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Acco, also known to Bible History as Accho, Akko, Akka, Acre, and Ptolemais (see Bible Places) is a famous seaport on the coast of The Mediterranean Sea at the north end of the Bay of Haifa (previously known as the Bay of Acre), in Galilee, about 8 miles / 13 kilometers north of Mount Carmel and 25 miles / 40 kilometers south of Tyre. Its ancient prominence is now eclipsed by Haifa, modern Israel's foremost seaport.


Acco has had a very long and colorful history:

  • Acco is mentioned in ancient Egyptian records as far back as the 15th century BC. (see The Ancient Egyptians)

  • When the Israelites entered the Promised Land under Joshua, the area of Acco was allotted to the tribe of Asher (see Tribal Lands), however the city remained untaken:
    "Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob; but the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out." (Judges 1:31-32 RSV)

  • Acco was taken by Alexander the Great in 336 BC (see Ancient Empires - Greece and Alexander The Great In Prophecy), and by the Greek/Egyptian king Ptolemy II Philadelphus (reigned 285-246 BC - see The Ptolemies) who gave the city the name Ptolemais.

  • Acco was taken by the Romans and used by them as a major seaport (see Ancient Empires - Rome).

  • Conquerers after the time of the New Testament included the Persians in 614, Arabs in 638, and the Crusaders (see The Crusades) in 1105 who called it St. Jean d'Acre. Later, it was long held by the Ottomans, from 1516 to 1918, when the British took it at the end of the First World War - one of the series of events leading to the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948 (see The United States, Britain and Israel).

Fact Finder: Did the apostle Paul ever stay at Acco (Ptolemais) during his missionary journeys?
Acts 21:7
See also Paul's Third Missionary Journey

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