Smith's Bible Dictionary


Si'mon. (contracted form of Simeon, a hearing).

1. Son of Mattathias. See Maccabees.

2. Son of Onias, the high priest, whose eulogy closes the "praise of famous men" in the book of Ecclesiasticus, chapter 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. 2Ma_3:4, etc. (B.C. 175).

4. Simon, the brother of Jesus. The only undoubted notice of this Simon occurs in Mat_13:55; Mar_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, Mat_10:4; Mar_3:18, otherwise described as Simon Zelotes, Luk_6:15; Act_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. See 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, Act_2:10, or as one of the numerous settlers, at Jerusalem from that place. Act_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, Mat_27:32; Mar_15:21; Luk_23:26, when Jesus himself was unable to carry it any longer. Compare Joh_19:17. Mark describes him as the father of Alexander and Rufus, perhaps, because this was the Rufus, known to the Roman Christians, Rom_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. Mat_26:6 etc.; Mar_14:3 etc.; Joh_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. Act_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, Act_8:5, compare Joh_4:5, and, with such success that he was pronounced to be "the power of God which is called great." Act_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. Act_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 singularily 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. See Peter.

10. Simon, a Pharisee, in whose house a penitent woman anointed the head and feet of Jesus. Luk_7:40.

11. Simon, the tanner, a Christian convert living at Joppa, at whose house Peter lodged. Act_9:43. The house was near the seaside, Act_10:6; Act_10:32, for the convenience of the water. (A.D. 37).

12. Simon, the father of Judas Iscariot. Joh_6:71; Joh_13:2; Joh_13:26.


Taken from: Smith's Bible Dictionary by Dr. William Smith (1884)