Joppa is the southern end of the city today called Tel Aviv. Most likely, this is the city you would fly into today when visiting Israel. This also would have been true in ancient days, although you would have come by boat rather than plane. The port of Joppa was of great significance in both the Old and New Testament because of the access that it gave to Jerusalem and other sites in Israel. This would have been the port Herod the Great used at first to bring in materials for Ceasarea Martima in 10 BC, which is approximately 30 miles to the north on the shore.
There is a TelQR located in Jaffa, called Tel Yafo, which is over 130 feet tall. This site would have provided a perfect view of the coastline, which would have been important for military purposes in the past. Archeology shows us that the natural port of Jaffa has been used since the Bronze AgeQR.
Biblically speaking, Joppa is referenced in Joshua 19:46 in the context of an inheritance for the tribe of Dan after the conquests of Israel. This port city most likely was not under Israelite control until the conquest of David. Solomon, David’s son, used the main port of Joppa for importing cedars from Lebanon to build the first temple, according to 2 Chronicles 2:15-16. Then 800 years later, this port was used again to import material for the rebuilding of the Temple according to Ezra 3:7. This speaks to the significance of Joppa over hundreds of years.
Perhaps one of the most well known stories in the Bible that takes place in Joppa is Jonah’s struggle with God. God had clearly told Jonah to go to Nineveh, located in the east, which was in the Babylon kingdom (located in modern day Iraq). Jonah was commissioned to prophesize to Nineveh concerning their ungodliness, which is referenced in Jonah 1:3. They were an evil people and the enemies of Jonah and his people. Instead of obeying God, Jonah headed to Joppa to find the first ship he could find to get away from the presence and commands of God. He paid a fair and caught a ship headed west, and the rest if the story is...