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Elymas the Sorcerer is struck blind before Sergius Paulus. Painting by Raphael from the Raphael Cartoons.

Elymas, also known as Bar-Jesus (arc. Bar-Shuma, lat. Bariesu), is a Jewish person in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 13,[1] in the New Testament. Acts of the Apostles calls him a magus, which the King James Bible here translates as "sorcerer". He is represented as opposing the missionary Paul of Tarsus, who is called at this point for the first time with his Roman name, and Barnabas in the city of Paphos on Cyprus, when Sergius Paulus, the Roman Proconsul, wishes to hear Paul and Barnabas speak about Jesus. Because of this opposition, Paul claims that God had decided to make him temporarily blind. A cloud of darkness immediately begins blocking his sight;[2] after this Sergius Paulus is converted to Christianity.[3]


Elymas means "Wise" in Arabic, while Bar-Shuma' literally means "son of Shuma" in Aramaic.


  1. ^ Acts 13
  2. ^ "Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand;" Acts 13:11
  3. ^ "When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord." Acts 13:12