Summary: Simon was a fisherman from the town of Capernaum. He and his brother Andrew
were fishing partners with James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Simon became an early
disciple of Yeshua after an incident in which, having been instructed by Yeshua to
lower fishing nets from the boat, caught a multitude of fish (Y:6:58-62). Soon after,
Simon invited Yeshua to stay at his house in Capernaum; it was there that Yeshua
healed Cleophas, Simon’s mother-in-law (Y:7:1-4).
Simon received the name Cephas (from which the name Peter is derived) when Yeshua
appointed him, along with James and John, to be leaders over the twelve apostles
(Y:19:1-3). Cephas was one of the few to witness the transfiguration event on Mount
Tabor (Y:19:2-15). He was rather protective of Yeshua, often trying to convince Yeshua
not to travel to areas that were not supportive or potentially dangerous (Y:34:35-36;
Cephas was present during the last supper, where he initially refused to allow Yeshua
to wash his feet (Y:45:35-39). It was during the supper that Yeshua predicted Cephas’
denial of him (Y:45:66), saying: “Will you lay down your life for my sake, Cephas?
I tell you truly, the cock shall not crow till you have denied me three times.” Cephas
was guilt-stricken after denying Yeshua (47:1-12), and after the crucifixion, would
not count himself among the apostleship. However, Cephas received some reconciliation
when he affirmed three times his love for the resurrected Yeshua (Y:49:1-23).
Azrael’s Commentary - Cephas / Simon Bar Jonas
Brother of Andrew, Cephas was a Galilean fisherman from the city of Capernaum. He
and his brother were in partnership with two other brothers named James and John,
the sons of Zebedee. Before meeting Yeshua, Cephas was a loud, impetuous and volatile
man; a man of crude manners who often spoke before thinking. He could be abrasive
and domineering. Cephas often proved prideful in the fact that he would take it upon
himself to rebuke and criticize Yeshua whenever he thought that it was needed. As
a result, Yeshua would chastise Cephas for assuming such a position (Yeshua 40:25-26).
After the resurrection of Yeshua, Cephas changed. He became known as a kind and compassionate
man. Cephas never quite forgave himself for denying Yeshua three times. But he did
spend the rest of his life trying to make amends. Cephas became the head of the church
in Galilee until 55 CE, when he turned the job over to James the brother of Yeshua.
It was Cephas’ intent to go check on the churches which were being created through
the preaching of Paul. Cephas was asked to undertake this project by the original
apostles of Yeshua, of which Paul was not a member. None of the apostles really trusted
Paul. He was too educated, too pushy and always took it as his right to tell the
apostles what he thought they should be doing. And while it was the original apostles
who encouraged Paul to go into the Gentile world to preach, they only did so to get
him out of Israel where he would be seen as a nuisance and a handicap to the Jewish
Christian churches. Yet because the original apostles did not trust Paul, they sent
with him the newest member of the apostleship, Barnabas, to watch over him.
Cephas took with him his wife, Joanna, and together they visited the churches of
the Roman world. It must be said that they were well received by the churches of
Paul. As the years passed, Cephas and Paul set aside their differences and became
friends. They worked more and more together; Cephas would talk about the life of
Yeshua, and Paul would teach doctrine. Cephas was crucified in Rome in 65 CE, under
the orders of Nero.
Azrael’s Commentary - Andrew Bar Jonas
Brother of Simon; [Andrew was] a quiet man who was devoted to finding God in his
life. He left his home in Capernaum to become a disciple of John the Baptizer. This
left his brother Simon very angry. Simon didn’t care anything about spirituality.
As far as Simon was concerned, God wasn’t going to make fish jump into his boat,
only hard work could do that. And if Andrew’s leaving wasn’t bad enough for Simon,
John and James, the sons of Zebedee and partners in their fishing endeavors went
with Andrew to become fellow disciples of John the Baptizer. When John the Baptizer
proclaimed that Yeshua of Nazareth was the Anointed One foretold of in scripture,
Andrew rushed to become his first disciple.[...]
And there were of John’s disciples who followed after Yeshua, Andrew Bar Jonas, the
brother of Simon; John Bar Zebedee, the brother of James; Philip of Bethsaida, the
son of Jabesh the fisherman; and James Ben Alpheus, the brother of Levi.
And [Yeshua] set over the twelve Simon, which he surnamed Cephas, for he was constant
and ever faithful unto the Lord; and with him also did Yeshua appoint James and John
the sons of Zebedee.
And when they had gone, Yeshua took the twelve with Peter, James, and John, and with
them also did he take Miriam his mother and the seven which she appointed, and certain
others also, and together they ascended the mount.
But Simon Bar Jonas spoke unto Yeshua, saying: “Lord, we have forsaken all things
for your sake. What, therefore, shall we gain unto ourselves, seeing that we have
none else but you?”
And he answered them, saying: “Whosoever has forsaken houses or land, brothers or
sisters, father or mother, wife or children for my sake, even they shall receive
a hundredfold from God, even life everlasting shall you inherit in the kingdom of
And the Lord, seeing that some would still follow after him, said: “Why will you
follow after me? Will you not also go away?”
And Simon Bar Jonas, kneeling before the Lord, said: “To whom then shall we go? For
in your word alone have we found eternal life.
For we know of a surety and do believe that you are the very Anointed One which is
come from God.”
And he set over the twelve Simon, which he surnamed Cephas, for he was constant and
ever faithful unto the Lord; and with him also did Yeshua appoint James and John
the sons of Zebedee.
But this word will I speak for your sake: for when I am come again unto Jerusalem,
then shall the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of the chief priests and scribes,
and they shall condemn him unto death.
And they shall deliver him unto the Gentiles for judgment and death, and they shall
mock him, and scourge him, and spit upon him, and they shall crucify the Holy One
And the Heavens shall gather darkness, and the lightning shall flash and thunder
all about, and the earth shall be convulsed with sorrow because of it.”
But Cephas, being angered against the Lord because of these things, rebuked him,
saying: “God forbid that these things should be!”
The Lord answered him, saying: “Get you behind me Satan, for you are an offense unto
me; for you know not the things which are come from God, but seek only the things
which be of men.”
And Cephas, when he heard this, wept; for no man could constrain the Lord from going
And Cephas spoke unto the Lord, saying: “Lord, if you go away, how then shall we
find you again? For in you alone are all good things made manifest.”
Yeshua answered him, saying: “Fear not Cephas, for if you would do according to my
word always, then shall you look within you, and there shall you ever find me.
And joy and peace shall make rich your habitation, and truth and glory shall make
bright the way before you.
Break apart the wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone to look beneath, even there
shall you find me.
And wheresoever the wind shall breathe, bowing low the lilies of the field, even
there shall you see the Father dancing away upon the hills, and waving his hands
upon the trees.”