Acts 1:12-26

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then 1they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
13 And when they had entered, they went up to 2the upper room, where they were staying, 3Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon 4the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
14 All these 5with one accord 6were devoting themselves to prayer, together with 7the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and 8his brothers.[a]
15 In those days Peter stood up among 9the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,
16 "Brothers, 10the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, 11who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
17 For 12he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in 13this ministry."
18 (Now this man 14acquired a field with 15the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong[b] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called 16in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, 17"'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it';and 18"'Let another take his office.'
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during 19all the time that the Lord Jesus 20went in and out among us,
22 21beginning from the baptism of John until the day when 22he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us 23a witness to his resurrection."
23 And they put forward two, Joseph called 24Barsabbas, who was also called 25Justus, and 26Matthias.
24 And 27they prayed and said, "You, Lord, 28who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
25 to take the place in 29this ministry and 30apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts 1:12-26 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ACTS

This book, in some copies, is called, "The Acts of the holy Apostles". It contains an history of the ministry and miracles of the apostles of Christ, and is a sort of a journal of their actions, from whence it takes its name. It begins at the ascension of Christ, and reaches to the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul at Rome; and is a history of upwards of thirty years: it gives an account of the first Gospel church at Jerusalem, and of the progress of the Gospel there, and in Judea, by the means of all the apostles, and particularly Peter, the minister of the circumcision, and who also first opened the door of faith to the Gentiles: it shows how the Gospel went forth from Jerusalem, and was spread in the Gentile world, especially by the Apostle Paul, whose companion Luke was, that was the writer of this book; for that it was written by him is very evident from the beginning of it, it being dedicated to the same person his Gospel is, and of which he makes mention; and in the Complutensian edition the book is called, "The Acts of the Apostles of Saint Luke the Evangelist"; and so the title of it in the Syriac version is, "the Book of the Acts: that is, the history of the blessed apostles, which my Lord Luke the Evangelist collected for the saints". It was by him written in the Greek language; and we are told {a}, that there was a version of it into the Hebrew language, and which was laid up in the library of the Jews at Tiberias; and is cited by R. Azarias {b} under the name of twlweph, "the Acts": of the authority of this book there has been no doubt, among the ancients, only Cerinthus the heretic endeavoured to discredit it; and it was not received by another sort of heretics called Severiani, from Severus, a disciple of Tatian {c}. It is a most excellent and useful work, showing the first planting of Christianity, and of Christian churches, both among the Jews and Gentiles; the spread and progress of the Gospel in several parts of the world; what sufferings the apostles endured for the sake of it; and with what patience and courage they bore them; and what success attended them; and is a standing proof and confirmation of the Christian religion.

{a} Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 1. Haeres. 30. {b} Meor Enayim, p. 167. {c} Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 29.

Acts 1:12-26 In-Context

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,
16 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry."
18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it';and "'Let another take his office.'
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Cross References 30

  • 1. Luke 24:50, 52
  • 2. Acts 9:37, 39; Acts 20:8
  • 3. See Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16
  • 4. [Acts 21:20]
  • 5. Acts 2:46; Acts 4:24; Acts 5:12; Acts 15:25; Romans 15:6
  • 6. Acts 2:42; Acts 6:4; Romans 12:12; Colossians 4:2; [Ephesians 6:18]
  • 7. Luke 8:2, 3
  • 8. See Matthew 12:46
  • 9. See John 21:23
  • 10. Luke 24:44; [Luke 22:37]
  • 11. Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47; John 18:3
  • 12. John 6:71; John 13:21
  • 13. ver. 25; Acts 20:24; Acts 21:19; Romans 11:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1
  • 14. [Matthew 27:5-8]
  • 15. [Matthew 26:14-16]
  • 16. [Acts 21:40]
  • 17. Cited from Psalms 69:25
  • 18. Cited from Psalms 109:8
  • 19. [John 15:27]
  • 20. Numbers 27:17; Deuteronomy 31:2; 1 Samuel 18:13
  • 21. Acts 13:24; Mark 1:1-4
  • 22. ver. 2, 9
  • 23. Acts 4:33; [ver. 8; 1 Peter 1:3]; See Luke 24:48
  • 24. [Acts 15:22]
  • 25. [Acts 18:7; Colossians 4:11]
  • 26. ver. 26
  • 27. Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3
  • 28. See 1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 8:27
  • 29. See ver. 17
  • 30. Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 9:2; Galatians 2:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated "brothers") refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God's family, the church; also verse 15
  • [b]. Or swelling up
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.