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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Zealot; Zealots

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zel´ut , zel´uts : Simon, one of the apostles, was called "the Zealot" Ζηλωτής , Zēlōtḗs from ζηλόω , zēlóō "to rival," "emulate," "be jealous," "admire," "desire greatly," Luke 6:15 ; Acts 1:13 , the King James Version "Zelotes"). In Matthew 10:4 and Mark 3:18 he is called "the Cananean" (so the Revised Version (British and American) correctly; not "the Canaanite," as the King James Version says, following inferior manuscripts), ὁ Καναναῖος , ho Kananaı́os . From the time of the Maccabees there existed among the Jews a party who professed great zeal for the observance of the "law." According to Josephus (BJ , IV, iii, 9; v, 1; VII, viii, 1) they resorted to violence and assassination in their hatred of the foreigner, being at many points similar to the Chinese Boxers. It is not improbable that the "Assassins" (see ASSASSINS ) of Acts 21:38 were identical, or at least closely associated, with this body of "Zealots," to which we must conclude that Simon had belonged before he became one of the Twelve. See, further, SIMON THE ZEALOT .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Zealot; Zealots'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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