After the third missionary journey, Paul was taken by a military escort from Jerusalem to Caesarea (Acts 23:23ff.). He would be there at Caesarea as a prisoner for two years, although provisions were made for his friends to attend to his needs (Acts 24:23). It is believed that Paul would have been confined in the palace built by Herod the Great, the ruins of which can be seen in our photo.
BAR informs us,
This ancient building, which we now call the Promontory Palace, was first excavated in 1976 by Ehud Netzer of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Netzer returned to the site in 1990 and brought in a new American team led by Kathryn Gleason and Barbara Burrell under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Its members are mainly student volunteers, though in 1992 they were joined by a contingent of Israeli workers, most of them new immigrants from Russia (May/June 1993).
Our previous post featured photos of the swimming pool and mosaics. Below is a more detailed shot of some of the columns.
Paul would have the occasion here to preach before Felix (Acts 24) and his successor Festus (Acts 25) as well as Herod Agrippa II (Acts 26). The audience hall in our photo is likely the site where Paul would have given his defense of the Gospel before these dignitaries.
It was here that Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen–“I appeal to Caesar” (Acts 25:11). Festus responded, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go” (v.12, ESV).
Click on images for higher resolution.
Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.
[…] We have several posts on Caesarea, including here, here, and here. […]