Hebrew transcription(s)
 - Hebrew כורזים
Ancient synagogue
Chorazin is located in Israel
Coordinates: 32°54′41″N 35°33′50″E / 32.91139°N 35.56389°E / 32.91139; 35.56389Coordinates: 32°54′41″N 35°33′50″E / 32.91139°N 35.56389°E / 32.91139; 35.56389

Chorazin (pronounced /koʊˈreɪzɪn/; Korazim Karraza, Kh. Karazeh, Chorizim, Kerazeh, Korazin) was a village in northern Galilee, two and a half miles from Capernaum on a hill above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.


Biblical references

Chorazin, along with Bethsaida and Capernaum, was named in the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Luke as "cities" (more likely just villages) in which Jesus performed "mighty works". However, because these towns rejected his work ("they had not changed their ways" -Matt11:20SV), they were subsequently cursed (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-15). Biblical scholars who accept the two-source hypothesis state that this story originally came from the Q document. Despite this textual evidence, archaeologists have not yet been successful in finding a settlement dating to the 1st century. Due to the condemnation of Jesus, some early Medieval writers believed that the Antichrist would be born in Chorazin.

The Babylonian Talmud (Menahot, 85a) mentions that Chorazin was a town known for its grain. In the 16th century, Jewish fishermen used to reside here.


Olive oil press

Korazim is now the site of a National Archaeological Park. Extensive excavations and a survey were carried out at in 1962-1964. Excavations at the site were resumed in 1980-1987.

The site is an excavated ruin today, but was inhabited starting in the 1st century. It is associated with modern day Kerazeh.

The majority of the structures are made from black basalt, a volcanic rock found locally. The main settlement dates to the 3rd and 4th centuries. A mikvah, or ritual bath, was also found at the site. The handful of olive millstones used in olive oil extraction found suggest a reliance on the olive for economic purposes, like a number of other villages in ancient Galilee.

The town's ruins are spread over an area of 25 acres (100,000 m2), subdivided into five separate quarters, with a synagogue in the centre. The large, impressive Synagogue which was built with black basalt stones and decorated with Jewish motifs is the most striking survival. Close by is a ritual bath, surrounded by public and residential buildings.



The synagogue was built in the late 3rd century, destroyed in the 4th century, and rebuilt in the 6th century.[1]

An unusual feature in an ancient synagogue is the presence of three-dimensional sculpture, a pair of stone lions. A similar pair of three-dimensional lions was found in the synagogue at Kfar Bar'am.[2] Other carvings, which are thought to have originally been brightly painted, feature images of wine-making, animals, a Medusa, an armed soldier, and an eagle.[3]

Other Synagogue

J. Ory, who excavated the site in 1926, told that a second synagogye was found ca. 200 m west of the first one, and he described it very accurately. But such a building was never found by later excavations.[4]


  • Z. Yeivin, The Synagogue at Korazim; The 1962 - 1964, 1980 - 1987 Excavations, Israel Antiquities Authority Reports, Israel Antiquities Authority, 2000.
  • New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land vols. 1-5. Ed. E. Stern; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Carta (1993-2008).


  1. ^ Avraham Negev; Shimon Gibson (July 2005). Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 118. ISBN 9780826485717. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Steven Fine (2005). Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world: toward a new Jewish archaeology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521844918. Retrieved 15 May 2011.  p.190
  3. ^ Steven Fine (2005). Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world: toward a new Jewish archaeology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521844918. Retrieved 15 May 2011.  p.92
  4. ^ Anders Runesson; Donald D. Binder; Birger Olsson (2008). The Ancient Synagogue from its Origins to 200 C.E.. Brill. p. 32. ISBN 18716636. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • CHORAZIN — (Khorazin), town in Galilee where Jesus preached but was disappointed by the response of its inhabitants (Matt. 11:20–24; Luke 10:12–16). Wheat was produced at Chorazin according to the Talmud (Men. 85a). The town was reported to be in ruins in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Chorazīn — (a. Geogr.), Ort in Galiläa, wo Christus oft sich aufhielt u. mehrere Wunderthaten verrichtete …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chorāzin — Chorāzin, Ort in Galiläa, wo Christus mehrere Wundertaten verrichtete, ohne Glauben zu finden, unweit Kapernaum. Heute Ruinen Kerâze …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • CHORAZIN — Galilaeae oppid. nunc desertum in secundo lapide a Capharnaeo Matth. c. 11. v. 21. et Luc. c. 10. v. 13. Hieronym …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Chorazin —    Named along with Bethsaida and Capernaum as one of the cities in which our Lord s mighty works were done, and which was doomed to woe because of signal privileges neglected (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13). It has been identified by general consent… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Chorazin — Chorazịn   [ç ], im Neuen Testament erwähnter Ort nördlich von Kapernaum, Palästina; bei Ausgrabungen der Stadt fanden sich v. a. Reste der aus Basalt errichteten spätantiken Synagoge (3./4. Jahrhundert?). Sie war außen mit Pilastern geschmückt… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chorazin — A town on the Sea of Galilee, north of Capernaum, rebuked by Jesus for its lack of response (Matt. 11:21), but otherwise not mentioned in the gospels …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • PILLAR — (Heb. עַמּוּד; from the root ʿmd, to stand ), a column that stands perpendicular to the ground and generally serves to support the beams of a roof. In this article no distinction will be made between pillar, column, and post. The pillar is used… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • SYNAGOGUE — This article is arranged according to the following outline. origins and history until the first century first century c.e. middle ages modern period …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ARCHAEOLOGY — The term archaeology is derived from the Greek words archaios ( ancient ) and logos ( knowledge, discourse ) and was already used in ancient Greek literature in reference to the study of ancient times. In its modern sense it has come to mean the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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