2021 - 2022
The Biblical city of Akko/Acre (Ptolomais – Greek name) is located east to the old city, and located on a large Tel (Mound) east of the old city, on the north bank of the Na’aman (Belus) river. The mound was abandoned in the late Hellenistic period, when the new city moved closer to the sea. The hill was reused in later periods for brief times, such as being a base for the sieges of the Crusaders (1099) and Napoleon’s Army (1799). Today, the site is in ruins. The neighborhoods of the modern city of Akko are located to the east and north of the Tel. The city originated in the Bronze period, and was part of the region of Asher:
Judges 1: 31: “Asher drove not out the inhabitants of Akko, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob”
This is a clear reference of Akko/Acre in the Old Testament. In the story of the conquest of the Land by the Israelites, the Bible writes about cities, including Akko, that the tribe of Asher did not succeed to drive out the Canaanites, due to its strong fortifications. It remained linked to the cities of Sidon and Tyre (actually, for 3000 years). We find other important references on the book of Joshua. The texts below, describe the land of the tribe of Asher, lists the cities in the Tribe’s area. The city Ummah may refer actually to Akko, according to some scholars, since it is listed after Achzib and before Afek, a sequence that may imply the city of Akko. Ummah may be the Jewish name of the Canaanite city.
Joshua 19:24 - “The fifth lot came out for the tribe of Asher according to its clans.”
Joshua 19:29-30 - “ The boundary then turned back toward Ramah and went to the fortified city of Tyre, turned toward Hosah and came out at the Mediterranean Sea in the region of Achzib, Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob. There were twenty-two towns and their villages.”
The book of Acts also mentions Akko with its Greek name (Ptolomais).
Acts 21:7-8 - “We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.”