Also see definition of "Simon" in Word Study
Study Dictionary
Index A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Simalcue | Simeon (Niger) | Simeon Niger | Simeon, The tribe of | Similitude | Simon | Simon Magus | Simon Peter | Simon The Cananaean | Simony | Simple


In Bible versions:

John the Baptist: NET NIV NRSV
Baptist, John the: AVS TEV
Bar-Jona: AVS TEV
Baptist: NASB
Barjona: NASB
John The Baptist: TEV
Simeonite: NIV
the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth; the prophet who introduced Jesus to Israel
son of John, disciple of Jesus
a son of Zebedee; younger brother of James; the beloved disciple of Christ
a relative of Annas the high priest
a son of Mary the sister of Barnabas, and surnamed Mark
the father of Simon Peter
the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth; the prophet who announced the arrival of Christ
a son of Amittai; the prophet God sent to Nineveh
the prophet who was swallowed by the great fish; son of Amittai
a son of Jonas and brother of Andrew; an apostle of Jesus Christ
a man who was one of the apostles of Christ and also called 'the Zealot'
a brother of Jesus
a man who was a well-know victim of leprosy who had been healed by Jesus (NIV note)
a man from Cyrene who was forced to carry the cross of Jesus
a Pharisee man in whose house Jesus' feet were washed with tears and anointed
the father of Judas Iscariot
a man who was a sorcerer in Samaria and who wanted to buy the gifts of the Spirit
a man who was a tanner at Joppa and with whom Peter was staying when Cornelius sent for him
a layman of the Harim Clan who put away his heathen wife
a man in the temple at Jerusalem who blessed the child Jesus
a son of Judah; the father of Levi; an ancestor of Jesus
a man at Antioch
the man was became a great apostle to the Jews and wrote the books of Peter
the tribe of Israel descended from Simeon
the man; son of Jacob and Leah
the tribe of Simeon

son of a Jona; of a dove
the grace or mercy of the Lord
a dove; he that oppresses; destroyer ( --> same as Jonas)
that hears; that obeys
that hears or obeys; that is heard ( --> same as Simeon)
that hears or obeys; that is heard ( --> same as Shimeon)
Arts Topics: Other Portraits of Simon the Zealot; Portraits of Simon from Cyrene; Simon from Cyrene; Simon the Zealot in Various Compositions; The Death of Simon the Zealot; The Fall of Simon Magus


Strongs #2491: Ioannhv Ioannes

John = "Jehovah is a gracious giver"

1) John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the
forerunner of Christ. By order of Herod Antipas he was cast into
prison and afterwards beheaded.
2) John the apostle, the writer of the Fourth Gospel, son of Zebedee
and Salome, brother of James the elder. He is that disciple who
(without mention by name) is spoken of in the Fourth Gospel as
especially dear to Jesus and according to the traditional opinion
is the author of the book of Revelation.
3) John surnamed Mark, the companion of Barnabas and Paul Ac 12:12.
4) John a certain man, a member of the Sanhedrin Ac 4:6.

2491 Ioannes ee-o-an'-nace

of Hebrew origin (3110); Joannes (i.e. Jochanan), the name of four
see HEBREW for 03110

Strongs #920: bariwnav Barionas

Barjona = "son of Jonah"

1) the surname of the apostle Peter

920 Barionas bar-ee-oo-nas'

of Chaldee origin (1247 and 3124); son of Jonas (or Jonah); Bar-jonas,
an Israelite:-Bar-jona.
see HEBREW for 01247
see HEBREW for 03124

Strongs #2495: Ioanav Ionas

Jonah or Jonas = "dove"

1) the fifth minor prophet, the son of Amittai, and a native of
Gath-hepher and lived during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of Israel
2) Jonas, the father of Peter

2495 Ionas ee-o-nas'

of Hebrew origin (3124); Jonas (i.e. Jonah), the name of two
see HEBREW for 03124

Strongs #4826: sumewn Sumeon

Simon = "harkening"

1) the second son of Jacob by Leah
2) one of Abraham's descendants
3) the one who took the infant Jesus in his arms in the temple
4) a teacher at the church of Antioch
5) the original name of Peter the apostle

4826 Sumeon soom-eh-one'

from the same as 4613; Symeon (i.e. Shimon), the name of five
Israelites:-Simeon, Simon.
see GREEK for 4613

Strongs #4613: simwn Simon

Peter = "a rock or stone"

1) Peter was one of the apostles
2) Simon called Zelotes or the Kanaites
3) Simon, father of Judas who betrayed Jesus.
4) Simon Magus, the Samaritan wizard
5) Simon the tanner, Ac. 10
6) Simon the Pharisee, Lu 7:40-44
7) Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross of Christ
8) Simon the cousin of Jesus, the son of Cleophas
9) Simon the leper, so called to distinguish him from others of
the same name

4613 Simon see'-mone

of Hebrew origin (8095); Simon (i.e. Shimon), the name of nine
Israelites:-Simon. Compare 4826.
see GREEK for 4826
see HEBREW for 08095


Strongs #03124: hnwy Yonah

Jonah = "dove"

1) son of Amittai and a native of Gath-hepher; 5th of the minor
prophets who prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II and whom
God sent also to prophecy to Nineveh

3124 Yonah yo-naw'

the same as 3123; Jonah, an Israelite:-Jonah.
see HEBREW for 03123

Strongs #08095: Nwemv Shim`own

Simeon or Shimeon = "heard"

1) the 2nd son of Jacob by his wife Leah and progenitor of the tribe
of Simeon
2) an Israelite of the sons of Bani who had a foreign wife in the
time of Ezra

8095 Shim`own shim-one'

from 8085; hearing; Shimon, one of Jacob's sons, also the
tribe descended from him:-Simeon.
see HEBREW for 08085

Strongs #08099: ynemv Shim`oniy

Simeonites = see Simeon "harkening"

1) descendants of Simeon

8099 Shim`oniy shim-o-nee'

patronymically from 8095; a Shimonite (collectively) or
descendants of Shimon:-tribe of Simeon, Simeonites.
see HEBREW for 08095

Bar-jona [EBD]

son of Jonah, the patronymic of Peter (Matt. 16:17; John 1:42), because his father's name was Jonas. (See PETER.)

John [EBD]

(1.) One who, with Annas and Caiaphas, sat in judgment on the apostles Peter and John (Acts 4:6). He was of the kindred of the high priest; otherwise unknown.

(2.) The Hebrew name of Mark (q.v.). He is designated by this name in the acts of the Apostles (12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37).

(3.) THE APOSTLE, brother of James the "Greater" (Matt. 4:21; 10:2; Mark 1:19; 3:17; 10:35). He was one, probably the younger, of the sons of Zebedee (Matt. 4:21) and Salome (Matt. 27:56; comp. Mark 15:40), and was born at Bethsaida. His father was apparently a man of some wealth (comp. Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John 19:27). He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the ordinary education of Jewish youth. When he grew up he followed the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. When John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, John, with many others, gathered round him, and was deeply influenced by his teaching. There he heard the announcement, "Behold the Lamb of God," and forthwith, on the invitation of Jesus, became a disciple and ranked among his followers (John 1:36, 37) for a time. He and his brother then returned to their former avocation, for how long is uncertain. Jesus again called them (Matt. 4: 21; Luke 5:1-11), and now they left all and permanently attached themselves to the company of his disciples. He became one of the innermost circle (Mark 5:37; Matt. 17:1; 26:37; Mark 13:3). He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. In zeal and intensity of character he was a "Boanerges" (Mark 3:17). This spirit once and again broke out (Matt. 20:20-24; Mark 10:35-41; Luke 9:49, 54). At the betrayal he and Peter follow Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty flight (John 18:15). At the trial he follows Christ into the council chamber, and thence to the praetorium (18:16, 19, 28) and to the place of crucifixion (19:26, 27). To him and Peter, Mary first conveys tidings of the resurrection (20:2), and they are the first to go and see what her strange words mean. After the resurrection he and Peter again return to the Sea of Galilee, where the Lord reveals himself to them (21:1, 7). We find Peter and John frequently after this together (Acts 3:1; 4:13). John remained apparently in Jerusalem as the leader of the church there (Acts 15:6; Gal. 2:9). His subsequent history is unrecorded. He was not there, however, at the time of Paul's last visit (Acts 21:15-40). He appears to have retired to Ephesus, but at what time is unknown. The seven churches of Asia were the objects of his special care (Rev. 1:11). He suffered under persecution, and was banished to Patmos (1:9); whence he again returned to Ephesus, where he died, probably about A.D. 98, having outlived all or nearly all the friends and companions even of his maturer years. There are many interesting traditions regarding John during his residence at Ephesus, but these cannot claim the character of historical truth.

John the Baptist [EBD]

the "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matt. 3:1-12).

At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance.

The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt. 3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).

Jonah [EBD]

a dove, the son of Amittai of Gath-hepher. He was a prophet of Israel, and predicted the restoration of the ancient boundaries (2 Kings 14:25-27) of the kingdom. He exercised his ministry very early in the reign of Jeroboam II., and thus was contemporary with Hosea and Amos; or possibly he preceded them, and consequently may have been the very oldest of all the prophets whose writings we possess. His personal history is mainly to be gathered from the book which bears his name. It is chiefly interesting from the two-fold character in which he appears, (1) as a missionary to heathen Nineveh, and (2) as a type of the "Son of man."

Simon [EBD]

the abbreviated form of Simeon. (1.) One of the twelve apostles, called the Canaanite (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18). This word "Canaanite" does not mean a native of Canaan, but is derived from the Syriac word Kanean or Kaneniah, which was the name of a Jewish sect. The Revised Version has "Cananaean;" marg., "or Zealot" He is also called "Zelotes" (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; R.V., "the Zealot"), because previous to his call to the apostleship he had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots. There is no record regarding him.

(2.) The father of Judas Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2, 26).

(3.) One of the brothers of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).

(4.) A Pharisee in whose house "a woman of the city which was a sinner" anointed our Lord's feet with ointment (Luke 7:36-38).

(5.) A leper of Bethany, in whose house Mary anointed our Lord's head with ointment "as he sat at meat" (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9).

(6.) A Jew of Cyrene, in North Africa, then a province of Libya. A hundred thousand Jews from Palestine had been settled in this province by Ptolemy Soter (B.C. 323-285), where by this time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue in Jerusalem for such of their number as went thither to the annual feasts. Simon was seized by the soldiers as the procession wended its way to the place of crucifixion as he was passing by, and the heavy cross which Christ from failing strength could no longer bear was laid on his shoulders. Perhaps they seized him because he showed sympathy with Jesus. He was the "father of Alexander and Rufus" (Matt. 27:32). Possibly this Simon may have been one of the "men of Cyrene" who preached the word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).

(7.) A sorcerer of great repute for his magical arts among the Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11). He afterwards became a professed convert to the faith under the preaching of Philip the deacon and evangelist (12, 13). His profession was, however, soon found to be hollow. His conduct called forth from Peter a stern rebuke (8:18-23). From this moment he disappears from the Church's history. The term "Simony," as denoting the purchase for money of spiritual offices, is derived from him.

(8.) A Christian at Joppa, a tanner by trade, with whom Peter on one occasion lodged (Acts 9:43).

(9.) Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18). See PETER.

Shimeon [EBD]

hearkening. Ezra 10:31.

Simeon [EBD]

hearing. (1.) The second son of Jacob by Leah (Gen. 29:33). He was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25, 26). He was detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying, pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the Authorized Version (49:6), "they digged down a wall," ought to be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "they houghed an ox."

(2.) An aged saint who visited the temple when Jesus was being presented before the Lord, and uttered lofty words of thankgiving and of prophecy (Luke 2:29-35).

(3.) One of the ancestors of Joseph (Luke 3:30).

(4.) Surnamed Niger, i.e., "black," perhaps from his dark complexion, a teacher of some distinction in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). It has been supposed that this was the Simon of Cyrene who bore Christ's cross. Note the number of nationalities represented in the church at Antioch.

(5.) James (Acts 15:14) thus designates the apostle Peter (q.v.).

Bar-Jona [NAVE]

BAR-JONA, surname of Peter, Matt. 16:17.

John [NAVE]

1. The Baptist: Prophecies concerning, Isa. 40:3; Mal. 4:5, 6; Luke 1:11-17.
Miraculous birth of, Luke 1:11-20, 57-65.
Dwells in the desert, Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4; Luke 1:80; 3:2, 3.
Mission of, Matt. 17:11; Mark 1:2-8; Luke 1:15-17, 76-79; 3:4-6; John 1:7, 8, 15, 22-28, 31-34; 5:32-35; Acts 13:24, 25; 19:4.
Ministry of, Matt. 3:1-3; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:2, 3; John 1:6-8.
His influence upon the public mind, Matt. 3:5, 6; 14:5; 21:32; Mark 1:5; 11:32; Luke 3:7, 15; 20:6; John 1:35-40.
Testifies to the messiahship of Jesus, Matt. 3:11, 12; Mark 1:7, 8; Luke 3:16, 17; John 1:15, 26-36; 3:23-36; 5:32, 33; 10:41; Acts 13:25.
Teaches his disciples to pray, Luke 11:1; to fast, Luke 5:33.
The baptism which he taught, See: Baptism.
Baptizes Jesus, Matt. 3:13-16; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:32.
The testimony of Jesus concerning, John 5:32-35; Matt. 17:12, 13; 21:32; Mark 9:13; see below, Jesus discourses upon. His ministry not attested by miracles, John 10:41.
Reproves Herod on account of his incest; Herod imprisons him; beheads him, Matt. 4:12; 14:1-12; Mark 6:16-29; 9:13; Luke 3:18-20.
Sends two disciples to Jesus, Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 7:18-23.
Herod falsely supposes Jesus to be, Matt. 14:1, 2; 16:14; Mark 6:14, 16; Luke 9:19.
Character of, Mark 6:20; John 5:35.
Jesus discourses upon, Matt. 11:7-19; Luke 7:24-33.
Affected probably by the doctrines of the stoics, Matt. 11:18; Mark 1:6; Luke 1:80.
A Nazarite, Matt. 11:18; Luke 1:15; 7:33.
2. The Apostle: Intimately associated with Jesus, John 13:23-26; 21:20; is present when Jesus performs the following miracles: Healing of Peter's mother-in-law, Matt. 8:14, 15; Mark 1:30, 31; Luke 4:38, 39; raising of the daughter of Jairus, Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51; the two draughts of fishes, Luke 5:10; John 21:1-7; transfiguration, Matt. 17:1; Mark 9:2; Luke 9:28.
Is present with Jesus in the garden, Matt. 26:37; Mark 14:33; Luke 22:39.
Intolerance of, Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49, 50, 54-56.
Civil ambitions of, Matt. 20:20-24; Mark 10:35-41.
Prepares the passover, Matt. 26:18, 19; Mark 14:13-16; Luke 22:8-13.
Present at the trial of Jesus before the high priest, John 18:15, 16; at the crucifixion, John 19:26, 27; at the sepulcher, John 20:2-8; when Jesus manifested himself at the Sea of Galilee, John 21; with Peter in the temple, Acts 3:1-11.
Dwells in Jerusalem, Acts 1:13.
Is intrusted with the care of Mary, mother of Jesus, John 19:26.
Imprisoned by the rulers of the Jews, Acts 4:1-19.
Sent by the church with the commission to Samaria, Acts 8:14-17.
A pillar of the church, Gal. 2:9.
Writes to the churches, see the Epistles of John.
Writes his apocalyptic vision from Patmos, Rev. 1:9.
Prophecy concerning, Rev. 10:11.
3. A relative of Aas the high priest, Acts 4:6.
4. Whose surname was Mark. See: Mark.

John the Baptist [NAVE]

Matt. 3:1; 11:11, 12; 14:2, 8; 16:14; 17:13; Mark 6:14, 24, 25; 8:28; Luke 7:20, 33; 9:19 See: John 1.

Jonah [NAVE]

JONAH, called also Jonas. A prophet of Israel, 2 Kin. 14:25.
Sent by God to warn Nineveh, Jonah 1:1, 2.
Disobedience and punishment of, Jonah 1:3-17.
Repentance and deliverance of, Jonah 2; Matt. 12:40.
Brought Ninevites to repentance, Jonah 3; Matt. 12:41.
Displeased with God's mercy to Nineveh; reproved, Jonah 4.
Is a sign, Matt. 16:4; Luke 11:29, 30.

Simon [NAVE]

1. See: Peter.
2. One of the twelve apostles. Called The Canaanite, Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18; Zelotes, Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13.
3. A brother of Jesus, Matt. 13:55; Mark 6;3.
4. A leper. Jesus dines with, Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3.
5. A man of Cyrene. Compelled to carry Jesus' cross, Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26.
6. A Pharisee. Jesus dines with, Luke 7:36-44.
7. The father of Judas Iscariot, John 6:71; 12:4; 13:2, 26.
8. A sorcerer. Converted by Philip; rebuked by Peter, Acts 8:9-13, 18-24.
9. A taer. Peter lodges with, Acts 9:43; 10:6, 17, 32.

Shimeon [NAVE]

SHIMEON, an Israelite who put away his Gentile wife, Ezra 10:31.

Simeon [NAVE]

1. Son of Jacob, Gen. 29:33; 35:23; Ex. 1:1, 2; 1 Chr. 2:1.
With Levi avenges upon the Shechemites the seduction of Dinah, Gen. 34; 49:5-7.
Jacob's denunciation of, Gen. 34:30; 49:5-7.
Goes down into Egypt to buy grain; is bound by Joseph, and detained, Gen. 42:24, 36; 43:23.
His sons, Gen. 46:10; Ex. 6:15; 1 Chr. 4:24-37.
Descendants of, Num. 26:12-14.
See: Tribe of, below.
Tribe of
Military enrollment of, at Sinai, Num. 1:22, 23; 2:13; in the plains of Moab, Num. 26:14.
Place of, in camp and march, Num. 2:12; 10:18, 19.
Inheritance allotted to, Josh. 19:1-9; Judg. 1:3-17; 1 Chr. 4:24-43.
Stood on Mount Gerizim to bless at the time of the rehearsal of the law, Deut. 27:12.
Joined with the people of Judah and Benjamin in the renewal of the passover, 2 Chr. 15:9, with vs. 1-15. Idolatry of, 2 Chr. 34:6, with vs. 1-7.
See: Israel.
3. A devout man in Jerusalem. Blesses Jesus in the temple, Luke 2:25-35.
4. An ancestor of Jesus, Luke 3:30.
5. A disciple. Called also Niger, Acts 13:1.
6. Name given to Peter, Acts 15:14.
See: Peter.

Simeonite [NAVE]

See: Simeon.


(son of Jonah). [PETER]


the same name as Johanan, a contraction of Jehoanan, Jehovah?s gift .
  1. One of the high priest?s family, who, with Annas and Caiaphas, sat in judgment upon the apostles Peter and John. (Acts 6:6)
  2. The Hebrew name of the evangelist Mark. (Acts 12:12,25; 13:5,13; 15:37)


was of the priestly race by both parents, for his father, Zacharias, was himself a priest of the course of Abia or Abijah, (1 Chronicles 24:10) and Elisabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. (Luke 1:5) His birth was foretold by an angel sent from God, and is related at length in Luke 1. The birth of John preceded by six months that of our Lord. John was ordained to be a Nazarite from his birth. (Luke 1:15) Dwelling by himself in the wild and thinly-peopled region westward of the Dead Sea, he prepared himself for the wonderful office to which he had been divinely called. His dress was that of the old prophets --a garment woven of camel?s hair, (2 Kings 1:8) attached to the body by a leathern girdle. His food was such as the desert afforded --locusts, (Leviticus 11:22) and wild honey. (Psalms 81:16) And now the long-secluded hermit came forth to the discharge of his office. His supernatural birth, his life, and the general expectation that some great one was about to appear, were sufficient to attract to him a great multitude from "every quarter." (Matthew 3:5) Many of every class pressed forward to confess their sins and to be baptized. Jesus himself came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John. [JESUS CHRIST] From incidental notices we learn that John and his disciples continued to baptize some time after our Lord entered upon his ministry. See (John 3:23; 4:1; Acts 19:3) We gather also that John instructed his disciples in certain moral and religious duties, as fasting, (Matthew 9:14; Luke 5:33) and prayer. (Luke 11:1) But shortly after he had given his testimony to the Messiah, John?s public ministry was brought to a close. In daring disregard of the divine laws, Herod Antipas had taken to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip; and when John reproved him for this, as well as for other sins, (Luke 3:19) Herod cast him into prison. (March, A.D. 28.) The place of his confinement was the castle of Machaerus, a fortress on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. It was here that reports reached him of the miracles which our Lord was working in Judea. Nothing but the death of the Baptist would satisfy the resentment of Herodias. A court festival was kept at Machaerus in honor of the king?s birthday. After supper the daughter of Herodias came in and danced the king by her grace that he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she should ask. Salome, prompted by her abandoned mother, demanded the head of John the Baptist. Herod gave instructions to an officer of his guard, who went and executed John in the prison, and his head was brought to feast the eyes of the adulteress whose sins he had denounced. His death is supposed to have occurred just before the third passover, in the course of the Lord?s ministry. (March, A.D. 29.)


(dove), the fifth of the minor prophets, was the son of Amittai, and a native of Gath-hepher. (2 Kings 14:25) He flourished in or before the reign of Jeroboam II., about B.C. 820. Having already, as it seems, prophesied to Israel, he was sent to Nineveh. The time was one of political revival in Israel; but ere long the Assyrians were to be employed by God as a scourge upon them. The prophet shrank from a commission which he felt sure would result, (Jonah 4:2) in the sparing of a hostile city. He attempted therefore to escape to Tarshish. The providence of God, however, watched over him, first in a storm, and then in his being swallowed by a large fish (a sea monster, probably the white shark) for the space of three days and three nights. [On this subject see article WHALE] After his deliverance, Jonah executed his commission; and the king, "believing him to be a minister form the supreme deity of the nation," and having heard of his miraculous deliverance, ordered a general fast, and averted the threatened judgment. But the prophet, not from personal but national feelings, grudged the mercy shown to a heathen nation. He was therefore taught by the significant lesson of the "gourd," whose growth and decay brought the truth at once home to him, that he was sent to testify by deed, as other prophets would afterward testify by word, the capacity of Gentiles for salvation, and the design of God to make them partakers of it. This was "the sign of the prophet Jonas." (Luke 11:29,30) But the resurrection of Christ itself was also shadowed forth in the history of the prophet. (Matthew 12:39,41; 16:4) The mission of Jonah was highly symbolical. The facts contained a concealed prophecy. The old tradition made the burial-place of Jonah to be Gath-hepher; the modern tradition places it at Nebi-Yunus , opposite Mosul.


(contracted form of Simeon, a hearing).
  1. Son of Mattathias. [MACCABEES]
  2. Son of Onias the high priest, whose eulogy closes the "praise of famous men" in the book of Ecclesiasticus, ch. 4. (B.C. 302-293.)
  3. A "governor of the temple" in the time of Seleucus Philopator, whose information as to the treasures of the temple led to the sacrilegious attach of Heliordorus. 2 Macc. 3:4, etc. (B.C. 175.)
  4. Simon the brother of Jesus. The only undoubted notice of this Simon occurs in (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) He has been identified by some writers with Simon the Canaanite, and still more generally with Symeon who became bishop of Jerusalem after the death of James, A.D. 62. The former of these opinions rests on no evidence whatever, nor is the later without its difficulties.
  5. Simon the Canaanite, one of the twelve apostles, (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18) otherwise described as Simon Zelotes, (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) (A.D. 28.) The latter term, which is peculiar to Luke, is the Greek equivalent for the Chaldee term preserved by Matthew and Mark. [CANAANITE, THE] Each of these equally points out Simon as belonging to the faction of the Zealots, who were conspicuous for their fierce advocacy of the Mosaic ritual.
  6. Simon of Cyrene, a Hellenistic Jew, born at Cyrene, on the north coast of Africa, who was present at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, either as an attendant at the feast, (Acts 2:10) or as one of the numerous settlers at Jerusalem from that place. (Acts 6:9) (A.D. 30.) Meeting the procession that conducted Jesus to Golgotha, as he was returning from the country, he was pressed into the service to bear the cross, (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26) when Jesus himself was unable to carry it any longer. Comp. (John 19:17) Mark describes him as the father of Alexander and Rufus, perhaps because this was the Rufus known to the Roman Christians, (Romans 16:13) for whom he more especially wrote.
  7. Simon, a resident at Bethany, distinguished as "the leper." It is not improbable that he had been miraculously cured by Jesus. In his house Mary anointed Jesus preparatory to his death and burial. (Matthew 26:6) etc.; Mark 14:3 etc.; John 12:1 etc.
  8. Simon Magus, a Samaritan living in the apostolic age, distinguished as a sorcerer or "magician," from his practice of magical arts. (Acts 8:9) According to ecclesiastical writers he was born at Gitton, a village of Samaria, and was probably educated at Alexandria in the tenets of the Gnostic school. He is first introduced to us as practicing magical arts in a city of Samaria, perhaps Sychar, (Acts 8:5) comp. John 4:5 And with such success that he was pronounced to be "the power of God which is called great." (Acts 8:10) The preaching and miracles of Philip having excited his observation, he became one of his disciples, and received baptism at his hands, A.D. 36,37. Subsequently he witnessed the effect produced by the imposition of hands, as practiced by the apostles Peter and John, and, being desirous of acquiring a similar power for himself, he offered a sum of money for it. His object evidently was to apply the power to the prosecution of magical arts. The motive and the means were equally to be reprobated; and his proposition met with a severe denunciation from Peter, followed by a petition on the part of Simon, the tenor of which bespeaks terror, but not penitence. (Acts 8:9-24) The memory of his peculiar guilt has been perpetuated in the word simony , as applied to all traffic in spiritual offices. Simon?s history, subsequent to his meeting with Peter, is involved in difficulties. Early Church historians depict him as the pertinacious foe of the apostle Peter, whose movements he followed for the purpose of seeking encounters, in which he was signally defeated. He is said to have followed the apostle to Rome. His death is associated with this meeting. According to Hippolytus, the earliest authority on the subject, Simon was buried alive at his own request, in the confident assurance that he would rise on the third day.
  9. Simon Peter. [PETER]
  10. Simon, a Pharisee, in whose house a penitent woman anointed the head and feet of Jesus. (Luke 7:40)
  11. Simon the tanner, a Christian convert living at Joppa, at whose house Peter lodged. (Acts 9:43) The house was near the seaside, (Acts 10:6,32) for the convenience of the water. (A.D. 37.)
  12. Simon the father of Judas Iscariot. (John 6:71; 13:2,26)


(hearing (prayer), a lay man of Israel, of the family of Harim, who had married a foreign wife, and divorced her in the time of Ezra. (Ezra 10:31) (B.C. 458.)


  1. The second of Jacob?s son by Leah. His birth is recorded in (Genesis 29:33) The first group of Jacob?s children consists, besides Simeon, of the three other sons of Leah --Reuben, Levi, Judah. Besides the massacre of Shechem, (Genesis 34:25) the only personal incident related of Simeon is the fact of his being selected by Joseph as the hostage for the appearance of Benjamin. (Genesis 42:19,24,36; 43:23) The chief families of the tribe of Simeon are mentioned int he lists of (Genesis 46:10) At the census of Sinai Simeon numbered 59,300 fighting men. (Numbers 1:23) When the second census was taken, at Shittim, the numbers had fallen to 22,200, and it was the weakest of all the tribes. This was no doubt partly due to the recent mortality following the idolatry of Peor, but there must have been other causes which have escaped mention. To Simeon was allotted a portion of land out of the territory of Judah, on its southern frontier, which contained eighteen or nineteen cities, with their villages, spread round the venerable well of Beersheba. (Joshua 19:1-8; 1 Chronicles 4:28-33) Of these places, with the help of Judah, the Simeonites possessed themselves, (Judges 1:3,17) and there they were found, doubtless by Joab, residing in the reign of David. (1 Chronicles 4:31) What part of the tribe took at the time of the division of the kingdom we are not told. The only thing which can be interpreted into a trace of its having taken any part with the northern kingdom are the two casual notices of (2 Chronicles 15:9) and 2Chr 34:6 Which appear to imply the presence of Simeonites there in the reigns of Asa and Josiah. On the other hand the definite statement of (1 Chronicles 4:41-43) proves that at that time there were still some of them remaining in the original seat of the tribe, and actuated by all the warlike, lawless spirit of their progenitor.
  2. A devout Jew, inspired by the Holy Ghost, who met the parents of our Lord in the temple, took him in his arms, and gave thanks for what he saw and knew of Jesus. (Luke 2:25-35) There was a Simeon who succeeded his father Hillel as president of the Sanhedrin about A.D. 13, and whose son Gamaliel was the Pharisee at whose feet St. Paul was brought up. (Acts 22:3) It has been conjectured that he may be the Simeon of St. Luke.


BAPTIST - bap'-tist.



JOHN (1) - jon (Ioannes): The name of several persons mentioned in the Apocrypha:

(1) Father of Mattathias, grandfather of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers (1 Macc 2:1).

(2) Eldest son of Mattathias, surnamed GADDIS (which see).

(3) Father of Eupolemus, one of the envoys sent to Rome by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 8:17; 2 Macc 4:11).

(4) John Hyrcanus, "a valiant man," son of Simon, and nephew of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 13:53; 16:1).


(5) One of the envoys sent to treat with Lysias (2 Macc 11:17).

J. Hutchison


JOHN (2) - (Ioannes): The name of 4 persons:

(1) JOHN THE BAPTIST (which see).

(2) The apostle, the son of Zebedee, and brother of James (see JOHN, THE APOSTLE).

(3) A relative of Annas the high priest, who sat in the Sanhedrin when Peter and John were tried (Acts 4:6). Lightfoot supposes him to be the Jochanan ben Zacchai of the Talmud, who, however, did not belong to the family of the high priest. Nothing is really known of him.

(4) JOHN MARK (which see).

(5) Father of Simon Peter (Jn 1:42; 21:15,17, margin "Greek Joanes: called in Mt 16:17, Jonah").

S. F. Hunter







1. The Scene

2. His First Appearance

3. His Dress and Manner

4. His Message

5. His Severity


1. Significance

(1) Lustrations Required by the Levitical Law

(2) Anticipation of Messianic Lustrations Foretold by the Prophets

(3) Proselyte Baptism

2. Baptism of Jesus


1. The Time

2. The Occasion


1. The Inner Circle

2. Their Training

3. Their Fidelity


1. John's Relation to Jesus

2. Jesus' Estimate of John


I. Sources.

The sources of first-hand information concerning the life and work of John the Baptist are limited to the New Testament and Josephus Luke and Matthew give the fuller notices, and these are in substantial agreement. The Fourth Gospel deals chiefly with the witness after the baptism. In his single notice (Ant., XVIII, v, 2), Josephus makes an interesting reference to the cause of John's imprisonment. See VI, 2, below.

II. Parentage.

John was of priestly descent. His mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron, while his father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abija, and did service in the temple at Jerusalem. It is said of them that "they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Lk 1:6). This priestly ancestry is in interesting contrast with his prophetic mission.

III. Early Life.

We infer from Luke's account that John was born about six months before the birth of Jesus. Of the place we know only that it was a city of the hill country of Judah. Our definite information concerning his youth is summed up in the angelic prophecy, "Many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Lk 1:14-16), and in Luke's brief statement, "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel" (Lk 1:80). The character and spiritual insight of the parents shown in the incidents recorded are ample evidence that his training was a fitting preparation for his great mission.

IV. Ministry.

1. The Scene:

The scene of the Baptist's ministry was partly in the wilderness of Southern Judea and partly in the Jordan valley. Two locations are mentioned, Bethany or Bethabara (Jn 1:28), and Aenon near Salim (Jn 3:23). Neither of these places can be positively identified. We may infer from Jn 3:2 that he also spent some time in Peraea beyond the Jordan.

2. His First Appearance:

The unusual array of dates with which Luke marks the beginning of John's ministry (Lk 3:1,2) reveals his sense of the importance of the event as at once the beginning of his prophetic work and of the new dispensation. His first public appearance is assigned to the 15th year of Tiberius, probably 26 or 27 AD, for the first Passover attended by Jesus can hardly have been later than 27 AD (Jn 2:20).

3. His Dress and Manner:

John's dress and habits were strikingly suggestive of Elijah, the old prophet of national judgment. His desert habits have led some to connect him with that strange company of Jews known as the Essenes. There is, however, little foundation for such a connection other than his ascetic habits and the fact that the chief settlement of this sect was near the home of his youth. It was natural that he should continue the manner of his youthful life in the desert, and it is not improbable that he intentionally copied his great prophetic model. It was fitting that the one who called men to repentance and the beginning of a self-denying life should show renunciation and self-denial in his own life. But there is no evidence in his teaching that he required such asceticism of those who accepted his baptism.

4. His Message:

The fundamental note in the message of John was the announcement of the near approach of the Messianic age. But while he announced himself as the herald voice preparing the way of the Lord, and because of this the expectant multitudes crowded to hear his word, his view of the nature of the kingdom was probably quite at variance with that of his hearers. Instead of the expected day of deliverance from the foreign oppressor, it was to be a day of judgment for Israel. It meant good for the penitent, but destruction for the ungodly. "He will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with .... fire" (Mt 3:12). "The axe also lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Lk 3:9). Yet this idea was perhaps not entirely unfamiliar. That the delay in the Messiah's coming was due to the sinfulness of the people and their lack of repentance, was a commonplace in the message of their teachers (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, I, 169).

The call to repentance was then a natural message of preparation for such a time of judgment. But to John repentance was a very real and radical thing. It meant a complete change of heart and life. "Bring forth .... fruits worthy of repentance" (Lk 3:8). What these fruits were he made clear in his answers to the inquiring multitudes and the publicans and soldiers (Lk 3:10-14). It is noticeable that there is no reference to the usual ceremonies of the law or to a change of occupation. Do good; be honest; refrain from extortion; be content with wages.

5. His Severity:

John used such violence in addressing the Pharisees and Sadducees doubtless to startle them from their self-complacency. How hopelessly they were blinded by their sense of security as the children of Abraham, and by their confidence in the merits of the law, is attested by the fact that these parties resisted the teachings of both John and Jesus to the very end.

With what vigor and fearlessness the Baptist pressed his demand for righteousness is shown by his stern reproof of the sin of Herod and Herodias, which led to his imprisonment and finally to his death.

V. Baptism.

1. Significance:

The symbolic rite of baptism was such an essential part of the work of John that it not only gave him his distinctive title of "the Baptist" (ho baptistes), but also caused his message to be styled "preaching the baptism of repentance." That a special virtue was ascribed to this rite, and that it was regarded as a necessary part of the preparation for the coming of the Messiah, are shown by its important place in John's preaching, and by the eagerness with which it was sought by the multitudes. Its significance may best be understood by giving attention to its historical antecedents, for while John gave the rite new significance, it certainly appealed to ideas already familiar to the Jews.

(1) Lustrations Required by the Levitical Law.

The divers washings required by the law (Lev 11 through 15) have, without doubt, arcligious import. This is shown by the requirement of sacrifices in connection with the cleansing, especially the sin offering (Lev 14:8,9,19,20; compare Mk 1:44; Lk 2:22). The designation of John's baptism by the word baptizein, which by New Testament times was used of ceremonial purification, also indicates some historical connection (compare Sirach 34:25).

(2) Anticipation of Messianic Lustrations Foretold by Prophets.

John understood that his baptism was a preparation for the Messianic baptism anticipated by the prophets, who saw that for a true cleansing the nation must wait until God should open in Israel a fountain for cleansing (Zec 13:1), and should sprinkle His people with clean water and give them a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 36:25,26; Jer 33:8). His baptism was at once a preparation and a promise of the spiritual cleansing which the Messiah would bestow. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me .... shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Mt 3:11 margin).

(3) Proselyte Baptism.

According to the teaching of later Judaism, a stranger who desired to be adopted into the family of Israel was required, along with circumcision, to receive the rite of baptism as a means of cleansing from the ceremonial uncleanness attributed to him as a Gentile. While it is not possible to prove the priority of this practice of proselyte baptism to the baptism of John, there can be no doubt of the fact, for it is inconceivable, in view of Jewish prejudice, that it would be borrowed from John or after this time.

While it seems clear that in the use of the rite of baptism John was influenced by the Jewish customs of ceremonial washings and proselyte baptism, his baptism differed very essentially from these. The Levitical washings restored an unclean person to his former condition, but baptism was a preparation for a new condition. On the other hand, proselyte baptism was administered only to Gentiles, while John required baptism of all Jews. At the same time his baptism was very different from Christian baptism, as he himself declared (Lk 3:16). His was a baptism of water only; a preparation for the baptism "in the Spirit" which was to follow. It is also to be observed that it was a rite complete in itself, and that it was offered to the nation as a preparation for a specific event, the advent of the Messiah.

We may say, then, that as a "baptism of repentance" it meant a renunciation of the past life; as a cleansing it symbolized the forgiveness of sins (Mk 1:4), and as preparation it implied a promise of loyalty to the kingdom of the Messiah. We have no reason to believe that Jesus experienced any sense of sin or felt any need of repentance or forgiveness; but as a Divinely appointed preparation for the Messianic kingdom His submission to it was appropriate.

2. Baptism of Jesus:

While the multitudes flocked to the Jordan, Jesus came also to be baptized with the rest. "John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Mt 3:13-15). Wherein was this act a fulfillment of righteousness? We cannot believe that Jesus felt any need of repentance or change of life. May we not regard it rather as an identification of Himself with His people in the formal consecration of His life to the work of the kingdom?

VI. Imprisonment and Death.

1. The Time:

Neither the exact time of John's imprisonment nor the period of time between his imprisonment and his death can be determined. On the occasion of the unnamed feast of Jn 5:1, Jesus refers to John's witness as already past. At least, then, his arrest, if not his death, must have taken place prior to that incident, i.e. before the second Passover of Jesus' ministry.

2. The Occasion:

According to the Gospel accounts, John was imprisoned because of his reproof of Herod's marriage with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (Lk 3:19,20; compare Mt 14:3,1; Mk 6:17,18). Josephus says (Ant., XVIII, v, 2) that Herod was influenced to put John to death by the "fear lest his great influence over the people might put it in his power or inclination to raise a rebellion. Accordingly, he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, and was there put to death." This account of Josephus does not necessarily conflict with the tragic story of the Gospels. If Herod desired to punish or destroy him for the reasons assigned by the evangelists, he would doubtless wish to offer as the public reason some political charge, and the one named by Josephus would be near at hand.

VII. John and His Disciples.

1. The Inner Circle:

Frequent reference is made in the Gospel narrative to the disciples of John. As the multitudes crowded to his baptism, it was natural that he should gather about him an inner circle of men who should receive special instruction in the meaning of his work, and should aid him in the work of baptism, which must have soon increased beyond his power to perform alone. It was in the formation of this inner circle of immediate followers that he prepared a sure foundation for the work of the Messiah; for it was from this inner group that the disciples of Jesus were mainly drawn, and that with his consent and through his witness to the superior worth of the latter, and the temporary character of his own mission (Jn 1:29-44).

2. Their Training:

Concerning the substance of their training, we know from the disciples of Jesus (Lk 11:1) that it included forms of prayer, and from his own disciples (Mt 9:14) we learn that frequent fastings were observed. We may be sure also that he taught them much concerning the Messiah and His work.

3. Their Fidelity:

There is abundant evidence of the great fidelity of these disciples to their master. This may be observed in their concern at the over-shadowing popularity of Jesus (Jn 3:26); in their loyalty to him in his imprisonment and in their reverent treatment of his body after his death (Mk 6:29). That John's work was extensive and his influence lasting is shown by the fact that 20 years afterward Paul found in far-off Ephesus certain disciples, including Apollos, the learned Alexandrian Jew, who knew no other baptism than that of John (Acts 19:1-7).

VIII. John and Jesus.

1. John's Relation to Jesus:

John assumed from the first the role of a herald preparing the way for the approaching Messianic age. He clearly regarded his work as Divinely appointed (Jn 1:33), but was well aware of his subordinate relation to the Messiah (Mk 1:7) and of the temporary character of his mission (Jn 3:30). The Baptist's work was twofold. In his preaching he warned the nation of the true character of the new kingdom as a reign of righteousness, and by his call to repentance and baptism he prepared at least a few hearts for a sympathetic response to the call and teaching of Jesus. He also formally announced and bore frequent personal testimony to Jesus as the Messiah.

There is no necessary discrepancy between the synoptic account and that of the Fourth Gospel in reference to the progress of John's knowledge of the Messianic character of Jesus. According to Mt 3:14, John is represented as declining at first to baptize Jesus because he was conscious of His superiority, while in Jn 1:29-34 he is represented as claiming not to have known Jesus until He was manifested by the heavenly sign. The latter may mean only that He was not known to him definitely as the Messiah until the promised sign was given.

The message which John sent to Jesus from prison seems strange to some in view of the signal testimonies which he had previously borne to His character. This need not indicate that he had lost faith in the Messiahship of Jesus, but rather a perplexity at the course of events. The inquiry may have been in the interest of the faith of his disciples or his own relief from misgivings due to Jesus' delay in assuming the expected Messianic authority. John evidently held the prophetic view of a temporal Messianic kingdom, and some readjustment of view was necessary.

2. Jesus' Estimate of John:

Jesus was no less frank in His appreciation of John. If praise may be measured by the worth of the one by whose lips it is spoken, then no man ever received such praise as he who was called by Jesus a shining light (Jn 5:35), more than a prophet (Mt 11:9), and of whom He said, "Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist" (Mt 11:11). If, on the other hand, He rated him as less than the least in the kingdom of heaven, this was a limitation of circumstances, not of worth.

Jesus paid high tribute to the Divine character and worth of John's baptism; first, by submitting to it Himself as a step in the fulfillment of all righteousness; later, by repeated utterance, especially in associating it with the birth of the Spirit as a necessary condition of inheriting eternal life (Jn 3:5); and, finally, in adopting baptism as a symbol of Christian discipleship.


The relative sections in the Gospel Commentaries, in the Lives of Christ, and the articles on John the Baptist in the several Bible dictionaries. There are a number of monographs which treat more minutely of details: W.C. Duncan, The Life, Character and Acts of John the Baptist, New York, 1853; Erich Haupt, Johannes der Taufer, Gutersloh, 1874; H. Kohler, Johannes der Taufer, Halle, 1884; R.C. Houghton, John the Baptist: His Life and Work, New York, 1889; H.R. Reynolds, John the Baptist, London, 1890; J. Feather, John the Baptist, Edinburgh, 1894; George Matheson in Representative Men of the New Testament, 24-66, Edinburgh, 1905; T. Innitzer, Johannes der Taufer, Vienna, 1908; A.T. Robertson, John the Loyal, New York, 1911.

Russell Benjamin Miller


JONAH - jo'-na (yonah, "dove"; 'Ionas):

(1) According to 2 Ki 14:25, Jonah, the son of Amittai, of Gath-hepher, a prophet and servant of Yahweh, predicted the restoration of the land of Israel to its ancient boundaries through the efforts of Jeroboam II. The prophet lived and labored either in the early part of the reign of Jeroboam (790-750 BC), or during the preceding generation. He may with great probability be placed at 800-780 BC. His early ministry must have made him popular in Israel; for he prophesied of victory and expansion of territory. His native village of Gath-hepher was located in the territory of Zebulun (Josh 19:13).

(2) According to the book bearing his name, Jonah the son of Amittai received a command to preach to Nineveh; but he fled in the opposite direction to escape from the task of proclaiming Yahweh's message to the great heathen city; was arrested by a storm, and at his own request was hurled into the sea, where he was swallowed by a great fish, remaining alive in the belly of the fish for three days. When on his release from the body of the fish the command to go to Nineveh was renewed, Jonah obeyed and announced the overthrow of the wicked city. When the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of the prophet, God repented of the evil He had threatened to bring upon them. Jonah was grieved that the oppressing city should be spared, and waited in the vicinity to see what would be the final outcome. An intense patriot, Jonah wished for the destruction of the people that threatened to swallow up Israel. He thought that Yahweh was too merciful to the heathen oppressors. By the lesson of the gourd he was taught the value of the heathen in the sight of Yahweh.

It is the fashion now in scholarly circles to treat the Book of Jonah as fiction. The story is said to be an allegory or a parable or a symbolic narrative. Why then did the author fasten upon a true and worthy prophet of Yahweh the stigma of rebellion and narrowness? On theory that the narrative is an allegory, J. Kennedy well says that "the man who wrote it was guilty of a gratuitous insult to the memory of a prophet, and could not have been inspired by the prophet's Master thus to dishonor a faithful servant."

(3) our Lord referred on two different occasions to the sign of Jonah the prophet (Mt 12:38-41; Lk 11:29-32; Mt 16:4). He speaks of Jonah's experience in the belly of the fish as parallel with His own approaching entombment for three days, and cites the repentance of the Ninevites as a rebuke to the unbelieving men of his own generation. Our Lord thus speaks both of the physical miracle of the preservation of Jonah in the body of the fish and of the moral miracle of the repentance of the Ninevites, and without the slightest hint that He regarded the story as an allegory.

John Richard Sampey


SIMON (1) - (Simon, Greek form of SIMEON (which see)): The persons of the name of Simon mentioned in the Apocrypha are:

(1) Simon the Maccabean (Hasmonean), surnamed THASSI (which see), the 2nd son of Mattathias and elder brother of Judas Maccabeus. On his deathbed, Mattathias commended Simon as a "man of counsel" to be a "father" to his brethren (1 Macc 2:65), and a "man of counsel" he proved himself. But it was not till after the death of Judas and the capture of Jonathan that he played the chief role. Dispatched by Judas with a force to the relief of the Jews in Galilee he fought with great success (1 Macc 5:17 ff; Josephus, Ant, XII, viii, 1 f). We find him next taking revenge along with Jonathan on the "children of Jambri" (1 Macc 9:33 ff), and cooperating in the successful campaign around Bethbasi against Bacchides (circa 156 BC) (1 Macc 9:62 ff), and in the campaign against Apollonius (1 Macc 10:74 ff). In the conflict between Tryphon and Demetrius II, Simon was appointed by Antiochus VI "captain from the Ladder of Tyre unto the borders of Egypt" (1 Macc 11:59). After the capture of Jonathan at Ptolemais by Tryphon, Simon became acknowledged leader of his party. He thwarted Tryphon in his attempts upon Jerusalem, in revenge for which the latter murdered Jonathan (1 Macc 13:23). Simon then took the side of Demetrius on condition of immunity for Judea, and so `in the 170th year' (143-142 BC) `the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel' (1 Macc 13:41). Simon applied himself to rebuild the strongholds of Judea, reduced Gazara, captured the Acra (citadel) and made Joppa a seaport. He showed his wisdom most of all in his internal administration: "He sought the good of his country"; commerce and agriculture revived; lawlessness was suppressed and "the land had rest all the days of Simon (1 Macc 14:4 ff). His power was acknowledged by Sparta and Rome (1 Macc 14:16 ff). In 141 BC he was appointed by the nation leader, high priest and captain "for ever, until there should arise a faithful prophet" (1 Macc 14:41 ff), and thus the Hasmonean dynasty was founded. A new chronological era began with the first year of his administration, and he minted his own coins. A few years later Simon again meddled in Syrian politics (139 BC), this time at the entreaty of Antiochus VII (Sidetes) in his contest against Tryphon; when, however, Antiochus was assured of success, he refused the help of Simon and sent Cendebaeus against Judea. Judas and John, sons of Simon, defeated the invaders near Modin (137-136 BC). In 135 BC Simon met his death by treachery. Ptolemy the son of Abubus, Simon's own son-in-law, determined to secure supreme power for himself and, in order to accomplish this, to assassinate the whole family of Simon. He accordingly invited Simon and his sons to a banquet in the stronghold of Dok near Jericho, where he treacherously murdered Simon with his two sons Mattathias and Judas. The other son, John Hyrcanus, governor of Gazara, received intimation of the plot and saved himself to become the head of the Hasmonean dynasty. "The significance of Simon's administration consists in this, that he completed the work of Jonathan and left the Jewish people absolutely independent of Syria" (Schurer).


(2) Simon I, the high priest, son of Onias I, whom he succeeded circa 300 BC. He was one of the last of the Great Synagogue, and to him is attributed the saying, "On three things the world depends--the Law, Worship and the showing of kindness." According to Josephus (Ant., XII, ii, 5) this Simon was called "the Just" (ho dikaios), "on account of his piety and his benevolent disposition toward his countrymen."

Many authorities (Herzfeld, Derenbourg, Stanley, Cheyne) assert that Josephus is wrong in attaching this epithet to Simon I instead of Simon II, and Schurer is not certain on this question. But the Talmud passage which Derenbourg cites means the opposite of what he takes it, namely, it is intended to show how splendid and holy were the days of Simeon (ha-tsaddiq) compared with the later days. Besides, Josephus is more likely to have known the truth on this matter than these later authorities. The same uncertainty obtains as to whether the eulogium in Sirach 50:1 ff of "the great priest" refers to Simon I or Simon II. Schurer and others refer it to Simon II. It is more likely to refer to the Simon who was famous as "the Just," and consequently to Simon I. Besides we know of no achievements of Simon II to entitle him to such praise. The building operations mentioned would suit the time of Simon I better, as Ptolemy captured Jerusalem and probably caused considerable destruction. The Talmud states that this Simon (and not Jaddua) met Alexander the Great.

(3) Simon II, high priest, son of Onias II and grandson of Simon I and father of Onias III, flourished about the end of the 3rd century BC, and was succeeded by his son Onias III circa 198 BC. Josephus says that this Simon in the conflict of the sons of Joseph sided with the elder sons against Hyrcanus the younger. Schurer (probably incorrectly) thinks he is the Simon praised in Sirach 50:1 ff. See (2) above (3 Macc 2:1; Josephus, Ant, XII, iv, 10).

(4) Simon, a Benjamite, guardian of the temple, who, having quarreled with the high priest Onias III, informed Apollonius of the untold sums of money in the temple treasury. Apollonius laid the matter before the king Seleucus IV, who sent Heliodorus to remove the money. An apparition prevented Heliodorus from accomplishing his task (2 Macc 3:4 ff). It is further recorded, that Simon continued his opposition to Onias. He is spoken of as brother of the renegade Menelaus (2 Macc 4:23). Of his end we know nothing.

(5) Simon Chosameus (Codex Vaticanus (and Swete) Chosamaos; Codex Alexandrinus Chosomaios), one of the sons of Annas who had married "strange wives" (1 Esdras 9:32). Simon apparently = "Shimeon" (shim`on) of the sons of Harim (Ezr 10:31); Chosameus is probably a corruption standing in the place of, but not resembling, any of the three names: Benjamin, Malluch, Shemaraiah, which Esdras omits from the Ezra list.

S. Angus


SIMON (2) - si'-mon (Simon):

(1) Simon Peter.


(2) Another of the Twelve, Simon "the Cananean" (Mt 10:4; Mk 3:18), "the Zealot" (Lk 6:15; Acts 1:13).


(3) One of the brethren of Jesus (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3).


(4) "The leper" in Bethany, in whose house a woman poured a cruse of precious ointment over the head of Jesus (Mt 26:6; Mk 14:3). He had perhaps been healed by Jesus; in that case his ungracious behavior was not consistent with due gratitude. However he was healed, the title referred to his condition in the past, as lepers were ostracized by law.

(5) A Pharisee in whose house a woman, "a sinner," wet the feet of Jesus with her tears, and anointed them with ointment (Lk 7:36 ff). By some he is identified with (4), this being regarded as Luke's version of the incident recorded in Mt 26 and Mk 14. Others as strongly deny this view.

For discussion see MARY, IV.

(6) A man of Cyrene, who was compelled to carry the cross of Jesus (Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26). Mark calls him "the father of Alexander and Rufus," well-known members of the church at (probably) Rome (compare Acts 19:33; Rom 16:13).


The father of Judas Iscariot (Jn 6:71; 12:4 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) omits; Jn 13:2,26).

(8) Simon Magus (Acts 8:9 ff). See separate article.

(9) Simon, the tanner, with whom Peter lodged at Joppa. His house was by the seaside outside the city wall, because of its ceremonial uncleanness to a Jew, and also for reasons of sanitation (Acts 9:43).

S. F. Hunter


SHIMEON - shim'-e-on (shim`on; elsewhere "Simeon"): One of the sons of Harim who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:31; Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus Semeon; Lucian, Sumeon = 1 Esdras 9:32, "Simon Chosameus").


SIMEON (1) - sim'-e-on (shim`on; Sumeon; the Hebrew root is from shama`, "to hear" (Gen 29:33); some modern scholars (Hitzig, W. R. Smith, Stade, etc.) derive it from Arabic sima`, "the offspring of the hyena and female wolf"): In Gen 29:33; 30:18-21; 35:23, Simeon is given as full brother to Reuben, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, the son of Leah; and in Gen 34:25; 49:5 as the brother of Levi and Dinah. He was left as a hostage in Egypt by orders of Joseph (Gen 42:24; 43:23).

1. The Patriarch: Biblical Data:

In the "blessing" of the dying Jacob, Simeon and Levi are linked together:

"Simeon and Levi are brethren;

Weapons of violence are their swords.

O my soul, come not thou into their council;

Unto their assembly, my glory, be not thou united;

For in their anger they slew a man,

And in their self-will they hocked an ox.

Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce;

And their wrath, for it was cruel:

I will divide them in Jacob,

And scatter them in Israel" (Gen 49:5-7).

Whatever view may be taken of the events of Gen 34:25 (and some would see in it "a tradition of the settlement of Jacob which belongs to a cycle quite independent of the descent into Egypt and the Exodus" (see S. A. Cook, Encyclopedia Brit, article "Simeon")), it is clear that we have here a reference to it and the suggestion that the subsequent history of the tribe, and its eventual absorption in Judah, was the result of violence. In the same way the priestly Levites became distributed throughout the other tribes without any tribal inheritance of their own (Dt 18:1; Josh 13:14). From the mention (Gen 46:10; Ex 6:15) of Shaul as being the son of a Canaanite woman, it may be supposed that the tribe was a mixed one.

In the "blessing of Moses" (Dt 33) Simeon is not mentioned at all in the Hebrew text, although in some manuscripts of the Septuagint the latter half of Dt 33:6 is made to apply to him: "Let Simeon be a small company." The history of the tribe is scanty and raises many problems. Of the many theories advanced to meet them it cannot be said that any one answers all difficulties.

2. The Tribe in Scripture:

In the wilderness of Sinai the Simeonites camped beside the Reubenites (Nu 2:12; 10:19); it was Zimri, a member of one of the leading families of this tribe, who was slain by Phinehas in the affair of Baal-peor (Nu 25:14). The statistics in Nu 1:22 f, where the Simeonites are given as 59,300, compared with the 2nd census (Nu 26:14), where the numbers are 22,200, indicate a diminishing tribe. Some have connected this with the sin of Zimri.

At the recital of the law at Mt. Gerizim, Simeon is mentioned first among those that were to respond to the blessings (Dt 27:12). In the conquest of Canaan "Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him" (Jdg 1:3; compare 1:17). (Many scholars find in Gen 34 a tribal attempt on the part of the Simeonites to gain possession of Shechem; if this is so, Judah did not assist, and the utter failure may have been a cause of Simeon's subsequent dependence upon, and final absorption in, Judah.) In Jdg 4 and 5 Simeon is never mentioned. In the settlement of the land there is no account of how Simeon established himself in his territory (except the scanty reference in Jdg 1:3), but "their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah" (Josh 19:1); this is accounted for (Josh 19:9), "for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them." Nevertheless we find there the very cities which are apportioned to Simeon, allotted to Judah (Josh 15:21-32; compare Neh 11:26-29). It is suggested (in 1 Ch 4:31) that the independent possession of these cities ceased in the time of David. David sent spoil to several Simeonite towns (1 Sam 30:26 f), and in 1 Ch 12:25 it is recorded that 7,100 Simeonite warriors came to David in Hebron. In 1 Ch 27:16 we have mention of a ruler of the Simeonites, Shephatiah, son of Maacah.

In 1 Ch 4:39 f mention is made of certain isolated exploits of Simeonites at GEDOR (which see), against the MEUNIM (which see), and at Mt. SEIR (which see). Later references associate certain Simeonites with the Northern Kingdom (2 Ch 15:9; 34:6), and tradition has come to view them as one of the ten tribes (compare Ezek 48:24,25,33; Rev 7:7), although all the history of them we have is bound up with Judah and the Southern Kingdom. There is no mention of the return of any Simeonites after the captivity; their cities fall to Judah (Neh 11:26 f).

3. References in Egyptian and Assyrian Inscriptions:

It has been supposed by many authorities that the name Shim`an occurs in the list of places plundered by Thothmes III (see Petrie, Hist, II, 104; also Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, 268; Sayce, Early Hebrew Traditions, 392). In the 7th century we have a doubtful reference in an inscription of Esar-haddon relating his Egyptian campaign when a city Ap-ku is mentioned as in the country of Sa-me-n(a), which may possibly be a reference to Simeon. The survival of the name so late, if true, is strange, in the light of what we gather from the Bible about the tribe. (For discussion of both of these inscriptions, with references to the lit., see EB, coll. 4528-30.)

4. The Territory of Simeon:

The cities of Simeon as given in Josh 19:2-6 and 1 Ch 4:28,31 are (the names in parentheses are variations in the latter reference): Beer-sheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, Balah (Bilhah), Azem (the King James Version) (Ezem), Eltolad (Tolad), Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah (Hazar Susim), Beth-lebaoth (Beth-biri), Sharuhen (Shaaraim) (Etam), Ain Rimmon, Ether (Tochen), Ashan--in all, 16 cities in Joshua and 17 cities in 1 Chronicles. Ashan (1 Ch 6:59) is the only one assigned to the priests. It is written wrongly as "Ain" in Josh 21:16. All the above cities, with certain variations in form, and with the exception of Etam in 1 Ch 4:32, which is probably a mistake, occur in the list of the cities of Judah (Josh 15:26-32,42). Ziklag is mentioned (1 Sam 27:6) as being the private property of the kings of Judah from the days of David, who received it from Achish, king of Gath.

For the situation of these cities, so far as is known, see separate articles under their names. It is clear that they were all situated in the southwestern part of Palestine, and that Simeon had no definite territorial boundaries, but isolated cities, with their villages, among those of the people of Judah.

E. W. G. Masterman


SIMEON (2) - (shim`on; Sumeon):

(1) The 2nd son of Jacob by Leah (see separate article).

(2) Great-grandfather of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 2:1).

(3) A man in Jerusalem described as "righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel." When the infant Jesus was brought into the Temple, he took Him into his arms and blessed God in words which are famous as the Nunc dimittis. Simeon bestowed his blessing on the wondering father and mother (Lk 2:25,34). Legend has made him the son of Hillel and father of Gamaliel I, but this has no historical basis.

(4) An ancestor of Jesus (Lk 3:30); the Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon."

(5) The Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon": one of the prophets and teachers in the Christian community at Antioch. He is also called Niger, which was the Gentile name he had assumed, Symeon being Hebrew. He was among those who set apart Paul and Barnabas for their missionary work (Acts 13:1,2). Nothing more is known of him.

(6) The Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon": the Hebrew name of Simon Peter (Acts 15:14).

S. F. Hunter


SIMEONITES - sim'-e-on-its.


Also see definition of "Simon" in Word Study

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