10:15 And you, Capernaum, 1 will you be exalted to heaven? 2 No, you will be thrown down to Hades! 3
17:2 It would be better for him to have a millstone 4 tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea 5 than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 6
1 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.
2 tn The interrogative particle introducing this question expects a negative reply.
4 tn This term refers to the heavy upper stone of a grinding mill (L&N 7.70; BDAG 660 s.v. μυλικός).
sn The punishment of drowning with a heavy weight attached is extremely gruesome and reflects Jesus’ views concerning those who cause others who believe in him to sin.
5 tn Grk “if a millstone were tied…and he were thrown.” The conditional construction in Greek has been translated by English infinitives: “to have… and be thrown.”
6 tn Or “to stumble.” This verb, σκανδαλίσῃ (skandalish), has the same root as the noun σκάνδαλον (skandalon) in 17:1, translated “stumbling blocks”; this wordplay is difficult to reproduce in English. It is possible that the primary cause of offense here would be leading disciples (“little ones”) astray in a similar fashion.