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Tel Aphek

Herod the Great named this fortress, which in Bible times straddled the ancient Via Maris highway, Antipatris after his father

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The park setting of the antiquities at this site, which Herod the Great named Antipatris after his father, is perfect for a combined picnic and Bible-study.

East of Tel Aviv, it may be considered off the beaten track site today, but in Bible times it straddled the ancient Via Maris highway and guarded the headwaters of the Yarkon River. 

Ancient cities lie beneath its sixteenth-century fortress, including Aphek, mentioned in Joshua’s conquest (Josh. 12:18). The Israelites later lost the Ark to the Philistines in battle here (1 Sam. 4:1-18).

The view from the fortress walls includes the Yarkon springs and the excavations of the Roman city, built by Herod in 9 BC. Later, Paul was brought here under Roman guard on his way to Caesarea (Acts 23:31). In addition to archaeology and history, the natural world around the springs makes Antipatris-Aphek a prime outdoor classroom for the Israeli schoolchildren visitors enjoy encountering.

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