Ptolemais (Acco)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Ptolemais (Acco, Accho)
Bible Meaning: Warlike
Strong's Concordance #G4424

The Old Testament coastal city of Accho (newer translations spell it "Acco") means "his straightness" or "to hem" (Strong's #H5910). It was much later renamed Ptolemais. Although the city was given to the tribe of Asher as a Promised Land inheritance, they were never able to drive the inhabitants out of it (Judges 1:31).

King Solomon, during his reign, gave Accho (Acco) as part of a twenty-city gift to Tyre's King Hiram. After Hiram visited the cities, however, he promptly gave them back (1Kings 9:11 - 14)!

Sometime after Alexander the Great conquered Acco in 333 B.C., the city was renamed Antiochia Ptolemais. Its name was likely further shortened, several years later, to Ptolemais by Ptolemy I Soter.

New Testament mention

The Apostle Paul, towards the end of his third missionary journey, sailed to Tyre and spent seven days with brethren (Acts 21:3 - 4). Leaving Tyre, he sailed to Ptolemais where he enjoyed spending a day with local Christians until leaving to complete his journey to Jerusalem (verse 7).

Important Verses

Judges 1:28 - 29, 31
And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer . . .

Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho (Ptolemais), nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob . . .

Location of Ptolemais (Acco) in Ancient Israel Map
Location of Ptolemais

Acts 21:6 - 8
And when we (Apostle Paul and others) had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they (Christian believers in Tyre) returned home again. And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

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.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).