Matthew 11:20-21

Woes on Unrepentant Cities

11:20 Then Jesus began to criticize openly the cities in which he had done many of his miracles, because they did not repent. 11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

tn The Greek word here is πόλις (polis) which can be translated “city” or “town.” “Cities” was chosen here to emphasize the size of the places Jesus’ mentions in the following verses.

sn Chorazin was a town of Galilee that was probably fairly small in contrast to Bethsaida and is otherwise unattested. Bethsaida was declared a polis by the tetrarch Herod Philip, sometime after a.d. 30.

tn This introduces a second class (contrary to fact) condition in the Greek text.

tn Or “powerful deeds.”

map For location see Map1-A2; Map2-G2; Map4-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

sn Tyre and Sidon are two other notorious OT cities (Isa 23; Jer 25:22; 47:4). The remark is a severe rebuke, in effect: “Even the sinners of the old era would have responded to the proclamation of the kingdom, unlike you!”

map For location see Map1-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.