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Matthew

also known as: Levi

Meaning: gift of God

This was a common Jewish name after the Exile.

The Biblical Matthew was the son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew/Levi was seated, and said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew arose and followed him, and became his disciple (Matthew 9:9).

Formerly the name by which he was known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it, possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same day on which Jesus called him he made a “great feast” (Luke 5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his disciples, and probably also many of old associates.

He was afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15).

His name does not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13.

The time and manner of his death are unknown.

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