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The Sicarii

The modern-day definition of zealot is "a fervent or militant proponent of something." The original Zealots, or Zelotes, from the Greek word pronounced dzay-low-tace, were members of a Jewish sect that at first just refused to pay tribute (see Custom and Tribute) to the pagan Romans who then occupied the land of Israel (see Ancient Empires - Rome), declaring that God was their only King.

Their "zealousness" eventually escalated to violence and assassination against the Romans, and anyone else, including other Jews, who cooperated with the Romans. The overwhelming power of the Roman military caused their rebellion to fail, after which they became scattered rebels who were also known as Sicarii ("dagger men"), from their deadly use of the sica, a Roman dagger. The Zealots were leading members of the revolt against Rome in 66-70 AD (see Vespasian) and at Masada they committed suicide rather than surrender to the Roman Tenth Legion. At least one of The Twelve Apostles, who were personally chosen by Jesus Christ was a "dagger man" - Simon (not to be confused with the other Simon who is known as Peter).

"The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"

After spending the night in prayer, asking God to guide His selection, the next day Jesus Christ chose Simon the zealous one, "Simon called Zelotes," to be one of the twelve apostles:


"And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." [note that Jesus Christ didn't pray to Himself; He prayed to God - see The King Of The King Of Kings]

"And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles; Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor." (Luke 6:12-16 KJV)

The Christian "zealous" were different however; they were just as determined, but the "sword" that they used, along with their "shield of faith," was "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." The battle that they found themselves in wasn't to take life, but to help others to find life.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with Truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace [see also The Prince of Peace]; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:13-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is "the Word of God quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword"?
Hebrews 4:12

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