Magdala was not by the Jordan River.
Nazareth was not by the Sea of Galilee.
Bethsaida was not in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Only Capernaum met Isaiah’s criteria. Jesus brought a message of grace, love, and repentance—“light” to those who sat in spiritual darkness, including Matthew himself.
The message resounded from quiet Capernaum.
As is God’s habit, Jesus chose what is small for great things.
Understanding the geography of Israel enhances our understanding of the narrative of the Bible. For more information on the geographical, cultural, and historical settings in the Bible, I recommend the Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History and the award-winning Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels.
Karen Engle received her MA in Biblical Studies and Theology from Western Seminary. She is an editor for Faithlife and regularly takes groups to Israel.