ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia

What is…

also known as: Japho, Jaffa, Yafo

Meaning: beauty

a town in the portion of Dan (Joshua 19:46; King James Version, “Japho”), on a sandy promontory between Caesarea and Gaza, and at a distance of 30 miles northwest from Jerusalem

Satellite view of Jaffa, now a part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Joppa is one of the oldest towns in Asia. It was and still is the chief sea-port of Israel. It was never wrested from the Phoenicians. It became a Jewish town only in the second century B.C.

It was from this port that Jonah “took ship to flee from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3). To this place also the wood cut in Lebanon by Hiram’s men for Solomon was brought in floats (2 Chronicles 2:16); and here the material for the building of the second temple was also landed (Ezra 3:7).

At Joppa, in the house of Simon the tanner, “by the sea-side,” Peter resided “many days,” and here, “on the house-top,” he had his “vision of tolerance” (Acts 9:36-43).

It bears the modern name of Jaffa.

“Scarcely any other town has been so often overthrown, sacked, pillaged, burned, and rebuilt.”

The city is noted on ancient monuments of 1600-1300 B.C., and was attacked by King Sennacherib 702 B.C.

Joppa was eventually taken by the French under Napoleon in 1799, who gave orders for the massacre here of 4,000 prisoners. It is connected with Jerusalem by road, and also by a railway completed in 1892.