Ptolema'is (Πτολεμαϊvς), the name of two places in Scripture.

1. The same as Accho (q.v.). The name is, in fact, an interpolation in the history of the place. The city which was called Accho in the earliest Jewish annals, and which is again the Akka or St. Jean d'Acre of crusading and modern times, was named Ptolemais in the Macedonian and Roman periods. In the former of these periods it was the most important town upon the coast, and it is prominently mentioned in the first book of Maccabees (5:15, 55; 10:1, 58, 60; 12:48). In the latter its eminence was far outdone by Herod's new city of Caesarea. It is worthy of notice that Herod, on his return from Italy to Syria, landed at Ptolemais (Josephus, Ant. 14:15, 1). Still in the New Test. Ptolemais is a marked point in Paul's travels both by land and sea. He must have passed through it on all his journeys along the great coast road which connected Caesarea and Antioch (Ac 11:30; Ac 12:25; Ac 15:2,30; Ac 18:22); and the distances are given both in the Antonine and Jerusalem itineraries (Wesseling, Itin. p. 158, 584). But it is specifically mentioned in Ac 21:7 as containing a Christian community, visited for one dav by Paul. On this occasion he came to Ptolemais by sea. He was then on his return voyage from the third missionary journey. The last harbor at which he had touched was Tyre (ver. 3). From Ptolemais he proceeded, apparently by land, to Caesarea (ver. 8), and thence to Jerusalem (ver. 17). SEE PAUL.

2. A place described as ροοοφορος, rose-producing (3 Maccabees 7:17), and supposed to be the ὅρμος Πτολεμαϊvς of Ptolemy (4:5, 57), in Central Egypt, in the Arsinoite nome, a district still abounding in roses (Mannert, Geogr. der Griechen u. Romanen, 10:1, p. 419; Ritter, Erdkunde, i, 795, 797).

Bible concordance for PTOLEMAIS.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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