Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day
|| Luke 10:13-15
MT11:20 Then Jesus began to reproach the cities where most of his dynamic works occurred, because they did not repent: MT11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! Because if the dynamic works which occurred in you took place in Tyre and Sidon of old it is most likely they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes. MT11:22 Also, I tell you: it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on Judgment Day than for you. MT11:23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted heaven-high? Down to Hades you will descend! Because if those dynamic works which occurred in you had taken place in Sodom it is likely it would have remained until today. MT11:24 So, I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on Judgment Day than for you.”
 Dynamic works: The Greek is DYNAMEIS as it is in verses 21, 23. Others rendered this: KJV: mighty works; TCNT: miracles; GDSP: wonders; PME: demonstrations of God’s power.
 Chorazin: A town at the north end of Galilee. Compare Luke 10:10-16. It was not far from Capernaum, the early home base of the Nazarene.
 Bethsaida: This village was also on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Josephus mentions such a populous village near the Jordan River. This village was rebuilt by Philip the tetrarch and was named Julias in honor of the daughter of Caesar Augustus (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 28 [ii, 1]).
 Tyre: This city had a long history with Israel (1 Chronicles 14:1; 1 Kings 9:10, 11). It was destroyed in fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Ezekiel 26:7-12; Zechariah 9:3, 4).
 Sidon: An ancient city of Canaan, called Phoenicia by the Greeks. The city exists today as Saida (Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Joel 3:4; Zechariah 9:2; Isaiah 23:4, 12; Jeremiah 25:17, 22; 27:1-8; 47:4; Ezekiel 28:20-24; 32:30; Joel 3:4-8; Zechariah 9:1-4).
 Repented in sackcloth and ashes: This is not a mere “I’m sorry.” The repentance is severe in the Biblical and eastern manner. The first such occurrence is Genesis 37:34 for a total of 48 occurrences of mourning in sackcloth (2 Samuel 3:31; Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:1-3; Job 16:15; Psalm 35:8; Jeremiah 4:8; 6:26; 49:3; Jonah 3:6). The exact phrase “sackcloth and ashes” occurs only about half dozen times in the Bible.
 More bearable: See footnotes on Matthew 10:15. Or, endurable, tolerable.
 Judgment Day: See notes on Matthew 10:15.
 Capernaum: See notes on Matthew 4:13. Jesus’ original home base.
 Exalted: Was the problem of those cities which witnessed Jesus’ early work one of pride?
 Hades: The Greek is HADES and means un + seen. This is the first occurrence in the teachings of the Nazarene. The word occurs only in Matthew and Luke. Jesus is to use the word in only three settings (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15; 16:23). It occurs only ten times in the Christian Bible (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14). The English word “hell” (hel) is drawn from the Latin cel as in “cellar.” It meant an unseen storage place for such things as potatoes, thus the old English “helin potatoes.” In the Bible it is the abode of the dead who await Judgment Day and the resurrection from the dead. The idea of eternal torment of the soul in Hell is a Greek notion borrowed from Egyptians and older cultures. See dictionaries or encyclopedias on the subject. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew sheol (Job 14:12-14; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).