Acts 1:24-26;
And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen, to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Why did they want to have 12 disciples? There is a question about it but I wish to know the importance of having 12 Disciples. Why could not there be only 11 Disciples. I have tried a few websites but none gave any information about this.

1 Answer 1


The early Church Fathers taught that the twelve Apostles corresponded to the twelve tribes of Israel, even though each Apostle was not from a different tribe. For example:

To these He gave authority to preach the Gospel, being twelve in number, corresponding [lit. in witness to] to the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Epistle of Barnabas (late 1st/early 2nd cent.)

  • 1
    I believe you are on the right track. However, I would add some commentary on this: 27 “Look,” Peter replied, “we have left everything to follow You. What then will be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Jul 12, 2016 at 17:19
  • Also the fact that it is widely believed and accepted that 12 is the number of power, government, or authority. biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/12.html Jul 12, 2016 at 17:20

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