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JOPPA (Ἰόππη, LXX.; Strab. xvi. p.759; Ptol. 5.16.2. The form Ιόπη, Steph. B. sub voce Dionys. A. R. 5.910; Joseph. Antiq. 9.10.2; Solin. 34, better suits the Phoenician original, which signifies “an eminence;” comp. Mover's Phönizier, pt. ii. p. 177; Hitzig, Die Philistder, pp. 131--134: Eth.Ἰοπίτης, Eth.Ἰοπείτης, Eth. Ἰοππία, Ἰόπεια, Ἰοπεύς, Ἰοπίς. The Hebrew name JAPHO is still preserved in the Arabic Yâfa or Jaffa). A seaport town and haven on the coast of Palestine, situated on an eminence. The ancients asserted that it had existed before the Deluge (Pomp. Mela, 1.11.3; Plin. Nat. 5.14), and according to legend it was on this shore that Andromeda was rescued by Perseus (Strab. l.c.; Plin. l.c.; comp. Hieron. in Jon. i.) from the monster, whose skeleton was exhibited at Rome by M. Aemilius Scaurus during his famous curule aedileship (Plin. Nat. 9.4). When the Israelites invaded Canaan it is mentioned as lying on the border of the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19.40), and was the only port possessed by the Jewish people, till Herod made the harbour at Caesarea. The timber from Lebanon intended for both the first and second temples was landed here (1 Kings, 5.9; 2 Chron. 2.16; Ezra, 3.7); and Jonah went to Joppa to find a ship going to Tarshish (Jon. 1.3). Judas Maccabaeus set the shipping on fire, because of the inhabitants having drowned 200 Jews (2 Macc. 12.3--7). The town was afterwards taken by Jonathan (1 Macc. 10.74--76), but was not long retained, as it was again captured by Simon (12.34), and was strongly fortified by him (14.5, 15.28). It was annexed by Pompeius to the Roman province of Syria, along with other towns which the Jews had held by grants from the predecessors of Antiochus (J. AJ 14.4.4, comp. 13.9.2), and was afterwards given to Herod by Julius Caesar (15.7.3), and remained part of the dominions of Archelaus (17.11.4).

In the New Testament Joppa is mentioned in connection with the Apostle Peter (Acts, 9.36--43, 10.5, 18. 11.5). During the Jewish war, this place, which had become a receptacle for pirates (Strab. xvi. p.759), was taken by Cestius, and 8400 of the inhabitants were put to the sword. (Joseph. B. J. 2.18.10.) Vespasian afterwards utterly demolished the ruins of Joppa, to which great numbers of persons had fled, and taken to piracy for subsistence. (B. J. 3.9. §§ 2--5.) In the time of Constantine Joppa was the seat of a bishop, as well as when taken by the Arabians under Omar, A.D. 636; the name of a bishop occurs in the council held at Jerusalem A. A.D. 536. At the period [p. 2.63]of the Crusades, Joppa, which had already taken the name of Jaffa (Ἰάφα, Anna Comn. Alex. xi. p. 328), was alternately in the. hands of the Christians and Moslems. After its capture by Saladin (Wilken, Die Kreuzz, vol. iv. pp. 537, 539) it fell into the hands of our own Richard (p. 545), was then sacked by Malek-al-Adel (vol. v. p. 25), was rebuilt by Frederick II. (vol. vi. p. 471) and Louis IX. (vol. vii. p. 316), when it was taken by Sultan Bibars (vol. vii. p. 517). As the landingplace for pilgrims to Jerusalem, from the first Crusade to our own day, it occurs in all the Itineraries and books of travels, which describe the locality and natural unfitness of Jaffa for a haven, in terms very similar to those employed by the ancients. For coins of Joppa see Eckhel, vol. iii. p. 433. (Reland, Palaest. p. 864; Von Raumer, Palestina, p. 201; Winer, Realwdrterbuch, s. v.; Robinson, Researches, vol. iii. p. 31; Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. xvi. pt. i. pp. 574--580, Berlin, 1852.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 14.4.4
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.14
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 9.4
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