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Cities of Ancient Israel





Capernaum

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Capernaum in Smiths Bible Dictionary. (village of Nahum) was on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Mt 4:13 comp. John 6:24 It was in the "land of Gennesaret," [ Mt 14:34 comp. John 6:17,21,24 ] It was of sufficient size to be always called a "city," Mt 9:1; Mr 1:33 had its own synagogue, in which our Lord frequently taught, Mr 1:21; Lu 4:33,38; Joh 6:59 and there was also a customs station, where the dues were gathered both by stationary and by itinerant officers. Mt 9:9; 17:24; Mr 2:14; Lu 5:27 The only interest attaching to Capernaum is as the residence of our Lord and his apostles, the scene of so many miracles and "gracious words." It was when he returned thither that he is said to have been "in the house." Mr 2:1 The spots which lay claim to its site are, 1. Kahn Minyeh, a mound of ruins which takes its name from an old khan hard by. This mound is situated close upon the seashore at the northwestern extremity of the plain (now El Ghuweir). 2. Three miles north of Khan Minyeh is the other claimant, Tell Hum, --ruins of walls and foundations covering a space of half a mile long by a quarter wide, on a point of the shore projecting into the lake and backed by a very gently-rising ground. It is impossible to locate it with certainty, but the probability is in favor of Tell Hum.
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Tell. Hum [Kefar Nahum]. Greek and Latin `Capharnaum', Heb. Kefar Nahum. Capernaum was a small town on the W shore of the Sea of Galilee right on the highway which went from the Mediterranean coast to Damascus. It had a small port for the many fishermen who had lived there. Capernaum was mentioned in Roman and Jewish sources. There is rarely a city mentioned more often in the N.T. than Capernaum. Jesus traveled there from Nazareth, to the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, and found his first disciples, Andrew, Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee (Matt 4:13-22). He taught in their synagogue (Jn 6:24-59), and it was here that Peter found the coin from the mouth of the fish, upon the command of Jesus, to pay the tax-gatherers (Matt 17:24-27). He resided for a time at Peters house in Capernaum, teaching and healing the sick (Lk 4:31-41). Once He had left, He rebuked the city for their unbelief (Lk 10:15).

Capernaum was described in other sources as a seat of "minim" which means sectarians. Recently there have been excavations that have uncovered the 2-story synagogue. It was of a beautiful ornamented style cut in limestone, rather than the typical black basalt seen around the area, and was 65 feet long. The carved stone ornametation depicted stylized plants, fruits, 5-pointed stars, geometric motifs, and even mythological figures. Their were also dedicatory inscriptions written in Aramaic and Greek.

Today, near the synagogue, there is an octagonal Byzantine church with a mosaic floor built upon the site believed to be the house of Peter. Recent excavations beneath this church has revealed houses dating back to the first century. Some believe that one of these houses could very well be the house of Peter.

John 6:24-27 "when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled."

See Matt. 4:13; Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31; John 2:12

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Capernaum Scriptures

John 6:24 - When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

Matthew 17:24 - And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute [money] came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 

Matthew 11:23 - And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 

Luke 4:23 - And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 

John 4:46 - So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 

Matthew 4:13 - And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 

Luke 10:15 - And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. 

Mark 1:21 - And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 

Luke 4:31 - And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 

Luke 7:1 - Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 

John 2:12 - After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 

Matthew 8:5 - And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 

Mark 2:1 - And again he entered into Capernaum after [some] days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 

John 6:17 - And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 

Mark 9:33 - And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 

John 6:59 - These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.   

 

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