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Chorazin: Jesus Christ Put a Curse on This Place

Nikola Petrovski
Part of Chorazin’s ruins. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0
Part of Chorazin’s ruins. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0

When it comes to myths and legends and the bible a small number of towns are proud to offer up both. On a list of such places, one can easily locate the village (or, as some sources refer to it, the town) of Chorazin.

As the legend goes, the Messiah, Jesus Christ himself put a curse on this place — in which case it comes as no surprise that the site today is abandoned. If it wasn’t for the Bible, Chorazin would probably have been completely forgotten.

An old photo of Chorazin. Author: Daniel Ventura – CC BY-SA 3.0

An old photo of Chorazin. Author: Daniel Ventura – CC BY-SA 3.0

Tucked away in the Korazim Plateau in the Galilee, and overlooking the biblical Sea of Galilee, Chorazin went down in legend as a village in which Jesus Christ performed some of his miracles.

Bible

Bethsaida and Capernaum, another set of biblical towns, alongside Chorazin formed the famous evangelical triangle where most of Jesus’s miracles took place.

A stone entrance. Author: Seetheholyland.net – CC BY-SA 2.0

A stone entrance. Author: Seetheholyland.net – CC BY-SA 2.0

Historical evidence and documents as to what really went on in this village are scarce, to say the least. There is the Jewish Talmud in which a reference is made to Chorazin as a place that was blessed with an early harvest of grain (at least, earlier than the rest of the villages).

Archaeological research revealed that the whole area is rich with volcanic soil that allowed the ground to heat up more quickly and thus produce more favorable conditions for the grain to grow.

Destroyed by an earthquake. Author: Liorca – CC BY-SA 4.0

Destroyed by an earthquake. Author: Liorca – CC BY-SA 4.0

From what’s left today, researchers revealed that the destruction of Chorazin was most probably caused by an earthquake that took place sometime in the fourth century AD. Further evidence suggested that the town was reborn again in the fifth century.

One of the decorated stones. Author: צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר – CC BY 2.5

One of the decorated stones. Author: צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר – CC BY 2.5

The Bible states: “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’s seat” (Matthew 23:2-4).

During the archaeological excavations that started in the nineteenth century, a synagogue was discovered. Inside of this synagogue was “The seat of Moses,” or the stone from which the Torah was once read. To some, this discovery is proof that Chorazin was indeed a biblical town.

The Stone Seat. 

The Stone Seat.

Among the rest of the finds are a public square, a ritual bathhouse, and a number of other buildings. All of the buildings were constructed using dark volcanic rock.

But despite all of the archaeological excavations, no evidence has been found that the town was formed and thriving during the first century, or the time when Jesus was believed to have been alive.

However, some archaeological evidence found just outside of Chorazin point to a first-century settlement, a find that led some to believe that this might have been the original location of Chorazin.

Part of Chorazin’s ruins. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0

Part of Chorazin’s ruins. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0

According to the scripture and Bible, Jesus performed miracles on the streets of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for the better part of three years. His power was witnessed by everyone that happened to be around at the time.

Furthermore, the scripture says that despite everything, the citizens of Chorazin didn’t change their ways. For this reason, Jesus put a curse on the town saying “Woe to you, Korazin… If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

The discovered oil-press. Author: Effib – CC BY-SA 3.0

The discovered oil-press. Author: Effib – CC BY-SA 3.0

According to some researchers, the reason behind “not changing their ways” might have been Chorazin’s paganism. Adding credence to this theory is the fact that the head of Medusa was found on one of the walls of the synagogue.

However, having mythological creatures and even zodiac symbols on the walls of Jewish temples was not rare back in those days. Other religious structures were adorned in this way.

What’s left of Chorazin today. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0

What’s left of Chorazin today. Author: Lev.Tsimbler – CC BY-SA 4.0

The once prominent town of Chorazin is nothing more than a ruin today. Only legends, myths, and Bible stories keep this town in people’s memories. For now, what really went on the streets of Chorazin is a mystery; like many others, this mystery promises to remain unsolved for a long time.

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