Matthias [Măt'thī'as]—gift of god. A disciple chosen by lot to succeed Judas Iscariot as an apostle. He had been a follower of Jesus from the beginning of His ministry and was a witness of His resurrection (Acts 1:23, 26). Tradition says Matthias was one of the seventy (Luke 10:1).
David Smith feels that the choice of Matthias was not of God. The disciples prayed for guidance but instead of trusting for divine direction, had recourse to the superstitious practice of casting lots. The election of Matthias was set aside, Paul becoming the true successor to the vacant office. We have no record of him after his election. Tradition says that he went to Ethiopia and labored there where ultimately he was martyred.