James the brother of John (Iakwbon ton adelpon Iwanou). He had been called by Jesus a son of thunder along with his brother John. Jesus had predicted a bloody death for both of them ( Mark 10:38 ; Matthew 20:23 ). James is the first of the apostles to die and John probably the last. He is not James the Lord's brother ( Galatians 1:19 ). We do not know why Luke tells so little about the death of James and so much about the death of Stephen nor do we know why Herod selected him as a victim. Eusebius (H.E. ii. 9) quotes Clement of Alexandria as saying that a Jew made accusations against James and was converted and beheaded at the same time with him. Killed with the sword (aneilen macairh). The verb is a favourite one with Luke ( Acts 2:33 ; Acts 5:33Acts 5:36 ; Acts 7:28 ; Acts 9:23-29 ; Acts 10:39 , etc.). Instrumental case and Ionic form of macaira. The Jews considered beheading a shameful death as in the case of the Baptist ( Matthew 14:10 ).