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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Chorazim in Mevo'ot HaHermon Regional Council, Northern District, Israel
 

The Synagogue

 
 
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
1. The Synagogue Marker
Inscription.  English text:

Chorazin's ancient synagogue was first excavated in 1905-1907 by a German expedition headed by H. Kohl and C. Watzinger, and in the 1920s and in 1939 by the Mandatory Department of Antiquities and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After 1962, extensive excavations and reconstruction were conducted by Z. Yeivin of the Department of Antiquities. The synagogue was built in the center of the town, on an elevated platform, in close proximity to the ritual bath and amidst residential buildings.

The ancient Jewish town of Chorazin was built at the edge of a basalt hill, broken abruptly on its west by the Chorazin Wadi, which carries a large quantity of water into the Kinneret in winter. The houses were built along the slopes on both sides of a main north-south road. Most houses were adjacent to one another, forming residential units or quarters, separated by narrow lanes.

Many synagogues have been uncovered in the Galilee. The earliest among them, such as Chorazin and Bar'am, date to the 3rd and 4th centuries CE. These had stone paving and an entrance facing south (toward Jerusalem).The later ones,
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
2. The Synagogue Marker
Distant view of the marker, situated on the left side of plaza, that is located in front of the ruins of the ancient synagogue.
such as Hammat Tiberias and Bet Alpha, date to the 5th and 6th centuries and usually had mosaic pavements.

This synagogue was probably built in the early 4th century CE, a period of extensive synagogue building in the Galilee. Devastated by an earthquake, its building was discontinued, but it was later restored and used as a synagogue until the 8th century.

The synagogue had twelve columns arranged in a U-shape, subdividing its interior into 4 spaces - a large central hall, surrounded by three narrow aisles. The columns supported the central ceiling and high roof.
Windows, installed in the upper sections of the building, provided light and ventilation.

The synagogue is 23 meters long from north to south and some 17 meters wide. In its southern section a monumental staircase ascended to the open square in front of the entrance.

The entrance faced Jerusalem. Its facade was lavishly decorated, including a richly adorned gable, the reconstruction of which now stands near the entrance. Worshippers entered via three doorways - a high, wide central entrance and two smaller lateral ones.
The bimah and the Torah Ark were set inside the hall on either side of the main entrance. Worshippers sat on benches placed alongside the walls and turned toward Jerusalem during prayer.

The synagogue functioned not only as a place of worship
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
3. The Synagogue Marker
Another distant view, from a different perspective, of the marker, situated on the left side of plaza, that is located in front of the ruins of the ancient synagogue.
but also as a center for the community. Public meetings were held here and people would gather to discuss political and social issues, as well as study the Bible and pray.
 
Location. 32° 54.666′ N, 35° 33.845′ E. Marker is near Chorazim, Northern District, in Mevo'ot HaHermon Regional Council. Marker can be reached from Northern District Route 8277 2.5 kilometers east of Northern District Route 90, on the right when traveling east. This marker is located in the midst of the archaeological ruins at the Korazim National Park. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Decorated Column (a few steps from this marker); Seat of Moses (a few steps from this marker); Chorazin's Synagogue (a few steps from this marker); Conch (a few steps from this marker); Medusa (a few steps from this marker); Chorazin in Christian Sources (within shouting distance of this marker); The Synagogue of Jesus (approx. 3.5 kilometers away); The Synagogue of Capharnaum (approx. 3.5 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chorazim.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in the Korazim National Park, in the ruins of the ancient Jewish synagogue. It is my impression that this particular ancient Jewish synagogue is very significant in both the historical and archaeological record of ancient Judaism, because several of the artifacts and structural elements that were found in the ruins of this synagogue are now on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Korazim (also known as Chorazin) is also part of the Biblical record, being a site that was visited by Jesus, as mentioned in Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13. It would be my guess that during His visit to Korazim, that Jesus would have been to an earlier version of this synagogue, that was most probably located on the site of this particular synagogue.
 
Categories. Anthropology & ArchaeologyArchitectureChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers
 
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
4. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the text on one of the marker's panels.
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
5. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the text on one of the marker's panels.
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
6. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the text on one of the marker's panels.
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
7. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the text on one of the marker's panels.
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
8. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the text on one of the marker's panels.
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
9. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of the map displayed on the marker. The text reads, "A map of Galilean sites where ancient synagogues have been uncovered."
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
10. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of an illustration displayed on the marker. The caption of the illustration reads: "Hypotheses for the Reconstruction of the Synagogue's Facade."
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
11. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of an illustration displayed on the marker. The captions on the illustration read: "The Synagogue - Interior View" and "Illustration courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority"
The Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, April 5, 2019
12. The Synagogue Marker
Close-up view of an illustration displayed on the marker. The caption of the illustration reads: "The Synagogue's Plan"
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 3, 2019, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on October 3, 2019, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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