Capernaum (Lk 4:31-4:31)

“Jesus went down

To Capernaum,

A city in Galilee.

He was teaching them

On the Sabbath.”

 

Καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ πόλιν τῆς Γαλιλαίας. καὶ ἦν διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν·

 

Luke said that Jesus went down to Capernaum (Καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ), a city in Galilee (πόλιν τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  He was teaching them (καὶ ἦν διδάσκων αὐτοὺς) on the Sabbath (ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 1:21, where Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath in Capernaum.  Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum.  John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days.  Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Naphtali.  Obviously, there was some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there.  Jesus went there, but the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he had not been invited to do so.  Capernaum became the unofficial headquarters for the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.

Heal yourself (Lk 4:23-4:23)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Doubtless

You will quote

To me

This proverb.

‘Physician!

Cure yourself!’

You will say.

‘Do here also

In your hometown

The things

That we have heard

You did at Capernaum.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πάντως ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν· ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ, ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου.

 

This is another unique passage by Luke, who indicated that Jesus spoke to those in the synagogue.  Jesus said to them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς), as interpreting their thoughts.  Surely or doubtless (Πάντως), they would quote him this proverb (ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην) about a physician healing himself (Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν).  They would want him to do in his hometown (ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου) what they had heard that he had done in Capernaum (ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ).  However, Luke had not talked about Capernaum before this, since it comes up later in this chapter 4:31-32.  In fact, Mark, chapter 2:1, called Capernaum Jesus’ home, as if like a second hometown for Jesus.  Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum.  John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days.  Mark, chapter 1:21, had Jesus perform his first miracles in Capernaum.  Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Naphtali.

Jesus goes to Galilee (Lk 4:14-4:14)

“Then Jesus,

Filled with

The power

Of the Spirit,

Returned to Galilee.

A report

About him

Spread through

All the surrounding

Countryside.”

 

Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν· καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is no doubt that Jesus taught in Galilee, since this was his home base.  Much like Matthew, chapter 4:12, and Mark, chapter 1:14, after his temptations, Luke had Jesus return to Galilee.  However, Luke had no mention of the arrest of John, since he had already mentioned that earlier in chapter 3:19-20.  John had Jesus also go back to Galilee in chapter 4:3.  Luke said that Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit (ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος), a favorite and unique statement by Luke.  He said that Jesus returned to Galilee (Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς…εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  Matthew had Jesus going to Galilee, just like his father Joseph had done years earlier.  He used a citation from Isaiah to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Galilee was about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher, the northern tribes.  Mark said that Jesus went into Galilee preaching the gospel or good news about God, while the message of Matthew was about the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  Luke said that a report (καὶ φήμη) about Jesus (περὶ αὐτοῦ) spread throughout or over (ἐξῆλθεν) all the surrounding countryside (καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου), but there was no indication in Luke what the message of Jesus was.  Clearly, Jesus was active in Galilee.

Jesus went to a Capernaum synagogue (Mk 1:21-1:21)

“They went

Into Capernaum.

Immediately,

When Sabbath came,

Jesus entered

The synagogue.

He taught there.”

 

Καὶ εἰσπορεύονται εἰς Καφαρναούμ· καὶ εὐθὺς τοῖς σάββασιν εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἐδίδασκεν.

 

There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 4:31, where Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath in Capernaum.  Jesus and his entourage of at least 4 disciples went, traveled, or entered Capernaum (Καὶ εἰσπορεύονται εἰς Καφαρναούμ).  When suddenly the Sabbath came (καὶ εὐθὺς τοῖς σάββασιν), Jesus entered the synagogue (εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν) and taught there (ἐδίδασκεν).  Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum.  John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days.  Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Zebulun and Naphtali.  Synagogues were a new thing in the first century CE, something like local Jewish town hall meetings, but also as centers of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple.  There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place.  Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual.  However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if not invited.

John was arrested (Mk 1:14-1:14)

“After John was arrested,

Jesus came

Into Galilee,

Preaching

The gospel of God.”

 

Καὶ μετὰ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάνην ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

The beginning of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee can be found in all 4 gospel stories, Matthew, chapter 4:12, which is very close to Mark here.  Luke, chapter 4:14, has no mention of the arrest of John the Baptist’s arrest, while John 4:1-3 said that there was a comparison between Jesus and John the Baptist.  In all cases, it took place after the temptations of Jesus, except for John who had no mention of any temptations for Jesus.  Mark said that now that John had been arrested or handed over (Καὶ μετὰ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάνην), Jesus went into Galilee (ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), preaching the gospel or good news about God. (κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Jesus knew that that John the Baptist had been arrested, without any clear indication why.  Although this text does not mention him by name, Herod Antipas, the son of King Herod, was in charge of Galilee from 4 BCE-39 CE.  He was the one who arrested John.   This might have been a warning sign to Jesus to get away from the Jordan River area.  However, Jesus went back to Galilee, about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area.  This area was originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher.  Matthew, chapter 4:14-16 used a citation from Isaiah, chapter 9:1-5, to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Jesus was preaching about the good news or gospel of God, not as Matthew portrayed Jesus as teaching about the kingdom of heaven.

The prophet Isaiah (Mt 4:14-4:16)

“Thus,

What had been spoken

Through the prophet Isaiah

Might be fulfilled.

‘The land of Zebulun,

The land of Naphtali,

On the road by the sea,

Across the Jordan,

Galilee of the Gentiles!

The people

Who sat in darkness

Have seen a great light.

Light has dawned

For those who sat

In the region,

In the shadow of death.’”

 

ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν,

ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκοτίᾳ φῶς εἶδεν μέγα, καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς.

 

Matthew was unique in using this citation from Isaiah, chapter 9:1-5, where Isaiah was describing a defeat of the northern territories of Zebulun and Naphtali (Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ), near the Syrian border in the 8th century BCE. They were on the road near the sea, across the Jordan (ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου). Thus, this area became known as the Galilee of the gentles or the other nations or non-Jewish people (Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν). Matthew used Isaiah, even though at the time of Jesus, there were a lot of Jewish people in Galilee. Using Isaiah, Matthew said that these people were sitting in darkness (ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκοτίᾳ), but the good news was that a great light would come to them (φῶς εἶδεν μέγα) to shine on their darkness. This dawning light (φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς) would save those who were sitting in the shadowy land of death (καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου). Matthew saw that this as a fulfillment of the prophetic words of Isaiah (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος). This saying from Isaiah preceded his saying about a child being born.

Jesus goes to Capernaum (Mt 4:13-4:13)

“Jesus left Nazareth.

He made his home

In Capernaum

By the sea,

In the territory

Of Zebulun,

Of Naphtali.”

 

καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ

 

Matthew is the only gospel story that mentions that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum. However, John, chapter 2:12, mentioned that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days. Instead of going home to Nazareth, Jesus actually left Nazareth (καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ). He went and made his home in Capernaum (ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ), about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1.500 people at that time. Capernaum was on the northwest seaside (τὴν παραθαλασσίαν) corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old territory of Zebulun and Naphtali (ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ). There was no explicit mention of the Sea of Galilee, but Capernaum is on that sea in the territory of Naphtali. However, the territory of Zebulun was west of Naphtali and not on the Sea of Galilee.