Sunday, June 13, 2021
“These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers” (Numbers 1:44 KJV).
Behold, the Old Testament basis for the 12 Apostles!
Today’s Scripture is the first of several references in the Book of Numbers to “the 12 princes of Israel.” Here are others. “This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, by the princes of Israel: twelve chargers of silver, twelve silver bowls, twelve spoons of gold:…” (7:84). “Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod…. And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods” (17:2,6).
Since Israel’s 12 tribes lost their political might during the Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities, the LORD promised in Isaiah chapter 1: “ And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.” At Christ’s return, He will reinstate Israel’s 12 princes.
Hence, the Lord Jesus told His 12 Apostles in Matthew chapter 19: “ Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” He repeated in Luke 22:28-30: “ Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Jesus the ‘young man’ in Mark 16:5?”