Re: Simon of Bethany

From: George Athas (
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 20:05:58 EDT

Hi Steven!

As Jack mentioned, Lazar is a contraction of the longer El`azar. It does
not stem from a semitic root LZR. It comes from El ("God") + `azar

It is quite a good possiblity that Simon the Leper was Lazarus' father.
However, he could have been dead or out in a leper colony while his
children (who weren't lepers) lived back in the house where Jesus dined.

Another possiblity is that "Leper" is a nickname for Simon, not an
adjective describing his medical condition. Since perfume-ointment is
prominent in the narrative, Simon may have been called "the Leper"
because he was a perfume-ointment maker (hence the nerd in his house)
and lepers needed his products as balms. (Remember that "leprosy" is a
term for any skin disease, not necessarily the flesh-eating disease.)
This would see Simon as a "leper" by association, not condition.

The other Jar-maker suggestion is good, too.

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:40 EDT