In dramatic contrast to yesterday's trip to Jerusalem, I decided to walk 3 miles down the coast to one of oldest seaports in the world, Old Jaffe (Joppa). According to the Bible, this port was founded after the flood by the son of Noah, Japheth. Archaeological digs have found artifacts dating to the 20th century BC. After the frenetic atmosphere of Jerusalem, this quiet coastal hamlet of Tel Aviv was a welcome respite.
The first thing you notice as you approach the port is the clock tower and structure of St. Peter's Monastery.
Built in the 16th Century, it is the place that Peter raised Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9: 36-43). As you enter the Monastery, the lighting and architecture give it the appearance of almost infinite depth. Although the picture I am showing below doesn't do it justice, you can still see the effect, yet it is only about 50 paces from the back of the sanctuary to the railing of the Alter.
The pulpit to the right is ornately carved to represent a living tree.
As you leave the monastery, the site of the house of Simon the Tanner (where Peter resided; Acts 10: 1-6) is immediatly to the left and down a flight of stairs. It was unfortunately not open to the public, and appeared to have a family living in it. Over the front door were crudely painted letters saying this was Simon's house.
There were a number of ongoing archaeological digs in the port. One uncovered a gateway to a fortified citidele (yet to be excavated) that bore the name of Egyption Pharaoh Rameses II, from the late bronze age 1200-1550 BC. A reproduction of the fragments erected on the site are below.
Also on display at the Old Jaffe museum was the Prism of Sennacherib, King of Assyria (701 BC) depicting his conquest of the area. The cuneiform text says...In continuation of my campaign, I besieged Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banai-Barqa, Azura, cites belonging to Sidqa (king of Ashkelon) who did not bow to my feet quickly enough: I conquered them and carried their spoils away..."
Well, enough history for today. Tomorrow, back to tour more of Jerusalem, including
exploring Tzidkiyahu's (Zedekiah's, the last king of Judah) cave that runs under the old city.
Film at 11,
PS If you click on the photo, a full res image should pop up.