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bible dictionary online
Biographies of Bible Characters, People and characters in the Bible
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | T | U | V | Z | Introduction

Sa | Sal | Sam | San | Sap | Sar | Sau | Sc | Se | Ser | Set | Sha | Shal | Sham | Shap | Shar | She | Shec | Shel | Shem | Shep | Sher | Shi | Shim | Sho | Shu | Si | Sim | Sis | So | St | Su | Sy

Names beginning with S

This guide is intended for visitors who want to learn more about the Bible. Please use the hyperlinks in the table above to navigate this page. If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this guide, please e-mail me by clicking on this link.


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Sabtah was a son of Cush and great grandson of Aloah. Genesis 10.7

Sabteca was a son of Cush and great grandson of Noah. Genesis 10.7

Sala is an alternative form of the name of Salmon. Luke 3.32

Salma is an alternative form of the name of Salmon. 1 Chronicles 2.11

Salmon was the son of Nahshon and the father of Boaz, a descendant of Judah, and an ancestor of David and of Joseph. Ruth 4.20, 21; 1 Chronicles 2.11; Matthew 1.4, 5; Luke 3.32

Salome (1) was a daughter of Herodias and Philip, who danced before Herod Antipas with the result that the tetrarch promised to grant any request she might make. Prompted by her mother, whose liaison with Herod had been condemned by John the Baptist, Salome asked for the head of John (whom Herod had imprisoned) who was forthwith executed. The name of Salome is not used in the gospels but is known from extra-biblical sources. Matthew 14.6-11; Mark 6.22-28

Salome (2) was one of a group of women followers of Jesus, headed by Mary Magdalene. According to Mark, she was a witness of the crucifixion and present at Jesus' tomb on the morning of the resurrection. Mark 15.40; 16.1-8

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Samgar-nebo was an officer in the army of Nebuchadrezzar, one of the soldiers who captured Jerusalem in Zedekiah's reign. Jeremiah 39.3

Samlah was an Edomite king from Masrekah. He followed Hadad, while Shaul succeeded him. Genesis 36.36, 37; 1 Chronicles 1.47, 48

Samson was a Danite, the son of Manoah, and a legendary folk-hero and champion of Israel. An angelic visitor foretold Samon's birth to his hitherto barren mother, and gave instructions for the boy to be brought up as a Nazirite.

When he grew up, Samson married a Philistine woman, to whose countrymen he posed a riddle. When (with her assistance) they solved it, he provided their prize of thirty festal garments by killing thirty men of Ashkelon. Later Samson found that his father-in-law had given his wife (whom he had apparently deserted) to another husband. This prompted Samson to his celebrated slaughter of a thousand Philistines, using for a weapon the jawbone of an ass. In retaliation the Philistines laid an ambush outside the gates of Gaza, but Samson frustrated their plans by uprooting both gate and posts, and escaped unharmed.

Samson later married the notorious Delilah, who betrayed him. She begged him to reveal to her the secret of his enormous strength. After several evasions he told her it was due to his hair, which had never been cut. The Philistines then shaved his head as he slept, bound him, and sent him to work as a manual labourer in a mill in Gaza. They held a celebration to mark the capture of the Philistines' arch-enemy. They took Samson to the temple of Dagon to entertain his captors. Being placed between two pillars of the temple, Samson pushed these apart, bringing down the roof, and killing those inside the temple and many on the roof, as well as himself. Judges 13.2-16.31; Hebrews 11.32

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Samuel was a son of Elkanah and Hannah, the last and greatest of the “judges” of Israel. Believing herself barren, Hannah had promised to dedicate to God's service any son she might bear. In accordance with this vow, she took Samuel, when he was weaned, to the sanctuary at Shiloh. Here the priest Eli trained him for the priesthood. In a vision Samuel saw how Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were to be punished for their dissolute conduct.

This prophecy was fulfilled when both men fell in battle against the Philistines, who also captured the Ark of the Covenant. The news of its loss apparently caused the death of Eli, and Samuel succeeded him as priest.

Samuel quickly became known as a prophet, and was soon the recognised spiritual leader of his people. After a succession of defeats, Samuel led Israel to victory over the Philistines. As Samuel's sons did not follow the good example of their father, the Israelites pressed him to appoint a king over them. Though initially reluctant, Samuel gave way to this request and made Saul king.

The new ruler soon fell out of favour with Samuel. He foretold Saul's loss of the throne, and was then divinely instructed to anoint David king, in succession to Saul. Having done this, Samuel retired to Ramah, where he stayed till his death. 1 Samuel 1.1-16.13; 19.18-24; 25.1; 28-3,11-20; 1 Chronicles 29.29; Psalms 99.6; Jeremiah 15.1; Acts 3.24; 13.20; Hebrews 11.32

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Sanballat was a Horonite, an ally of Tobiah and Geshem and an opponent of Nehemiah in his reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem. One of the sons of Jehoiada, the high priest, was married to Sanballat's daughter. Nehemiah 2.10, 19, 20; 4-1-9; 6.1-9, 12, 14; 13.28, 29

Saph was a Philistine champion, reputedly descended from giants. Sibbecai, a soldier of David's army, killed him at Gob. 2 Samuel 21.18; 1 Chronicles 20.4

Sapphira was the wife of Ananias. With her consent, he sold a farm and gave part of the proceeds of the sale to the Jerusalem church, pretending this was the total sum. Rebuked by Peter, Ananias fell dead. On learning of his death Sapphira suffered the same fate. Acts 5.1-11

Sarah was Abraham's wife and half-sister, and the mother of Isaac. Like her husband, Sarah had her name changed from its original form (Sarai) by God. Both Pharaoh and Abimelech, the Philistine ruler, tried to take Sarah as a wife, as Abraham had introduced her to them as his sister. Both, however, learned of the true relationship of Sarah to Abraham before a marriage could take place. Sarah was barren until her ninety-first year, when she bore Isaac to her husband. Rivalry between this child and his elder half-brother, Ishmael, caused the jealous Sarah to send away both Ishmael and his mother. The death of Sarah gave Abraham occasion to buy the cave of Machpelah as a family burial ground. Genesis 11.29-31; 12.5,11-13.1; 16.1-9; 17.15-18.15; 20.2-21.12; 49.31; Romans 4.19; 9.9; Hebrews 11.11; 1 Peter 3.6

Sarai was the original form of the name of Sarah. Genesis 11.29-31; 12.5, 11,17; 16.1-9; 17.15

Sargon was an Assyrian king, the conqueror of Ashdod and Egypt. 2 Kings 17.6-27; Isaiah 20.1

Sarsechim, also known as the Rabsaris, was an officer in Nebuchadrezzar's army, one of those who took Jerusalem in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign. Jeremiah 39.3

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Saul was the son of Kish, the father of Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, Ish-bosheth, Armoni, Merab and Michal, and the first king of Israel (reigned ca. 20-1000 B.C.). Following the public clamour for a king, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul. Initial opposition to Saul was swiftly dispelled by his defeat of Nahash. He had besieged Jabesh-gilead, but Saul routed him after a night-march and a surprise attack.

Saul's undiplomatic actions and apparent disrespect towards Samuel caused him in time to fall from the prophet's favour. At this time Saul became subject to bouts of acute melancholia, and David was engaged to play the lyre to soothe him. The growing popularity of David caused Saul to become jealous of him and to devise plots on his life. Assisted by Michal (whom the king had given him in marriage) and by Jonathan, David escaped from Saul. A rumour that the priests of Nob had aided David, led Saul to authorise their slaughter. The first book of Samuel gives two varying accounts of how, while Saul was pursuing him, David had the opportunity to kill his enemy, but declined it. Saul died in battle against the Philistines, on Mt. Gilboa. The spirit of Samuel, which the witch of En-dor had conjured up at Saul's request, had foretold his death in the battle. The victorious Philistines exhibited Saul's body and armour in public. But the men of Jabesh-gilead recovered them, cremated the body and buried Saul's bones in their city. His elder sons having died in battle with him, Saul was succeeded by Ish-bosheth. 1 Samuel 9.1-31.13; 2 Samuel 1.1-27; 4.4; 7.15; 1 Chronicles 8.33; 9.39; 10.1-14; Psalms 18; 52; 54; 57; 59; Acts 13.21, 22

Saul was the original name of Paul. Acts 7.58; 8.3; 9.1-30; 11.25, 26, 30; 12.25; 13.1, 2, 7, 9

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Sceva was a Jewish high priest whose seven sons attempted exorcism by invoking the name of Jesus, as preached by Paul. A demoniac, who acknowledged Jesus and Paul but not Sceva's sons, attacked them. Acts 19.14-16

Seba was a son of Cush and great-grandson of Noah. Genesis 10.7

Secundus was a companion of Paul as he travelled in Macedonia, on his return from his third missionary journey. Acts 20.4, 5

Segub was the younger son of Hiel of Bethel, the brother of Abiram. When Hiel rebuilt Jericho, he sacrificed Segub as an offering for the city gates, thereby fulfilling a prophecy of Joshua. Joshua 6.26; 1 Kings 16.34

Seir, known as the Horite, was the father of Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. He was thus the ancestor of an important element of the population of Canaan. Genesis 36.20, 21; 1 Chronicles 1.38

Semein was the son of Josech and father of Mattathias, an ancestor of Joseph, in Luke's genealogy. Luke 3.26

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Sennacherib was an Assyrian king, the successor to Sargon II. During the reign of Hezekiah, Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem. He interrupted the siege to attack Libnah, but retired from the siege of the capital after the mysterious death of most of his soldiers. In 681 B.C. his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, assassinated Sennacherib in Nineveh, and another son, Esarhaddon, succeeded him 2 Kings 18.13-19.37; 2 Chronicles 32.1-22; Isaiah 36.1-37.38

Serah was a daughter of Asher. Genesis 46.17; Numbers 26.46

Seraiah (1) was a secretary in David's administration. 2 Samuel 8.17

Seraiah (2) was the chief priest in Jerusalem in the reign of Zedekiah. Nebuzaradan had him executed in Riblah in Babylon. 2 Kings 25.18-21; Jeremiah 52.24-27

Seraiah (3) was the son of Tanhumeth, a captain who served Gedaliah on his appointment as governor of Israel. 2 Kings 25.23; Jeremiah 40.8

Seraiah (4) was the son of Azriel, a servant of Jehoiakim, who ordered him to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch. As neither could be found, Seraiah failed to do this. Jeremiah 36.26

Seraiah (5) was the son of Neriah and brother of Baruch. Jeremiah commanded him to pronounce against Babylon an oracle foretelling its fall, and to enact this symbolically. Jeremiah told Seraiah to attach a written copy of the oracle to a stone, and throw this into the Euphrates, where, like Babylon, it would sink, never to rise again. Jeremiah 51.59-64

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Sered was the eldest son of Zebulun. Genesis 46.14; Numbers 26.26

Sergius Paulus was the Roman proconsul of Cyprus at the time of the visit of Paul and of Barnabas to the island. Paulus, whom Luke describes as “a man of intelligence”, was keen to hear the message of Paul, but was at first dissuaded by the Jewish false prophet Bar-jesus. When Bar-jesus was blinded miraculously at the command of Paul, the governor apparently accepted the apostle's message. Acts 13.7-12

Serug was the son of Reu and father of Nahor, an ancestor of Joseph in Luke's genealogy. Genesis 11.20-23; 1 Chronicles 1.26; Luke 3.35

Seth was the third son of Adam and father of Enosh. Genesis 4.25, 26; 5.3-8; 1 Chronicles 1.1; Luke 3.38

Sethur was an Asherite, and the son of Michael, one of the spies whom Joshua sent to reconnoitre Canaan. Numbers 13.13

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Shaashgaz was a servant of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), a eunuch who kept the second harem, into which the royal concubines passed after their first visit to the king, and from which they did not emerge, unless Ahasuerus summoned them. Esther 2.14

Shabbethai (1) was a Levite, an ally of Jonathan and Jahzeiah and opponent of Ezra's policy of divorcing Jews from gentile wives. Ezra 10.15

Shabbethai (2) was a Levite, an assistant of Ezra in explaining the law to the people of Judah. Nehemiah 8.7

Shadrach was the Babylonian name of Hananiah, a companion of Mishael, Azariah and Daniel. Daniel 1.7; 2.49; 3.12-30

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Shallum (1), the son of Jabesh, was king of Israel (reigned ca. 745 B.C.) in succession to Zechariah, whom he assassinated. Shallum reigned for one month only before Menahem killed him and seized the throne. 2 Kings 15.10-15

Shallum (2) was the son of Tikvah, the husband of Huldah the prophetess and keeper of the wardrobe in the administration of Josiah. 2 1 Kings 22.14

Shallum (3) is a name used by the Chronicler and by Jeremiah for Jehoahaz, fourth son of Josiah. 1 Chronicles 3.15; Jeremiah 22.11

Shallum (4) was the sixth son of Simeon, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 4.25

Shallum (5) is a name used by the Chronicler for the fourth son of Naphtali, known as Shillem in Genesis and Numbers. 1 Chronicles 7.13

Shallum (6) was a principal gatekeeper in Jerusalem in David's administration, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 9.17

Shallum (7) was the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem and an assistant of Nehemiah and Eliashib in the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3.12

Shallum (8) was the son of Colhozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah and an assistant of Nehemiah and Eliashib in the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3.15

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Shalman is the name (of a warrior?) of the destroyer of Beth-arbel. Hosea alludes to Shalman, who is otherwise unknown to scholars, in an oracle condemning Israel. Hosea 10.14

Shalmaneser was an Assyrian king (Shalmaneser V; reigned 727-722 B.C.). Hoshea was his vassal, until an abortive attempt to form an anti-Assyrian alliance with So, ruler of Egypt, led Shalmaneser to imprison Hoshea, capture Samaria and deport its people. He replaced them with his subjects from other parts of his domains. When lions killed many of these, Shalmaneser thought the disaster came from an offended national deity. He reinstated Jewish priests to teach the law to the immigrant population. 2 Kings 17.3-27; 18.9-12

Shama was an Aroerite, the elder son of Hotham and a warrior of David's bodyguard, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 11.44

Shamgar was the son of Anath, one of the “judges” of Israel, in succession to Ehud. Shamgar was celebrated for killing six hundred Philistines with an ox goad. Judges 3.31; 5.6

Shamhuth was an Izrahite, an official in David's administration and organizer of the king's bodyguard in the fifth month of each year, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 27.8

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Shammah (1) was the third son of Reuel. Genesis 36.13; 1 Chronicles 1.37

Shammah (2) was the third son of Jesse, an elder brother of David, who fought under Saul against the Philistines. He is also known as Shimea. 1 Samuel 16.9; 17.13; 1 Chronicles 2.13

Shammah (3) was a Hararite the son of Agee, and a champion of David's bodyguard. He won fame for stopping a rout of the Israelite army by his single-handed defeat of the Philistines in a lentil plot at Lehi. 2 Samuel 23.11, 12, 33

Shammah (4) was a Harodite, a warrior of David's bodyguard. 2 Samuel 23.25

Shammoth was a Harodite, a warrior of David's bodyguard, according to the Chronicler, perhaps identical with Shammah. 1 Chronicles 11.27

Shammua (1) was a Reubenite, the son of Zaccur, one of the twelve spies whom Moses sent out to reconnoitre Canaan. Numbers 13.4

Shammua (2) was the eldest of the sons born to David in Jerusalem, also known as Shimea by the Chronicler. 2 Samuel 5.14; 1 Chronicles 3.5; 14.4

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Shaphan was the son of Azaliah, father of Ahikam and a secretary in Josiah's administration, indirectly responsible for the discovery (by Hilkiah) of the book of the law, during repairs to the temple. Shaphan, who had sponsored the repairs, told Josiah of the book's contents. He later made enquiries of Huldah the prophetess as to how to atone for the sin of the people of Judah in departing from the law. 2 Kings 22.3-20; 2 Chronicles 34.8-28

Shaphat (1) was a Simeonite, the son of Hori, one of the twelve spies whom Moses sent out to reconnoitre Canaan. Numbers 13.5

Shaphat (2) was a son of Adlai, the overseer of the royal herds in David's administration, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 27.29

Sharezer (1) was a son of Sennacherib of Assyria. With his brother Adrammelech, Sharezer murdered Sennacherib in the temple of Nisroch at Nineveh. 2 Kings 19.37; Isaiah 37.38

Sharezer (2) was a spokesman of the people of Bethel, who sent him, with Regemmelech, to Jerusalem, to ask the priests and prophets of the temple whether they should continue their appointed fasts. Zechariah 7.2

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Shaul (1) was an Edomite chieftain from Rehoboth on the Euphrates. He followed Samlah and preceded Baalhanan. Genesis 36.37,38; 1 Chronicles1.48, 49

Shaul (2) was the sixth son of Simeon. Genesis 46.10; Exodus 6.15; Numbers 26.13

Shavsha was a secretary in David's administration, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 18.16

Shealtiel was the son of Jeconiah, father of Zerubbabel and an ancestor of Joseph. 1 Chronicles 3.17; Haggai 1.1, 12, 14; 2.2, 23; Matthew 1.12; Luke 3.27

Shear-jashub was a son of Isaiah. God sent father and son to Ahaz to reassure him in the face of the aggression of Syria and of Israel. The name means “a remnant shall return”. Isaiah 7.3

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Sheba (1) was the elder son of Raamah, a descendant of Noah. Genesis 10.7

Sheba (2) was the tenth son of Joktan, a grandson of Eber and descendant of Noah. Genesis 10.28

Sheba (3) was the elder son of Jokshan, a grandson of Abraham. Genesis 25.3; 1 Chronicles 1.32

Sheba (4) was the son of Bichri, the leader of a rebellion against David. This was initially successful because of Amasa's failure to muster David's army. Joab defeated Sheba, replaced Amasa as commander and pursued Sheba to Abel. Here Joab besieged the city, and persuaded the residents to execute Sheba. 2 Samuel 20.1-22

Sheba (5; the queen of) was an Arabian ruler reputed to have visited Solomon to verify reports of his great wisdom and wealth. The queen devised difficult questions to test Solomon but was convinced that his reputation was merited and exchanged gifts with him. 1 Kings 10.1-10, 13; 2 Chronicles 9.1-9, 12; Matthew 12.42; Luke 11.31

Shebaniah (1) was a priest and musician of David's court, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 15.24

Shebaniah (2) was a Levite, an assistant of Nehemiah in his public ceremony of confession. Nehemiah 9.4, 5

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Shebna was a steward or secretary of Hezekiah's court. Isaiah rebuked him for his presumption and predicted his fall from power and his death. 2 Kings 18.18, 26, 27, 37; 19.2; Isaiah 22.15-25; 36.3-11, 21, 22; 37.2

Shebnah is an alternative spelling of the name of Shebna, as used in 2 Kings. 2 Kings 18.18, 26, 27, 37; 19.2; Isaiah 22.15-25; 36.3-11, 21, 22; 37.2

Shecaniah (1) was a Levite, one of those who distributed the portions at Hezekiah's Passover celebration, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 31.15

Shecaniah (2) was the son of Jehiel, an associate of Ezra. Shecaniah suggested separating the Jews of Jerusalem from their gentile wives, and Ezra enforced this policy. Ezra 10.2-4

Shecaniah (3) was the son of Arah and father-in-law of Tobiah. Nehemiah 6.18

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Shechem (1) was the son of Hamor, and chieftain of the Hivite city named after him. Shechem offended Jacob's sons by his rape of Dinah, but, desiring her for his wife, made his father negotiate a marriage-settlement with Jacob. Jacob's sons agreed initially to the proposal. But Simeon and Levi subsequently attacked the town of Shechem, killing Shechem, Hamor and their kinsmen. Genesis 34.2-31; Joshua 24.32

Shechem (2) was the fourth son of Gilead, a descendant of Joseph. Numbers 26.31; Joshua 17.2

Shelah (1) was a son of Arpachshad, a descendant of Shem and father of Eber. Genesis 10.24; 11.12-15; 1 Chronicles 1.17; Luke 3.35

Shelah (2) was the third son of Judah, younger brother of Er and Onan and father of Er and Laadah. Both of his brothers married Tamar, and died prematurely. This caused Judah, fearing for his son's life, to break with custom and not marry Tamar to Shelah. Genesis 38-5, 11, 26; 46.12; Numbers 26.20; 1 Chronicles 2.3; 4.21

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Shelemiah (1) was a priest. Nehemiah made him treasurer of the storehouses in which the revenue of the tithing was kept. Nehemiah 13.13

Shelemiah (2) was the son of Abdeel, an official at the court of Jehoiakim, who ordered him to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch. He was not able to do this, as both men went into hiding. Jeremiah 36.26

Sheleph was the second son of Joktan, a descendant of Shem. Genesis 10.26

Shelomith was the mother of a blasphemer (name unknown) whom Moses had stoned to death. Leviticus 24.11

Shelumiel was a Simeonite, the son of Zurishaddai and representative of his tribe in the census of Israel authorised by Moses. Numbers 1.6; 2.12; 7.36-41; 10.19

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Shem was the first son of Noah and the father of Arpachshad. He was a forebear of Abraham and ancestor of the Semitic peoples (named after him). Genesis 5.32; 6.10; 7.13, 14; 9.18, 23, 26, 27; 10.1, 21-31; 11.10, 11; 1 Chronicles 1.4, 17-24; Luke 3.36

Shema (1) was a Benjaminite from Aijalon, the fifth son of Elpaal and victor of a battle against the men of Gath, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 8.13

Shema (2) was an assistant of Ezra, one of those who attended him at his public reading from the book of the law. Nehemiah 8.4

Shemaiah (1) was a prophet. After Jeroboam's rebellion, he advised Rehoboam not to attempt to regain power in Israel by conquest. Shemaiah later rebuked Rehoboam for apostasy, but when he repented told him that his enemy, Shishak, would not defeat him. 2 Chronicles 12.15 refers to “the chronicles of Shemaiah the prophet” which record the acts of Rehoboam. 1 Kings 12.22-24; 2 Chronicles 11.2-4; 12.5-8, 15

Shemaiah (2) was a son of Nethanel, a Levite and scribe. In David's reign he wrote a record of the organisation and functions of the priests and Levites, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 24.6

Shemaiah (3) was a Levite whom Jehoshaphat appointed as a teacher of the law in Judah, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 17.8

Shemaiah (4) was a Levite and son of Jeduthun. He assisted Zedekiah in his cleansing of the temple, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 29.14

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Shemaiah (5) was a Levite who helped Kore in distributing the produce raised by tithing in Hezekiah's reign, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 31.15

Shemaiah (6) was a Levite, the brother of Conaniah and Nethanel, who gave victims for Josiah's Passover festival, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 35.9

Shemaiah (7) was an assistant of Ezra, who sent him to Iddo to find priests for the restored temple in Jerusalem. Ezra 8. 16

Shemaiah (8) was the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate of Jerusalem. He helped Eliashib and Nehemiah in the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3.29

Shemaiah (9) was the son of Delaiah, a prophet whom Tobiah and Sanballat hired, to intimidate Nehemiah with supposed details of an invented plot on his life. Nehemiah 6.10-13

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Shemeber was the king of Zeboiim, an ally of the kings of Sodom and of Gomorrah against the four eastern kings led by Chedor-laomer. Genesis 14.2-9

Shemida was the son of Gilead, a descendant of Joseph. Numbers 26.32; Joshua 17.2

Shemiramoth (1) was a Levitical musician serving under Asaph in David's court, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 15.20; 16.5

Shemiramoth (2) was a Levite whom Jehoshaphat appointed as teacher of the law in Judah, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 17.8

Shemuel was a Simeonite, the son of Ammihud, one of those appointed to divide the Promised Land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Numbers 34.20

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Shephatiah (1) was a son of David (the fifth born in Hebron) and Abital. 2 Samuel 3.4; 1 Chronicles 3.3

Shephatiah (2) was a son of Maacah, the leader of the tribe of Simeon in David's administration, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 27.16

Shephatiah (3) was the seventh son of Jehoshaphat and youngest brother of Jehoram, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 21.2

Shephatiah (4) was the son of Mattan, a counsellor of Zedekiah. He was one of those who attempted to have Jeremiah executed for his pro-Babylonian policies. Jeremiah 38.1-6

Shephupham was the son of Benjamin and an ancestor of the Shuphamite clan. Numbers 26.39

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Sherebiah (1) was a priest. Accompanied by his eighteen sons and kinsmen, he returned with Ezra from Casiphia to Jerusalem, to reinstitute worship in the restored temple. Ezra 8.18, 24

Sherebiah (2) was a Levite who assisted Ezra in his explanation of the law to the people and in his great public service of confession. Nehemiah 8.7; 9.4

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Sheshai was a descendant of Anak. Moses' spies found him (and other reputed giants) in their reconnaissance of Canaan, and reported him to be of gigantic stature. Numbers 13.22; Joshua 15.14; Judges 1.10

Shesh-bazzar was the Babylonian name of a Jewish official, the governor of Jerusalem during the reign of Cyrus. He was also treasurer of the sacred vessels and temple treasures which Nebuchadrezzar took from Jerusalem and which Cyrus returned. Shesh-bazzar laid the foundations for the rebuilding of Solomon's temple. Ezra 1.8-11; 5.14-16

Shethar was one of the seven privy counsellors of Ahasuerus. Esther 1.14

Shethar-bozenai was a Babylonian official of Jerusalem. With Tattenai, he wrote a letter to Darius, objecting to the rebuilding of the temple that Haggai and Zechariah had prompted Zerubbabel and Jehsua to begin. The letter referred to the Jews' claim that Cyrus had authorised the work. Darius had the archives searched, verified the claim and ordered Shethar-bozenai not to hinder the rebuilding. Ezra 5.3-6.13

Sheva was a secretary in David's administration. 2 Samuel 20.25

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Shillem was the fourth son of Naphtali, also called Shallum. Genesis 46.24; Numbers 26.49; 1 Chronicles 7.13

Shimea (1) is a name the Chronicler uses for Shammah. 1 Samuel 16.9; 17.13; 1 Chronicles 2.13

Shimea (2) is a name the Chronicler uses for Shammua. 2 Samuel 5.14; 1 Chronicles 3.5; 14.4

Shimei (1) was the younger son of Gershon, a grandson of Levi. Numbers 3.18; 1 Chronicles 6.17

Shimei (2) was a Benjaminite, the son of Gera and a relative of Saul. During Absalom's rebellion Shimei cursed David, as he withdrew from Jerusalem, claiming the revolt was a divine punishment for David's seizing power from the heirs of Saul. David restrained Abishai from killing Shimei for this, and apparently forgave him when, after Absalom's defeat, he begged for forgiveness. On his deathbed David told Solomon to deal with Shimei in accordance with his earlier disloyalty. The execution of Adonijah proved a pretext for Solomon to place Shimei under house arrest. Forbidden to cross the Kidron, he complied with the terms of his arrest for two years. But when he pursued two runaway slaves to Gath he was executed, on Solomon's orders, by Benaiah. 2 Samuel 16.5-13; 19.16-23; 1 Kings 2.8, 9, 36-46

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Shimei (3) was an ally of Zadok, Nathan and Benaiah, one of those whom Adonijah omitted to consult before his abortive attempt to succeed David as king. 1 Kings 1.8

Shimei (4) was a Benjaminite, the son of Ela, one of twelve stewards appointed to supply Solomon's household with provisions. 1 Kings 4.18

Shimei (5) was a descendant of Merari a Levitical singer of David's court, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 6.29

Shimei (6) was a Ramathite, the overseer of David's vineyards, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 27.27

Shimei (7) was a descendant of Heman, one of those who helped cleanse the temple in the reign of Hezekiah, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 29.14

Shimei (8) was a brother of Conaniah whom he assisted in the collection of tithes authorised by Hezekiah, according to the Chronicler. (He is perhaps the same as the descendant of Heman above). 2 Chronicles 31.13

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Shimri was a descendant of Elizaphan, one of those who helped cleanse the temple in the reign of Hezekiah, according to the Chronicler. 2 Chronicles 29.13

Shimron was the fourth son of Issachar. Genesis 46.13; Numbers 26.24; 1 Chronicles 7.1

Shimron-meron was a petty Canaanite chieftain whom Joshua defeated. Joshua 12.20

Shimshai was a Babylonian official of Jerusalem, an associate of Rehum, with whom he wrote to Artaxerxes to protest against the Jews' rebuilding of the city walls. As a result of this letter the work was halted. Ezra 4.8-23

Shinab was the king of Admah, an ally of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah against the four eastern kings led by Chedor-laomer. Genesis 14.2-10

Shiphrah was one of the two Israelite midwives at the time of the Exodus. Exodus 1.15

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Shishak was an Egyptian ruler who gave Jeroboam sanctuary from Solomon. In the reign of Rehoboam, Shishak captured Jerusalem, and removed various treasures from the temple there. 1 Kings 11.40; 14.25, 26; 2 Chronicles 12.2-9

Shitrai was a Sharonite, the overseer of David's herds in Sharon, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 27.29

Shobab was the second of the sons born to David in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 5.14; 1 Chronicles 3.5; 14.4

Shobach was a commander of Hadadezer's army whom David defeated. The Chronicler refers to him as Shophach. 2 Samuel 10.16-18; 1 Chronicles 19.16-18

Shobal was the second son of Seir, the father of Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam. Genesis 36.20, 23; 1 Chronicles 1.38, 40

Shobi was a son of Nahash and brother of Hanun. Unlike Hanun, he was an ally of David, and brought the king provisions, at Manahaim, during his flight from Absalom. 2 Samuel 17.27-29

Shophach is an alternative form of the name of Shobach, used by the Chronicler. 2 Samuel 10.16-18; 1 Chronicles 19.16-18

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Shua was the father-in-law of Judah. Genesis 38.2,12

Shuah was the sixth son of Abraham by his second wife, Keturah. Genesis 25.2; 1 Chronicles 1.32

Shuham was the only son of Dan, according to Numbers. He is called Hushim in Genesis. Genesis 46.23; Numbers 26.42, 43

Shuni was the third son of Gad. Genesis 46.16; Numbers 26.15

Shuthelah was the eldest son of Ephraim, the father of Eran. Numbers 26.35, 36; 1 Chronicles 7.20

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Sibbecai was a Hushathite, an Israelite champion, noted for killing the Philistine giant Saph (Sippai) at Gob. Sibbecai was the commander of David's bodyguard during the eighth month of each year, according to the Chronicler. 2 Samuel 21.18; 1 Chronicles 11.29; 20.4; 27.11

Sidon was the eldest son of Canaan, a great-grandson of Noah. Genesis 10.15

Sihon was an Amorite chieftain. During the Exodus, he denied passage through his domains to the Israelites, who subsequently defeated and killed him. Numbers 21.21-30, 34; 32.33; Deuteronomy 1.4; 2.24-35; 3.2, 6; 4.46; 29.7; 31.4; Joshua 2.10; 9.10; 12.2; 13.10, 21, 27; Judges 11.19-21; Psalms 135.11; 136.19

Silas (also known as Silvanus) was a Christian who went with Judas Barsabbas to Antioch, to inform the church there of the decisions of the council of Jerusalem. He was a companion of Paul on his second missionary journey (when both were imprisoned in, and miraculously freed from, the jail at Philippi) and is also named in various epistles. Acts 15.22-34, 40; 16.4-17.15; 2 Corinthians 1.19; 1 Thessalonians 1.1; 2 Thessalonians 1.1; 1 Peter 5.12

Silvanus is an alternative form of the name of Silas. 2 Corinthians 1.19; 1 Thessalonians 1.1; 1 Peter 5.12

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Simeon (1) was the second son of Jacob and Leah, the father of Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul. With his brother Levi, he led the slaughter of the Shechemites, following Dinah's rape. For this act of violence both Jacob condemned both brothers in his death-bed blessing. During the famine in Canaaan, when Jacob's sons bought grain in Egypt, Joseph kept Simeon as a hostage. His name is a play on the word “shama” (=heard) in the phrase “the Lord has heard”. Genesis 29.33; 34.25-31; 35.23; 42.24, 36; 43.23; 46.10; 48.5; 49-5-7; Exodus 1.2; 6.15; Numbers 26.12-14; 1 Chronicles 2.1; 4.24

Simeon (2) was a prophet. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would witness the coming of the Messiah. He acknowledged the infant Jesus in the temple as the saviour of Israel, in the words which have come (from the Latin translation) to be called the Nunc Dimittis. Luke 2.25-35

Simeon (3) was the son of Judah and father of Levi, an ancestor of Joseph, in Luke's genealogy. Luke 3.30

Simeon (4) was a Christian of Antioch. He was also known as Niger, which suggests that he was a black African. Acts 13.1

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Simon (1) was the original name of the apostle Peter; also spelled Simeon. Matthew 4.18; 10.2; 16.16, 17; 17.25; Mark 1.16, 29, 30, 36; 3.16; Luke 4.38; 5.3-10; 6.14; 22.31; 24.34; John 1.40-42; 6.8, 68; 13.6, 9, 24, 36; 18.10, 15, 25; 20.2, 6; 21.2, 3, 7, 11, 15-17; Acts 10.5, 18, 32; 11.13; 15.14; 2 Peter 1.1

Simon (2) was a half-brother (in Catholic tradition, a near kinsman) of Jesus. He was the brother of James, Joses and Judas, according to Matthew and Mark. Matthew 13.55; Mark 6.3

Simon (3) is traditionally known as Simon Magus - a wise man or magician. He was a Samaritan converted from the practising of magic to Christianity, by Philip's preaching. Later Peter condemned him for his offering money to purchase the power of giving the Holy Spirit through the laying-on of hands. Simon asked Peter to pray for his deliverance. This story led later to the use of the term “simony” for the buying of church offices. Later stories that represent Simon as a particularly notorious heretic come from outside the canon of Scripture. Acts 8.9-24

Simon (4), sometimes known as Simon of Cyrene from his hometown, was the father of Alexander and Rufus. The Romans, under their system of forced labour, made him carry Jesus' cross to his place of execution. Matthew 27.32; Mark 15.21; Luke 23.26

Simon (5), known as the Canaanean, was one of the original twelve apostles, according to Matthew, Mark and Luke. In some accounts he is known as “Simon the Zealot”. Matthew 10.4; Mark 3.18; Luke 6.15; Acts 1.13

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Simon (6) was a leper, according toMark or a Pharisee, according to Matthew and Luke. He owned a house to which Jesus was invited for dinner. During the meal, a woman (otherwise unknown but identified by Luke as a notorious sinner) anointed Jesus with oil. Matthew 26.6; Mark 14.3; Luke 7.36-47

Simon (7) was a tanner and a friend of Simon Peter, identified by his occupation. Peter was staying with him at the time of his visit from the servants of Cornelius. Acts 9.43; 10.6, 17, 32

Sippai is an alternative form of the name of Saph, used by the Chronicler. 2 Samuel 21.18; 1 Chronicles 20.4

Sisera was a commander of the army of Jabin of Canaan, which Barak routed. Sisera sought refuge in the tent of Heber the Kenite. But Heber's wife, Jael, killed him by hammering a tent peg through his temple as he slept. Judges 4.2-22; 5.25-30; 1 Samuel 12.9; Psalms 83.9

Sithri was the third son of Uzziel, a grandson of Kohath. Exodus 6.22

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So was an Egyptian ruler, the intended ally of Hoshea against Shalmanezer, of whom Hoshea had been a vassal. So was unable to prevent the Assyrians taking Hoshea captive. 2 Kings 17.4

Sodom (the king of) was a tribal chieftain, named Bera. He was defeated in battle, with his four allies, by a rival alliance of four eastern kings. Forces led by Abraham liberated him and his allies. Bera tried without success to persuade Abraham to take the spoil he had won in the battle. Genesis 14.2-24

Solomon was a son of David (the fourth born in Jerusalem, and his second by Bathsheba), the father of Rehoboam and king of Israel (reigned ca. 961-922 B.C.). After David's death, many people assumed that the throne would pass to Adonijah, his eldest surviving son. But David had already promised Bathsheba that her son would be his heir, and the plotting of Zadok, Nathan and Bathsheba enabled Solomon to claim the throne and have Adoniliah executed.

Israel achieved a golden age of peace and prosperity under Solomon, who was noted for great wisdom (in recognition of which Ecclesiastes and parts of Proverbs were attributed to him) and for his wealth. His reputation drew the admiration of many foreign visitors, notably the queen of Sheba. His wealth came from the extensive trading relations he instituted with neighbouring countries, notably Tyre. This peace and prosperity enabled Solomon to undertake the construction of the temple in Jerusalem (for which the materials and labour were supplied by his friend and trading-partner, Hiram of Tyre) and a royal palace.

Solomon was originally famed for his wisdom and piety, but later his many wives and concubines (supposedly numbering seven hundred and three hundred, respectively) corrupted him. They induced him to adopt the ritual practices of the surrounding pagan countries. Because of this, it was prophesied that the kingdom would be torn from Solomon's successor, leaving only Judah loyal to David's heirs. During Solomon's reign the period of unrest which was to lead to Rehoboam's loss of power in Israel began under Hadad, while Abijah foretold the success of Jeroboam. 2 Samuel 5.14; 12.24; 1 Kings 1.10-11.43; 2 Kings 21.7; 23.13; 24.13; 25.16; 1 Chronicles 3.5, 10; 6.32; 14.4; 22.6-23.1; 28.5-29.1, 22-25; 2 Chronicles 1.1-9.31; Psalms 72; 127; Proverbs 1.1; 10.1; 25.1; Ecclesiastes 1.1; Song of Solomon 1.1; 3.7, 9, 11; Matthew 1.6, 7; 12.42; Luke 11.31; Acts 7.47

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Sopater was a Beroean, the son of Pyrrhus and a companion of Paul, on his third missionary journey, in Macedonia. Acts 20.4

Sosipater was a friend of Paul, greeted in his letter to the Romans. He may be identical with Sopater of Beroea. Romans 16.21

Sosthenes (1) was the ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Corinth. The Corinthian Jews had him beaten in protest against Paul's teaching and the refusal of Gallio, the proconsul, to ban his work. Acts 18.17

Sosthenes (2) was a companion of Paul, referred to in the opening salutation of his first letter to Corinth. He may be the same person as the ruler of the synagogue of this name. 1 Corinthians 1.1

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Stachys was a Christian to whom Paul sent greetings in the closing paragraphs of his letter to Rome. Romans 16.9

Stephanas was a Christian of Achaia. Paul baptised him (with his household). Later, with Fortunatus and Achaicus, he visited Paul (presumably in Ephesus). 1 Corinthians 1.16; 16.15-18

Stephen was one of the seven deacons of Jerusalem. The Jewish authorities there prosecuted him and stoned him to death, his execution being witnessed by Paul. Stephen was subsequently celebrated as the first Christian martyr. Acts 6.5, 8-8.2; 11.10; 22.20

Susanna was one of the band of women followers of Jesus led by Mary Magdalene. Luke 8.3

Syntyche was a Philippian Christian who had argued with another, Euodias. In his letter to Philippi Paul exhorts both women to live together peaceably. Philippians 4.21

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