e-lev'-'-n, (hoi hendeka): The eleven apostles remaining after the death of Judas. The definite article used serves to designate them as a distinct and definite group whose integrity was not destroyed by the loss of one of the twelve. The college of "the Twelve" had come to be so well recognized that the gospel writers all used on occasions the word with the definite article to represent the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. This custom still remained and the numeral merely changed, as, "Afterward he was manifested unto the eleven" (Mr 16:14; compare Lu 24:9,33; Ac 2:14). On the other hand, however, the substantive is also sometimes used, as "The eleven disciples went into Galilee" (Mt 28:16; compare also Ac 1:26). As an illustration of the fixedness of usage, Paul refers to the eleven as "the twelve" when he recounts the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection: "And that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve" (1Co 15:5).
Walter G. Clippinger