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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Canaanite, or Rather Cananite

(Received Text [with the Codex Sinaiticus], Κανανιτης; Codex A, Κανανείτης; Lachm. with B C, Καναναῖος; D, Χαναναῖος; Vulg. Chananeus), the designation of the apostle SIMON, otherwise known as "Simon Zelotes." It occurs in Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18. This word does not signify a descendant of Canaan, that being in the Greek both of the Sept. and the N.T. Χαναναῖος = כַּבִעֲנַוֹ (comp. Matthew 15:22 with Mark 7:26). Nor does it signify, as has been suggested, a native of Kana, since that would probably be Κανίτης. But it comes from the Hebrews קִנָּא, kanna', zealous, or rather from the Chaldee קִנְאָן, Kanan', or Syriac Kanenyeh, by which the Jewish sect or faction of "the Zealots" so prominent in the last days of Jerusalem was designated (see Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 2060). This Syriac word is the reading of the Peshito version. The Greek equivalent is Ζηλωτής, Zelotes, and this Luke (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) has correctly preserved. Matthew and Mark, on the other hand, have literally transferred the Syriac word, as the Sept. did frequently before them. There is no necessity to suppose, as Mr. Cureton does (Nitrian Rec. 87), that they mistook the word for Kena'anyeh= Χαναναῖος, a Canaanite or descendant of Canaan. The Evangelists could hardly commit such an error, whatever subsequent transcribers of their works may have done. But that this meaning was afterward attached to the word is plain from the readings of the Codex Bezae (D) and the Vulgate above. The spelling of the A. V. has doubtless led many to the same conclusion; and it would be well if it were altered to "Kananite," or some other form (as was done in the late revision by the Am. Bib. Society, whose standard" text had" Cananite") distinguished from the well-known one in which it now stands. (See ZELOTES).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Canaanite, or Rather Cananite'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/canaanite-or-rather-cananite.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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