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Caesarea Sebaste

The Greek Empire and the Roman Empire that succeeded it (see the Fact Finder question below) were both invaders and conquerors ("imperialism" means empire-ism whereby the leader of one country declares himself the "leader" of other people's countries; see Leaders And Pushers). The Greeks were just as militaristic as the Romans; the Greek king Alexander the Great (see Alexander The Great In Prophecy) was a far superior military commander than any Roman that came after. Nevertheless, the Greek and Roman empires were quite different in terms of their ideology that they foisted upon other lands. The civilized Greeks brought culture and learning; the brutish Romans brought destruction and oppression.

The Romans themselves seemed to acknowledge the Greek cultural value, at least for their own purposes, as attested for no other reason that they didn't attempt to destroy it as they did to many other things "foreign" to them (while the Romans themselves were actually the "foreigners" in other nations). Long after the Greeks ceased to be an empire (Greek power peaked during the approximate two to three centuries between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament), Greek language and society influenced the then Roman world (see Paul's World). The fact that the New Testament was written in Greek rather than Latin attests to how Greek was still the "world language" of that time.

"He went down from Judaea to Caesarea"

Herod The Great (who tried to have the Messiah killed as an infant i.e. Matthew 2:1-18) built (i.e. rebuilt) the city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. He named it after the reigning Roman emperor at that time, Caesar Augustus (the Roman emperor that declared the census that resulted in Christ being born in Bethlehem i.e. Luke 2:1-7). But the city was popularly known by the Greek name Caesarea Sebaste (or just Caesarea). Caesarea is from the Greek form of Caesar (in Greek it's pronounced kah-ee-zar - the origin of the German emperor title Kaiser) and Sebaste is the Greek form of Augustus (the name Sebastian originated from the Greek Sebaste).

With its location on a major seacoast road, Caesarea was a well-known city in the time of the first-century New Testament record.


"8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." (Acts 8:40 KJV)

After his conversion, the former Christian persecutor Saul (see Was Paul Among Them?) stayed at Caesarea.

"9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 9:29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 9:30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus." (Acts 9:26-30 KJV)

Years later, at the end of his third missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), Paul again visited Caesarea on his way to Jerusalem where he would face the same sort of persecution that he once inflicted on others (see Paul's Blindness Lesson).

"21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem." (Acts 21:8-15 KJV)

The apostle Peter also had experiences in Caesarea (see also Peter's Ministry).

"10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 10:3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day [see Hours Of The Day] an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

10:4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord?

And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 10:6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." (Acts 10:1-6 KJV)

Caesarea was the site of Herod's Last Blasphemy.

"12:19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode. 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.

12:21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. 12:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." (Acts 12:19-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What empire conquered the "lost ten tribes" of Israel during The Galilee Captivity? (b) What empire conquered The Southern Kingdom of Judah in the time of Jeremiah the prophet (see Jeremiah's Field)? (c) What empire conquered the Babylonian empire and permitted the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah? (d) What empire rose to power in the time between the recorded Old and New Testament records? (e) What empire occupied the land of Israel at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? (f) What ancient empire will again revive and rule the world at the time of Christ's return?
(a) See Assyria
(b) See Babylon
(c) See Persia
(d) See Greece
(e) See Rome
(f) See Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!

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