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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Zebedee

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A fisherman of Galilee; father of James and John. In easy circumstances, for he owned a boat and hired servants (Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:20). Salome his wife ministered to Jesus (Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41). His disinterestedness and favorable disposition towards Christ appear in his allowing without objection his sons to leave him at Christ's call; Zebedee ("gift of Jehovah") is equivalent in meaning to John (gift or favor of Jehovah); the father naturally giving his son a name similar in meaning to his own. John's acquaintance with Annas the high priest implies the good social position of the family.

In Matthew 4:21, at the call of James and John, Zebedee was alive; at Matthew 20:20 the peculiar phrase "the mother of Zebedee's children" implies Zebedee was no longer alive, for otherwise she would be called the wife of Zebedee or the mother of James and John. In Matthew 8:21 the disciple's request, "Lord, suffer me first to go (home) and (wait until the death of, and) bury my father," may possibly refer to Zebedee; for the name "disciple" was given to but few, and a boat contained all the disciples Matthew 9:37; Matthew 8:23). If so, it will be an undesigned coincidence marking genuineness (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences, Part 4).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Zebedee'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/z/zebedee.html. 1949.

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