← Back

What does it mean that the people of Capernaum will not be lifted to the heavens, but will go down to Hades?


Matthew 11:23

ESV - 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 13 2016 Mini Ric Acaba

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Sodom was notorious for having been destroyed by God due to the brazen, unrepentant sinfulness of its inhabitants (Genesis 19). Jesus was mentioning it for emphasis in connection with His criticism of the people of Capernaum (where several of His apostles lived, and where many of His miracles had been performed) for not repenting of their own sins and accepting Him as God's promised Messiah, but instead largely persisting in unbelief.

To highlight the seriousness of Capernaum's stubborn refusal to believe in Him, Jesus said that if He had performed the same miracles in Sodom that He had done in Capernaum, the inhabitants of Sodom (as sinful as they were) would have taken those miracles as a sign from God, repented of their wicked deeds and unbelief, and saved their city from destruction by turning to God.

However, in spite of the miracles that Jesus had performed in Capernaum as clear evidence of His identity as God's promised Messiah, Capernaum had largely persisted in unbelief and rejection. And what made the situation even worse was that Capernaum's inhabitants apparently lived in an oblivious state of pride and self-satisfaction (thinking that God would commend them), rather than seeing their need of God's forgiveness and restoration.

Therefore, Jesus was saying that, far from being exalted or praised by God, the people of Capernaum would instead receive eternal punishment, separated from God in Hades.

June 14 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining