Acts 26:7

Acts 26:7

Unto which promise
Of the Messiah, and salvation by him; and of the resurrection of the dead and eternal glory, as following upon it:

our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night hope to
and enjoy the Messiah, and all blessings along with him; and the happy state of the resurrection and eternal life: the people of Israel were distinguished into twelve tribes, according to the names of the twelve patriarchs, the sons of Jacob; and though ten of the tribes had been carried captive, and had not returned as tribes, yet there were many of the several tribes, who either were left in the land, or returned along with the two tribes, and were mixed with them: and this way of speaking here used by Paul, and also by James, ( James 1:1 ) is justified by Jewish writers: the Misnic doctors say {c},

``the twelve tribes bring twelve heifers, and for idolatry they bring twelve heifers and twelve goats:''

compare with this ( Ezra 6:17 ) ( 8:35 ) , yea, they say F4

``"twelve tribes" are called, (lhq) , "a congregation", eleven tribes are not called a congregation.''

This suggests a reason of the apostle's use of this phrase, for he here represents the Israelites as a worshipping assembly, serving God continually, night and day, as they were by their representatives, the priests and stationary men in the temple; and that with intenseness, ardour, and fervency, as the word rendered "instantly" signifies being in a longing and earnest expectation of the coming of the Messiah, and of his world to come, and of the resurrection of the dead, and a future state of happiness.

For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews:
for preaching that the Messiah, the twelve tribes hope for, is already come and that there is salvation in him, and in no other, and that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust; and that there is another world and state after this, in which men will be happy and miserable; and these were the charges and accusations, or the sum of what were exhibited against him.


F3 Misn. Horayot, c. 1. sect. 5.
F4 T. Bab. Horayot, fol. 5. 2.