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ANTIPATRIS (ăn-tĭp'a-trĭs, Gr. antipatris, belonging to Antipater). A city built (or rebuilt) by Herod the Great and named after his father Antipater. It lay on the road between Jerusalem and Caesarea. There is only one reference to it in Scripture, when Paul was taken following his arrest in Jerusalem from that city to Caesarea (Acts.23.31). It marked the NW limit of Judea.

ANTIPATRIS ăn tĭp’ ə trĭs (̓Αντίπατρις). Antipatris was the NT city which occupied the site of the OT Philistine city of Aphek (1 Sam 4:1; 29:1). The new city was built by Herod the Great in 9 b.c. He named it Antipatris in honor of his father Antipater, who had been procurator of Judea under Julius Caesar. The modern name of the ruins is Ras el-’Ain.

The site is marked by the great spring which gives its name to the site. The stream which rises full-grown from this spring is the River Auja, the longest stream W of the Jordan River. Although its course to the Mediterranean is short, it flows through a fertile plain known as Kaphar Saba. Antipatris was on the main coastal road of Pal. c. twenty-five m. to the S of Caesarea, the capital of Judea. From Antipatris the main road continued S to Lydda, and a branch road went SW to Joppa on the coast. Another road from Antipatris climbed E up the valley of Aijalon and then turned S to Jerusalem.

The only Bible reference to Antipatris is in Acts 23:31. In order to save Paul’s life, the military governor of Jerusalem ordered him to be taken on a secret night march under a large military guard from the Jerusalem barracks to Antipatris, c. a forty m. march. This city was the military post (Mutatio) on the road between Jerusalem and Caesarea and, therefore, a logical resting place. The next day Paul was taken to the governor at Caesarea.

Antipatris was the first city Vespasian captured after he moved out of Caesarea to the conquest of the Philistine plain and the approaches to Jerusalem.


C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener, SWP, vol. II, 258-262.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Is mentioned in Scripture only once, in connection with the descent of Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea (Ac 23:31). References will be found in Ant, XIII, xv 1; XVI, v, 2; BJ, I, xxi, 9. It was a town built by Herod the Great, and called after his father Antipater. It is probably identical with the modern Ras el-`Ain, "fountain head," a large mound with ruins at the source of Nahr el`Aujeh, in the plain to the Northeast of Jaffa. There are remains of a crusading castle which may be the Mirabel of those times.