Acts 1:12-26

12 Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is about half a mile away from the city.
13 They entered the city and went up to the room where they were staying: Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Patriot, and Judas son of James. 1
14 They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with the women and with Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
15 A few days later there was a meeting of the believers, about a hundred and twenty in all, and Peter stood up to speak.
16 "My friends," he said, "the scripture had to come true in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, made a prediction about Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
17 Judas was a member of our group, for he had been chosen to have a part in our work."
18 (With the money that Judas got for his evil act he bought a field, where he fell to his death; he burst open and all his insides spilled out. 2
19 All the people living in Jerusalem heard about it, and so in their own language they call that field Akeldama, which means "Field of Blood.")
20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 3 "May his house become empty; may no one live in it.' It is also written, "May someone else take his place of service.'
21 "So then, someone must join us as a witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He must be one of the men who were in our group during the whole time that the Lord Jesus traveled about with us, beginning from the time John preached his message of baptism [a] until the day Jesus was taken up from us to heaven." 4
23 So they proposed two men: Joseph, who was called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias.
24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know the thoughts of everyone, so show us which of these two you have chosen
25 to serve as an apostle in the place of Judas, who left to go to the place where he belongs."
26 Then they drew lots to choose between the two men, and the one chosen was Matthias, who was added to the group of 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 They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them
11 and said, "Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven."
12 Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is about half a mile away from the city.
13 They entered the city and went up to the room where they were staying: Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Patriot, and Judas son of James.
14 They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with the women and with Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
15 A few days later there was a meeting of the believers, about a hundred and twenty in all, and Peter stood up to speak.
16 "My friends," he said, "the scripture had to come true in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, made a prediction about Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
17 Judas was a member of our group, for he had been chosen to have a part in our work."
18 (With the money that Judas got for his evil act he bought a field, where he fell to his death; he burst open and all his insides spilled out.
19 All the people living in Jerusalem heard about it, and so in their own language they call that field Akeldama, which means "Field of Blood.")
20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, "May his house become empty; may no one live in it.' It is also written, "May someone else take his place of service.'
21 "So then, someone must join us as a witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He must be one of the men who were in our group during the whole time that the Lord Jesus traveled about with us, beginning from the time John preached his message of baptism until the day Jesus was taken up from us to heaven."
23 So they proposed two men: Joseph, who was called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias.
24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know the thoughts of everyone, so show us which of these two you have chosen
25 to serve as an apostle in the place of Judas, who left to go to the place where he belongs."
26 Then they drew lots to choose between the two men, and the one chosen was Matthias, who was added to the group of eleven apostles.

Cross References 4

  • 1. 1.13Matthew 10.2-4;Mark 3.16-19;Luke 6.14-16.
  • 2. 1.18, 19Matthew 27.3-8.
  • 3. 1.20 aPsalms 69.25; bPsalms 109.8.
  • 4. 1.22 aMatthew 3.16;Mark 1.9;Luke 3.21; bMark 16.19;Luke 24.51.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. John preached his message of baptism; [or] John baptized him.