Summary: Member of the Zealot party, Simon Zelotes was originally a disciple of
John the Baptizer, and may be the unidentified Zealot who asked John the Baptizer
how the Anointed One would assume the throne of David (Y:2:33). Simon later came
to follow Yeshua and became one of his first apostles. Simon shared many of the same
ideals as Judas of Kerioth, who was also a Zealot. Scripture relates how several
of the disciples, including Simon and Judas, made efforts to align Yeshua and the
Zealots (Y:15:59-66). Simon and Judas hoped to establish an alliance between the
Zealots and Yeshua, believing Yeshua was capable of purging the temple and overthrowing
the Roman occupation of Israel. Yeshua’s refusal to join forces with the Zealots
offended Simon and many of the disciples who supported the Zealot cause (Y:29:1-60;
Azrael’s Commentary - Simon Zelotes
A Zealot who first followed John the Baptizer and later became a disciple of Yeshua.
Appointed by Yeshua as one of the first apostles, Simon Zelotes often found it difficult
to understand Yeshua. Simon Zelotes wanted revolution; Yeshua spoke of peace. Simon
Zelotes wanted war and blood; Yeshua spoke of loving one’s enemies and of turning
the other cheek. Simon Zelotes fervently desired the restoration of the kingdom of
David; Yeshua preached the kingdom of Heaven which had already descended, even though
few could see it. And although Simon Zelotes found it difficult to understand the
profound spiritual forces which motivated Yeshua, he could not deny the obvious and
profound powers which Yeshua revealed through the healing of the sick and the raising
of the dead.
The betrayal of Yeshua by Judas turned Simon Zelotes against the Zealots and towards
peace. After the resurrection Simon became a devoted disciple and apostle, working
tirelessly in building bridges between Jews and Gentiles. Simon Zelotes was stoned
to death in Babylon in 62 CE; his body was thrown in the city dump for wild animals
“In 63 CE, Jude was made a member of the apostleship, replacing Simon Zelotes who
was martyred in Babylon.”
Azrael’s Commentary - Jude; para. 4
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Now there came unto John certain of his disciples and one of them, being a Zealot,
spoke, saying: “Rabboni, we know that you are sent by God unto the people, tell us,
therefore, by what power shall the Anointed One throw off the power of Rome. For
at his coming we would lift the sword against the oppressor, that we might establish
again in Jerusalem the throne of David.”
3. And as he was teaching, there came Judas of Kerioth and Simon Zelotes, saying:
“Know you not my Lord how close to power you stand?
4. For see how many are come forth to serve you, that they might establish in your
name the throne of David.
5. Go, therefore, my Lord, unto the temple that we might enter in unawares; for we
know of a surety that you are come from God, for no man can do as you have done except
that God be with him.
6. And if it so be that you shall enter in, then shall we take by force the temple,
and you shall we make both king and high priest over all Israel.
7. For if we take by force the house of the Lord, how then shall Rome prevail against
you, seeing that you are come from God and are made to dwell in the house of God
8. When the Lord heard these things, he looked about and seeing in the crowd many
which were of the Zealots prepared for battle, he groaned in his soul;
9. And speaking unto Judas, he said: “What evil have you done for my name’s sake?
Get you, therefore, away from me, for you have no part with me.”
10. Now when Judas heard this, he was stunned unto silence and he brooded darkly
against the Lord for Israel’s sake; for he knew not his own sin.
11. And they which were of the Zealots, when they heard how the Master rebuked even
the whole of them, they set their hearts against him, and sought instead to kill
him; for he had upbraided them before all the people.
Now there came seeking the Master, Judas of Kerioth and Simon Zelotes; and when it
was evening they found the Lord sitting in a garden by the house of Martha and Lazarus.
And going in unto him, they fell down before him and repented all their sins, and
he frankly forgave them both and set them again among their brethren.