House of Simon the tanner in Jaffa
The house of Simon the tanner is located in Jaffa, near the sea. The building itself does not represent any architectural or historical interest. The modern building has nothing to do with either the tanner or his important guest Peter. It is rather a monument erected in honor of an event that changed the history of Christianity due to its geographical location in this place.
The incident in Jaffa is mentioned in the New Testament. During his journey, Apostle Peter stopped in Lydda to visit the righteous. When the Christians learned of the saint's arrival, they invited him to Jaffa or Joppa, as the port was then known, so that Peter could assist the disciple Tabitha. The woman was very ill by the time the apostle arrived, but he healed her through the power of prayer.
The miracle did not go unnoticed by the inhabitants of Joppa - Jaffa. Many have joined the faith in the Lord. Everyone was happy to host a miracle-making worker, the doors of their houses were opened for him by the richest and most influential citizens. Poor Simon also decided to show hospitality. His invitation sounded like a bolt from the blue, the crowd froze, and everyone was wondering what the apostle Peter would do.
The increased focus can be explained by the attitude of Jews at the time toward food, life, and work. People are accustomed to categorizing everything as good or bad, pure or impure. Tanner's work was considered dishonorable among Jews, ranking on par with swineherd's work. Every day, this person had to touch the skins of slaughtered animals, many of which were deemed "unclean."
Tanners, like lepers, were excluded from the city and were not permitted to settle. Although this ban had more than just religious overtones. The tanning of the skin was accompanied by unpleasant, strong odors that bothered others. Tanners lived outside the city walls, usually near the sea, because the skins needed to be washed in water to work. Simon was no different. His small house was tucked away on the coast. Peter had to make a difficult decision. On the one hand, he was dismissive of tanners. The apostle perceived the invitation as a mockery, an insult; it was preferable to spend the night outside.
However, the miracle worker witnessed exactly how Jesus treated people. He did not categorize Jews as evil or good, poor or rich; he went to everyone who called. Before Peter stood a man he could call a spiritual brother. As a result, the apostle simply could not refuse him because he did not want to be defiled. The story of Simon the Tanner might not have reached our time if it hadn't been for Peter's vision during morning prayer. When the apostle went up to the roof to pray, he became suddenly hungry. Then he had a vision. A vessel containing animals, birds, and reptiles descended from the sky directly to him. Peter heard a voice commanding the living creatures to be slaughtered and eaten.
The believing Jew was shocked and responded that he would not even eat bad food. But the voice persisted, arguing that what the Lord had cleansed should not be overlooked by a mere mortal. This was repeated three times before the vessel vanished. Three travelers came to the gate of Simon looking for the apostle while Peter was discussing the vision. They invited the miracle worker to the home of the pagan Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter was initially skeptical, but he soon realized that for God, everyone is equal, and he grants repentance not only to Christians but also to non-Christians.
Cornelius' house was filled with relatives and friends. They listened to the apostle's every word and accepted his faith. When Peter returned to Jerusalem, his supporters attacked him with reproaches. They were outraged by the apostle's act of sitting at the same table as the pagans. But Peter persuaded them that he was correct, that the word of God should be carried to everyone. This event had a significant impact on the Christian world, particularly European civilization. The apostles and their disciples divided and went their separate ways. They preached from Armenia to Spain, converting the Gentiles to Christianity. Where the house of Simon the tanner was located is not exactly known. According to written sources, the building was located in Joppa (Jaffa) on the seashore.
Many researchers believe that the Church of St. Peter, which was built in the 17th century, is now located on this site. There is a house on the coast with a flat roof, as in the time of the Apostle Peter. It is near the striped lighthouse on the outskirts of Shimon ha-Bursekai Street, next to Kdumim Square. The building is unlikely to have anything to do with the miracle worker, and it has been rebuilt several times. There was a minaret here during the Muslim rule. There is a well in the courtyard where the tanner could get water for his work. There is also a sarcophagus carved by Peter, according to legend. The private house and land are now owned by the Zakaryan Armenians. Tourists can only inspect the building from the outside. Because of the unruly behavior of pilgrims and tourists in this area, the hostess only invites guests inside the house on special occasions. On an individual tour of old Jaffa, you will undoubtedly pay a visit to Simon Tanner's house.
An individual tour of old Jaffa will show you the biblical places associated with the Apostle Peter, who performed miracles in this city. Old Jaffa is located in the center of Israel, on the Mediterranean coast. Old Jaffa is one of the oldest cities; people have not left it throughout the whole time. The tour of Tel Aviv includes a visit to the historic center of old Jaffa.
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