Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Matthew 11:23

    Matthew 11:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And you, Capernaum, were you not to be lifted up to heaven? you will go down into hell: for if the works of power which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been here to this day.

    Webster's Revision

    And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day.

    World English Bible

    You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day.

    Definitions for Matthew 11:23

    Art - "Are"; second person singular.
    Hell - The valley of Hinnom.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 11:23

    Thou, Capernaum - exalted unto heaven - A Hebrew metaphor, expressive of the utmost prosperity, and the enjoyment of the greatest privileges. This was properly spoken of this city, because that in it our Lord dwelt, and wrought many of his miraculous works.

    Shalt be brought down to hell - Perhaps not meaning, here, the place of torment, but rather a state of desolation. The original word is Hades, Αδης, from α, not, and ιδειν, to see; the invisible receptacle or mansion of the dead, answering to שאול sheol, in Hebrew; and implying often, 1st. the grave; 2dly. the state of separate souls, or unseen world of spirits, whether of torment, Luke 16:23, or, in general, Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14. The word hell, used in the common translation, conveys now an improper meaning of the original word; because hell is only used to signify the place of the damned. But, as the word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon, helan, to cover, or hide, hence the tiling or slating of a house is called, in some parts of England (particularly Cornwall) heling, to this day; and the covers of books (in Lancashire) by the same name: so the literal import of the original word Αδης was formerly well expressed by it. Here it means a state of the utmost wo, and ruin, and desolation, to which these impenitent cities should be reduced. This prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled; for, in the wars between the Romans and the Jews, these cities were totally destroyed, so that no traces are now found of Bethsaida, Chorazin, or Capernaum. See Bp. Pearce.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 11:23

    And thou, Capernaum - See the notes at Matthew 4:13.

    Which art exalted to heaven - This is an expression used to denote great privileges. He meant that they were especially favored with instruction. The city was prosperous. It was signally favored by its wealth. Most of all, it was signally favored by the presence, the preaching, and the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here he spent a large portion of his time in the early part of his ministry, and in Capernaum and its neighborhood he performed his chief miracles.

    Shalt be brought down to hell - This does not mean that all the people would go to hell, but that the city which had flourished so prosperously would lose its prosperity, and occupy the "lowest place" among cities. The word "hell" is used here, not to denote a place of punishment in the future world, but a state of "desolation and destructions." It stands in contrast with the word "heaven." As their being exalted to heaven did not mean that the "people" would all be saved or dwell in heaven, so their being brought down to "hell" refers to the desolation of the "city." Their privileges, honors, wealth, etc., would be taken away, and they would sink as low among cities as they had been before exalted. This has been strictly fulfilled. In the wars between the Jews and the Romans, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, etc., were so completely desolated that it is difficult to determine their former situation. See the notes at Matthew 4:13. It is not to be denied, also, that he threatened future punishment on those who rejected him. The truth inculcated is, that those who are especially favored will be punished accordingly if they abuse their privileges.

    If the mighty works ...had been done in Sodom - See the notes at Matthew 10:15. Sodom was destroyed on account of its great wickedness. Christ says if his miracles had been performed there, they would have repented, and consequently the city would not have been destroyed. As it was, it would be better for Sodom in the day of judgment than for Capernaum, for its inhabitants would not be called to answer for the abuse of so great privileges.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 11:23

    11:23 Thou Capernaum, who hast been exalted to heaven - That is, highly honoured by my presence and miracles.