Dora in the New TestamentDora was a town of the coast of Palestine, South of Carmel (Apion, II, 10; Vita, 8), about 8 miles North of Caesarea. It was occupied in the earliest times by the Canaanites and probably belonged to Phoenicia, tradition saying that it was a Sidonian colony.
It furnished an abundance of the shell-fish so valuable for the manufacture of the Tyrian purple, and this would have led the Phoenicians to occupy the site. In the 12th century BC, the region was occupied by the northern people who raided the whole Syrian coast and Egypt.
They were driven back by the Egyptians, but renewed the attack, and the weakness of Egypt in the middle of the century enabled them to settle in the coast region South of Carmel; a tribe of them occupied Dor, and others the territory to the limits of the desert of Sinai, and became the Philistine people so well known by their contests with the Hebrews. Naphoth-dor, "the heights of Dor," may be the slopes of Carmel inland from TanTurah.
Dor fell within the territory assigned to Manasseh (Josh 17:11; compare Ant, V, i, 22). It was the seat of a king who possessed other towns on the heights back of the coast. He was one of the allies of Jabin of Hazor in the conflict with Joshua (Josh 11:2) and was conquered by him (Josh 12:23), but Dor was not occupied by the Israelites (Josh 17:11; Jdg 1:27).
The inhabitants of Dor were at enmity with the Phoenician towns and it would seem that the Sidonians seized it to obtain its rich supplies of shell-fish, and this probably caused the war of retaliation waged by the Philistines, under the lead of Ashkelon, against Sidon in the middle of the 11th century. Sidon was besieged by land, and the inhabitants were compelled to flee to Tyre.
Dor seems to have been occupied by Solomon since he placed one of his purveyors in the town (1 Ki 4:11), and Tiglath-pileser III reduced it and set a governor over it (Rawl., Phoenician., 84). Here Tryphon was besieged by Antiochus, but escaped to Apamea (1 Macc 15:11,13,15; Ant, XIII, vii, 2).
It was made free by Pompey, and joined to the province of Syria (XIV, iv, 4). The youths of the place set up a statue of Tiberius in the Jewish synagogue, an outrage that was reported to Publius Petronius by Agrippa, and reparation was made (XIX, vi, 3).
It does not seem to have been of much importance in later times, though the fortifications still remaining on the ruined site, from the period of the Middle Ages, show that it was then occupied. It is now only a miserable village nestled in the ruins.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which is in the public domain (with minor edits).