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Christian Korazim – Chorazin

Korazim (Chorazim in Arabic) is an archaeological site mentioned in the New Testament as a city condemned by Jesus (together with Bethsaida and Capernaum) for rejecting him.

Matthew Chapter 11

 20 Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Beth-saida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Caperna-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

Luke 10:13-15

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

The site is two and a half miles from Capernaum on a hill above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Domus Galilaeae is situated about 1 Kilometer from the ruins of Korazim

Jewish Korazim

The Babylonian Talmud (Menahot, 85a) mentions that Chorazin was a town known for its grain. The source of name may be the root “Karoz” – which means in Hebrew “announcer”.

Korazim was a Jewish town renowned for its good wheat in Talmudic times. The ruins at the site include a large, impressive synagogue. The synagogue was built in the late 3rd century, destroyed in the 4th century, and rebuilt in the 6th century and used until the 8th century – the end of the talmudic period. The three doors face the south – the direction of Jerusalem. It was built with black basalt stones and decorated with Jewish motifs. The floor was paved without mosaics, unlike  other Galilee Synagogues from later periods. Inside the synagogue was a three-dimensional sculpture, a pair of stone lions. There are construction stones decorated with lions, birds, grape vines, the head of a medusa, a menorah and the Temple.

Close to the Synagogue is a mikvah – a ritual bath located in the central quarter, north to the synagogue. It is based on a set of long stones that are placed over a cavity.

Seat of Moses

In 1926, archaeologists discovered the carved basalt bench known as  “Seat of Moses,” or “Cathedra of Moses”carved from a basalt block. This seat was for the community’s most respected members. The original stone is displayed in the Jerusalem Museum. Its inscriptions, in 4 Hebrew lines, dedicate the bench to the memory of Yuden Bar Ishmael.  The Hebrew words can be seen clearly starting with “remembered for good…”, right to left, on the top-right corner.

According to the New Testament, this is where the reader of the Torah sat (Matthew 23:1-3).

Matthew 23:1-3

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the lawand the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

In the 16th century, Jewish fishermen resided here.

There is also a Bedouin sheikh’s tomb at Korazim

The town’s ruins are spread over an area of 25 acres, subdivided into five separate quarters, with a synagogue in the center. The majority of the structures are made from black basalt.

Korazim  -

Korazim National Park

 DirectionsThe park is located on road 8277 between the Korazim junction and Almagor, 10 minutes east of Ami‘ad junction.
 Length of tour:1 hour
Entrance fee: required.

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