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XXIX.

Jesus' Temporary Residence at Capernaum.

A Matt. IV. 13–16.

a 13 And leaving Nazareth [This expression means that Jesus now ceased to make Nazareth his home. For description of Nazareth, see page 60], he came and dwelt in Capernaum [See page 119. Capernaum means city of Nahum, or village of consolation. Its modern name, “Tel-Hum,” means hill of Nahum. The word “dwelt” means that Jesus made this town his headquarters. He owned no house there (Matt. viii. 20). He may have dwelt with some of his disciples—for instance, Simon Peter—Matt. viii. 14–16], which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali [Capernaum was in Naphtali, and the border of the tribe of Zebulun was three or four miles south of it. This part of the country was densely populated, and had in it many choice spirits such as Jesus chose for his apostles]: 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet [ Isa. viii. 21, 22; ix. 1, 2], saying, 15 The land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. [This land or region was the first to suffer in the beginning of those wars which finally resulted in the captivity of the ten tribes. The people of this district were smitten by Benhadad (I. Kings xv. 20), and afterwards by Tiglath-pileser (II. Kings xv. 29; I. Chron. v. 26), some time before the general captivity of the ten tribes (II. Kings xvii. 6). It is called Galilee of the Gentiles, because it was, according to Strabo and others, inhabited by Egyptians, Arabians, and Phoenicians, as well as by Hebrews.] 16 The people that 161sat in darkness saw great light, And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, To them did light spring up. [Those who by reason of their ignorance and depravity suffered the torments of war, and sat as it were under the shadow of the wing of death, were designated by prophecies as the class among whom the light of the gospel would spring up in the fullness and richness of its blessing. Jesus, the “Light of the world,” fulfilled this prophecy, and apart from him there can be no pretense of its fulfillment. Galilee had its prophets, but the enemies of Jesus themselves bear witness that none of them were great enough “lights” to fulfill this prophecy—John vii. 52.]

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