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masc. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Symeon, from Hebrew Shim'on, literally "hearkening, hearing," from shama "he heard." In English Old Testaments, usually printed as Simeon, but in New Testament almost always as Simon. Confused with Greek masc. proper name Simon, which is from simos "snub-nosed."
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.