Matthew predicted the untimely demise of Capernaum because they ignored Jesus' many miracles in their midst:

[Mat 11:20-24 ESV] (20) Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. (21) "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (22) But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. (23) And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (24) But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."

But according to Wikipedia, despite an earthquake in 749 Capernaum stood another millenium:

Capernaum (/kəˈpɜːrniəm, -neɪəm/ kə-PUR-nee-əm, -⁠nay-əm;[1] Hebrew: כְּפַר נַחוּם‎, translit. Kfar Naḥūm, lit. 'Nahum's village'; Arabic: كفر ناحوم‎, translit. Kafr Nāḥūm) was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmoneans, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.[2] It had a population of about 1,500.[3] Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other.[citation needed] A house turned into a church by the Byzantines is said to be the home of Saint Peter.

Capernaum's 4th-century synagogue (detail with columns and benches) The village was inhabited continuously from the 2nd century BC to the 11th century AD, when it was abandoned sometime before the Crusader conquest.[4] This includes the re-establishment of the village during the Early Islamic period soon after the 749 earthquake.[4]"

Why was Capernaum not destroyed?


There are two other city names in the Matthew passage. I don't know their fate.

  • Where does scripture tell us it would be destroyed? Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:25
  • It seems implied in 1) more tolerable than Sodom 2) Tyre would have remained standing until Jesus' time.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:29
  • 1
    Great Question!!
    – user43409
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


In my research I found this excellent article by Zeev Goldmann who argues that the famed synagogue that was unearthed and the ruins beneath it indicate that the city did in fact repent and turn to Christ:


So this is a case similar to that of Jonah, where he predicted the imminent destruction of Ninevah but they were spared when they repented.

  • 1
    Tangential, but fascinatingly he also argues that the "Star/Shield of David" was/is a Christian symbol, not an ancient Jewish symbol: [Rev 22:16 ESV] (16) "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."
    – Ruminator
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 10:55

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