13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.     Matthew 4/13-17 Holy Bible KJV

 

23For if there were to be any break of day for that [land] which is in straits, only the former [king] would have brought abasement to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali—while the later one would have brought honor to the Way of the Sea, the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee of the Nations.     Isaiah 8/23 JPS Tanakh 1985

 

The “Way of the Sea” is one of three major trade routes in ancient Israel – the Via Maris, Ridge Route, and the King’s Highway. It is situated from the Galilee to the North to Samaria to the South, running through the Jezreel Valley. At the Philistine Plain, the Way broke into two branches, one on the coast and one inland (through the Jezreel Valley, the Sea of Galilee, and Dan), which unites at Megiddo (“Armageddon”). The location of Megiddo vis a vis the Via Maris explains why Megiddo was a very important route for travel and trading city in ancient Israel. The Way of the Sea connected the major routes from the Fertile Cresent to Mesopotamia (from Egypt to modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria).The road was the main thoroughfare running north/south from the Sinai along the coastal plain through the Jezreel valley, Beit Shean and on until Damascus.

From: Wikipedia “Way of the Sea”

 

“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozen, and in the towns of Media.” 2Kings 17/6 Tanakh JPS 1985

“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. 2Kings 17/24-35 Tanakh JPS 1985

 

Commentary:

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,”

This is what the book of Esaias who is Isaiah said:

23For if there were to be any break of day for that [land] which is in straits, only the former [king] would have brought abasement to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali—while the later one would have brought honor to the Way of the Sea, the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee of the Nations.     Isaiah 8/23 JPS Tanakh 1985

1The people that walked in darkness Have seen a brilliant light; On those who dwelt in a land of gloom Light has dawned.        Isaiah 9/1 JPS Tanakh 1985

This is not a prophecy. This is a statement in the first verse concerning the deportment and exile of the people of the northern Kingdom referred to variously as the Kingdom of Samaria, Kingdom of Ephraim and Kingdom of Israel.

“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozen, and in the towns of Media.” 2Kings 17/6 Tanakh JPS 1985

“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. 2Kings 17/24-35 Tanakh JPS 1985

The second verse is an exhalation of the birth of Hezekiah.

The Assyrians were now threatening Judah which is why there was great exaltation of the birth of Hezekiah. This is not a prophecy of the birth of Jesus or that a great light has been seen by the gentiles as a result of the birth of Jesus.

It is about Kingdoms and Kings, deporting the Jewish people and importing gentiles, and the hope that the new born heir to the throne in Judah would be a great King.

The King James version combines the two verses as Chapter 9, verses 1-2, while the first verse ends Chapter 8 and the second verse begins a new Chapter in the Tanakh. That is because they have nothing to do with one another.

Galilee of the Gentiles in the KJV and Galilee of the nations in the Tanakh have the same meaning, being a reference to the imported non-Jews in the north Kingdom after the deportation of the Jewish people by the Assyrians.

The “Way of the Sea” is one of three major trade routes in ancient Israel – the Via Maris, Ridge Route, and the King’s Highway. It is situated from the Galilee to the North to Samaria to the South, running through the Jezreel Valley. At the Philistine Plain, the Way broke into two branches, one on the coast and one inland (through the Jezreel Valley, the Sea of Galilee, and Dan), which unites at Megiddo (“Armageddon”).

When the Book of Matthew says “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet” when Jesus left Nazareth, came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim and the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up, and from that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand the translation is completely out of context. And it was not the fulfillment of prophecy spoken by Isaiah.

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