Cosmic Numerology

12 Tribes Stamps JTTHE COSMIC FIVE, SEVEN AND TWELVE
BY LAWRENCE PARMLY BROWN

II

NUMEROUS groups of twelve divine or human figures, mythical and historical, are connected directly or indirectly with the twelve months of the year or the corresponding signs of the zodiac, or with the twelve divisions of various countries recognized as terrestrial counterparts of the twelvefold celestial region. The lunar division of the year into twelve months was certainly known long before the solar zodiac, and of course the calendar months were always of more popular utility than the zodiac; whence in the most ancient mythologies that have come down to us the twelve gods belong to the months.

According to the Rigveda, the Brahmins had “always observed the order of the gods as they are to be  worshipped in the twelve months” (A^II, 103), and the gods of the months comprise six pairs of twins (for six seasons), together with one who was “single-born.” for the intercalary month (Ibid., I, 165, 155. The A edic names of the twelve months appear in pairs, male and female, in the Vishnu Purana, where we also find their later Hindu names, not in pairs (II, 7 and 8). The A’edic five sons of Aditi become twelve in the Puranas and the Mahabharata, the latter stating that Prajapati divides himself into twelve parts, thus becoming the twelve Adityas as gods of the months (“Vana Parva,” V, 189). The later Hindus recognized divinities of the hours, days, months, years and cycles of years (Siirya Siddhanta, XII, 6, etc.), and after they had adopted the Babylonio-Greek zodiac (time of Alexander), some of their gods were associated with the signs, as in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

The signs are also intimately connected with the mythical history of Buddha (see Lillie, Buddhism in Christendom, pp. 119, 120, 327, etc.) Sometimes twelve, sometimes ten subordinate Buddhas are figured around the Great Ruddlia (Gautama) , and again the twelve Buddhas are represented by tlic twelve “aeons’* at the twelve points of the compass (Lillie, op. cit., pj). 138. 213). The Magars had twelve tribes (Latham, Dcscript. lithnol.. I. p. 475), as did the Santals (Lillie, Inf. Buddhism. \). \7 ) : the Mogul Empire comprised twelve chief divisions (Ayccii .llcbcry. 11. p. 1). and the Tibetans divided the known world into twelve parts (Georgius, .llphahct. Tibet., p. 472).

The ancient Iranians recognized twelve chief divinities in two groups of six each (as if for summer and winter), respectively assigned to the good Auharmazd (or Oromazes) and the evil Aharman (or Ariman) (Bundahish, I. 26. 27: XXX, 29; Plutarch. De Isid. 47), and the zodiac signs were the leaders of the hosts of Auharmazd {Bund., II.. 4). Persia was divided into twelve parts (Xenophon, Cyropacd.. I, 2, 4; Inst., W., 7), and groups of twelve were not uncommon among the Persians, who employed a jury of twelve men (Herod. Ill, 35).

The twelve Aesir or chief gods of Norse mythologv appear in pairs in the Elder Edda (I. 20). while the supreme god. Odin, has twelve names (I, 13), probably one for each month—indeed. Finn Magnusen in his Specimen Calendarii Gentilis has attempted to restore these twelve names to the signs, and his editor does likewise with the twelve .A.esir {Mytholog. Lex., pp. 772-850, cf. 739). The .Scandinavians employed the jury of twelve men which has descended to us (Mallet, North. Antiq.. p. 291).

The ancient Egyptians of different periods and localities allotted variant groups of twelve gods to the months (Herod. II. 14, 82; Kircher. Oed. Aegypt., I. Pt. II. pp. 160, 206. 207, 265 ; P.rugsch, Thesaur.. p. 472, and Motcriaux du Calend., p. 53 ; Rawlinson, Rcl. Anc. World. 11). As early as the Pyramid te.xts, we find a “great company” of twelve gods (Pepi II, 669: Tnas, 253b), and groups of twelve are not uncommon in Egyptian mythology, although the earlier Egyptians knew nothing of the zodiac. According to Herodotus, Egypt was divided at any early date into twelve parts, ruled by the twelve kings who built the labyrinth (II, 147; cf. Diodorus, I. 5 > : but in later times there were thirty-six nomes. corresponding to the ruling houses of the heaven (i. c. to the twelve signs and their twenty-four paranatellons—Strabo, XXH. 1.3; P.rugsch, Hist. Eg., I, p. 21 ), while forty-two nomes appear on monuments of the Ptolemaic period (P.rugsch. loc. cit.), T)robably being represented by what Pliny calls “the forty .statues of Xemesis,” in the labyrinth (XXXVI, 19).

It is probable that the Etruscans had a group of twelve chief gods, six males and six females (see Seneca, Xat. Onacst. II, 41 ; Varro, De Re Rust. I. 1; Arnobius, Adv. Gent. Ill, 40). Ancient Etruria was divided into three states, each of twelve tribes (Strabo, V. 2, 2: Dennis. Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, I, p. xxix.), and according to Livy, the Etruria of his time comprised twelve states (IV, 23), the king being attended by twelve lictors, one from each state (I, 8), while the same number of lictors attended the Roman consuls (Ovid., Ex Ponto, IV, Ep. IX, 4).

The Babylonians and Assyrians had twelve chief gods, whose names appear on the obelisk of Shalmaneser II—including at least three of the five planetary gods, together with the sun and moon (Records of the Past, Nezv Series, IV, p. 39). Diodorus says these twelve gods were allotted to the twelve months and zodiac signs (II, 30), and that with the signs were mapped twenty-four stars (and constellations), twelve to the north and twelve to the south (II, 31) ; the names of these twelve signs and their twenty- four paranateHons being restored by Robert Brown in his Primitive Constellations. Vol. II). Like the sun-god, Marduk (Jupiter) has twelve names in the twelve months on a Babylonian tablec {West. As. Inscript. Ill, 53, 2 ; Sayce, in Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch. Ill, p. 166).

In the Babylonio-Assyrian calendar each month is dedicated to a deity or deities (Records of the Past. I, pp. 164, 165 ; Jastrow, Rel. Bab. and Ass., p. 463; Sayce, Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch. Ill, pp. 161-166). The Babylonian Izdubar Epic, written on twelve tablets., certainly relates to the exploits of the sun-god in his passage through the signs and the months (Jastrow, op. cit.. p. 484; Sayce, op. cit., p. 431). Babylonia was divided into twelve states or tribes to which twelve gods were allotted (Maspero, Dawn, pp. 648, 670), and the Babylonians assigned twelve countries to the months of the year (Jastrow. in Am. .Tourn. Sem. Lang, and Lit. XXVI, pp. 152, 153).

In the tablet entitled The Conflict of Bel and the Dragon (Tiamat), eleven tribes appear as followers of Bel, while the twelfth is the rebellious tribe (Records. IX, pp. 135-140) ; and in the Assyrian Epic of Creation the twelve tribes (probably as belonging to the zodiac signs) appear to be represented by Tiamat and her eleven offspring, who are overcome by Marduk or Bel (Records, New Series, I, p. 133, sq.). We shall find that this Tiamat or rebellious tribe is represented in one view by Judas Iscariot.

The Phoenicians probably recognized twelve chief deities, who became the Titans of the Greeks—the six sons and six daughters of Ouranos (Heavtn) and Ge (Earth). Hesicd mentions only five of the sons in his account of the birth of the Titans, as if they had originally been planetary (Tlieog., 214-221): but he shortly introduces Kronos as the youngest son (264). According to Pliny, there were twelve chief cities in Phoenicia, doubtless the capitals of as many states ( H. A’.. \\ 17). The twelve Labors of Herackles were probably of Phoenician origin, and with equal probability related to the course of the sun-god through the months and signs (see Dujniis. Origine dc tons Ic Cultcs. pp. 105-107. etc.). while the adventures of Theseus appear to be mere variants of those of Herackles.

There were twelve great events in the life of Mithra, as figured on the monuments, and his devotees were divided into twelve symbolical “degrees” (Porphyry. De Ahstin. T\’. 16; Lajard, RecJicrchcs, p. 132 sq.). The six exploits of the solar Samson in Judges perhaps belong to the six double months, for there are six “servitudes” connected with the twelve J^idges. and the Pabylonians and -Assyrians sometimes called the stars and constellations “judges” (Records. XI. p. 4).

The twelve “great gods” of Greece were recognized from the earliest historical times (Homeric H\mn in Hcrm.. 128. 129; Herod. H. 4, 7. 43: VT. 108: Thucyd. VI. 54: Pausan. I. 3. 2 : 40. 2 : VIII, 25. 3. etc.). At Olympia there were six “twin altars” (Apollod. II, 7, 2). probably for the deities of the double months (and signs), and if we can accept the accounts that have come down to us. they included Kronos and Rhea. Dionysius and the Graces, and Alphaeus, together with seven of the “great gods” as generally received (Pau.-san. \\ 14, 5. 6. 8: 24. 1 : Schol. ad. Find. 01. \. 8). The generally received group, in male and female couples, is as follows : Zeus and Hera, Poseidon and Demeter. .\pollo and .Artemis. Hephaestos and Athene. Ares and .\phrodite, Hermes and Hestia (probably allotted to the signs in the order of Leo. A irgo. etc.). They appear as above on the base of a Greek tripod supposed to be a replica of an .Athenian original of the time of the Peisistratidae, circ. 500 P>.C. (De Clarac. Musee, II. Plates 173. 174: Guiginaut. Rccucil, Plates IX\. LXI\’, LX\’T) : and the same six couples in the same order probably appeared on the base of the celebrated statue of Zeus at Olympia (see Pausan. A’, 11. 3. where some of the identifications are doubtless erroneous). They are also foimd in a circle, but not in couples and apparently in utter disorder, on the top of a marble cylinder, around the trunk of which are the signs (De Clarac, op. cit.. TI, Plates 171, 258: Guiginaut, op. cit., Plate LX\TI) : and the same “great gods.”

in still dififerent orders of arrangements are named by .Apollonius Rhodius (lib. TI—circ. 250 P..C.). and in some verses by an unknown Greek poet, by the latter of whom the first six deities are properly paired, as above (in Robinson, Archacol. Graec, p. 186).

The generally received catalog includes six of the seven planetary deities, omitting Kronos-Satnrn, and five of the six children of Kronos and Rhea (Hesiod. Theog., 452), omitting Hades. Zeus belongs to both of these smaller groups, which thus include only ten deities ; the two others of the twelve being Athene (Pallas-Minerva) and Hephaestos (Vulcan—instead of Hades among the children of Kronos and Rhea), while the planetary Kronos appears not to have been included because he was the father of Rhea’s children. The Latin names of the twelve “great gods” of Greece, with the six females preceding the six males, are given by Ennius (in Apuleius. De Deo Socrat.. frag. 45, ed. \’ahlen), followed by \’arro {Dc Re Rust. I. 1). Manilius {Astron., H. 26) has the same deities definitely connected with the zodiac, the male and female couples being allotted to opposite signs, as follows: Minerva (Aries). Venus (Taurus). Apollo (Gemini), Mercury (Cancer). Jupiter (Leo), Ceres (A’irgo), \^ulcan (Libra), Mars (Scorpio). Diana (Sagittarius). A’esta (Capricornus), Juno (Aquarius), Xeptune (Pisces). And they are found in the same order in connection with the signs and the months on a Roman monument [Dc Clarae, Plate 171, no. 19; Giiiginaut, Plate LXVHL fig. 252).

The twelve-fold territorial division was employed in various parts of ancient Greece. Attica is said to have consisted at first of four denies, and later of twelve, each of which was named froiu a hero and ruled by a capital city (Strabo. IX, 1. 6 and 20; Thucid., n, 15; Pint., Demet. 10; cf. the twelve sons of X’^eleus, Hom., //. XL 692, whose descendants settled at Athens, Pausan, H, 18. 7). There were twelve Aelonian cities (and states) in Asia Minor (Herod. L 149; Pausan. \ll. 5. 1). There were also twelve Ionian cities in Asia Minor, and twelve in the Peloponnessus, which was similarly divided into twelve states by the Achaeans (Herod. I, 142, 145 ; Strabo, Mil, 7. 1 ; XIV. 1. 3, 4, 20; Pausan. VII. 6. 1). Again, it is said there were originally twelve Cyclades (Aeschin.. De Fals. Leg. 122; Strabo X, 5, 3) ; twelve tribes of Elis (Pausan. V. 9, 5) and twelve of ancient Galatia, with three chief divisions of four tribes each (Strabo, XII, 5, 1). Still again, there were probably twelve tribes of the Troad originally, for Scymmus of Chios counted fifteen—twelve barbarian (the original group) and three Greek (•Strabo, XIV, 5,23).

Of the tribal divisions of ancient Arabia, one group is represented by the thirteen sons of Joktan—the thirteenth for the intercalary month (Cen. x. 26-29; cf. Stral)o, X\’I. 4. 2 and 23) : while the twelve sons of Ishmael represents another ((ien. xxiv. 13-18; cf. xvii. 20 and Stral)o, X\’I. 4. 21—one of these sons being Nebaioth=the Nabataeans. who worsliipped the sun and ate their meals in companies of thirteen, according to Strabo. XX’I. 4. 27).

In the Old Testament we also find the twelve sons (=tril)es) of Xahor (Gen. xxii. 20-24, referring to an unidentified territory) ; the twelve (tribal) chiefs of Esau (Gen. xxxvi. 40-43: cf. xv. 15-19 and 1 Chron. i. 51—referring to Edom) ; the eleven (for twelve) sons (=tribes of Canaan (Gen. x. 15-19; 1 Chron. i. 13-16—referring to pre-Israclitc Palestine, the last nine in the extant catalog being divided into three groups of three each, indicating an original catalog of four times three), and the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) as the eponymous chiefs (Patriarchs) of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen. xxix.-xxx.. etc., with a score of catalogs of the names in various orders of arrangement), while Jacob-Israel is the twelfth in descent from Noah (Gen. xi., xii.. xxv.). In Gen. xxx., 21, Dinah is found in connection with her six brothers and six half brothers, apparently as a figure of \’irgo (and \”enus—see above), with Simeon and Levi perhaps originally coupled for Gemini (as in Gen. xlix. 5-7).

In some of the catalogs. Levi, the priestly tribe, is omitted, and Ephraim and Alanasseh appear instead of the earlier Joseph thus keeping the number at twelve. It is certain that Israel never included twelve tribes at the same time, and equally certain that the tribal names are not zodiacal in origin. Put the twelve sons of Jacob-Israel are obviously associated with the signs in Joseph’s two dreams of his brothers and himself (Gen. xxxvii. 5-*^)): in the latter of which he saw the sun and moon, for his father and mother, and eleven stars (=constellations) for his brothers, as is recognized by Philo (Dc Somn. II, 11, 16) and Josephus (Antiq. II. 2, 3; cf. Rev. xii. 1) ; while in the former dream appeared twelve sheaves of straw, as probably suggested by the .Syrian “Path of Straw” for the zodiac.

It was at Gilgal (=Circle) that Joshua had twelve men, one from each tribe, set up as many memorial stones, probably in a sacred (zodiacal) circle (Josh. iv. 9), and the twelve tribes were also represented by twelve pillars (Ex. xxiv. 4) and twelve rods (Numb. xvii. 2). .Again, the whole territory of Israel was probably symbolized originally by the concubine of a certain Levite; slain by him : cut into twelve pieces, “and sent into all the coasts of Israel”—i. e., a piece to each tribe (Judges xix. 28). In like manner, the Egyptian great serpent Apap. as a symbol of the night sky or zodiac band, was said to have been cut up into animals (Pirch, Note to Wilkinson’s A71C. Eg. ITL p. 254), and Plutarch tells us that many pretended that the soul of Typhon was divided among the sacred animals (De Isid. 73).

The twelve precious stones on the highpriest’s breastplate, in four rows of three each, were severally engraved with the names of the sons or tribes of Israel (Ex. xxviii. 15-21 ; xxxix. 8-14), while the two stones on the shoulders of the highpriest’s ephod bore the same names, six on each stone (Ibid., xxviii, 9-12; xxxix, 6-7).

Philo identifies the breastplate as an image of the starry heaven (Dc Somn. I, 3), referring the twelve stones in four rows to the zodiac as divided into quarters for the four seasons (Dc Mosc. Ill, 12, De Monarch. II, 5) ; and he says the stones were of twelve colors because each zodiac figure “produces the color which is akin to it” (De Mosc. Ill, 12). He also recognizes the two stones of the ephod, each with six names, as emblems of the northern and southern hemispheres of the celestial sphere (Dc Monarch. IT, 5 ; De Mosc. Ill, 12, in the latter telling us that some referred the two stones to the sun and moon), and elsewhere he identifies the twelve sons or tribes, in two groups of six each, as “a representation and imitation of the circle of the zodiac” which comprises six northern and six southern signs {Dc Proem. 11). Thus, too. Josephus refers the two stones of the ephod to the sun and moon, and the twelve stones
of the breastplate to both the signs and the months, recognizing the whole garment of the highpriest as “an imitation and representation of the universe” (Aniiq. Ill, 7, 7 ; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Strom.
V, 6) ; and the signs are carved on the breastplate of a statue of Aaron in a church at Genoa. Piazza a Pianci (Wilson, Lights and Shadozus of Northern M\tholog\\ p. 215). Again, the twelve loaves of shew-bread, in two piles of six each (Lev. xxiv. 5, 6) are recognized by Philo as a memorial of the twelve tribes (Oitis Rer. Divin. Hacres. 36), and he also says that their two-fold grouping was in accordance with the division of the vear by the equinoxes into two seasons {Dc Victim. 3) : and thus Josephus has it that the twice six loaves “signified the circle of the zodiac and the year” {Bell. Jud. v. 5, 5).

The golden bells on the garment of the priests, unspecified as to number in the Old Testament (Ex. xxviii. 33, etc.), are given as twelve by Justin Martyr, who says they symbolized the Apostles of Jesus {Tryph. 42), while Clement of Alexandria puts them at three hundred and sixty as symbolizing the days of the year (Strom. V, 6). Soloman divided his kingdom into twelve departments, under as many officers, each supplying the royal household with provisions for a month (1 Kings, iv. 7) ; David had twelve captains, one for each month (1 Chron. xwii. 1-15), and according to Hecataens of Abdera (frag. 3) as cited by Diodorus (40). Moses divided his people into twelve tribes corresponding to the months
of the year.

In Nnmb. ii.. the camp of the twelve tribes is a hollow sqnare, facing the cardinal points, with three tribes on a side and a standard for the leading tribe of each three-fold division ( Judah on the east, Renben on the south, Ephraim on the west and Dan on the north): the same order being followed, with the same standardbearing tribes for the four divisions, in the straight line of march (Ibid., xiv, 27). According to the Targnni of Psendo Jonathan in Numb. ii. 2, each of the divisional standards was of three colors and bore the symbol of a leading tribe—a young lion for Judah. a stag for Reuben (whose symbol was generally a man), a young man (generally a unicorn) for Ephraim. and a basilisk for Dan.
Some Rabbinical writers assumed from Xumb. ii. 2. that each of the other tribes bore an ensign with a tribal symbol, which was supplied on the suggestion of Gen. xlix. (see Midrosh on Xumb. ii. 2; Jerome Prado, Comment, in Ezek. i. 44, etc.) : while the Kabbalists fancifully identified the tribes with the zodiac signs, as in the Zohar (see Rosenroth. Kabbala Denndata, T. pp. 258. 259). other and variant identifications being made by such later writers as Dupuis (Origine, pp. 69, 70) and \’allancy (Collect, de Rebus Hibern, VI. 9). The hollow square of the tribes corresponds to the conventional square zodiacs of the Hindus and others, and a Kabbalistic plan of the camp with the tribes allotted to the signs is given
by Kirchcr (Oed. Aegypt. II. p. 21).

In Ezek. xlviii. 30 sq. is a catalog of the twelve tribes of Israe! as allotted to the twelve gates of a visionary (celestial) Jerusalem, considered as four-square with three gates to each of the cardinal points ; the same concept of the celestial city reappearing in Revelation xxi. 10 sq., where the older Jewish groundwork has: “and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed which are of the twelve
tribes of the sons of Israel,” while a Christian interpolation adds: “And the wall of the city having twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” These foundations are also adorned with twelve precious stones, like the highpriest’s breastplate. In the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs it is said that they are to arise in the Resurrection, each ruling over his own tribe (Benj. 10), and in Matt. xix. 28: Luke xxii. 30. Jesus tells His twelve Apostles that when he shall sit upon “the throne of his glory.” they shall sit upon twelve thrones, “judging the twelve tr:bes of Israel.” In the Epistle of Barnabas (8), the Apostles are twelve in number “in witness of the tribes of Israel” ; in Matt. x. 5 sq.,
Jesus sends forth His twelve to preach among the twelve tribes ; according to Hippolytus they were chosen severally from the twelve tribes, and Jesus spoke through each to his own tribe (Plulosophuma
V, 3). while in the History of the Apostles by Abdias and the Gospel of the Tzvelve Apostles they are definitely allotted to the twelve tribes, but without much apparent reason. In the Clementine Recognitions we find Peter saying that “there is one True Prophet whose words we twelve Apostles preach, for he is the acceptable year of the Lord, having us twelve Apostles as his tweKc months” (IV, 35) ; and in the Clementine Homilies the Apostles have “the number of the twelve months of the Sun,” while John the Paptist is credited with thirty chief followers, “fulfilling the monthly reckoning of the
moon” (11,23).

All the descendants of Jacob in Egypt, including his twelve sons, were seventy in number (Heb. of Gen. xlvi. 27: Ex. i. 5—the Sept. substituting seventy-five, followed by Acts vii. 14) ; and Moses chose seventy elders to assist him in ruling the twelve tribes during the Exodus (Ex. xxiv. 1, 9; Numb. xi. 16—Heb. and Sept.). The latter group is evidently a mere duplication of the former, the seventy doubtless being a round number for seventy-two, as frequently in the Old Testament—e. g., the duration of the Babylonian
Captivity (Jerm. xxv. 11 ; xxix. 10), the oppression of Tyre (Isa. xxiii. 15, 17), and the allotted term of man’s life (Ps. xc. 10).^ Philo {De Mose. I, 34) finds types of the Mosaic elders in the seventy palm trees of Elim, and types of the tribes in the twelve fountains of tlie same place (Ex. xv. 11 ; Xunib. xxxiii. 9). Josephus says there were seventy branches to the temple candlestick, which he refers to the (thirty-six) decans, while the lamps are referred to the planets (Antiq. III. 7. 7; cf. I’hilo. Qnis Rer. Divin. Hacres.
45: Dc Mose. II. 9; Clement Alex.. Strom. W 6). The Septuagint translation was made by seventy-two men. six from each tribe, in seventy-two days ( Pseudo-.Aristeas ; Philo. Dc Mose. III. 2; Josephus. Antiq. XII. 2, 10 and 12, etc. Epiphanius. De Pond, et Mens. 3-6. says that the translators were divided into couples, in thirty-six cells). There were seventy-two members of the Jewish sanhedrin. and Confucius is said to have had seventy-two initiated disciples among his thousands of followers (Matter. Gnostics, II. p. 83. For other groups of seventy-two in later times, see Higgins, Anacalypsis, I. pp. 411. 420. 780. 782. 789).

The seventy (for seventy-two) descendants of Jacob or the Mosaic elders, or both, doubtless suggested the seventy or seventytwo disciples chosen by Jesus in addition to the twelve Apostles and sent forth only to Israel Luke x. 1. 17; the Greek 1\ISS diiTering as to whether thev were seventy or seventy-two, and the Latin Wdgate having “seventy-two”). Indeed, according to the Clementine Recognitions, these twelve Apostles and seventy-two disciples were chosen after the pattern of the twelve tribes and the seventytwo elders of Moses (i. 40; cf. Tertullian. .Idv. Marc. 1\, 13: everything done by Jesus in accordance with preceding types ; the Apostles typified by the gems on the high priest’s breastplate, the
stones set up by Joshua and the fountains at Elim). Some of the ancient astrologers held that the habitable world was divided among seventy-two nations, or races of men. with as many languages, as
do the writer of the Clementine Recognitions (II. 42) and Hippolytus (Philosophnma, X. 26—-where the number of the nations is said to correspond to that of the descendants of Jacob) : and Rabbinical
writers found seventy nations in the seventy descendants or races of X^oah’s three sons (Heb. of Cen. x.. where the Sept. has seventytwo by the addition of Cainan and b’lishah : cf. Clement Alex..
Strom. I, 21. “According to the true reckoning, there appear to be seventv-two generic dialects, as our Scriptures hand down”). Thus it appears that the se\cnty-two disciples of Jesus should have been
sent forth to all the nations ( rather thati to the Israelites only, as in Luke), while the twelve Apostles were sent only to the twelve tribes (as in Matt. x. 5—”to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” wanting in the only parallel, Mark iii. 14). .\t the beginning of the Christian era, the ancient territory of the twelve tribes may well have been identified with the twelve toparchies, inchiding Peraea and GaHlaea, into which Judaea was divided by the Romans (see Pliny, H. N., V. 15). But the twelve tribes were generally held to be dispersed among the Gentiles (John vii. 35; James i. 1. etc.), which necessitated the sending of the Apostles into the Gentile countries ; the regions where they preached being variously named
in later traditions. According to the Gnostic Marcus, the whole earth was divided into twelve regions (in Hippolytus, Philosophiima, VI. 48).

In Luke, as above cited, the seventy-two disciples are additional to the twelve Apostles or chief disciples, thus giving in all eightyfour disciples, who were probably conceived by some to form twelve groups of seven each, with an Apostle at the head of each group — the whole number of disciples thus corresponding to the twelve zodiac signs, each with six paranatellons. as represented in the Vishnu Purana by twelve times seven celestial beings, each group of seven connected with a month (II, 10). This concept was perhaps suggested by the seven “deacons” of Acts vi., including Philip as originally the Apostle of the same name (see below); while the extant catalogs of the seventy ( for seventy-two) “deacons” include the Apostles Thaddaeus and Matthias, and Jacob the brother of Jesus, with whom the Apostle Jacob was originally identical. Eusebius tells us that no catalog of the seventy disciples existed in his time, but that they were said to include Cephus (^Peter). Matthias and Thaddaeus—three of the Apostles ( H. £.. I, 12. For the extant names of the seventy “deacons” see Hippolytus On the Tzvclve
Apostles and Psendo-Doretheus ; cf. Eusebius. H. E.. I. 13, for the early Syriac identification of the Apostle Thaddaeus as one of the seventy “deacons”). ®

Source: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/

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