For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

During the time of Jesus’ childhood, Nazareth was a tiny, backwater village situated in foothill on the southern edge of what was known as “Lower Galilee.” It was dwarfed by larger towns nearby. With a population estimated by some to be as low as 100 people, Nazareth was an insignificant place—thus also a great place for a Messiah to be overlooked while growing into manhood. It was there that Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, settled his family and set up his carpenter’s shop.

Nazareth was also only about 4 miles (about a fifty-minute walk) from Sepphoris, a large city that had only recently been razed by Roman armies in order to put down a Jewish uprising. In spite of the ruins, Herod Antipas insisted on immediately rebuilding Sepphoris, making it the capital city of rule over Galilee. “This means that throughout Jesus’ young life and into his teenage years,” one Bible historian theorized, “Sepphora would have been a major building site—the perfect place of employment for someone like Joseph.” He adds, “The family’s move north to Nazareth may also have been inspired by some other considerations—good employment prospects.”

A Carpenter of Nazareth: Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth

 

Works Cited:

[ISJ, 31-33]

 

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