Man of colour

Is there any significance in the physically carrying of the cross by Simon of Cyrene a man of colour?
To be chosen among many lining the street to Calvary,I wonder why not a Caucasian since they were many?

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It’s an interesting question, but would it really be accurate to say most of those, or even, many of those people were Caucasian? The place certainly had people from many different backgrounds.

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Please forgive my ignorance, Alexander, but is it known that Simon of Cyrene is a man of color? Cyrene would have been in what we now know of as Libya. Only going off the location, it was most likely he had a semetic background, like Jesus.

I may have missed a reference, but does it say anywhere in the Bible something about his race?

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Hi @Alexander_Marozhe,

I assume you think of Simon of Cyrene as a man of colour, due to it Cyrene being ancient Lybia, an eastern neighbour of Egpyt. While I supposed with Caucasian, you actually meant the Jews or middle eastern Semitic race, instead of the European Whites.

There is an article on Simon of Cyrene by Got Questions:


To quote it here: “Cyrene was situated in modern-day Libya, on the northern coast of the African continent. Settled by the Greeks in 630 B.C. and later infused with a significant Jewish population, Cyrene was the capital of the Roman district of Cyrenaica at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. By then, Cyrene was home to a large number of Greek-speaking, or Hellenistic, Jews.”

Meaning Simon could easily be a Jewish settling in Cyrene too.

I believe the insert by the Synoptic gospel writers here have other purposes, that their readers in that time would know who the Simon of Cyrene is. Mark mentions in Mark 15:21 that this Simon is the father of Alexander and Rufus, who went on to be key missionaries of the early Christian movements, according to early church tradition. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_of_Cyrene) May be the same Rufus referred to by Paul in Romans 16:13.

Besides the obvious parallelism of carrying the cross behind Jesus, like being followers of Christ who carry the cross (Luke 9:23), it is also interesting to note this simple act as God’s provision to aid the completion of Jesus’ mission. The Romans were also afraid that Jesus wouldn’t have survived from the exhaustion of carrying the cross all the way up the mountain, especially after the severe and gruesome torture. It will be unacceptable that this man, whom the crowd wanted to be crucified, would die without the shaming effect of the death sentence on the cross.

But if Simon is indeed of African descent, then I would say that God is being inclusive here to show that the gospel is not exclusive to the Jews, but to Gentiles as well. I’m not gonna guess anything else beyond that though.

Hope that helps, Blessings.
Roy

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Thank you very much for sharing.
I would want to go back to a question I asked about the NUBIA,the Cushites who were the descendants of Cush son of Ham.
Who would be the indigents of Libya prior to 630BC?
.The land of Cush after the flood would shed some light ie the boundaries.Nubians are also known to have ruled Egypt on and off.
It is possible that Simon of Cyrene was of mixed origin .

ANM

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Yes, it is very possible too, brother. :slight_smile:

Prior to the Greek colonization of Libya in the 630s BC, the area had been colonized by the Phoenicians, who traded across the Mediterranean. Most likely, the people present when the Greeks arrived had some combination of Phoenician (i.e. Canaanite) and Berber ancestry. A sizable community of Jews had migrated and settled in Cyrene by the time of Christ, so it’s possible that Simon was either a descendant of these Jews or of a proselyte (his name is Hebrew in origin). In either case, he was almost certainly not Sub-Saharan dark, and probably did not particularly stand out in the crowd, he just happened to be standing nearby.

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