Unraveling the Mystery: Who is Zebedee in the Bible?

Zebedee is one of the lesser-known characters in the Bible, yet he played an important role in the lives of Jesus and his disciples. In this article, we will explore who Zebedee was, his family, and his relationship with Jesus.

  1. Who was Zebedee?
  2. Zebedee's Family
  3. Zebedee and Jesus
  4. Conclusion

Who was Zebedee?

Zebedee was a fisherman from the town of Bethsaida, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was married to Salome, and they had two sons, James and John, who were both disciples of Jesus.

Zebedee's Family

Zebedee's wife, Salome, is mentioned in the Bible as one of the women who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus and was also present at the empty tomb on the day of his resurrection (Mark 15:40, Mark 16:1). Salome was also the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus (John 19:25).

James and John, Zebedee's sons, were also fishermen and were partners with their father in the family business. They were both called by Jesus to become his disciples and were among the twelve apostles. James was the first of the apostles to be martyred for his faith (Acts 12:2), and John became known as the beloved disciple and wrote several books of the New Testament.

Zebedee and Jesus

Zebedee's relationship with Jesus is not well-documented in the Bible, but we do know that Jesus called James and John away from their fishing business to become his disciples. When Jesus called them, they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. According to Mark 1:20, "immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him."

Zebedee must have been supportive of his sons' decision to follow Jesus, as he allowed them to leave their business and follow him. We can also assume that he had some knowledge of Jesus and his ministry, as he allowed his sons to join him.


Zebedee may not be a well-known figure in the Bible, but he played an important role in the lives of his family and in the ministry of Jesus. He was a hard-working fisherman who supported his sons in their decision to become disciples of Jesus, and his wife Salome was a witness to some of the most significant events in Jesus' life. Although we may not know much about Zebedee, his story reminds us that every person, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can play a crucial role in God's plan.

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