A seaport city also known as Accho, Acre, and Ptolemais. It is located at the northern point of the yawning crescent-shaped Bay of Acco (or Bay of Haifa [Mifraz Hefa]). This bay is formed by the cape of Mount Carmel jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea about 13 km (8 mi) to the S.
In the period of the Judges, the Canaanite city was situated on a mound identified with Tell el-Fukhkhar (Tel ʽAkko), about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the bay and 1.8 km (1 mi) E of the present-day Old City walls. During the Persian period, from the sixth century B.C.E., the city spread westward to include the peninsula that forms the N end of the Bay of Haifa. The port of the city was located there from the Persian period onward. By the time of the Christian Era, the location of Acco had come to include the peninsula and is included in the area of modern ʽAkko.
Situated about 39 km (24 mi) S of Tyre, Acco was the most important seaport on the harbor-shy Palestinian coast until Herod the Great ran seawalls out from the shore to produce an artificial port at Caesarea. Acco was inferior to the Phoenician ports to the N and provided but poor shelter from the sea winds. However, it was strategically located close to the approach to the rich Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon), and several commercial trade routes connected the port with Galilee, the Jordan Valley, and other points to the east. Timber, artistic commodities, and grain were exported through Acco.
Acco pertained to the territorial division assigned to Asher in the Promised Land, but Asher failed to drive out the Canaanites who were then living there. (Jg 1:31, 32) Mentioned only once in the Hebrew Scriptures, the city is more frequently referred to in non-Biblical records. Its name occurs several times in the Amarna Tablets. Other records show that it was subjugated by the Assyrian kings Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal. The city is mentioned in the Apocrypha as a center of opposition during the rule of the Maccabees. (1 Maccabees 5:15, 22, 55; 12:45-48; 13:12) By then its name had been changed to Ptolemais, a name originated by Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt.
Under Emperor Claudius, the city of Ptolemais (Acco) became a Roman colony, and in apostolic times there was a group of Christians there. When returning from his third missionary tour, Paul put in at Acco (then known as Ptolemais) and spent the day visiting the brothers there before traveling on to Caesarea and Jerusalem.—Ac 21:7.
Today ʽAkko is eclipsed in importance by the modern city of Haifa, located directly across the bay.
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Acco (later known as Ptolemais). The apostle Paul stopped at this seaport city on his final trip to Jerusalem