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Who Was Simeon In The Bible

After the death of Christ, Simeon continued to teach Christianity until he died at 83 years old.

Simeon was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, who was also his cousin. He was born in Jerusalem and received a vision that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. When Jesus was presented to the Temple, Simeon took him in his arms, and prophesied about him. He remained with Christ during his public life and witnessed the crucifixion. After this, he joined the apostles and helped them spread Christianity throughout Palestine.

Facts About Simeon In The Bible

Who Was Simeon In The Bible? A Character Study

Who was the Simeon mentioned in the Bible? Who was the one Simeon in the Old Testament and the Simeon in the New Testament?

Simeon (Greek: Συμεών) at the Temple is the “just and devout” man of Jerusalem who, according to Luke 2:25–35, met Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus’ birth, i. e. the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

Simeon, Son of Jacob

Simeon was one of the twelve tribes of Israel or Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (Gen 49:5; Joshua 19:8). Each tribe of Israel began with one family and after hundreds of years, these tribes grew larger and larger until the twelve tribes grew into the millions so the first Simeon mentioned in the Bible and who lived during the Old Testament period, was one of the sons of Jacob but naturally, we find a different Simeon mentioned in the New Testament as we will later read. An interesting note is that Simeon, the son of Levi, is in Jesus’ genealogy that is mentioned in Luke 3:23-38 that goes all the way back to Adam but the Simeon mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy (Luke 3:3) is obviously not the same Simeon that we will read out about in the New Testament.

Who was Simeon of the New Testament?

The Simeon mentioned in the Old Testament lived in Jerusalem and it was said of him that “this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25b-26). Somehow, the Holy Spirit had spoken to Simeon and revealed to him that before he died, he would see the Lord Jesus Christ or “the Lord’s Christ” meaning the Lord’s anointed one. That is obviously referring to Jesus Christ as Christ means anointed. It also appears that Simeon was an older man and probably well advanced in years because part of Simeon’s revelation by the Spirit was that after seeing the child he would depart this life. This explains why he said, after seeing the Lord as a babe, now let “your servant depart in peace, according to your word” (Luke 2:29).

The Spirit Speaks to Simeon

As I wrote earlier, the Spirit must have spoken to Simeon that he would see the Lord’s anointed before he died for it was written that “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law” (Luke 2:26-27). Did Simeon hear the audible voice or an inward voice from God the Holy Spirit? We just don’t know but we do know the Spirit spoke to him in one way or another. That is obvious from these verses in Luke chapter two.

Simeon’s Prophecy

Somehow the Spirit must have also communicated to Simeon that Jesus is the only way to salvation as he told Jesus’ parents “for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:31-32). This is why “his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him” (Luke 2:33) but then came a prophecy about Jesus and specifically to Mary “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). There are at least two important revelations here; one is that Jesus “is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel” meaning that those who believed in Him would rise (from the dead?) and enter the kingdom and others would fall as He would be a stumbling block for those who disbelieved in Him (1st Cor 1:23).  Simeon also said that with a sword her heart or soul would be pierced, which occurred at the cross as Mary had to watch her son die and Jesus Himself would literally be pierced with a sword.

Another Simeon

There is yet one more Simeon in the New Testament but since the first Simeon to appear in the New Testament was likely very old, this could not have been the same one. Simeon was a very common name at this time in Judea. In the early church “there were…at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1) so this Simeon is not the one that most people associate as the Simeon of the New Testament and the one in the Old Testament, who was one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) and whose family grew large and became the tribe of Simeon.

You may safely and confidently navigate all the mazes of this world with God’s Word in your hands and mind. The true and narrow path is so boldly outlined that even a runner can read it. A traveler, even a fool, can safely navigate it (Isaiah 35:8) because it is clearly marked with God’s laws, even though the rest of the world can’t see them. The Spirit of Truth, who is unseen, guides us and reassures us when we are unsure of what to do, saying “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21). As a result, you can continue on your journey to the city of God with peace of mind as you rely on the Bible as “a lamp to your feet, and a light unto your path” (Psalm 119:105), a route that no one knows save He who leads you.

 The path brightens as you travel over mountains and through valleys, eventually leading to the ideal day. That’s what the wise say (Proverbs 4:18). If we pay attention and steer our rickety schooner by God’s Word, we will reach the promised land of eternal peace and rest without hitting any snags along the way. But if we are not careful and arrogant and rely on our own conceits, we will sink our faith. A young lieutenant in the English navy recently reported a previously unknown and potentially hazardous rock in the Mediterranean to the admiralty. The directive to include it on all charts was sent via telegraph to every station. 

An elderly man was in charge of the first ship to pass over the location, and when he saw the new warning on his map, he was interested to know who had first reported the rock. When told this, he said, “There is no such rock there.” Twenty years of sailing this sea have left me without evidence of such a rock. Then, full of self-importance, he ordered his sailing-master to take the ship straight over the target. The brave ship sailed straight through the perilous area. The ship crashed with terrible force, taking the lives of everyone aboard. Many a Christian has gone down in flames due to arrogance or ignoring his infallible compass. We pray that the Holy Spirit would prompt us to carefully examine the course laid out for us by God.


One thing that Simeon wrote is still true today; Jesus is the cause of many to rise and to fall. For those who believe in Him and have repented and put their trust in Him, they shall rise but for those who reject Him they will forever live with that regret (Rev 20:12-15).

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