The Baptist's Imprisonment

Hearing whilst in Jerusalem of the imprisonment of Matt. iv. 12.

John the Baptist, the Lord leaves Judea and goes into MARKi. 14, 15.

Galilee to begin His ministry there. In His progress He Luke iv. 14,15.

comes to Nazareth and teaches in it3 synagogue. His Luke iv. 16-32. words enraging the people, and His life being in danger,

He leaves, Nazareth, and going to Capernaum there takes Matt, iv.12-17. up his abode.

An important and difficult point here meets us: When was John imprisoned ?

We first inquire what data we have bearing upon it, other than the statements of the Evangelists. In Josephus1 we find mention made of the imprisonment of John by Herod the Tetrarch, at the castle of Machaarus, where he was subsequently put to death. This imprisonment and death of the Baptist Josephus connects with the defeat of Herod in battle by Aretas, king of Arabia; the defeat being regarded by many of the Jews as a just punishment sent by God upon Herod for this act of injustice and cruelty. He does not mention that John reproved Herod for his marriage of Herodias, and seems to place the arrest solely on political grounds.

i Antiq., 18. 5.1.

It appears, from these statements of Josephus respecting the origin and history of the war, that the death of John was before tlie defeat of Herod by Aretas, and that this defeat was before the death of Tiberius. This emperor died in March, 790. It was also probably before the death of Philip the Tetrarch.1 Thus we reach only the indefinite result, that John was beheaded before, or in 787. And we have no data in Josephus to come to any more exact conclusion. Some have sought to obtain a more definite result by determining the time when Herod made that journey to Rome in which he met Herodias, but without success.

If, then, only the general conclusion can be drawn from the statements of Josephus, that John was put to death before 787, let us turn to the Evangelists, We learn from John, (hi. 23, 24,) that while Jesus was baptizing in Judea, John was baptizing at iEnon. This was during the summer of 780. Jesus discontinued His baptismal work, probably in December of that year, and retired into Galilee. We have already seen that John continued to prosecute his work later. In John (iv. 1) there is no assertion that the Baptist's work had ended, but rather a plain intimation that it was still in progress, for there is a comparison between them, and the result is that Jesus is baptizing more than John.2 We may then conclude that John was still at liberty, and engaged in his work about the beginning of December, 780.

The grounds upon which the many harmonists and commentators, who make the cessation of the Lord's baptismal work contemporaneous with John's imprisonment, reach this conclusion, are various and by no means concordant. But most agree that the Lord was afraid of a like imprisonment. Thus Lightfoot, on John iv. 4, says: " Herod had imprisoned John Baptist under pretence of his growing too popular.

1 See Greswell, iii, 414. 2 Wioseler, 224.

Our Saviour, understanding this,and that the Sanhedrim had heard of the increase of His disciples, withdrew too from Judea into Galilee, that He might be more remote from that kind of thunderbolt St. John had been struck with." But the arrest of John was not because of his baptism, but because of his reproof of Herod, and there is no reason to believe that the Pharisees had any thing to do with it. That Jesus did not fear any arrest from Herod, is apparent from the fact that He now leaves a province under Roman rule to go into one ruled over by Herod himself, and moreover, takes up His abode in the near vicinity of his capital. Nor, as has been already shown, was He in any bodily danger from the Pharisees. So long as Jesus simply permitted his disciples to baptize He was guilty of no crime, although the validity and value of His baptism might be denied.

Ores well, (ii. 212,) who admits that the words of the Evangelist imply, that when Jesus set out on His return to Galilee, John was not yet cast into prison, (John iv. 1,) supposes that before He reached there he was imprisoned. This, however, contradicts the Synoptists, who say that Jesus was in Judea when He heard of John's imprisonment, and that this was the cause of his departure into Galilee, (Matt. iv. 12.)

If we compare the account of what followed the return of Jesus to Galilee, as given by John (iv. 43-54) with that given by the Synoptists, we find full proof that they refer to different periods. According to the former, Jesus went to Galilee, not to begin public labors, but to find retirement. The prophet, as a rule, having no honor in his own country, He might well hope to pass the time there in seclusion, without attracting public attention, till the issue of John's ministry was determined. He did not indeed find the privacy which He sought, because the Galileans had been eye-witnesses of what He had done at Jerusalem, and were favorably inclined toward Him. Very soon after His return the nobleman from Capernaum sought His aid; hut aside from this, there is no indication that He performed any miracles or engaged in any teaching. No disciples are spoken of as with Him, nor any crowds of people. Nor when He goes up to the feast (v. 1) does He appear to have been attended by any disciples. On the other hand, according to the Synoptists, (Matt. iv. 12-25; Mark, i. 14-21; Luke, iv. 14, 15), so soon as He heard of John's imprisonment He began His labors in Galilee, very early gathering again His disciples, and working miracles, and teaching in all the synagogues. His fame spread immediately through the whole region, and wherever He went crowds followed Him.

The manner in which John relates what the Lord did in Galilee up to the time of the feast, (v. 1,) shows that he regarded Judea as the proper field of His labors during this period, and His works in Galilee as only exceptional. Only two miracles were wrought in Galilee during this period, and both at Cana, (John ii. 1 ; iv. 46.) Of the first, the Evangelist says : " This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory." Of the second : " This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judea into Galilee." Both these miracles were wrought under peculiar circumstances, and for special ends, not in the ordinary course of His ministry. Those wrought by Him in Jerusalem at the first Passover (John ii. 23, compare iii. 2) are merely alluded to, although they seem to have been of a striking character ; but these are specified as wrought by Jesus coming out of Judea, the proper place of His ministry, into Galilee where His minis* try had not yet begun, John being not yet imprisoned.1

We thus find confirmatory evidence that the Baptist was not imprisoned till after December, 780. But on the other hand, this imprisonment was before the feast, (John, v. 1.)

1 See Wieseler, 271, note 2.

The proof of this we find in the words of the Lord spoken at this feast, (v. 35,) referring to John, " He was a burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light." Here John's work is spoken of as something past. " He was," and " ye were willing for a season." Alford remarks, " This ' was,' r\v, shows, as Stier rightly observes, that John was now cast into prison, if not executed." Tholuck says, "' He was,' implies that John had already left the stage." But the feast at which these words were spoken, we have already identified as the Passover of 781. Some time, then, between December, 780, and April, 781, the Baptist was imprisoned.

But we may fix the time still more definitely. When Jesus heard of John's imprisonment He was in Judea, and there is no reason to suppose that, after He gave up baptizing and retired into Galilee, He came again into Judea' till the feast, (v. 1.) It was at this time (April, 781) that He heard at Jerusalem of John's imprisonment, to which, as we just saw, He alluded in His address to the Jews. We may then place this event a little before this feast, say in March, 781.

St. John, who has been our sole informant in all relating to the work of the Lord in Judea, narrates nothing that occurred between the feast (v. 1) and the feeding of the 5,000, (vi. 1,) an interval of a year. We must therefore turn to the Synoptists, whose narrative commences at this point.

By Matthew (iv. 12) it is said that Jesus, "when He heard that John was cast into prison, departed into Galilee, and leaving Nazareth came and dwelt in Capernaum." This implies that on leaving Judea He went first to Nazareth and afterward to Capernaum. Mark (i. 14) s]3eaks only in general terms of His coming into Galilee. Luke (iv. 14, 15) gives a brief outline of His ministry there, that He taught in their synagogues, that His fame spread abroad, and that He was glorified of all. It is not wholly clear whether this Evangelist here gives by anticipation a summary of His work and its results, or means to state that Jesus began preaching in the synagogues of Galilee previous to His arrival at IsTazareth, and was everywhere favorably received. The latter is in itself not improbable, but the former is most in keeping with the narrative. Some have supposed that He went to Nazareth by way of Capernaum, and that in the latter city He wrought some miracles which are not directly mentioned, but to which He is thought to allude when He speaks at Nazareth of works which He had done at Capernaum, (Luke iv. 23.) *

But it is not impossible, as said by Ebrard, that He refers to the earlier healing of the nobleman's son, who was sick at Capernaum, though Jesus Himself was at Cana. This is confirmed by the manner in which the teaching of the Lord in the synagogue at Capernaum and His miracles are spoken of, (Mark i. 21-34 ; Luke iv. 31-42,) as if He then for the first time began His labors there.

As Matthew (xiii. 53-58) and Mark (vi. 1-6) both speak of a visit of Jesus to Nazareth, but apparently at a later period, it is a question whether this visit can be identified with that mentioned by Luke, (iv. 16-30,) or whether they are to be regarded as distinct.2 There are several points of likeness, but not more than would naturally exist in two visits made under such peculiar circumstances. In both His words excite the astonishment, not unmixed with envy, of His fellow-townsmen; and recalling to mind His origin, and His education amongst themselves, and His family, whose members they knew, they are offended at His prophetic claims.

1 Krafft, Alford, Riggenbach.

2 Opinions of recent inquirers are about equally divided. In favor of their identity are Lange, Alford, Bucher, Friedlieb, Lichtenstein; against it, Meyer, Stier, Robinson, Tischendorf, Wieseler, Krafft, Townsend, Ellicott.

In both He repeats the proverb, so strikingly applicable, that " a prophet is not without honor save in his own country;" but with this difference, that at the second visit He adds, with apparent reference to His brothers and sisters, "and among his own kin and in his own house." On the other hand, the points of difference are more numerous, and more plainly marked. In the former visit He is alone ; in the latter He is accompanied by His disciples, (Mark vi. 1.) In the former He is attacked by the enraged populace, and escapes through supernatural aid the threatened death ; in the latter, though He marvelled at their unbelief, He continues there for a time, and heals a few sick folk. In the former, " passing through the midst of them He went His way, and came to Capernaum, a city of Galilee;" in the latter He "went round about the villages teaching." The mention of the healing of the sick by Mark clearly shows the visits to have been distinct, for it could not have taken place before His first teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and immediately afterward He was obliged to flee from their rage.

The wrath of the people, so unprovoked, and their effort to kill Him, seem sufficiently to justify the opinion of ISTathanael in regard to Nazareth. From this incident it is plain that they were fierce and cruel, and ready from mere envy to imbrue their hands in the blood of one who had lived among them, a neighbor and friend, all His life. It is not improbable, however, that they may long have been conscious that, though dwelling among them, He was not of them, and thus a secret feeling of dislike and ill-will have been slumbering in their hearts. This is the only instance recorded of the Lord's reading in a synagogue, and He may have been asked so to do as having been for so many years a member of the congregation, or because of the reputation He had already acquired. Elsewhere He preached in the synagogues, permission being everywhere given Him, apparently in virtue of His prophetic claims. (Compare Acts xiii. 15.)

The city of Nazareth, being built upon the side of a steep hill, presents several precipices down which a person might be cast. That which has for many years been pointed out as the place where the attempt was made on the Lord's life, and called the Mount of Precipitation, lies some two miles from the village. It is a conspicuous object from the plain of Esdraelon, which it overlooks. Its distance from the village is a sufficient proof that it cannot have been the real scene of the event. The cliff which travellers have generally fixed upon as best answering to the narrative lies just back of the Maronite church, and is some thirty or forty feet in height.1

A chronological datum has been found by Bengel in the fact that the passage of Isaiah read by the Lord (Luke iv. 18, 19) was that appointed to be read on the morning of the great day of Atonement.2 But it is by no means certain that such was the order at this time ; nor does it appear whether Jesus read the passage appointed for the day, or that to which He opened intentionally or under divine direction. Some of the fathers, from v. 19, wrhere mention is made of " the acceptable year of the Lord," inferred that His ministry continued but a single year. That no definite period of time is meant sufficiently appears, however, from the context, (Is. Ixi. 2.)

Thus rejected at Nazareth, Jesus departs to Capernaum. We know not whether private and personal reasons had any influence, in the selection of this city as the central point of His labors in Galilee.

1 Robinson, ii. 235; Ritter, Theil xvi. 744. Van De Velde, Journey, ii. 385, thinks that this cannot be the place, and supposes that the precipice where the Saviour's life was threatened, has crumbled away from the effect of earthquakes and other causes.

2 See also McKnight, Har. in loco.

Some, as Lightfoot and Ewald, have supposed that Joseph had possessions there, and that the family, the Lord's mother and brethren, were now residing there, (John ii. 12.) More probably, in the selection of Capernaum He was determined chiefly by its local position and relations. Lying upon the sea of Galilee and the great roads from Egypt to Syria running through it, and in the direct line from Jerusalem to Damascus,1 it gave Him such facilities of intercourse with men as He could not have had in secluded Nazareth. Not only could He readily visit all parts of Galilee, but by means of the lake He had ready access also to the region upon the other side, and to the towns both north and south in the valley of the Jordan. From it he could easily make circuits into Galilee on the west, into Trachonitis on the north, and into Decapolis and Perea on the east and south. Besides this local fitness for His work, it was also the residence of Simon and Andrew, and but a little way from Bethsaida, the city of Philip.

It does not appear from the Gospels whether the Lord had a house of His own at Capernaum, or dwelt with some relative or disciple. His own words, (Matt. viii. 20,) " the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head," seem decisive that He did not own any dwelling, but was dependent upon others even for a place where to sleep. He is spoken of as entering the house of Peter, (Matt. viii. 14,) and the form of expression, (Mark ii. 1,) " it was noised abroad that He had come home," (compare iii. 19,) implies that He had a fixed place of abode. Norton, in common with many, supposes that He resided in the house of Peter; Alexander (on Mark i. 29) suggests that Peter may "have opened a house for the convenience of his Lord and master in the intervals of His itinerant labors." If, however, His mother was now living at Capernaum, which is by no means certain, He would naturally take up His abode with her. " The change of abode," says Alford, c< seems to have included the whole family, except the sisters, who may have been married at Nazareth." Greswell asserts that the incident respecting the tribute money (Matt. xvii. 24) proves indisputably that He was a legal inhabitant of Capernaum.

i Robinson, ii. 405; Hitter, Theil xv. 271.

1 See Stanley, 361; Robinson, ii. 416; Porter, ii. 413.

The sea of Galilee is formed by the waters of the Jordan, which enter at the northern, and flow out at the southern extremity. Its shape is that of an irregular oval, somewhat broadest at the upper part, and is about fourteen miles in length, and six or seven in width. The water is clear and sweet, and used for drinking by the inhabitants along its shores, many of whom ascribe to it medicinal qualities. It is 650 feet lower than the Mediterranean, and probably may fill the crater of an extinct volcano. The west shores of the lake are more precipitous than those of the east. Being surrounded with hills, those on the east nearly 2,000 feet high, which are seamed with deep ravines down which the winds sweep with great violence, it is very much exposed to sudden and furious storms.1

Nearly midway on the western side of the lake is " the land of Gennesaret," (Matt. xiv. 34; Mark vi. 53.) It is made by a recession of the hills from the shore, and forms a segment of a circle, being about four miles long and three broad. It begins on the south, just above the village of Mejdel, or Magdala, and extends northward to the point where the promontory of Khan Minyeh stretches down to the water. It is well watered, though better in the southern than in the northern part, several fountains arising in it, large and copious, and several streams from the hills westward pouring their waters through it to the lake in the rainy season.2

1 See Stanley, 361; Robinson, ii. 416; Porter, ii. 413.

2 See Josephus, War, 3.10. 8 j and Robinson, ii. 402.

In or near the land of Gennesaret was the city of Capernaum. The interest which all feel in a place which was so long the Lord's residence, and the central point of His labors, leads us to inquire with some minuteness respecting its site. This has long been the subject of dispute. Neither the statements of the Evangelists, nor of Josephus, nor of the fathers, are so definite that we can determine the exact spot; and modern travellers who have carefully examined all probable sites along the lake, are by no means agreed in their conclusions. All, therefore, that we can now do is to give a summary of the question as it stands in the light of the most recent investigation. As Bethsaida and Chorazin were adjacent cities, joined with Capernaum in the same high privileges and falling under the same condemnation, (Matt. xi. 20; Luke x. 13,) and their sites are also subjects of dispute, we shall embrace them in this geographical inquiry.

It is known from the Gospels, (Matt. iv. 13, ix. 1, xiii. 1; Mark ii. 13 ; John vi. 17,) that Capernaum was seated upon the sea-shore, and it appears from a comparison of John vi. 17 with Matt. xiv. 34, and Mark vi. 53, that it was either in or near " the land of Gennesaret." More distinct information is given us by Josephus,1 who, speaking of the plain of Gennesaret, says: " It is irrigated by a highly fertilizing spring, called Caphernaum by the people of the country. This some have thought a vein of the Nile, from its producing a fish similar to the coracin of the lake of Alexandria." If, then, Capernaum lay upon or near the plain, as all admit, the position of this spring must determine its position, for we cannot doubt that the fountain took its name from the city, and the two were near each other. But how shall we determine which of the several fountains watering that plain is the one in question ? Let us pass them all in review, and test them by the description of Josephus.

i War, 3.10. 8.

The southernmost fountain, lying near the western range of hills, and a mile and a half distant from the lake shore, is that known as the Round Fountain, from a circular inclosure of hewn stones, and is described by Robinson as " forming an oval reservoir more than fifty feet in diameter ; the water is perhaps two feet deep, beautifully limpid and sweet, bubbling up and flowing out rapidly in a large stream to water the plain below. Numerous small fish are sporting in the basin." This, however, cannot be the fountain, as no ruins are to be found around it. Robinson, who made search for them, says, " there was nothing that could indicate that any town or village had ever occupied the spot." In this opinion Thomson concurs.

On the other hand, the claims of this fountain to be the fountain of Caphernaum are strenuously defended by De Saulcy, (ii. 423,) who asserts that he found distinct traces of the ruins of the city upon the adjacent hills. His facility, however, in finding ruins is so great, that his judgment here needs corroboration.1

Aside from the absence of all indications that a city ever stood near it, the Round Fountain would answer well to the description of Josephus. A large stream of water flows from it to irrigate the plain, and numerous fish are found in its basin, though it does not appear that they are of a species different from those found in the lake. It is not clear how the particular mentioned by Josephus respecting the fountain of Caphernaum, that it produced a fish like the coracin of the lake of Alexandria, and hence was supposed to be a vein of the Nile, is to be understood. If the fish in the lake and in the fountain were the same, it is not easy to see why the fountain should have been thought a vein of the Nile. This would then imply that there was no such connection between the fountain and the lake as to allow the fish to pass and repass.

1 See Robinson, Iii. 350.

The fish in the fountain were like those in the lake of Alexandria, and unlike those in the lake of Galilee. This circumstance points to the Round Fountain, which is too far distant to allow " fish of any size to pass between it and the lake." Robinson, however, draws directly the opposite inference, that the fish in the fountain and the lake were the same, and that the former must have been on the shore, so that the fish " could pass and repass without difficulty." As the language of Josephus is thus susceptible of such opposite interpretations, no particular stress can be laid upon this circumstance.

Dismissing, then, the claim of the Round Fountain, because of the absence of any ruins in its neighborhood, we proceed to the next fountain which presents its claim. This is called Ain et Tin, and rises near Khan Minyeh, at the point where the western hills approach the lake shore at the north-eastern extremity of the plain. Robinson thus describes it, (ii. 403,) " Between the Khan and the shore a large fountain rushes out from beneath the rocks, and forms a brook flowing- into the lake a few rods distant. Near by are several other springs. Our guides said those springs were brackish, but Burckhardt describes the waters of the main source as sweet. Along the lake is a tract of luxuriant herbage occasioned by the springs." And elsewhere, " The lake, when full, as now, sets up nearly or quite to the fountain." Thompson speaks of it as " coming out close to the lake and on a level with its surface," and of its waters as not good to drink. Porter says: " From the base of the cliff, not far from the water line, springs a large fig tree, which spreads its branches over a fountain called from this circumstance Ain et Tin, 'the Fountain of the Fig.J " From these descriptions it seems plain that this cannot be the fountain spoken of by Josephus. He says, "the plain is irrigated by a highly fertilizing spring called Caphernaum." The fact that Ain et Tin lies close to the lake, and almost upon a level with it, makes it impossible that its waters could ever have been used for purposes of irrigation. " It is very improbable," says Norton, " that Josephus would have spoken in the terms which he uses of this latter fountain, the fertilizing effects of which are so confined." That the few yards or rods lying between it and the shore should be watered and fertilized, is unimportant. Nor are there any ruins of importance near this fountain, such as would naturally mark the site of a city like Capernaum. They are thus spoken of by Robinson : " A few rods south of the khan and fountain is a low mound or swell, with ruins occupying a considerable circumference. The few remains seemed to be mostly dwellings of no very remote date, but there was not enough to make out anything with certainty." Upon his second journey the ruins appeared to him more extensive (hi. 345): " The remains are strewed around in shapeless heaps, but are much more considerable and extensive than my former impressions had led me to anticipate. Indeed, there are here remains enough not only to warrant* but to require the hypothesis of a large ancient place." Thomson (i. 545) on the contrary speaks of " the few foundations near Khan Minyeh as not adequate to answer the demands of history. No one would think of them if he had not a theory to maintain which required them to represent Capernaum." Porter (ii. 430) speaks of " many vestiges of ruins between the fountain and the shore, but it requires a careful scrutiny to find them." Bonar (437) says: "The ruins to the south of the Khan on a small rising ground are inconsiderable, so much so that we should not have noticed them had not our attention been called to them. No large town surely stood here, else it wrould have left some traces of itself." These differing and somewhat conflicting statements show at least that, whatever may be the cause,

whether by the transportation of the stones to Tiberias or elsewhere, as said by Robinson, or as the more direct result of the doom spoken against it, almost all traces of the city, if it stood here, have disappeared.

If, then, neither the Round Fountain nor that of Ain et Tin, answers to the description of Josephus, and are the only fountains lying in the plain, we must seek it away from the plain, and yet so near it that its waters may irrigate its fields. Such a one Thomson thinks he finds about 15 minutes north of Khan Minyeh, and which is called EtTabiga. The grounds of his opinion will be best shown by some quotations from Robinson and Porter. In going northward along the shore from Khan Minyeh, says Robinson (iii. 345), "we struck up over the rocky and precipitous point of the hill above the fountain, toward the northeast. There is no passage along its base, which is washed by the waters of the lake. A path has been cut in ancient times along the rock, some twenty feet above the water, and we found no difficulty in passing. One feature of the excavation surprised us, namely, that for most of the way there is a channel cut in the rock, about three feet deep and as many wide, which seemed evidently to have been an aqueduct once conveying water for irrigating the northern part of the plain El-Ghuweir (Gennesaret.) There was no mistaking the nature and object of this channel; and yet no waters were near which could be thus conveyed except from the fountains of Et-Tabighah. The fountains issue from under the hill, just back of the village. We went thither, and found built up solidly around the main fountain an octagonal Roman reservoir, now in ruins. Like those at Ras-el-Ain, near Tyre, it was obviously built in order to raise the water to a certain height for an aqueduct. The head of water was sufficient to carry it to the channel around the point of the opposite hill into the plain ElGhuweir ; but whether this was done by a canal around the sides of the valley, or whether even it was clone at all, there are now no further traces from which to form a judgment. The water has a saltish taste, but is not unpalatable." We add Porter's description (ii. 429): " EtTabighah is situated in a little nook or bay close upon the shore. The first thing that attracts attention is the abundance of water ; streams, aqueducts, pools, and fountains are all around us. The large fountains burst out from the base of the hill, a few hundred yards to the north, and here, around the principal one, is an ancient octagonal reservoir, something like those at Ras-el-Ain, near Tyre, probably constructed to raise the water so that it might be carried to the plain of El-Ghuweir westward, for irrigation."

Here then at Et-Tabiga, is a fountain sufficiently copious to irrigate the plain of Gennesaret, and at no great distance. That its waters were actually used for that purpose appears from the fact that a reservoir was built to raise them to the requisite height, and that an aqueduct was cut through the rock at the north-eastern extremity of the plain to convey them there. It seems impossible to account for this reservoir and this aqueduct, except as constructed for purposes of irrigation, and Robinson speaks of the northern part of the plain lying back from the shore as " apparently fertilized by water brought by the aqueduct around the point of the northern hill."

In this point, then, Et-Tabiga answers fully to the description of Josephus, and the great abundance of water bursting out from beneath the hill would much better justify the popular fancy that it was a branch of the Nile, than the lesser fountains already mentioned.

Assuming for the present with Thomson, that at Tabiga is the fountain Caphernaum of Josephus, let us now look for the city. But in its immediate vicinity are no ruins of importance; the nearest are those of Tell Hum, lying northeasterly upon the shore. "Here," says Robinson, (ii. 246,)

" are the remains of a place of considerable extent, covering a tract of at least half a mile in length along the shore, and about half that breadth inland. They consist chiefly of the fallen walls of dwellings and other buildings, all of unhewn stone, except two ruins." Thomson (i. 540) thus describes them: "The shapeless remains are piled up in utter confusion along the shore, extend up the hill northward for at least fifty rods, and are much more extensive and striking than those of any other ancient city on this part of the Lake." Keith* says : " They form no inconsiderable field of ruins, at least a mile and a half in circumference." Robinson does not speak of any ruins as lying between Tabiga and Tell Hum, a distance of twenty or thirty minutes, but Thomson says that "traces of old buildings extend nearly all the way along the shore." As there are no indications that a large city was ever situated directly at Tabiga, those who regard this fountain as that of Capher naum must place the city itself at Tell Hum. Let us consider the arguments in favor of this site.

A principal argument is the similarity of name, the last syllable being the same in' both. Caphernaum is Kefr Nahum, "the village of Nahum," who was some wellknown person ; or " the village of consolation," vims consolationis? Thomson asserts that it is "a very common way of curtailing old names to retain only the final syllable." The substitution of Tell, meaning hill, for Kefr, village, he explains by the fact that the village became a heap of ruins or rubbish, and to such a heap the Arabs apply the term Tell. Thus Kefr Nahum was changed into Tell Nahum, and then abbreviated into Tell Hum.3

i Evidence of Prophecy, 1860, 155.

2 Herzog, Encyc., vii. 369 ; Winer, i. 210.

s Winer, i. 210; Wilson, ii, 139; Ewald Christus, 257, note.

Another argument in favor of Tell Hum is drawn from the narrative of Josephus.1 Being bruised by a fall from his horse in a skirmish near the mouth of the Jordan, he was carried to a village named Cepharnome. Here he remained during the day, but was removed by medical direction that night to Tarichea, at the south end of the lake. From this the inference may be drawn that Capernaum was the first city of importance from the entrance of the Jordan southward, as the soldiers would not have carried a wounded man further than was necessary. Hence Capernaum was Tell Hum rather than Khan Minyeh.3 This is not improbable, but as w^e know not whether special reasons may not have led Josephus to prefer Capernaum to any other city on that part of the shore, irrespective of distance, the argument is not at all decisive.3

In favor of Tell Hum Thomson also appeals to tradition: " So far as I can discover, after spending many weeks in this neighborhood, off and on, for a quarter of a century, the invariable tradition of the Arabs and the Jews fixes Capernaum at Tell Hum, and I believe correctly."

To this view two strong objections are made: First, that Tell Hum is too remote from the fountains at Tabiga. The exact distance is in dispute. Robinson took thirty-five minutes in passing from the latter to the former. Elsewhere he speaks of them as an hour apart; Porter as forty minutes, Thomson as thirty minutes. The distance must be a mile and a half or two miles. Robinson insists, in reply to Ritter, that the city and fountain, both bearing the same name, must be adjacent to each other. It is doubtless generally true, that the site of the fountain determines the site of the village, and both lie in close proximity; but the rule would not hold in case of those cities which were built along the lake, and thus amply supplied with water. Here the selection of a site would naturally be governed by other considerations.

1 Life, 72. * So Stanley, 376, note 2 ; Wilson, ii. 139.

s Ritter, Theil xv. 340; Robinson, iii. 352; Van de Velde, Memoir, 301.

We are not then to think it impossible that a considerable distance should intervene between the city and its fountains. If the latter were within the territory of the former, and their waters used by its citizens for mills or other purposes, they would naturally be called by its name. As we have seen, the quantity of water at EtTabiga is very abundant. Robinson speaks (ii. 405) of "a very copious stream bursting forth from immense fountains. The stream drives one or two mills, and double the same quantity of water runs to waste. Several other mills are in ruins." It was not then merely to supply water for drinking and general domestic uses that these fountains were valuable. Thomson regards Tabiga as " the great manufacturing suburb of Capernaum," where were clustered together the mills, potteries, and tanneries, and other operations of this sort, the traces of which are still to be seen. " I even derive this name Tabiga from this business of tanning." If Tabiga were thus a suburb of Capernaum, we should naturally expect to find remains of former habitations scattered along between them. Thomson states that " traces of old buildings extend all the way along the shore from Tabiga to Tell Hum," thus connecting them together as city and suburb. Robinson, on the other hand, speaks of 44 other fountains and a town " as lying between. In this we have Thomson's personal assurance that he is in error.1

But the second and more important objection is that Capernaum, according to the Evangelists, was situated in the land of Gennesaret, and cannot, therefore, have been at Tell Hum.9 The consideration of this point necessarily involves a consideration of the site of Bethsaida.

1 As to the statement of Arculf, Early Travels, 9, see Wilson, ii. 147; Thrupp in Journal Class, and Sac, Phil. ii. 290. a See Robinson, iii. 349 and 358.

It is said by Luke (ix. 10) that after the return of the apostles from their mission, and the announcement of the death of the Baptist, the Lord " went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida." All now agree that this was Bethsaida on the east of Jordan, or Bethsaida Julias. In this neighborhood took place, probably within a few hours, the feeding of the five thousand. After this, toward night, He sends His disciples away in a ship, " to go unto the other side before unto Bethsaida," or over against Bethsaida, (Mark vi. 45.) John says (vi. IV) that " they entered into a ship and went over the sea toward Capernaum." Bethsaida and Capernaum, therefore, lay in the same general direction. The wind being contrary, they toiled all night, and had made but 25 or 30 furlongs, when in the early morning Jesus came to them walking upon the sea, and "immediately the ship was at the land whither they went," (John vi. 21.) This was the land of Gennesaret, (Matt. xiv. 34; Mark vi. 53.) From this it has been inferred that Bethsaida and Capernaum were near each other on the shore of the lake, and both in, or near the land of Gennesaret.

Before examining these accounts of the Evangelists, let us sum up all that we know from other sources respecting Bethsaida. In Josephus1 we find mention made of a village of this name. " Philip the Tetrarch also advanced the village Bethsaida, situate at the lake of Gennesaret, unto the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained, and its other grandeur, and called it by the name of Julias, the same name with Caesar's daughter." Elsewhere he states that it was " in the lower Gaulonitis,"2 and in describing the course of the Jordan, he says3 that it " divided the marshes and fens of the lake Semechonitis; when it hath run an-other hundred and twenty furlongs, it first passes by the city Julias, and then passes through the middle # of the Lake Gennesaret."

Antiq., 18-..2.1. 2 War, 2. 9.1. a "War, 3. 10. 7.

Thus Josephus places Bethsaida at or near the entrance of the Jordan into the Sea of Galilee. It is placed, also, by Pliny, upon the east side of the Jordan, and by St. Jerome upon the shore of Gennesaret.1 No other Bethsaida than this seems to have been known, down to the time of Reland,—at least no other is mentioned.8 Reland, (653,) pressed by the difficulty of harmonizing the Evangelists, conjectured that there were two Bethsaidas, one on the east of Jordan, in Gaulonitis, and one on the west side of the lake, in Galilee, (John xii. 21.) And this conjecture has been almost universally received as the true solution. But he himself was aware of the improbability that two towns of the same name should lie upon the same lake only a few miles apart, and adopted this solution only because he had no other to give. Atque ita, quamvis non sim proclivis ad statuendas duaspluresve urbes ejusdem nominis, {quod plerumque ad salvendam aliquam difficultatem ultimum est refugium^) hie tamenputo id necessario fieri oportere. He does not, however, allow that there is any mention in the Gospels of the Bethsaida east of Jordan. Christus de Bethsaida loquens nonpotuit nisi de sola Galilaica intelligi.

The grounds upon which is based the view of two Bethsaidas were: 1st. That the Bethsaida of Josephus was in Gaulonitis, whereas John (xii. 21) speaks of a "Bethsaida of Galilee." 2d. That from the statements, (Mark vi. 45 ; John vi. 24-25,) Bethsaida must have been on the west shore of the sea, since, being on the east side, they entered a boat to cross to the other side.3 We are, therefore, led back to an examination of the accounts of the feeding of the 5,000, and the subsequent crossing of the lake.

i See Hitter, Theil xv. 280.

2 Raumer, 109, note; Robinson, ii. 413, note 6.

3 Raumer, 109, note 20.

It is generally agreed that the place in which the 5,000 were fed, was on the east side of the lake in the territory of Bethsaida, (Luke ix. 10.) Thomson (ii. 29) thinks he finds the exact spot at the point where the hills on the east side of the plain ButaiKa come to the edge of the lake. "No other spot than this answers to all the conditions of the narrative. From this point the mouth of the Jordan lies three or four miles north-west, and Tell Hum, nearly directly west across the lake; the land of Gennesaret lying to the south of Tell Hum. The narratives, then, may be thus explained. According to Mark, (vi. 45,) the Lord " constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while He sent away the people." They should go before Him unto Bethsaida, and He would follow after He had sent away the people.1 Here Bethsaida appears as the point of destination. John says (vi. 17) that " the disciples entered a ship and went over the sea toward Capernaum." Here Capernaum appears as the point of destination. Let us suppose that Bethsaida was, as stated by Josephus, at the mouth of the Jordan, and that Capernaum was at Tell Hum, and, as the Lord's own residence, the point at which they aimed. The relative positions of the two places are such, that to reach Capernaum from the point where the Lord then was, a boat would naturally go in a north-westerly direction, and so pass near Bethsaida.

If the disciples, according to His request, left the Lord alone at night upon the eastern side, and returned to Capernaum in the only boat they had, how could He follow them ? They were naturally, therefore, unwilling to leave Him in that desert place ; but He " constrained " them to go. They directed their course toward Bethsaida, both as on their way, for they would naturally row along the northern shore,2 and as also hoping that after He he had sent the multitude away, He would rejoin them there.3

1 Alexander in loco. 2 Robinson, iii. 354:.

3 See Wieseler, 274, note 1. Newcome, 263, who quotes Lamy to the same effect.

But the wind being contrary, or blowing from the north-east, they were driven southward, away from the northern shore, and could not make Bethsaida, and toiled all night, and when Jesus joined them in the morning, were nearly in the middle of the lake. After He joined them, they came to the land of Gennesaret, (Matt. xiv. 34,) or " the land whither they went," (John vi. 21.) This implies that Capernaum, their point of destination, was near Gennesaret; but that they did not land immediately at that city is evident from Mark vi. 54-56. He seems to have gone thither the same day, healing the sick by the way.

If there were two Bethsaidas, upon which of them did the Lord pronounce a woe ? The only " mighty works," which are recorded to have been done by Him in any Bethsaida, are the healing of a blind man, (Mark viii. 22,) and the feeding of the five thousand, (Luke ix. 10.) That this was the Bethsaida Julias is generally admitted.1 Upon this, therefore, the woe was pronounced, and not upon the Bethsaida west of the lake.

Thomson, examining the narratives of the Evangelists, upon the very spot where he supposes the Lord to have stood when He sent away His disciples, finds no necessity of placing a Bethsaida on the west side of the lake to satisfy , their conditions. The examination made by one so familiar with their localities, and with the sea spread out before him as a map, and so well acquainted with all the points of difficulty involved in the question, may be regarded as turning the balance of probability m favor of a single Bethsaida, and that situated at the mouth of the Jordan.

But there stills remains an objection to be noted ; how can Bethsaida at the mouth of the Jordan be called Bethsaida of Galilee ?

1 Meyer, Oosterzee, Aiford.

This may readily be answered if we accept the very probable supposition of Thomson, that the town was built upon both banks of the river, and thus a part was in Gaulonitis, and a part in Galilee.1 As the river is narrow, it is almost certain that if the main part of the city was upon one bank, the other would also be inhabited. Philip the Tetrarch, in enlarging and ornamenting it, doubtless confined himself to the eastern side, or that part wrhieh lay in his own dominions, and this would thus become, if it were not at first, distinctively the city, to which the western side would stand as the suburbs. Philip, the disciple, living on the west bank, may thus have been from Bethsaida of Galilee, which the Evangelist thus designates in order to distinguish it.

There are no ruins indicating antiquity by which to determine the site of Bethsaida Julias. Robinson places it on a hill, two or three miles above the mouth of the Jordan. " The ruins cover a large portion of it, and are quite extensive, but so far as could be observed, consist entirely of unhewn volcanic stones, without any distinct trace of ancient architecture." Porter says: " Heaps of unhewn stones, and a few rude houses, used as stores by the Arabs, are all that have hitherto been seen on the spot." Neither of these travellers speak of any remains at the mouth of the river. Thomson, however, says that " the only ruins of any importance are below, along the foot of the hills bordering the vale of the Jordan, and at its debouchure on the west side." Here he mentions as still to be seen, some remains of ancient buildings. He supposes that as the city derived its name from its fisheries—house of fish—" it must have been located on the shore, and not several miles from it at the Tell, to which the name is now affixed."

1 So Rohr, Palestine, 154. " Bethsaida Julias lay on the north-east shore of the lake near the influx of the Jordan, and probably on both sides of the river." So Calmet and others.

It would be useless to dwell upon the conjectures that have been made for the purpose of harmonizing the Evangelical narratives without resorting to the supposition of two Bethsaidas, The most probable was that of Lightfoot, who made Galilee to have extended beyond the Jordan so as to embrace Bethsaida Julias. Recently, De Saulcy, on the other hand, would make Gaulonitis to have extended westward of the Joi'dan, and thus bring Bethsaida within its limits.

If we rest in the conclusion that there was but one Bethsaida, and that at the mouth of the Jordan, the quesr tion respecting the site of Capernaum is somewhat simplified. If we place the latter city at Tell Hum, the distance between them is about three miles. Robinson was an hour and five minutes from Tell Hum to the banks of the Jordan just at its entrance into the lake. There is nothing in the Gospel which makes it necessary to bring them into close proximity, and their relative positions conform to the Evangelical notices and to the statements of travellers. Willibald, proceeding northward from Tiberias, " went by the village of Magdalene to the village of Capernaum, and thence he went to Bethsaida." So Robinson, from a comparison of Mark vi. 45 and John vi. 17 infers that Bethsaida lay north of Capernaum. As Tell Hum lies about an hour north of Khan Minyeh, it better fits the narrative, (Mark vi. 33,) since it was much easier for the crowds, that followed Him on foot to the desert place on the east side, to go from the former than the latter.1 The little distance of Tell Hum from the land of Gennesaret presents no difficulty. " The position of Tell Hum seems to us to agree in every respect with the Gospel narrative, being near, not in the land of Gennesaret, and not too far from the east side of the lake to allow people to follow Jesus on foot while He was crossing the water with His disciples." 2 When, after the Lord joined them upon that memorable night, they landed upon the plain, it is obvious from the following statements that they did not land directly at Capernaum, but some distance southward, and that, going to Capernaum in the course of the day, He was there found by the people that followed Him (Mark vi. 53-55 ; John vi. 24.)

i So Wilson, ii. 145 3 Van de Velde, Memoir, 802.

We have still to inquire respecting the site of Chorazin. Two or three miles northwest from Tell Hum are some ruins called Khirbet Kerazeh. They were visited by Robinson, who describes them as " a few foundations of black stones, the remains evidently of a poor and inconsiderable village," and regards them as " too trivial ever to have belonged to a place of any importance. Chorazin too, according to Jerome, lay upon the shore of the lake, but the site is an hour distant, shut in among the hills, without any view of the lake, and remote from any public road, ancient or modern." While Robinson thus rejects Kerazeh as the site of Chorazin, Thomson is equally decided in its favor. " I have scarcely a doubt about the correctness of the identification, though Dr. Robinson rejects it almost with contempt. But the name Korazy is nearly the Arabic for Chorazin; the situation, two miles north of Tell Hum, is just where we might expect to find it; the ruins are quite adequate to answer the demands of history, and there is no rival site." With Thomson Keith agrees:l " There seems no reason for questioning that Korazy is the Chorazin of Scripture, in which it is not said to stand on the shore of the lake of Tiberias, as Capernaum and Bethsaida are. We reached it in fifty-five minutes from the chief ruin of Tell Hum, from three to four miles distant. It lies almost directly to the west of the point where the Jordan flows into the lake. It retains the name and is known by it still among the inhabitants of the country round, and, as we repeatedly enquired, especially at Safet, by no other.

i Evidence of Prophecy, 160.

Korazy, of which not a house now stands, consists of fallen walls lying in heaps of no defined form, intermixed with lines of ruined buildings, and some squares whose form is still entire, filled with ruins. A small field of tobacco amidst the ruins was the only sign of industry about it, and, though in a hilly region, a few poor tents were the only dwellings near it. The ruins were at least a mile in circumference, possibly more." That the ruins of Kerazeh do not lie directly upon the lake is not in opposition to Jerome. " Jerome in his translation of Eusebius says that Chorazin stood at the second milestone from Capernaum, that is, north of Capernaum, the milestones being reckoned from Tarichaea." *

This topographical discussion, extended as it is, by no means exhausts the subject.2 Certainty as regards these sites is at present unattainable, but as the question now stands it is most probable that Capernaum was at Tell Hum; that there was but one Bethsaida, and this at the entrance of the Jordan into the lake, and lying on both sides of the river. Chorazin may be left undetermined, being but twice spoken of in the Gospel narratives, and only in connection with its doom. As to the size and population and business of Capernaum, the Evangelists give us no definite information. It is, with Bethsaida and Chorazin, called a city, (Matt. xi. 20,) and often elsewhere. But Norton refers to Joseph us, who calls it a " village;" and to the statement, (Luke vii. 5,) " For he loveth our nation and he hath built us a synagogue," as showing that the city had but one, and that one built by a Roman centurion.

1 Norton, notes, 115. See Winer, i. 228; Van de Velde, Memoir, 804. Greswell makes Chorazin the same as Chor Ashan. 1 Sam. xxx. 30.

a The reader who desires to examine it further, will find ample materials in Robinson, Thomson, Raumer, Bitter, and others.

We have thus far left unnoticed the ground recently taken by some Biblical critics, that " the land of Gennesaret" is to be identified with the plain Ei Batihah at the mouth of the Jordan.1 The arguments by which it is supported are briefly these, that the political divisions, which assigned the Jordan as the eastern limit of Galilee, had no existence prior to the will of Herod partitioning his dominions among his sons; that there was but one Bethsaida, and that Bethsaida Julias at the mouth of the Jordan ; that the Scriptures show that Capernaum and Bethsaida were but a step apart, and therefore Capernaum was in the plain El Batihah ; and that this site best corresponds to the language of Josephus.3 Admitting that there is some force in these considerations, still they are by no means so weighty as to lead us to change the position of the land of Gennesaret from the west to the north of the lake. That there was but one Bethsaida has been already shown.8

1 For an account of this plain, see Robinson, ii. 409.

2 See article by Tregelles, in Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, vol. iii. p. 145. See also article, vol. ii. p. 290, by Thrupp, who regards Gennesaret as El Batihah, but identifies Capernaum with Tell Hum, and finds no trace or tradition of a Bethsaida on the western side of the lake.

s See Ewald, Jahrbuch, 1856, p. 144, who also places Gennesaret on the north of the sea.