The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 10:4
Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot…
This is the last couple, for they are all mentioned by pairs,
because they were sent forth "by two and two", as the Evangelist
Mark says, (Mark 6:7) . The former of these is called Simon the
Canaanite, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, before mentioned;
not that he was a Canaanite, that is, an inhabitant of the land of
Canaan, a man of Canaan, as a certain woman is called a woman of
Canaan, (Matthew 15:22) for all the disciples of Christ were Jews; though
in Munster's Hebrew Gospel he is called (ynenkh Nwemv) , "Simeon the
Canaanite", or of Canaan, as if he belonged to that country; nor is
he so called from Cana of Galilee, as Jerorm and others have
thought; but he was one of the (Myanq) , "Kanaim", or "Zealots"; and
therefore Luke styles him, "Simon called Zelotes", (Luke 6:15) (Acts 1:13) .
The Kanaites, or Zelotes, were a set of men, who, in imitation
of Phinehas, who slew Zimri and Cozbi in the very act of
uncleanness, when they found any persons in the act of adultery,
idolatry, blasphemy, or theft, would immediately kill them without
any more ado: this they did, from a pretended zeal for the honour
and glory of God: nor were they accountable to any court of
judicature for it; yea, such an action was highly applauded, as a
very laudable one F26: under this specious name of Zealots,
innumerable murders, and most horrible wickedness were committed,
both before, and during the siege of Jerusalem, as Josephus F1
relates. Now Simon was one of this sect before his conversion, and
still retained the name afterwards. Judas, the last of the twelve,
is called Iscariot; concerning which name, the notation of it, and
the reason of his being so called, many are the conjectures of
learned men: some think that he belonged to the tribe of Issachar,
and that he is called from thence, (rkvvy vya) , "a man of Issachar",
as a certain man is, in (Judges 10:1) others, that he takes his name from
the place he belonged to, and that he was called (twyrq vya) , "a man
of Kerioth". A place of this name is mentioned, (Joshua 15:25) and some
manuscripts and copies in some places read Judas (apo Karuwtou) , of
"Caryot". Caryota is said F2 to be a plain of the city of Jericho,
about eighteen miles from Jerusalem, which abounded in palm trees,
called (yjyyrwq) , "Caryotae", of which mention is made in the F3
Talmud, and other writers F4. Others think he is so called, from
the Syriac word, (ajwyrko) , "secariota", which signifies a "purse", or
bag, because he carried the bag. Some copies read it, (skariwtev) ,
"scariotes": others are of opinion, that he is so called, from the
manner of death he died, which was strangling: for (arkoa) , "ascara",
a word often used in the F5 Talmudic writings, signifies
"strangling"; and is accounted by the Jews the hardest of deaths,
and an evil one; and which seems to bid fair for the true reason of
his name: however, it is mentioned here, as elsewhere, to
distinguish him from Jude, or Judas, the true and faithful apostle
of Christ; for this was he,
who also betrayed him;
that is, Christ, as the Persic version reads
it; and which is mentioned, not only for further distinction's sake,
but to his great reproach. We learn from hence, that in the purest
society on earth there has been an impure person; nor can it
therefore be expected it should be otherwise in the best of
churches, in the present state of imperfection; yea, that a man may
have the highest gifts and attainments, as Judas had, ministerial
gifts, and power of performing miracles, and yet be a vile person.
F26 Misn. Sanhedrim, c. 9. sect. 6. & Bartenora, in ib. T. Avoda Zara,
fol. 36. 2. Maimon. Issure Bia, c. 12. sect. 4, 5, 6. 14. &
Sanhedrim, c. 18. sect. 6. & Obede Cochabim, c. 2. sect. 9. Philo
de Monarchia, l. 1. p. 818.
F1 De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 1, 2. & 6. 1. Vid. Abot R. Nathan, c. 6. fol.
F2 Vid. Wolfi Heb. Bibl. p. 410.
F3 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 50. 2. & Avoda Zara, fol. 14. 2.
F4 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4.
F5 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 8. 1. & Sabbat, fol. 33. 1. Sota, fol. 35. 1.
Pesachim, fol. 105. 1. Taanith, fol. 19. 2. & 27. 2. Yebamot, fol.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=010&verse=004>. 1999.