from the churches in Achaia, Macedonia  and Asia.] When they heard this, they praised God." (Acts 21:15-19)

Below, artist's rendition of Jerusalem  and the temple mount at the time of Paul.

First century Jerusalem



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