Antipatris is only mentioned one time in the Book of Acts. The city had a garrison or stronghold used by Paul and Roman soldiers sent by Claudius Lysias (commander of the Roman forces at the Antonia Fortress in Jerusalem) to escorted Paul to the Roman Governor Antonius Felix at Caesarea.
Antipatris was built by Herod the Great in 9 BCE on the site of Biblical “Aphek”. He named the city after his father Antipater who was the procurator of Judea in the time of Julius Caesar. The ruins of this city are now known as “Ras el-Ain”. The Biblical city of Aphek was a Canaanite royal city (Joshua 12:18).
Antipatris was near the main Roman military road between Jerusalem and Caesarea, about 39 miles northwest of Jerusalem and 25 miles south of Caesarea (the capital of Judea in that period). A spring marks the site and is part of the modern name (“ain” means spring). The longest watercourse (“wadi” or dry river-bed) west of the Jordan River is Wadi Auja which at one time carried the free flow of this spring. The road continued south from Antipatris to Lydda (present day Lod near the Ben Gurion airport) with a branch road southwest to Joppa (now “Jaffa” on the coast). There was a eastern road from the valley of Aijalon that turned south to Jerusalem. The city probably marked the north west limit of the Roman Judean Province.
Paul and the Roman guards spent the night on their way to Caesarea. Paul was taken by the chief captain (Lysias) and sent to the Roman governor after being mobbed by a crowd on the Temple compound. After Paul’s nephew related to the Roman captain that several men plotted to kill Paul, Lysias sent him away to Felix for his case to be heard in a less extreme environment (Acts 23:14-24). On the way they stopped at Antipatris, which apparently included a military post. A generation later, Antipatris was the first city Vespasian captured after he moved out of Caesarea on their way to working to conquer Jerusalem in the first revolt (67-73 CE).