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Tel Aviv (Jaffa) in the Bible

City of Jaffa (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I work in Israel a few times each year and when I do, I stay in Herzliya, a small suburb city just north of Tel Aviv. Herzliya has some fascinating history– it may have been the site of a Crusader town called Apollonia-Arsuf– but sadly no biblical history. Fortunately, nearby Tel Aviv does. Before coming to Israel, I had no idea that Tel Aviv was near the site of the ancient and biblical city of Jaffa. Originally, Tel Aviv was a Jewish community adjacent to a larger majority Arab port city, but now the former has largely absorbed the latter, though not without bloodshed. I only knew of Jaffa from the history books, namely its conquest by King Richard the Lionhearted during the 12th century, and to a lesser extent from an an extremely old episode of Doctor Who

But Jaffa’s history goes back much farther, even before the bible. Read on for more.

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