The curse on Capernaum (Lk 10:15-10:15)

“You!

Capernaum!

Will you be exalted

To heaven?

No!

You will be

Brought down

To Hades.”

 

καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ, μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ.

 

Next Luke had Jesus take on Capernaum, his new home and headquarters in Galilee.  Capernaum (καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ) will not be exalted to heaven (μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ).  Instead, it will be brought down to Hades or hell (ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ).  Once again, Jesus used the second person plural.  Matthew, chapter 11:23, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus questioned them.  Would they be exalted or raised up to heaven?  No!  In fact, they would be cast down to the unseen world of Hades, the traditional Greek word for hell.  Matthew then even compared Capernaum to Sodom.  If the mighty miracles that were done in Capernaum were done in Sodom, Sodom might have remained until the present day.  Then Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for the people of Capernaum.  Jesus warned these three towns, within 10 miles of each other.  They had not repented, despite his teaching and the many miracles there.  Something must have happened in Capernaum because it had been his base of operations in Galilee.  Have you ever turned on the town where you had lived?

The idol worship in Canaan (Ps 106:34-106:39)

“The Israelites did not destroy the peoples,

As Yahweh commanded them.

But they mingled with the nations.

They learned to do as they did.

They served their idols.

This became a snare to them.

They sacrificed their sons to the demons.

They sacrificed their daughters to the demons.

They poured out innocent blood,

The blood of their sons and daughters.

They sacrificed them to the idols of Canaan.

The land was polluted with blood.

Thus they became unclean by their acts.

They prostituted themselves in their doings.”

This section of this psalm is based on the description in Judges, chapter 2, when the Israelites worshipped Baal in their new home. Instead of destroying the people of Canaan as Yahweh had instructed, they mingled and intermarried with the local inhabitants. With that, they did what the locals were doing, worshiping the local gods of Baal as they served these local idol gods. Part of their rituals was the sacrificial offering up of sons and daughters. They sacrificed their children to the demons. In thus killing their own children the blood of the young children polluted the land. The psalmist here calls them prostitutes who became unclean by their own acts.