Women Followed Jesus: Salome, wife of Zebedee

Salome, the wife of Zebedee, should not be confused with Salome the daughter of Herodias, who asked for John the Baptist head.

The name Salome is a form of the word Shalom which means peace.

We do not know anything about this Salome’s genealogy of family tree, but she is married to Zebedee who was a fisherman. In our studies on their sons, James and John, we discover they were a family of means and able to hire men to assist on their boats.  {Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19-20}

Our only glimpse of Zebedee is on the boat when Jesus calls his sons as his disciples. However, he does not stop his sons from following Jesus, which is a testament to his devotion to Jesus and the gospel.


“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.”  Matthew 20:20

Salome is worshiping the Lord and a follower of his, even in the days of his early ministry. But she is also ambitious. Here, we hear her speak.  “And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.”  {Matthew 20:21}


She wants only the best for her sons and is watching out for them. His rebuke of her “did not reject the request of the mother for her children, but corrected it, and accepted it in a way mother and sons did not anticipate. To be intimately near Him on His throne meant fellowship with Him in His sufferings. Our Lord did not treat Salome’s ambition as if it were sinful but he was compassionate because of the ignorance behind the request. Salome did not know “what manner of spirit” she was of (Luke 9:55). In effect, Jesus asked if her sons were prepared to drink the cup of martyrdom, and implied that James and John would share His throne of suffering. This they did, for James was the first apostolical martyr and John, the last. “ {All Women of the Bible}

She continued to follow Jesus and minister to him and his disciples.  She, like Mary, the mother of James and Joses, probably spent a lot of times with her sons and watched out for them as they ministered to Jesus and the crowd. 

“And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.”  {Matthew 27:55-56}

While Matthew refers to her as the mother of Zebedees children, Mark refers to her with her given name.

She is mentioned among the women standing at the foot of the cross.

 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome.”  {Mark 15:39-40}

She is also mentioned among the women who went to prepare the body of Christ and discovers the empty tomb.

 “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.” {Mark 16:1}

We do not know anything about Salome other than these few passages, but she probably continued to serve her Savior and assist her sons in ministry. She probably lived to witness her son, James, death. 

Salome was a godly mother who influenced her children, watched over them and served her Lord.  “Happy and grateful are those Christian parents who live to see their offspring wholly dedicated to the service of the Lord.”  {Women in the Bible}

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