“Woe to you, Chorazin!”

Chorazin (also spelled Chorozain and Korazim) is one of three cities that rejected the message of Jesus, and upon which he pronounced a woe.

 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! 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. (Matthew 11:21 ESV; cf. Luke 10:13)

BDAG describes the Greek word used here as an “interjection denoting pain or displeasure, woe, alas.”

Murphy-O’Connor describes the location of Chorazin in contrast to Capernaum.

Capernaum with a view is perhaps the most succinct characterization of Chorozain. Both contain synagogues in the midst of an excavated urban area, but sited 3.5 km [2.17 miles] up the slope and 270 m [885 feet] above the Sea of Galilee Chorozain offers a wide perspective over the northern end of the lake. (The Holy Land)

Both Eusebius and Jerome are said to have referred to a desolate place near Capernaum as Chorazin. Dalman describes the area as “a desolate basalt wilderness” (Sacred Sites and Ways 154).

In the photo below you can see the location of Chorazin with a view to the southwest. Mount Arbel is visible in the distance. The Sea of Galilee is below on the left.

Chorazin (Korazim) in the basalt hills north of the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Chorazin is situated in the basalt hills north of the Sea of Galilee. This view is to the SW. Mount Arbel can be seen in the distance. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Move a little west of Chorazin and you have a wonderful view of the Sea of Galilee to the southeast. The eastern side of the Sea is clearly visible. A few reconstructed buildings at the site are visible on the hill to the left.

Chorazin and the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Chorazin and the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In a future post we will include a photo of the synagogue at Chorazin.

Our last post about Capernaum, including an aerial photo, may be seen here. Use the search box to locate other references to the site.

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