Korazin (Matthew 11)

Early in His ministry Jesus left His hometown of Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He ministered in Capernaum and in the nearby towns of Korazin (often spelled Chorazin) and Korazin is mentioned in the Bible only in Matthew 11:21 and in the parallel passage in Luke 10:31, where all three towns came under Jesus’ condemnation for their failure to repent. They were, after all, “the cities in which most of His miracles had been performed” (Matthew 11:20).

Korazin is located about an hour’s walk (4 km) north of Capernaum on a basalt plateau known as the Korazin Plateau, about 244 m above the Sea of Galilee. It is described in Jewish sources as a medium-sized town noted for its wheat production. The main road to Damascus passed by a little to the north, so commerce, as well as agriculture, played an important role in the economy of the community.

The ruins of Korazin cover an area of more than 80 acres. Excavations and literary sources indicate that the city was founded in the first century A.D. and thrived until the Arab conquest in the eighth century. A civic centre and a number of domestic complexes, all made of local black basalt stone and dating from the third to eighth centuries A.D., have been uncovered. The civic centre, arranged in an east-west direction on the gently sloping plateau, is comprised of a synagogue, ritual bath complex, cistrens and public buildings. After the Arab conquest Korazin declined and was eventually abandoned.

 

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