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CHORAZIN (Khirbet Kerazeh) Israel.

Town in Galilee, 4.8 km N of Capernaum, mentioned in Matt. 11:20-24 together with Beth-Saida. Wheat for the service of the Temple in Jerusalem was brought from here. By the time of Eusebius (Onom. 174.23) it lay in ruins.

A synagogue of the Galilean type was discovered in the 19th c. and has been partly excavated: it is 20.7 by 15.3 m, built of basalt ashlar on the highest spot in the town among other public buildings. From an open court in front a grand staircase led up to three portals facing S towards Jerusalem. The interior was divided by three colonnades into a nave, 6.3 m wide, and three aisles, each 1.8 m wide, with stone benches along the walls. The columns of the interior were quasi-Ionic and quasi-Doric, but the capitals of the pilasters which decorated the exterior were Corinthian. A frieze on the upper part of the outside wall shows plant motifs as well as representations of men pressing grapes, a lion devouring a centaur, and a Medusa.

Some private dwellings, a ritual bath, and wine presses have also been found. There are indications that the town was still flourishing in the Byzantine period, which would contradict Eusebius.


H. Kohl & C. Watzinger, Antike Synagogen in Galilea (1916) 41ff; F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine II (1938) 299-300.


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