Acts 24 — Photo Illustrations — Caesarea

The events of Acts 24-26 take place at Caesarea Maritima. Paul was protected by the Romans in Herod’s Praetorium (Palace) for more than two years.

And he [Felix] commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium. (Acts 23:35b ESV)

When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (Acts 24:27 ESV)

Caesarea Maritima was a first century Roman capital and seaport. The gospel was first preached to the Gentiles here when Peter came from Joppa to Caesarea to tell Cornelius words by which he could be saved (Acts 10, 11).

Herod the Great built a city on the site of Strato’s Tower and named it Caesarea in honor of Caesar Augustus. It became a center of Roman provincial government in Judea. The city had a harbor and was located on the main caravan route between Tyre and Egypt. This city is called Caesarea Maritima (on the sea) to distinguish it from Caesarea Philippi.

Our aerial photo below shows the Roman theater on the right of the photo. The southern portion of the hippodrome is on the left. The Palace of the Procurators is in the center, extending out into the sea.

Aerial view of Caesarea theater, hippodrome, and Palace of the Procurators. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Aerial view of Caesarea theater (right), hippodrome (left), and Palace of the Procurators (center foreground). Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Jerome Murphy-O’Connor explains the rock-cut pool you see in the photos above and below.

From the west colonnade one can look down to the sea shore at a point where its dominant feature is a rectangular rock-cut pool (35 x 18 [meters]). There are channels to the sea on both sides. A square statue base can be discerned in the middle. The colonnades pool was originally the centrepiece of a two-storey building (83 x 51 m) which surrounded it on all sides. Presumably it was here that the Roman procurators lived. Wave action and the activities of stone robbers have ensured that virtually nothing remains. A staircase in the north-east corner gave access to the upper level. (The Holy Land, 5th ed., 243).

Aerial view of the Palace of the Procurators at Caesarea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Aerial view of the Palace of the Procurators at Caesarea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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5 responses to “Acts 24 — Photo Illustrations — Caesarea

  1. An amazing place, and I want to know how you took those shots. There has to be a good story behind that one…

  2. Tim, a friend and I hired a pilot (and plane) for 3 hours. It runs about $400 an hour. Don’t ask for a free hi-res copy. :-)

  3. Thanks for sharing this aerial view. Along with my memories of walking through the ruins I have a much better picture in my mind of the area.

  4. Steven, a combination of book, land, and air enhances our understanding. Use my search box to look for Caesarea. There are some other aerial photos already online.

  5. Pingback: Paul in the Praetorium | Exploring Bible Lands

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