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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 1 - Verse 23

Verse 23. And they appointed two. They proposed, or, as we should say, nominated two. Literally, they placed two, or made them to stand forth, as persons do who are candidates for office. These two were probably more distinguished by prudence, wisdom, piety, and age, than the others; and were so nearly equal in qualifications, that they could not determine which was the best fitted for the office.

Joseph called Barsabas, etc. It is not certainly known what the name Barsabas denotes. The Syriac word bar means son, and the word sabas has been translated an oath, rest, quiet, or captivity. Why the name was given to Joseph is not known; but probably it was the family name—Joseph son, of Sabas. Some have conjectured that this was the same man who, in Ac 4:36, is called Barnabas. But of this there is no proof. Lightfoot supposes that he was the son of Alpheus, and brother of James the Less, and that he was chosen on account Of his relationship to the family of the Lord Jesus.

Was surnamed Justus. Who was called Justus. This is a Latin name, meaning just, and was probably given him on account of his distinguished integrity. It was not uncommon among the Jews for a man to have several names, Mt 10:3.

And Matthias. Nothing is known of the family of this man, or of his character, further than that he was numbered with the apostles, and shared their lot in the toils, and persecutions, and honours of preaching the gospel to mankind.

{a} "Barsabas" Ac 15:22

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