Glimpses of Israel - Chorazin

by Joseph Hunting

Dotted throughout Galilee are the remains of ancient synagogues that are silent witnesses to the tragic efforts of the Jewish communities to maintain a foothold in the land that was rightfully theirs but which, since 70 A.D., had been denied them.

One of these is the ruins of the synagogue at Chorazin. Unless you know its whereabouts it is doubtful if you would find it as the ruins are not on the well-worn tourist tracks. Indeed, as one wanders amidst the fallen pieces of masonry there is an atmosphere of utter desolation. The nearby fields are not being cultivated and there is no activity or sign of life in the vicinity apart from a shepherd idly watching over a few sheep.

Whilst we are not told of any specific visit by Jesus Christ to Chorazin, it is certain that He visited the city during His itinerant ministry in Galilee. Many of His mighty works were done in Chorazin and surrounding districts and it is almost certain that the very stones that once graced the walls of this synagogue were the scene of His miracles and resounded to His voice.

Yet for all this Chorazin was unresponsive to His Ministry and turned a deaf ear to His words: "Woe unto you Chorazin! Woe unto you Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement than for you." (Luke 10:13-14)

The tragedy is that they did not repent and the warning given to Chorazin came true. The stones of her ruins bear silent testimony to this fact.