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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Zeb´edee (Jehovah's gift), husband of Salome, and father of the apostles James and John (; ; ; ; ; ; ). He was the owner of a fishing boat on the Lake of Gennesaret, and, with his sons, followed the business of a fisherman. He was present, mending the nets with them, when Jesus called James and John to follow him (; ; ); and as he offered no obstacle to their obedience, but remained alone without murmuring in the vessel, it is supposed that he had been previously a disciple of John the Baptist, and, as such, knew Jesus to be the Messiah. At any rate, he must have known this from his sons, who were certainly disciples of the Baptist. It is very doubtful whether Zebedee and his sons were of that very abject condition of life which is usually ascribed to them. They seem to have been in good circumstances, and were certainly not poor. Zebedee was the owner of a 'ship,' or fishing smack, as we should call it—and, perhaps, of more than one; he had laborers under him (); his wife was one of those pious women whom the Lord allowed 'to minister unto him of their substance;' and the fact that Jesus recommended his mother to the care of John, implies that he had the means of providing for her; while a still further proof that Zebedee's family was not altogether mean, may be found, perhaps, in the fact, that John was personally known to the high-priest ().





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Zebedee'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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