A Zealot; in general, one passionately and fanatically ardent in any cause. After the time of Christ the name Zelote was commonly applied to an association of private individuals who without authority or law sought to enforce their own views of the law. In their opinion it was a high crime to pay tribute to the Romans and rebellion was the duty of every patriotic Jew. Beginning with moderation, they became more and more violent; and during the Roman war excesses and crimes under the pretext of zeal of the Lord are described by Josephus as truly appalling; so that they acquired the appropriate name of Sicarii, or assassins. As the germ of this body seems to have existed in our Lord’s day, some suppose that the apostle Simon Zelotes was so called from his having once belonged to it. The name Canaanite, or more properly Canaanite, from the Hebrew kana, has the same meaning with Zelotes, Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18. Little more is known respecting Simon.