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Simon

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(Σίμων ), a name of frequent occurrence in Jewish history in the post- Babylonian period. We here present those found in the Apocrypha, the New. Test., and Josephus. It is doubtful whether it was borrowed from the Greeks, with whom it was not uncommon, or whether it was a contraction of the Hebrew Shimeon, i.e. SIMEON. That the two names were regarded as identical appears from 1 Maccabees 2:65.

1. SIMON CHOSAMAEUS, a name that erroneously appears in 1 Esdras 9:32, in place of the four names "Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah" of the Hebrew text (Ezra 10:31-32). "Chosamaeus" is apparently formed by combining the last letter of Malluch with the first part of the following name, Shemariah.

2. Second son of Mattathias and last survivor of the Maccabaean brothers. (See MACCABEE), 4.

3. Son of Onias, whom he succeeded in the high priesthood (B.C. 302- 293), being himself succeeded by his uncle Eleazar, although he left a son also called Onias (Josephus, Ant. 12, 2, 5; 4, 1, 10). He is generally called "Simon the Just." See the following article, No. 6. He is doubtless identical with the son of Onias the high priest (ἱερεὺς μέγας ), whose, eulogy closes the "praise of famous men" in the book of Ecclesiasticus (ch 4). (See ECCLESIASTICUS).

Fritzsche, whose edition of Ecclesiasticus (Exeg. Handb.) appeared in 1860, maintains the common view that the reference is to Simon II, but without bringing forward any new arguments to support it, though he strangely underrates the importance of Simon I (the Just). Without laying undue stress upon the traditions which attached to this name (Herzfeld. Gesch. Isr. 1, 195), it is evident that Simon the Just was popularly regarded as closing a period in Jewish history, as the last teacher of "the great synagogue." Yet there is, in fact, a doubt to which Simon the title "the Just" was given. Herzfeld (1, 377, 378) has endeavored to prove that it belongs to Simon II, and not to Simon I, and in this he is followed by Jost (Gesch. d. Judenth. 1, 95). The later Hebrew authorities, by whose help the question should be settled, are extremely, unsatisfactory and confused (Jost, p. 110, etc.); and it appears better to adhere to the express testimony of Josephus, who identifies Simon I with Simon the Just (Ant. 12, 2, 4, etc.), than to follow the Talmudic traditions, which are notoriously untrustworthy in chronology. The legends are connected with the title, and Herzfeld and Jost both agree in supposing that the reference in Ecclesiasticus is to Simon known as "the Just," though they believe this to be Simon II (comp. for the Jewish anecdotes, Raphall, Hist. of Jews, 1, 115-124; Prideaux, Connection, 2, 1).

4. "A governor of the Temple" in the time of Seleucus Philopator, whose information as to the treasures of the Temple led to the sacrilegious attempt of Heliodorus. (2 Maccabees 3:4, etc.). B.C. 175. After this attempt failed, through the interference of the high priest Onias, Simon accused Onias of conspiracy (4:1, 2), and a bloody feud arose between their two parties (2 Maccabees 3:3). Onias appealed to the king, but nothing is known as to the result or the later history of Simon. Considerable doubt exists as to the exact nature of the office which he held (προστάτης τοῦ ἱεροῦ , 3:4). Various interpretations are given by Grimm (Exeg. Handb. ad loc.).The chief difficulty lies in the fact that Simon is said to have been of "the tribe of Benjamin" (2 Maccabees 3:3), while the earlier "ruler of the house of God" (ἡγούμενος οἴκου τοῦ θεοῦ [κυρίου ], 1 Chronicles 9:11; 2 Chronicles 31:13; Jeremiah 20:1) seems to have been always a priest, and the "captain of the Temple" (στρατηγὸς τοῦ ἱεροῦ, Luke 22:4, with Lightfoot's note; Acts 4:1; Acts 5:24; Acts 5:26) and the keeper of the treasures (1 Chronicles 26:24; 2 Chronicles 31:12) must have been at least Levites. Herzfeld (Gesch. lsr. 1, 218) conjectures that Benjamin is an error for Minjamin, the head of a priestly house (Nehemiah 12:5; Nehemiah 12:17). In support of this view it may be observed that Menelaus, the usurping high priest, is said to have been a brother of Simon (2 Maccabees 4:23), and no intimation is anywhere given that he was not of priestly descent. At the same time, the corruption (if it exist) dates from an earlier period than the present Greek text, for "tribe" (φυλή ) could not be used for "family" (οἴκος ). The various reading ἀγορανομίας ("regulation of the market") for παρανομίας ("disorder," 2 Maccabees 3:4), which seems to be certainly correct, points to some office in connection with the supply of the sacrifices; and probably Simon was appointed to carry out the design of Seleucus, who (as is stated in the context) had undertaken to defray the cost of them (2 Maccabees 4:3). In this case there would be less difficulty in a Benjamite acting as the agent of a foreign king, even in a matter which concerned the Temple service.

5. A resident of Jerusalem, son of Boethus, a priest of Alexandria, and a person of considerable note, whose daughter Herod the Great married, having first raised her father's family to sufficient distinction by putting him into the high priesthood in place of Jesus the son of Phabet (Josephus, Ant. 15, 9, 3). B.C. 23. The woman having become involved in the domestic conspiracies of his later reign, he divorced her, and displaced her father in the pontificate by Mattathias the son of Theophilus (ibid. 17, 4, 2). B.C. 5. (See HIGH PRIEST).

6. A slave of Herod who usurped royalty and committed many atrocities till he was overcome and beheaded by Gratus (Josephus, Ant. 17, 10, 6). B.C. 4.

7. A prophet of the sect of the Essenes who interpreted Archelaus's dream of the end of his reign (Josephus, Ant. 17, 13, 3). A.D. 6.

8. The father of Judas (q.v.) Iscariot (John 6:71; John 12:4; John 13:2; John 13:26). A.D. ante 27.

9. One of the apostles, usually designated Simon Peter (q.v.).

10. Another of the apostles, distinguished from the preceding as "the Canaanite," or rather Cananite (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18), otherwise described as Simon Zelotes (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). A.D. 27. The latter term (ζηλώτης ), which is peculiar to Luke, is the Greek equivalent for the Chaldee term (קִנְּאָן ) preserved by Matthew and Mark (Κανανίτης, as in text. recept., or καναναῖος, as in the Vulg., Cananoeus, and in the best modern editions). 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. The supposed references to Canaan (A.V.) or to Cana (Luther's version) are equally erroneous. (See CANAANITE). The term Κανανίτης appears to have survived the other as the distinctive surname of Simon (Const. Apost. 6, 14; 8, 27). He has been frequently identified with Simon the brother of Jesus, although Eusebius (H.E. 3, 11) clearly distinguishes between the apostles and the relations of Jesus. It is less likely that he was identical with Symeon, the second bishop of Jerusalem, as stated by Sophronius (App. ad Hieron. Catal.). Simon the Canaanite is reported, on the doubtful authority of the Pseudo-Dorotheus and of Nicephorus Callistus, to have preached in Egypt, Cyrene, and Matritania (Burton, Lectures, 1, 333, note), and, on the equally doubtful authority of an annotation preserved in an original copy of the Apostolical Constitutions (8, 27), to have been crucified in Judaea in the region of Domitian.

11. A relative of our Lord, the only undoubted notice of whom occurs in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3, where, in common with James, Joses, and Judas, he is mentioned as one of the "brethren" of Jesus. A.D. 28. He has generally been identified with Symeon, who became bishop of Jerusalem after the death of James, A.D. 62 (Euseb. H.E. 3, 11; 4, 22), and who suffered martyrdom in the reign of Trajan at the extreme age of 120 years (Hegesippus, ap. Euseb. H.E. 3, 32) in the year 107, or, according to Burton (Lectures, 2, 17, note), in 104. A very considerable probability also has from early times been attached to the opinion which identifies him with the subject of the preceding paragraph, for in all the lists of the apostles he is named along with James the son of Alphaeus, and Jude or Thaddaeus, But in whatever sense the term "brother" is accepted a vexed question which has been already amply discussed under BROTHER and JAMES it is clear that neither Eusebius nor the author of the so called Apostolical Constitutions understood Symeon to be the brother of James, nor consequently the "brother" of the Lord. Eusebius invariably describes James as "the brother" of Jesus (H.E. 1, 12; 2, 1, al.), but Symeon as the son of Clopas and the cousin of Jesus (3, 11; 4, 22), and the same distinction is made by the other author (Const. Apost. 7, 46).

12. A Pharisee in whose house a penitent woman anointed the head and feet of Jesus (Luke 7:40). A.D. 28.

13. A resident at Bethany, distinguished as "the leper," not from his having leprosy at the time when he is mentioned, but at some previous period. 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.). A.D. 29. Lazarus was also present as one of the guests, while Martha served (John 12:2). The presence of the brother and his two sisters, together with the active part the latter took in the proceedings, leads to the inference that Simon was related to them; but there is no evidence of this, and we can attach no credit to the statement that he was their father, as reported on Apocryphal authority by Nicephorus (H.E. 1, 27); and still less to the idea that he was the husband of Mary. Simon the leper must not be confounded with the preceding.

14. 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. 29. Meeting the procession that conducted Jesus to Golgotha as he was returning from the country, he was pressed into the service (ἠγγάρευσαν , a military term) to bear the cross (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26) when Jesus himself was unable to bear 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 12:13), for whom he more especially wrote. The Basilidian Gnostics believed that Simon suffered in lieu of Jesus (Burton, Lectures, 2, 64).

15. A Samaritan living in the apostolic age, distinguished as a sorcerer or "magician" from his practice of magical arts (μαγεύων , Acts 8:9) A.D. 30 and hence usually designated in later history as Simon Magus. His history is a remarkable one. He was born at Gitton, a village of Samaria (Justin Mart. Apol. 1, 26), identified with the modern Kuryet Jit, near Nablus (Robinson, Bib. Res. 2, 308, note). Some doubt has been thrown on Justin's, statement from the fact that Josephus (Ant. 20, 7, 2) mentions a reputed magician of the same name and about the same date who was born in Cyprus. It has been suggested that Justin borrowed his information from this source, and mistook Citium, a town of Cyprus, for Gitton. If the writers had respectively used the gentile forms Κιτιεύς and Γιττιεύς, the similarity would have favored such an idea. But neither does Josephus mention Citium, nor yet does Justin use the gentile form. It is far more probable that Josephus would be wrong than Justin in any point respecting Samaria. Simon Magus was probably educated at Alexandria (as stated in Clem. Homil. 2, 22), and there became acquainted with the eclectic tenets of the Gnostic school. Either then or subsequently he was a pupil of Dositheus, who preceded him as a teacher of Gnosticism in Samaria, and whom he supplanted with the aid of Cleobius (Const. Apost. 6, 8). He is first introduced to us in the Bible 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 A.V. omits the word καλουμένη, and renders the words "the great power of God." But this is to lose the whole point of the designation. The Samaritans described the angels as δυνάμεις (חֲיָלַים ), i.e. uncreated influences proceeding from God (Gieseler, Eccl. Hist. 1, 48, note 6).

They intended to distinguish Simon from such an order of beings by adding the words "which is called great," meaning thereby the source of all power in other words, the Supreme Deity. Simon was recognized as the incarnation of this power. He announced himself as in a special sense "some great one" (Acts 8:9), or, to use his own words (as reported by Jerome, on Matthew 24:5), "Ego sum sermo Dei, ego sum Speciosus, ego Paracletus, ego Omnipotens, ego omnia Dei." The preaching and miracles of Philip having excited Simon's observation, he became one of his disciples, and received baptism at his hands. 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 (q.v.) as applied to all traffic spiritual offices. Simon's history subsequently 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. In his journeys he was accompanied by a female named Helena, who had previously been a prostitute at Tyre, but who was now elevated to the position of his ἔννοια, or divine intelligence (Justin Mart. Apol. 1, 26; Euseb. H.E. 2, 13). In the ἔννοια, as embodied in Helena's person, we recognize the dualistic element of Gnosticism derived from the Manichaean system. The Gnostics appear to have recognized the δύναμις and the ἔννοια as the two original principles from whose junction all beings emanated. Simon and Helena were the incarnations in which these principles resided. Simon's first encounter with Peter took place at Caesarea Stratonis (according to the Const. Apost. 6, 8), whence he followed the apostle to Rome.

Eusebius makes no mention of this first encounter, but represents Simon's journey to Rome as following immediately after the interview recorded in Scripture (H.E. 2, 14); but his chronological statements are evidently confused, for in the very same chapter he states that the meeting between the two at Rome took place in the reign of Claudius, some ten years after the events in Samaria. Justin Martyr, with greater consistency, represents Simon as having visited Rome in the reign of Claudius, and omits all notice of an encounter with Peter. His success there was so great that he was deified, and a statue was erected in his honor with the inscription "Simoni Deo Sancto" (Apol. 1, 26, 56). Justin's authority has been impugned in respect to this statement on the ground that a tablet was discovered in 1574 on the Tiberina insula, which answers to the locality described by Justin (ἐν τῷ Τίβερι ποταμῷ μεταξῷ τῶν δύο γεφυρῶν ), and bearing an inscription, the first words of which are "Semoni Sanco Deo Fidio." This inscription, which really applies to the Sabine Hercules (Sancus Semo), is generally supposed to have been mistaken by Justin in his ignorance of Latin, for one in honor of Simon. Yet the inscription goes on to state the name of the giver and other particulars. "Semoni Sanco Deo Fidio sacrum Sex. Pompeius, Sp. F. Col. Mussianus Quinquennalis decus Bidentalis donum dedit." That Justin, a man of literary acquirements, should be unable to translate such an inscription that he should misquote it in an Apology duly prepared at Rome for the eye of a Roman emperor and that the, mistake should be repeated by other early writers whose knowledge of Latin is unquestioned (Irenaeus, Adv. Hoeres. 1, 20; Tertullian, Apol. 13) these assumptions form a series of difficulties in the way of the theory (Salmasius, Ad Spartianum, p. 38; Van Dale, De Oraculis, p. 579; Burton, Heresies of the Apostolic Age, p. 374, etc.). The above statements can be reconciled only by assuming that Simon made two expeditions to Rome the first in the reign of Claudius; the second, in which he encountered Peter, in the reign of Nero about the year 68 (Burton, Lectures, 1, 233, 318); and even this takes for granted the disputed fact of Peter's visit to Rome. (See PETER).

This later date is to a certain extent confirmed by the account of Simon's death preserved by Hippolytus (Adv. Hoeres. 6, 20); for the event is stated to have occurred while Peter and Paul (the term ἀποστόλοις evidently implying the presence of the latter) were together at Rome. Simon's death is associated with the meeting in question. According to Hippolytus, the earliest authority on the subject, Simoan was buried alive at his own request, in the confident assurance that he would rise again on the third day (ibid. 6, 20). According to another account, he attempted to fly, in proof of his supernatural power, in answer to the prayers of Peter, he fell and sustained a fracture of his thigh and ankle bones (Const. Apost. 2, 14; 6, 9); overcome with vexation, he committed suicide (Arnob. Adv. Gent. 2, 7). Whether this statement is confirmed, or, on the other hand, weakened, by the account of a similar attempt to fly recorded by heathen writers (Sueton. Nero, 12; Juven. Sat. 3, 79), is uncertain. Simon's attempt may have supplied the basis for this report, or this report may have been erroneously placed to his credit. Burton (Lectures, 1, 295) rather favors the former alternative. Simon is generally pronounced by early writers to have been the founder of heresy. It is difficult to understand how he was guilty of heresy in the proper sense of the term, inasmuch as he was not a Christian. Perhaps it refers to his attempt to combine Christianity with Gnosticism. He is also reported to have forged works professing to emanate from Christ and his disciples (Const. Apost. 6, 16). See Tillemont Memoires, 1, 158 sq.; Beausobre, Hist. du Manicheisme, vol. 1; Ittigius, Hist. Eccles. Selecta Capita, 5, 16, etc.; Mosheim, History of the Church, cent. 2, 5, 12; De Rebus Christianorum, etc., p. 190 sq.; Burton, Heresies of the Apostolic Age, lect. 4; Milman, Hist. of Christianity, 2, 96 sq., etc.

16. A tanner and a Christian convert living at Joppa at whose house Peter lodged (Acts 9:43). A.D. 32. The profession of tanner was regarded with considerable contempt, and even as approaching to uncleanness, by the rigid Jews. (See TANNER). That Peter selected such an abode showed the diminished hold which Judaism had on him. The house was near the seaside (10, 6, 32), for the convenience of the water Smith. The traditionary "house of Simon" is still shown at Jaffa in a not improbable position. Some time since an order was issued by the sultan for removing the old walls and fortifications at Jaffa (Joppa). In cutting a gate through a water battery at an angle of the sea wall built by Vespasian, and directly in front of the reputed house of Simon the tanner, the men came on three oval-shaped tanners vats, hewn out of the natural rock and lined with Roman cement, down very near the sea, and similar in every respect to those in use eighteen centuries ago. There is also a freshwater spring flowing from the cliffs close by, long known as the town spring. This discovery at least proves that the house on the rocky bluff above, and from which steps lead down to the vats, must have belonged to some tanner; and, as perhaps not more than one of that trade would believing in so small a place as Jaffa, some probability is given to the tradition that this is the identical spot where the house of Simon stood with whom Peter was sojourning when he saw his vision. (See JOPPA).

17. A well informed citizen of Jerusalem who persuaded the people to exclude Agrippa from the Temple, but was pardoned for the offense on his confession (Josephus, Ant. 19, 7, 4). A.D. 38.

18. Son of Saul, and a distinguished Jew who slew many of the inhabitants of Scythopolis, and finally killed himself, with his entire family (Josephus, War, 2, 18, 4). A.D. 69.

19. Son of Gioras of Gerasa, and a prominent leader of the Jews in their last struggle with the Romans, according to Josephus, who relates at length some of his exploits against Cestius Gallus (War, 2, 19, 2), his intrigues at Massada, his campaigns in Acrabbattine and Idumaea (ibid. 4, 9, 3 sq.), and his final capture and execution by the Romans (ibid. 7, 2, 1; 5, 6). A.D. 70.

20. Son of Cathlas and one of the Idumaean generals who came at the invitation of the Zealots during the intestine broils at the final siege of Jerusalem. Josephus recites a speech of his on the occasion (War, 4, 4, 4 ) A.D. 70.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Simon'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​s/simon.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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