Jaffa – Israel
Jaffa is a place for beginnings, both of many tours of Israel, and in the Bible. Jonah’s journey, Tabitha’s restoration to life, and Peter’s conversion of Gentiles all began here. Thus, Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s “older sister” boasts bountiful biblical history, along with charming lanes, antiquities, quiet churches, galleries and a picturesque fishing port.
In Jaffa, Peter was divinely led to “think out of the box.” The story in Acts 10:5-23, finds Peter on the rooftop of the House of Simon the Tanner, where he had his famous vision (Acts 10:12-13), that led him to preach the Gospel to the gentiles at Caesarea. Peter’s resurrection of the righteous Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42) is marked at the Russian Orthodox Church of Tabitha.
Jaffa’s landmark Church of St. Peter is off Kedumim Square, where a visitor’s center shows off the city’s long and fascinating history. At the end of a lane leading through the artists’ colony to Summit Park, an archaeological dig reveals a fortress built by the “Pharaoh of the Exodus,” Ramses II.
The view of the sea reminds visitors that King Hiram of Tyre sent cedar logs for the Temple to Jaffa, where they were hauled ashore and trundled up to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16).
A plaque on the beach north of Jaffa honors the 157 American Christians from Jonesport, Maine, who landed here on the Nellie Chapin in September 1866, bringing the wood with them to build their houses. The story of the American Colony is told at one of the colony’s restored houses in Jaffa, the Maine Friendship House.
Acts C9 – V36-43
V 36: Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. V 37: In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. V 38: Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” V 39: So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing tunics and other garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. V 40: But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. V 41: And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. V 42: And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. V 43: And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.