“When Jesus was
Twelve years old,
They went up
For the festival.”
Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς,
Now we have another unique saying of Luke about the age of Jesus. When Jesus was 12 years old (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the whole family went up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν) as usual for the festival of Passover (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς). This was not a bar mitzvah or confirmation, since this Jewish practice came later. However, Jesus would have been on the verge of puberty. The number 12 would play a major role in the life of Jesus, since he had 12 apostles, who were called the Twelve. This episode is the only insight into the life of Jesus between his birth and the baptism by John, that can be found in any of the canonical biblical gospel narratives. There are many stories about the boyhood of Jesus in some apocryphal gospels. Thus, this story takes on a special canonical importance.
“King Antiochus called for Philip, one of his friends. He made him ruler over his entire kingdom. He gave him the crown, his robe, and the signet, so that he might guide his son Antiochus, and bring him up to be king. Thus King Antiochus died there in the one hundred and forty-ninth year. When Lysias learned that the king was dead, he set up Antiochus, the king’s son to reign. Lysias had brought him up from boyhood. He had named him Eupator.”
King Antiochus IV called one of his friends, Philip. He made him the ruler of the entire kingdom. The king gave him all the symbols of royalty, the crown, the robe, and signature ring to his friend Philip. However, Philip was to guide the king’s son who was 9 at that time. He would become King Antiochus V. Thus King Antiochus IV died in the year 163 BCE at the age of 51, after ruling for 11 years. Nevertheless, Lysias, who was in charge in Syria had brought up the young pre-teen Antiochus. Lysias called him Eupator, which means good father. It looks like there might be a struggle between Philip and Lysias over who controlled the young King Antiochus V.