Chorazin – Seat of Moses



A basalt seat, known as “Moses’ Seat” was found in excavations at the Synagogue of Chorazin in Galilee. The Aramaic inscription of the front of ther stone reads: “Remembered be for good Judah ben Ishmael who made this stoa and its staircase. As his reward may he have a share with the righteous”
This find illuminates a passage in Matthew 23.2,3, where Jesus said: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
The meaning of the words in Matthew are that people should obey the commandments of Moses and not copy the deeds of the Pharisees.
The Law of Moses was read every sabbath in the synagogue: “Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day” (Acts 15.21). The public teaching in the synagogue was usually done from a chair called the “Moses’s Seat”, as ilustrated in Luke 4.20: When Jesus spoke in the synagogue of Nazareth, after having read from the prophet Isaiah, “he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.” The place where he sat down was called “Moses’ Seat”.