Matthew 4:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:15, NIV: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--

Matthew 4:15, ESV: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—

Matthew 4:15, KJV: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

Matthew 4:15, NASB: 'THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—

Matthew 4:15, NLT: 'In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live,

Matthew 4:15, CSB: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,along the road by the sea, beyond the Jordan,Galilee of the Gentiles.

What does Matthew 4:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is living in the region of Galilee in northern Israel. He has moved from his hometown of Nazareth in central Galilee to Capernaum, a fishing town on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:12–13). Matthew identifies this move as the fulfilment of a prophecy by Isaiah in Isaiah 9:1–2, a Scripture that points to the coming of the Messiah.

Capernaum and the region around it fell within the ancient boundaries of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. This land was given to them during the time of Joshua, after Israel had driven out the peoples of Palestine. Though the area may have had economic advantages, it was a long way from the religious and cultural centers of Jerusalem and Judea. In this way, it was thought to be "dark."

Matthew quotes Isaiah chapter 9, beginning in verse 1, to make that point. Scholars aren't exactly sure which translation of the original he is using, however. The ESV translates Isaiah 9:1 from the original language as follows:
"But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations."
Jesus moving to Galilee marked a significant fulfilment of this ancient Scripture, one that comes into clear view in the following verse.