The 12/70 Principle:
12 Tribes 12 Apostles 70 Elders 70 Disciples
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
The numbers 12 and 70 are very important and symbolic numbers in the Scriptures and within Judaism. 12 represent wholeness and completeness as with the 12 months that make up one year. 12 also represent government. 12 represents locality. 70 on the other hand also represent the wholeness of a cycle and government and 70 represents the world.
Let us delve into these numbers and like an onion, pull back their meanings layer by layer within the Scriptures and discover how these numbers have a profound meaning and impact on us in the here and now as well as in the tomorrow.
12 Tribes 70 Nations
· There are 12 Tribes of Israel (13 if you count Levi and count Joseph’s sons separately)
· There are 12 Apostles (13 if you count Paul)
· There are 12 Gates in the New Jerusalem representing the 12 Tribes according to Revelation chapter 21
· There are 12 Foundations of Precious Stones in the New Jerusalem representing the 12 Apostles according to Revelation 21
· There are 12 Precious Stones in the Priestly Levitical Breastplate
· There are 70 Nations of the World
· There is said to be a representative of the 70 Nations that went out with Israel as the mixed multitude in the Exodus from Egypt
· There are 70 Elders Moses appointed
· There are 70 Elders on the Sanhedrin
· There are 70 Disciples Yeshua appointed besides the 12
Do these facts have anything to do with which Tribes the Twelve Apostles were sent? Do these facts have anything to do with the 70 Elders, 70 Disciples and 70 Nations?
Let is focus for now on the meaning 12:
Recall, Yeshua did not call or send out the Disciples/Apostles to Gentile nations or peoples. He made clear that His and His Disciples/Apostles focus was to be to the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – Matt. 15:24
“…Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – Matt. 10:6
Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) was considered the Apostle to the Gentiles (70 Nations) and confirmed that Israel should be attempted to be reached first and then the Gentile (Rom. 1:16, 2:9-10).
Why go to Lost Israel first? Because there were two Kingdoms and two Captivities. Judah, the Southern Kingdom was taken off in to Babylon and returned. Yeshua and His Disciples were apart of and constantly among them (Judah) and thus the reason Yeshua has only targeted the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.” The Northern Kingdom consisting of 10 Tribes of Israel was taken into Assyrian Captivity and has never returned, they never came back into the Land and thus the reason the Apostle were sent out to the Lost Tribes.
If one will care to notice the 12 Tribes represent being gathered together. The 12 Apostles represents being sent out. Thus the Apostles are SENT to REGATHER the 12 Tribes.
Israel ENTERED the Land of Promise and is honored in the New Jerusalem by the 12 Gates according to their encampment around the Tabernacle in the wilderness. The word Apostle, means, “One who is sent,” and is honored by the Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem. In order to see the layered foundation one must “go out” of the city in order to view them.
Thus being said, it seems logical Yeshua would pick 12 Apostles and assign one to each Lost Tribe.
Recall what Yeshua said regarding His Talmidim (Disciples):
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. – Matt. 19:28
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. – Luke 22:30
12 Apostles to Rule 12 Tribes.
In James 1:1, the letter is addressed, “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad…” which would seem to indicate that the whereabouts of the 10 Tribes of Israel were known to the Apostles of the time. But can we possibly determine if a particular Apostle was sent to a particular Tribe?
If any of the Tribes whereabouts became unknown, it was prophesied that God would send out (Apostle) those to fish and hunt for them among the nations of the world.
“Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” Jer. 16:16
Let us look at the 12 Tribes and 12 Apostles to help us better understand which Apostle ministered to which Tribe.