Does the name "Simon" mean "shifting sand"?

I have heard often that the name “Simon” means shifting sand, though I cannot fins this in any standard etymology of the name. Here’s an example.

Here are a few examples of places where the claim is made:

“Matt. 7:24 - Jesus, like the wise man, builds His house on the rock (Peter), not on grain of sand (Simon) so the house will not fall.” -John Salza, Scripture Catholic

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Is this just a plain invention? Or perhaps just a very creative interpretation of Matthew 7:24? I have been telling people that Simon means sand, so I was very disappointed when I made this discovery. I’ll have to retract my statements if this is true. Can anyone help me on this?

Jesus changed Simon’s name to Kephas or in greek Peter. Kephas means rock.

for what it’s worth, wiki says:

EtymologyNew Testament version of Hebrew Simeon ,“hearkening”, shaped to look like a Greek name from simos “snubbed nose”.

The website “behind the name” says

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, French, Scandinavian, German, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Pronounced: SIE-mən (English), see-MAWN (French), ZEE-mawn (German) [key]

From Σιμων (Simon), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim’on) which meant “he has heard”. This was the name of several biblical characters, including the man who carried the cross for Jesus. However, the most important person of this name in the New Testament was the apostle Simon, also known as Peter (a name given to him by Jesus). Because of him, this name has been common in the Christian world. In England it was popular during the Middle Ages, though it became rarer after the Protestant Reformation.

I have heard that it means “a grain of sand” but never saw any documentation on it. I never heard of it meaning “shifting sand”.

I think its best solution.

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Simon is a Hebrew name and means “to hear.”

One priest I saw in an apologetics video taught that “Simon” meant a reed which swayed in the wind. Thus the name change.

Another example of a priest who needs to do his homework before opening his mouth.

Crazzeto had the right answer.


When I was young, back in the REAL Sixties, we still had Sisters teaching in Parochial School and most of us girls JN0-100 thought nuns knew nothing about such matters. But we had a Health teacher who explained this particular question by rephrasing it. How can it be wrong, when it feels so NATURAL? Many things, she explained, that feel natural are in fact natural but the world would be red HP0-Y23 in tooth and claw if everything that felt natural was given free rein. For example, it feels natural to hit your brother over the head when he knocks down a house of cards you have patiently and 642-426 carefully built, or to shake your baby sister when she has been crying with the colic for four hours; it feels natural to deliver a cutting remark that makes the whole class laugh and the target cry 1z0-051; and of course it feels natural to do the things you mention.

Total invention, as near as I can tell. It seems to come from the same Hebrew root where we get the name of the prayer “Shema”: “Hear O Israel…” The root means to hear and obey, making a “Simon” one who is an habitual “hearer” and “obeyer”. The only other (remote) possibility I can think of is a derivation from a Gk. word which means “sign” or “miracle.”

Just to use a source that someone making this claim might give credence to, I looked up the name in the Holman Christian Standard Bible Concordance. It says that the name Simon means flat nosed, but that it is a variant of Simeon, which means hearing.

As for the Aramaic Kepha, it is not just a rock, but one that has been hewn and is ready for use in building.

Well, giving them the benefit of the doubt and stretching as far as I can…

Shema means hearing, fame, etc as mentioned
me-aw means sand.

So maybe sand that you hear is shifting?

This would be a horrible pun. Puns are used in scripture, but I haven’t seen one this bad before.

If it is a pun, the burden is upon them to spell it out better.


Shem means ‘name’ which is also ‘reputation’.

So as a pun ‘Shem me-aw’ one could say “Reputation of sand” which may be close to ‘shifting sand’ since all sand shifts. It would still be better if the source told us where he got it.

I’ve heard this many times, and upon researching it, I too was disappointed when I discovered that Simon does not mean “shifting sand”, however the teaching is true when you discover what his name means is based on his earthly father’s name, Jonah. Simon bar Jonah (Simon son of Jonah). The name Jonah has etymological roots that can indeed mean mud or wet sand or shifting sand. If you do a casual search, you’ll find Jonah means “dove”, but search on etymological roots of Jonah’s Hebrew name meaning and you’ll find such as the following:

“First there is root (ywn). It yields the masculine noun (ywn), meaning mire, which is wet or soft mud (Psalm 40:3, 69:3).”

So it could be implied that Peter’s original name meant, “He who hears” but is founded on “shifting sand” in the flesh based on his sin nature inherited from his earthly father, however, now that He has made His profession of faith, He is now founded on The Rock, His Heavenly Father and His Lord Jesus Christ, and as such is now a rock himself, not merely someone who casually hears, but effectually does.

So, if a little digging is done, his name does really imply someone who hears but is like a reed that is just blowing in the wind or has no firm foundation because he’s here and there.

Hope this helps.

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