Antipatris (2)

Antipatris The identity of this place with the modern Kefr Saba seems to be conclusively proved by the general coincidence in location and distance from other known towns, and especially by its agreement with Caphar- saba, which Josephus repeatedly states was the old name of Antipatris. Nevertheless, both Lieut. Conder and Major Wilson contend (Quar. Statement of the "Pal. Explor. Fund," July, 1874, p. 184 sq., 192 sq.) for its situation at Ras el-Ain, six miles to the south, for the following reasons:

(1.) The abundant water and fertility of the spot, in accordance with the representations of all ancient writers; whereas at Kefr Saba there are only two indifferent wells.

(2.) The naturally favorable site of Ras el-Ain for a city, especially the, strong military position; while the other is every way the reverse.

Bible concordance for ANTIPATRIS.

(3.) The existence to-day of traces of -the old Roman road in the former spot, and the absence of any such indications at KefrSaba. (4.) The close proximity of Ras el-Ain to the mountains, as indicated by the ancient authorities. To this view, also, Dr. Tristram gives his adherence (Bible Places, p. 55), thus summing up the evidence: "The name of Caphar-saba seems to have become attached to the present Kefr Saba after the original site was abandoned. That site is plainly marked out at Ras el-Ain, where a large artificial mound is covered with old foundations, and on the summit is the ruined shell of the fine old (Crusaders') castle' of Mirabel, while beneath it burst forth the springs of the Aujeh, the largest and most copious of all in Palestine. At the foot of the mountains this was exactly the point where it was convenient for the horsemen to accompany Paul to Caesarea without the foot-soldiers. Two Roman roads may be traced from it-north to Caesarea, and southwards to Lydda-on the former of which a Roman milestone still stands. To this day part of the pavement remains on which Paul rode to Caesarea, and by which Pilate and Felix used to go up to Jerusalem." It should be noted, however, that most, if not all, of these arguments apply nearly as well to the site of Kefr Saba. In -his Tent Work (i, 230) Lieut. Conder reiterates his view, giving a fuller description of Ras elAin, and adding that the Talmud seems to distinguish between Antipatris and Caphar-saba--a point, however, which he does not make clear. See the citations in Relalnd, Palestina (see Index).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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