From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Antipatris, a Hellenistic town of Palestine, stood at the eastern edge of the Plain of Sharon, where the military road from Jerusalem to Caesarea left the hills. Under the protection of a body of Roman cavalry and infantry, St. Paul was brought thither by night, and thence, with a diminished escort, to Caesarea ( Acts 23:31-32). Antipatris was a border town between Judaea and Samaria (Neubauer, Géogr. du Talm. , 1868, p. 80f.), and after it was reached there would be less danger of a Jewish attack. Josephus ( Ant . xvi. v. 2) gives an account of its foundation:

‘Herod erected another city in the plain called Kapharsaba, where he Chose out a fit place, both for plenty of water and goodness or soil, and proper for the production of what was there planted, where a river encompassed the city itself, and a grove of the beet trees for magnitude was round about it: this he named Antipatris, from his father Antipater.’

The historian elsewhere identifies it with Kapharsaba ( Ant . xiii. xv. 1), and Robinson ( Biblical Researches , iv. 139f.), followed by Schürer (ii. i. 130f.), naturally concludes that the site must be the modern Kefr Sâbâ  ; but, as the latter place cannot be described as well-watered, Conder, Warren, G. A. Smith, and Buhl all favour Rasel-‘Ain , a little farther south, at the source of the Aujah.

James Strahan.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

 Acts 23:31. The station between Jerusalem and Caesarea where the soldiers left Paul, after their night march, in charge of the horsemen who were to take hint forward to Caesarea on the morrow. The old name was Capharsaba. The modern Arabic Kerr Saba does not exactly correspond to Antipatris; for Antipatris was 16 miles from Jaffa, Kefr Saba is only 14; Antipatris was well watered, Kefr Saba has no spring. Herod rebuilt it, and called it Antipatris from his father. It lay in a well watered and wooded plain, near a hilly ridge. The remains of the old Roman road by Gophna to Antipatris were discovered by Dr. Eli Smith. It reaches Ras-el-Ain by Jifneh and Tibueh, thence along the foot of the hills to Jiljulieh, Kalkilia, and Caesarea (Kaisariyeh).

Ras el Ain is probably the true site. The crusaders' castle of Mirabel was built on the foundations of an older edifice; at its foot are the largest springs in Palestine. The Roman road between Jerusalem and Caesarea strikes the plain immediately E. of Antipatris it is, as Josephus describes, in the plain, yet near the mountains. It lies near the nahr Aujeh (Aujeh river), at a point where by a ditch to the mountains the course of a hostile army might be stopped. Not so Kefr Saba. (See Josephus, Ant. 13:15, 1; 16:5, 2. B.J. 1:4, sec. 7.)

Morrish Bible Dictionary [3]

The town to which Paul was taken in the night from Jerusalem on his way to Caesarea.  Acts 23:31 . It was built by Herod the Great in a well-watered spot surrounded by a wood, and named after his father. At Ras el-Ain, 32 6' N, 34 56' E, are ruins which are held to mark the spot. This is 5 or 6 miles nearer Jerusalem than Kefr Saba, which some associate with Antipatris, because Josephus says it was called Kapharsaba before its name was altered by Herod. The former place being nearer to Jerusalem removes the difficulty that some have felt as to the distance of Antipatris being too far to reach in a night; this reduces it to about 36 miles, and it would be even less by cross roads.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Antipatris ( Ăn-Tip'A-Tr Ĭs ), For The Father. A city of Palestine, situated in the midst of a fertile and well-watered plain, between Cæsarea and Lydda, called by Josephus, "the plain of Caphar Saba." It was rebuilt by Herod the Great, and called "Antipatris," in honor of his father, Antipater. Its ancient splendor has passed away; it is now marked by the ruins called Ras-El Ain.  Acts 23:31.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [5]

 Acts 23:31 , a town in Palestine, anciently called Caphar-Saba, according to Josephus; but named Antipatris by Herod the Great, in honour of his father Antipater. It was situated in a pleasant valley, near the mountains, in the way from Jerusalem to Caesarea. Josephus places it at about the distance of seventeen miles from Joppa. To this place St. Paul was brought in his way to the governor of Judea at Caesarea,  Acts 23:31 .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Antipa'tris or Antip'atris. (For His Father). A town to which the soldiers conveyed St. Paul by night on their march.  Acts 23:31. Its ancient name was Capharsaba; and Herod, when he rebuilt the city, changed it to Antipatris, in honor of his father, Antipater. The village Kefr-Sabba still retains the ancient name of Antipatris.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

ANTIPATRIS . Hither St. Paul was conducted by night on the way from Jerusalem to Cæsarea (  Acts 23:31 ). It was founded by Herod the Great, and probably stood at the head of the river ‘Aujeh (now Râs el-‘Ain ). Here are the remains of a large castle of the Crusaders, probably to be identified with Mirabel .

R. A. S. Macalister.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

The name of a city of Palestine, situated seven or eight miles from the coast, in a fertile and well watered plain between Caesarea and Jerusalem, on the site of the former city Caphar-Saba. It was founded by Herod the Great, and called Antipatris, in honor of his father Antipater. This place was visited by Paul,  Acts 23:31 . An Arab village, called Kefr Saba, now occupies its site.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 Acts 23:31Aphek

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Acts 23:31

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

( Ἀντιπατρίς , from Ant.Pater; in the Talmud אנטיפטרס , see Lightfoot, Hor. Ileb. p. 109 sq.), a city built by Herod the Great, in honor of his father (Josephus, Ant. 16, 5, 2; War, 1, 21, 9), on the site of a former place called Caphar-saba (X Αβαρζαβᾶ or Καφαρσαβᾶ , Josephus, Ant. 13, 15, 1; 16:5, 2). The spot (according to Ptolemy, lat. 32 ° , long. 66 ° 20') was well watered and fertile; a stream flowed round the city, and in its neighborhood were groves of large trees (Josephus, Ant. 16, 5, 2; War, 1, 21, 9). Caphar- saba was 120 stadia from Joppa; and between the two places Alexander Balas drew a trench, with a wall and wooden towers, as a defense against the approach of Antiochus (Josephus, Ant. 13, 15, 1; War, 1, 4, 7). Antipatris also lay between Caesarea and Lydda (Itin. Hieros. p. 600). It was not exactly on the sea (Schleusner, Lex. s.v.), but full two miles inland (Josephus, War, 4, 8, 1) on the road leading to Galilee (Mishna, Gattin, 7, 7; comp. Reland, Palest. p. 409, 417, 444). These eircumstances indicate that Antipatris was in the midst of a plain, and not at A rsuf, where the Crusaders supposed they had found it (Will. Tyr. 9:19; 14:16; Vitracus, c. 23; Brocard, c. 10; comp. Reland, Palast. p. 569, 570). On the road from Ramlah to Nazareth, north of Ras el-Ain, Prokesch (Reise ins Heilige Land, Wien, 1831) came to a place called Kaffir Saba; and the position which Berghaus assigns to this town in his map is almost in exact agreement with the position assigned to Antipatris in the Itin. Hieros. Perceiving this, Raumer (Palistina, p. 144, 462) happily conjectured that this Kefr Saba was no other than the reproduced name of Caphar-saba, which, as in many other instances, has again supplanted the foreign, arbitrary, and later name of Antipatris (comp. the Hall. Lit. Zeit. 1845, No. 230). This conjecture has been confirmed by Dr. Robinson, who gives Kefr Saba as the name of the village in question (Researches, 3, 46-48; see also later ed. of Researches, 3, 138, 139; and Biblioth. Sac. 1853, p. 528 sq.). Paul was brought from Jerusalem to Antipatris by night, on his route to Caesarea ( Acts 23:31; comp. Thomson's Land And Book, 1, 258).

Dr. Robinson was of opinion, when he published his first edition, that the road which the soldiers took on this occasion led from Jerusalem to Caesarea by the pass of Beth-Horon, and by Lydda or Diospolis. This is the route which was followed by Cestius Gallus, as mentioned by Josephus (War, 2, 19, 1), and it appears to be identical with that given in the Jerusalem Itinerary, accordinr to which Antipatris is 42 miles from Jerusalem, and 26 from Caesarea. Even on this supposition it would have been quite possible for troops leaving Jerusalem on the evening of one day to reach Caesarea on the next, and to start thence, after a rest, to return to (it is not said that they arrived at) their quarters at Jerusalem before nightfall. But the difficulty is entirely removed by Dr. Smith's discovery of a much shorter road, leading by Gophna direct to Antipatris. On this route he met the Roman pavement again and again, and indeed says "he does not remember observing anywhere before so extensive remains of a Roman road" (Biblioth. Sac. 1843, p. 478-498). Van de Velde, however (Memoir, p. 285 sq.), contends that the position of Mejdel Yaba corresponds better to that of Antipatris. In the time of Jerome (Epitaph. Paulce, 108) it was a halfruined town. Antipatris, during the Roman era, appears to have been a place of considerable military importance (Josephus, War, 4, 8, 1). Vespasian, while engaged in prosecuting the Jewish war, halted at Antipatris two days before he resumed his career of desolation by burning, destroying, and laying waste the cities and villages in his way (see Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 2, 269). This city is supposed (by Calmet, s.v.) to have been the same with Capharsaloma (or Capharsaroma, perhaps also Caparsemelia; see Reland, Palest. p. 690, 691), where a battle was fought in the reign of Demeotrius between Nicanor, a man who was an implacable enemy of the Jews, and Judas Maccabaeus, when five thousand of Nicanor's army were slain, and the rest saved themselves by flight ( 1 Maccabees 7:26-32).

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.

(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).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Antipa´tris, a city built by Herod the Great, on the site of a former place called Caphar-saba. The spot was well watered, and fertile; a stream flowed round the city, and in its neighborhood were groves of large trees. Caphar-saba was 120 stadia from Joppa; and between the two places Alexander Balas drew a trench, with a wall and wooden towers, as a defense against the approach of Antiochus. Antipatris also lay between Caesarea and Lydia, its distance from the former place being twenty-six Roman miles. On the road from Ramlah to Nazareth, north of Rasel Ain, there is a village called Kaffr Saba; and as its position is almost in exact agreement with the position assigned to Antipatris, it is supposed to be the same place, this Kaffr Saba being no other than the reproduced name of Caphar-saba, which, as in many other instances, has again supplanted the foreign, arbitrary, and later name of Antipatris. St. Paul was brought from Jerusalem to Antipatris by night, on his route to Caesarea ( Acts 23:31).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

an - tip´a - tris ( Ἀντίπατρις , Antı́patris ): Is mentioned in Scripture only once, in connection with the descent of Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea ( Acts 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 Rās 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.