Devotional Readings

Mark 15:21 – A few chosen names…

This verse refers to a family we know little about.

Mar 15:21  And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

Old John Gill writes…
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian,…. See Gill on Mat 27:32;

Mat 27:32  And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

They found a man of Cyrene: a place in Libya, and one of the five cities called Pentapolis: which were these, Berenice, Arsinoe, Ptolemais, Apollonia, and Cyrene (l); Kir in Amo 1:5 is rendered by the Targum, קירני, “Cyrene”, as it is also by the Vulgate Latin. There were many Jews dwelt here, as appears from Act 2:10, as this man was a Jew, as his name shows; and besides, there was a synagogue of the Cyrenian Jews at Jerusalem, Act 6:9, so that though he was a native of Cyrene, he might now dwell there, and some of these were converted to the faith of Christ; for of those that were scattered abroad at the death of Stephen, some were men of Cyrene, Act 11:19. And it is very likely, that this man was a favourer of Christ, which might be one reason why they laid hold on him, and obliged him to bear the cross of Christ; since he was the father of Alexander and Rufus, who were men of note among the first Christians:

Simon by name; of which name was one of the apostles, and a common name among the Jews, and signifies hearkening and obedient: and none are fit to bear, or will bear the cross of Christ, but such who hearken to his voice, and are obedient to him, being made willing in the day of his power:

The father of Alexander and Rufus; who were men well known when Mark wrote his Gospel, and very likely men of eminence among Christians: mention is made of Alexander in Act 19:33 and of Rufus, in Rom 16:13, which some have thought the same as here; but whether they are or not, is not certain: however, they obliged “Simon”

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