Acts 1:23

And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

And they appointed two,.... The motion made by Peter was attended to by the whole company; they approved of it, and accordingly proposed two persons by name; one of which was to be chosen, not by the apostles, but by the whole assembly. The Arabic version reads, "he appointed two", as if Peter singly did this: contrary to all copies, and other versions, and to the context; which shows, that the whole body of the people were concerned in this affair, who prayed and gave forth their lots and suffrages: the persons nominated were,

Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. The former of these has three names; in one ancient copy of Beza's he is called Joses; and by some thought to be the same with Joses, surnamed Barnabas, in Acts 4:36 partly because in one copy, and in the Syriac version there, that Joses is called Joseph; and partly, because of the nearness in sound between Barsabas and Barnabas: hence the Ethiopic version here reads, "Joseph, who was called Barnabas", and so Beza's most ancient copy; but though Joses is here meant for Jose, or Joses is, with the Jews, an abbreviation of Joseph; yet not Joses the Levite, who was of the country of Cyprus, but Joses of Galilee, the son of Alphaeus and Mary; and who had two brothers, James and Jude, already apostles; see Matthew 13:55. Moreover, though the two names, Barnabas and Barsabas, differ little in sound, yet much in sense: the former is interpreted "the son of consolation", Acts 4:36 but the latter signifies much the same with Bathsheba; as that may be interpreted "the daughter", this "the son of an oath"; or as others, "a son of wisdom"; and by others, "the son of fulness"; I should choose to take it to be the same name with

abo rb, and interpret it, "the son of an old man"; as Alphaeus might be, when Joses, or Joseph was born, and he be the younger brother of James and Jude; as for his surname Justus, this was a name not only in use among the Grecians and Romans, especially the latter, but among the Jews: hence we often read of Rabbi ajowy, "Justa", and sometimes, yjowy, "Justi", and at other times, yajowy "Justai" {x} whether he had this surname from his being a very just man, as Aristides was called Aristides the just; and so Simeon the high priest, the last of Ezra's great synagogue, was called Simeon the just {y}; and so James the brother of this Joseph, or Joses, was called by the Jews {z}; and it may be, that he himself might have his name from the patriarch Joseph, who used to be called by them, Joseph, qyduh, "the just" {a}: for Matthias, his name is Jewish, and he was no doubt a Jew; hence we read aytm ybr, "Rabbi Matthia ben Charash" {b}; his name signifying the same as Nathanael does, namely, the gift of God, made Dr. Lightfoot conjecture they might be the same; but this agrees not with another conjecture that learned man, who elsewhere thinks, that Bartholomew and Nathanael were the same; and if so, he must have been an apostle already; Clemens of Alexandria was of opinion, that this Matthias was Zacchaeus {c}.

{x} T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 12. 3. & Trumot. fol. 48. 1. & Erubin, fol. 19. 3. & 23. 3. T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 99. 1. & Juchasin, fol. 95. 2. & 96. 1. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 17. 4.
{y} Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 2.
{z} Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23.
{a} Zohar in Exod. fol. 104. 1.
{b} T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 61. 2. & Juchasin, fol. 108. 1.
{c} Stromat, l. 4. p. 488.