And leaving Nazareth
Where he was educated, and had lived many years together; and where he preached first to the good liking of the people, who
wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth:
though afterwards they were so much displeased with him, that they thrust him out of their city; and intended to have destroyed him, by casting him down headlong from the brow of an hill; and which seems to be the reason of his leaving this city; see ( Luke 4:16-31 )
he came and dwelt in Capernaum
a city of Galilee. ( Luke 4:31 )
which is upon the sea-coast
by the sea of Tiberias, or Genesareth
in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
it bordered on both these tribes; it signifies "the village of consolation" F20; and so it was, whilst the consolation of Israel dwelt there. The Jews speak very evilly of it: no doubt because it was the dwelling place of Christ; and because there might be some in it who believed in him: they represent the inhabitants of it as very great sinners, heretics, and dealers in magic art. Chanina, the brother's son of R. Joshua, they say F21, went to Capernaum, and the heretics did something to him; according to the gloss, they bewitched him: and elsewhere F23 explaining the words in ( Ecclesiastes 7:26 )
Who so pleaseth God
; this, they say, is Chananiah, the brother's son of R. Joshua; and "the sinner"; these are the "children", or inhabitants of Capernaum. Thus they show their spite against the very place in which Christ dwelt.
F20 Vid. Benjamin Tudelens. Itinerar. p. 37. & L'Empereur, not. in ib. & Hieron. in Mar. i. 21. & Origen. Comment. in Matt. p. 317. vol. 1. Ed. Huet.
F21 Midrash Koheleth. fol. 63. 1.
F23 Ib. fol. 77. 1.