Joppa, Palestine by the London
Joppa is the principal sea-port town of Palestine and it is very
often mentioned in Scripture.
Hiram, King of Tyre, is said to have sent cedars of Lebanon by sea
to Joppa, for the building of Solomon's Temple; and from Joppa
the disobedient Jonah embarked, when ordered by God to go and preach
to the people of Nineveh.
It was at Joppa that the apostle Peter lived, for some time, with
one Simon, a tanner, whose house was by the sea-shore; and it was on
the flat roof of this dwelling that he saw the wonderful vision,
which taught him not to call any man common or unclean.
Tabitha or Dorcas, the pious woman who spent all her life in
working for the poor, and in giving alms to those who needed relief,
lived in Joppa; and here it pleased God that she should be taken ill
and die, and her body was laid out in the usual manner before burial,
in an upper chamber of the house where she lived. The apostle Peter,
to whom this pious woman had been well known, was then at Lydda, not
far from Joppa, and the disciples sent to tell him of the heavy loss
the Church had met with in the death of Dorcas, and begged that he
would come and comfort them. The apostle directly left Lydda and went
over to Joppa. He was, by his own desire, taken to the room where the
corpse lay, and was much moved when he saw the tears of the poor
women who had been fed and clothed by the charity of Dorcas, and who
were telling each other how much good she had been the means of doing
Peter desired to be left alone with the body, and then he knelt
down and prayed, and, receiving strength from God, he turned to the
body and cried, "Tabitha, arise!" She then, like one
awaking from sleep, opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat
up. He then took her by the hand, and she arose and was presented
alive to those who, thinking she was dead, had so lately been
mourning for her loss. This was the first miracle performed by the
apostles, and it greatly surprised the people of Joppa, who began one
and all to believe that Peter was really a preacher sent by God.
The name of Joppa signified beautiful. It was built upon the side
of a rocky mountain, which rises from the sea-shore, and all around
it were lovely gardens, full of vines, figs, and other fruits.