Monday, February 13, 2017

Ancient Synagogues of Israel: Capernaum

UnEarthing History

Capernaum Synagogue (כְּפַר נַחוּם): Capernaum translates in Hebrew to Nahum’s village (Kfar Nahum), but without apparent reference to the biblical prophet of this name. This synagogue dates to as early as the fourth century C.E., and it is likely built atop an older structure that dates to the Second Temple period, to around the first century C.E.  A fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum is mentioned in the New Testament. As for this particular synagogue, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes the following “The synagogue of Capernaum was an impressive structure. Built of large, white limestone blocks from the hills of Galilee west of the town, it stood out among the buildings of grey basalt surrounding it. The synagogue was built on a platform, two meters above the houses of the town, and separated from it by streets on all four sides. Oriented north-south, it had a decorated, southern façade towards Jerusalem. The synagogue consisted of a prayer hall (20.5 x 18.5 m.), a courtyard to the east (20.5 x 11 m.) and an entrance porch (4 m. wide), running along the façade of the entire building. Staircases, on both sides of the entrance porch, led to the synagogue. The prayer hall was reached from the courtyard by a single entrance. All parts of the synagogue were paved with large, thick slabs of smoothed limestone.”
Photo Credit: David Shankbone; December 2007
Source: Wikipedia

Sea of Galilee (or Yam Kinneret; יָם כִּנֶּרֶת‎) is a large freshwater lake in northern Israel with a circumference of 53 km (33 mi) and an area of 166.7 km² (64.4 square miles). In this photo are wooden longboats near the city of Tiberias (or Tveria; טְבֶרְיָה‎), which is about 20 km (12 mi) south of Capernaum.
Photo Credit: Staselnik, 2013
Source: Wikipedia

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