The synagogue at Chorazin is a typical “Galilean” style synagogue. These synagogues are characterized by 1) a basilical shape with three hallways separated by two rows of pillars; 2) three doorways and the central one is the largest; 3) benches around the interior walls; 4) a stylobate to support the weight of the arches.
1st Century Synagogue?
This excavated synagogue dates from the 2nd century, but J. Ory in an unpublished report in 1926 described an earlier synagogue 200 meters west of this one: “A square colonnaded building of small dimensions, of a disposition similar to the interior arrangement of the synagogue, 7 columns, 3 on each side…with sitting benches in 5 courses” (in Foerster 1981: 26).
Other synagogues had these types of decoration, but they were defaced during stricter times of enforcement of Jewish laws. Probably this one was not defaced because the synagogue was destroyed first. Christians viewed the destruction of such earthquakes as God’s judgment on them for their unbelief.
Seat of Moses
This “Seat of Moses” was found in the 1920s and it has an Aramaic inscription remembering Yudan. Jesus references this position of authority, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (Matt 23:2-3).
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Chorazin-Location Profile (Walking in Their Sandals) Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc. Features links to photographs and on-line Scripture references.
The Ancient Synagogue of Chorazin (Gems in Israel) Provides interesting insight into the method of building and style of the synagogue, discussing many of the structural details.
Chorazin (Christian Travel Study Program-CTSP) Limited text and photos.
Chorazin (Jewish Virtual Library) Insightful information about the ancient synagogue of Chorazin.
Korazim (Biblewalks.com) Offers the reader a historical overview of the ancient city. Features good pictures that illustrate and enhance the text.