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Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”Matthew xi. 23.
“ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute-money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute ? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon ? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute ? of their own children, or of strangers ? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them, for me and thee.”Matthew xvii. 24.
“ And they went into Capernaum ; and straightway on the sabbath-day he entered into the synagogue,
and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine ; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.”—Mark i. 21, 22. (See whole chapter.)
“ And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.”—Mark ii. 1, &c.
“ And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house, he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace; for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest . . . And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”—Mark ix. 33, &c.
“Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee ... And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judæa into Galilee, he went unto him and besought him that he would come down and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.”—John iv. 46, &c.
[Luke iv. 23, &c. vii. 1, x. 15; John ii. 12, vi. 17, 24, 59.]
BETHSAIDA OF GALILEE. CHORAZIN.
“ Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.”—Matthew xi. 21. (Luke x. 13, 14.)
“ And straightway (Jesus) constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.”_ Mark vi. 45.
“ Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.”—John i. 44. (See ch, xii. 21, Bethsaida of Galilee.)
On the western shore of the lake of Tiberias, lies a beautiful plain, at the northern extremity of which lie the ruins regarded by Robinson as occupying the site of ancient Capernaum, and at the south-east corner, the little village El-Mejdel,—the Magdala of the New Testament. “ This plain," writes Dr. Robinson, “is exceedingly fertile and well watered; the soil, on the southern part at least, is a rich black mould, which in the vicinity of Mejdel is almost a marsh. Its fertility, indeed, can hardly be exceeded; all kinds of grain and vegetables are produced in abundance, including rice in
the moister parts; while the natural productions, as at Tiberias and Jericho, are those of a more southern latitude.” This plain is at first called Ardel-Mejdel, but further on takes the name of El-Ghee- Weir, 'Little Ghor,' which strictly perhaps includes the whole. It is unquestionably that of Gennesareth, mentioned by Josephus; and of the beauty and fertility of which he speaks in such glowing language.
“Excepting the portion around Magdala, this plain is not tilled by the Fellâhs, (peasants,)butis given up entirely to the Arabs dwelling in tents ... the Ghawarinah... The
northern plain is less abundantly watered than the southern; in some parts the ground was dry and parched, and thorny shrubs were growing thickly. El-Mejdel is a miserable little Muslim village, looking much like a ruin, though exhibiting no marks of antiquity. There is little reason to doubt that it is the Magdala of the New Testament, chiefly known as the native town of Mary Magda
lene. The ancient notices respecting its position are exceedingly indefinite; yet it seems to follow, from the New Testament itself, that it lay on the west side of the lake. After the miraculous feeding of the four thousand, which appears to have taken place in the country east of the lake," Jesus 'took ship and came into the coast of Magdala ;' for which Mark writes Dalmanutha.? Here the Pharisees began to question him ; but he left them, and entering into the ship again, departed to the other side;' an expression which in the New Testament is applied almost exclusively to the country east of the lake and the Jordan. Thence he goes to the Eastern Bethsaida, where he heals a blind man; and so to Cæsarea Philippi. This view is further confirmed by those ancient Jewish writings) which speak of Magdala as adjacent to Tiberias and the hot springs. The MigdalEl of the Old Testament in the tribe of Naphtali, was probably the same place.
“ Our attention and inquiries were now directed, I may say with the most absorbing and exciting interest, to a search after some trace of the long-lost Capernaum, so celebrated in the New Testament, as our Lord's residence and the scene of several of his miracles; a city in that day 'exalted unto heaven, but now thrust down so low that its very name and place are utterly forgotten. We had, indeed, begun our inquiries among the people of Nazareth, and pursued them systematically ever since; but as yet with no success. We now, however, were approaching the spot where the city must have stood; for there was every reason to suppose
1 According to Mark vii. 31, Jesus went from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon into the Decapolis ; in which connexion the miracle is immediately related. Mark viii. 1—9. But all the cities of the Decapolis except Scythopolis (Bethshan), lay on the east of the lake and the Jordan
Matthew xv. 39. Mark viii. 10. Of Dalmanutha we have no further trace. 3 Mark viii. 22, 27. Matt. xvi. 13.
4 Joshua xix. 38.
that it lay in or near the plain of Gennesareth ; or at least must have been situated not very far beyond ...
“ We reached Khân Minyeh, not far from the shore, at the northern extremity of the plain . . . The Khân is now in ruins; it was once a large and well-built structure . . . Between it and the shore, a large fountain gushes out from beneath the rocks, and forms a brook flowing into the lake a few rods distant. Over this source stands a very large fig-tree, from which the fountain takes its name, 'Ain El-Tîn.
Near by are several other springs . . . Along the lake is a tract of luxuriant herbage, occasioned by the springs; and on the shore are high reeds. Large flocks and herds were at pasture in this part of the plain. A few rods south of the Khân and fountain is a low mound 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. We could not learn that the spot has any other name than that of Khân Minyeh. Close on the north of the Khân and fountain, rocky hills of considerable elevation come down again quite to the lake.
“ Khân Minyeh, or rather the mound with ruins, is one of the various places which, in the absence of all certainty, have been regarded as the site of the ancient Capernaum . . . After long inquiry and investigation, my own mind inclines also to the opinion, that we are here to seek for the probable position of the ancient Capernaum . . . Often as Capernaum is mentioned in the New Testament, as the residence of our Lord, and the scene of his teaching and miracles, there yet occurs no specification of its local situation ; except the notice that it lay upon the sea-coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Nephthalim.' (This only implies) that it lay on the sea within the territory of those adjacent tribes ; which we know extended along the western coast of the lake of Tiberias. Some other incidental notices in the