The centurion at Capernaum (Mt 8:5-8:5)

“When Jesus entered

Capernaum,

A centurion

Came to him.

He appealed to Jesus.”

 

Εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἑκατόνταρχος παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν

 

This story about Jesus going into Capernaum can be found in Luke, chapter 7:1-2, and Mark chapter 2:1.  Jesus went back to Capernaum (Εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ) that was now his home, as indicated in chapter 4:13 of this work.  Capernaum (Καφαρναοὺμ) was a fishing village of about 1.500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the Sea of Galilee.  This non-Jewish Roman centurion came to him (προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἑκατόνταρχος) beseeching, imploring, asking, or appealing to Jesus (παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν).  Thus, this centurion (ἑκατόνταρχος) was a Roman soldier in charge of 100 men, who also may have had more authority, as part of the Roman occupying troops of Galilee.

The war with the Idumeans (2 Macc 10:15-10:17)

“Besides Gorgias, the Idumeans, who had control of important strongholds, were harassing the Jews. They received those who were banished from Jerusalem. They endeavored to keep up the war. But Judas Maccabeus and his men, after making solemn supplication and beseeching God to fight on their side, rushed to the strongholds of the Idumeans. Attacking them vigorously, they gained possession of the places. They beat off all who fought upon the wall. They slaughtered those whom they encountered. They killed no fewer than twenty thousand.”

Once again, this conflict can be found in 1 Maccabees, chapter 5, where there was some burning, but without the number of people who died. The Idumeans were the people from Edom who continuously harassed the Jews. The supporters of the banished high priest Menelaus had fled here. Here, Judas Maccabeus and his men prayed to God that he might be on their side as they rushed the strongholds of the Idumeans. Then they attacked and took the strongholds, as they killed 20,000 Idumeans, quite a slaughter.