Jericho (Lk 19:1-19:1)

“Jesus entered Jericho.

He was passing through.”

 

Καὶ εἰσελθὼν διήρχετο τὴν Ἱερειχώ

 

Luke uniquely said that Jesus entered Jericho (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν…τὴν Ἱερειχώ), but that he was only passing through (διήρχετο), not staying there.  Jericho was an important customs center on a main trading route, about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem.  Just as Luke had Jesus cure the blind man while on his way into Jericho, now Luke had Jesus enter Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.  What do you know about walls of Jericho?

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 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.

Against Damascus (Am 1:3-1:5)

“Thus Says Yahweh.

For three transgressions

Of Damascus,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

They have threshed Gilead

With threshing sledges

Of iron.

So,

I will send a fire

On the house of Hazael.

It shall devour

The strongholds of Ben-hadad.

I will break the gate bars

Of Damascus.

I will cut off

The inhabitants

From the Valley of Aven.

I will cut of

The one who holds

The scepter from Beth-eden.

The people of Syria

Shall go into exile

To Kir.’

Says Yahweh.”

In typical prophetic language, Amos said that that Yahweh had spoken to him about Damascus, one of the neighbors of the northern kingdom of Israel, the Syrian capital city, about 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, fairly close to the older northeastern territory of Manasseh. Damascus was under Aramean rule from 950-732 BCE, so that it is often referred to in the Bible as Aram instead of Syria. However, the Assyrian people conquered them in 732 BCE. The idea of numbering iniquities could be found later in the numerical Proverbs, chapter 30, talking about 3 and 4 things. The fact that Amos ranted against the neighbors of Israel was like Isaiah in chapter 17. These people of the north had defeated Gilead in 2 Kings, chapter 10. Hazel and Ben-hadad III were rulers in Damascus. The Valley of Aven or On was near Lebanon. They would be exiled to Kir, the place of their origins.

The island of Rhodes (Ezek 27:15-27:15)

“The men of Rhodes

Traded with you.

Many coastlands

Were your own

Special markets.

They brought you

In payment

Ivory tusks

With ebony.”

Ezekiel continued with his tour of the trading partners of Tyre.  Rhodes was another Mediterranean island northeast of Crete. They traded with Tyre. Many of the coastland towns were specialty markets for Tyre. Some even traded ivory and ebony with Tyre.

Oracle about Damascus (Isa 17:1-17:1)

“An oracle

Concerning Damascus.”

Damascus was the Syrian capital city about 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, fairly close to the older northeastern territory of Manasseh. Damascus still exists today as the capital of Syria. It was under Aramean rule from 950-732 BCE so that is often referred to in the Bible as Aram instead of Syria. However, the Assyrian people conquered them in 732 BCE. Damascus was an important city with over 100,000 people during the biblical times, about half the size of Babylon. Thus it is often mentioned in the Bible as the northern neighbor of Israel.