Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Matthew 4:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And leaving Nazareth - Or, entirely leaving Nazareth, και καταλιπων την Ναζαρετ, from κατα, intensive, and Δειπω, I leave. It seems that, from this time, our blessed Lord made Capernaum his ordinary place of residence; and utterly forsook Nazareth, because they had wholly rejected his word, and even attempted to take away his life. See Luke 4:29.

Galilee was bounded by mount Lebanon on the north, by the river Jordan and the sea of Galilee on the east, by Chison on the south, and by the Mediterranean on the west.

Nazareth, a little city in the tribe of Zebulon, in lower Galilee, with Tabor on the east, and Ptolemais on the west. It is supposed that this city was the usual residence of our Lord for the first thirty years of his life. It was here he became incarnate, lived in subjection to Joseph and Mary, and from which he took the name of a Nazorean.

Capernaum, a city famous in the New Testament, but never mentioned in the Old. Probably it was one of those cities which the Jews built after their return from Babylon. It stood on the sea-coast of Galilee, on the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim, as mentioned in the text. This was called his own city, Matthew 9:1, etc., and here, as a citizen, he paid the half shekel, Matthew 17:24. Among the Jews, if a man became a resident in any city for twelve months, he thereby became a citizen, and paid his proportion of dues and taxes. See Lightfoot. Capernaum is well known to have been the principal scene of our Lord's miracles during the three years of his public ministry.

Zabulon, the country of this tribe, in which Nazareth and Capernaum were situated, bordered on the lake of Gennesareth, stretching to the frontiers of Sidon, Genesis 49:13. Nephthalim was contiguous to it, and both were on the east side of Jordan, Joshua 19:34.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Leaving Nazareth - Because his townsmen cast him out, and rejected him. See Matthew 9:1. Here he healed the nobleman‘s son John 4:47; Peter‘s wife‘s mother Matthew 8:14; the centurion‘s servant Matthew 8:5-13; and the ruler‘s daughter Matthew 9:23-25.

Upon the sea coast - The Sea of Tiberias.

In the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim - These were two tribes of the children of Israel which were located in this part of the land of Canaan, and constituted in the time of Christ a part of Galilee. Compare Genesis 49:13; Joshua 19:10, Joshua 19:32. The word “borders” here means boundaries. Jesus came and lived in the boundaries or regions of Zabulon and Naphthali.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is just with God to take the gospel and the means of grace, from those that slight them and thrust them away. Christ will not stay long where he is not welcome. Those who are without Christ, are in the dark. They were sitting in this condition, a contented posture; they chose it rather than light; they were willingly ignorant. When the gospel comes, light comes; when it comes to any place, when it comes to any soul, it makes day there. Light discovers and directs; so does the gospel. The doctrine of repentance is right gospel doctrine. Not only the austere John Baptist, but the gracious Jesus, preached repentance. There is still the same reason to do so. The kingdom of heaven was not reckoned to be fully come, till the pouring out of the Holy Spirit after Christ's ascension.
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 500-1

Who are laborers together with Christ in this blessed medical missionary work? Who have learned the lessons of the Master and know how to deal skillfully with souls for whom Christ has died? We need, oh, so much! physicians for the soul who have been educated in the school of Christ and who can work in Christ's lines. Our work is to gain a knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. We are to interest the people in subjects that concern the health of the body as well as the health of the soul. Believers have a decided message to bear to prepare the way for the kingdom of God. CH 500.1

The great questions of Bible truth are to enter into the very heart of society, to convert and reform men and women, bringing them to see the great need of preparing for the mansions that Christ declared He would prepare for all who love Him. When the Holy Spirit shall do its office work, hearts of stone will become hearts of flesh, and Satan will not work through them to counteract the work that Christ came to earth to do. CH 500.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 252

At Capernaum Jesus dwelt in the intervals of His journeys to and fro, and it came to be known as “His own city.” It was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and near the borders of the beautiful plain of Gennesaret, if not actually upon it. DA 252.1

The deep depression of the lake gives to the plain that skirts its shores the genial climate of the south. Here in the days of Christ flourished the palm tree and the olive, here were orchards and vineyards, green fields, and brightly blooming flowers in rich luxuriance, all watered by living streams bursting from the cliffs. The shores of the lake, and the hills that at a little distance encircle it, were dotted with towns and villages. The lake was covered with fishing boats. Everywhere was the stir of busy, active life. DA 252.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 316-8
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