Mediterranean Sea

The sea that borders Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, and Palestine.

The name "Mediterranean" means "middle of the earth," and it lies at the center of the ancient world.

In Old Testament times the Philistines built cities along the Mediterranean coast in southern Palestine.  King Hiram of Tyre sent shipments of timber along the Mediterranean coast for Solomon's building projects.  The prophet Jonah tried to flee from God by boarding a ship at the Palestinian port of Joppa and was caught in a storm at sea.  The lack of good natural harbors, however, meant that Israel never became a seafaring people.

Mediterranean Coast

Mediterranean coast
of Turkey

In New Testament times Herod the Great created an artificial harbor at Caesarea.  A Roman centurion named Cornelius became a Christian at Caesarea, and there were also Christians at Joppa (Acts 9:36; 10:1).  Paul sailed on the Mediterranean when traveling to Cyprus and from Greece to Palestine.  After being imprisoned at Caesarea, Paul made a voyage during which he was shipwrecked near Malta before arriving at Rome.

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