Mark 3:13
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
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(13) And he goeth up into a mountain.—The sequence of events in St. Mark varies much, it will be seen, from St. Matthew, and comes nearer to that in St. Luke. What follows is, like the parallel narrative of Luke 6:12-13, the selection rather than the mission of the Twelve, the latter appearing in Matthew 10. In St. Luke we find the noticeable fact that the night had been spent in prayer, apparently, as usual, alone, and that when it was day He called the company of the disciples, who had waited below, and made choice of the Twelve.

Mark 3:13. He goeth up into a mountain — Thus Luke also represents him as retiring to a mountain for solemn prayer, and indeed continuing all night in that duty, before he made choice of twelve out of his disciples, and appointed them to be apostles: thereby showing, that much consideration and prayer ought to precede and accompany the choice and ordination of persons for ministers, and that nothing in so important a business should be done rashly. And calleth unto him whom he would — With regard to the eternal states of men, God always acts as a merciful Saviour and just Lawgiver, Governor, and Judge. But with regard to numberless other things, he seems to us to act as a mere Sovereign.

3:13-21 Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd, and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. May the Lord send forth more and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work. Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good. Those who go on with zeal in the work of God, must expect hinderances, both from the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affections of friends, and need to guard against both.For an account of the appointment of the apostles, see the notes at Matthew 10:1-4.

And calleth unto him whom he would - Those whom he chose; whom he was about to appoint to the apostleship. See the notes at John 15:16.

Mr 3:13-19. The Twelve Apostles Chosen.

See on [1412]Lu 6:12-19.

Ver. 13-15. We have this piece of history, or rather something to which it relates, both in Matthew and in Luke, only Mark hath this peculiar to himself, that our Saviour did this upon a mountain. It is the opinion of Bucer, that this was the mountain at the foot of which he preached the sermon largely recorded, Matthew 5:1-7:29, and (as some judge) more shortly by Luke 6:17-45: he thinketh the multitude here mentioned is the same with that mentioned Matthew 4:25, and Luke 3:7, and that our Saviour did not go up into this mountain to preach, or ordain his disciples, but only to pray, and to discourse with some of his disciples more privately about spiritual mysteries. That it was at this time that he continued all night in prayer to God, Luke 6:12; and in the morning called unto him such of his disciples as he thought fit, and discoursed with them his intentions concerning them, telling them,

1. That he had chosen them to be with him, ordinarily, to be eye and ear witnesses of what he spake and did.

2. That he designed soon after to send them out to preach; which we read he did, Mark 6:7 Matthew 10:1; to give them a power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: so that this chapter only mentions Christ’s election of them, not his actual sending them, which is discoursed Mark 6:7-13, as also Matthew 10:1-42.

These things being privately transacted on the mountain, Bucer thinks he came down into the plain at the foot of the mountain, according to Luke 6:17, and there preached that sermon mentioned Matthew 5:1-7:29, as we before said. The evangelist telling us that he called to him which of his disciples he would, lets us know, that he chose them, and not they him; that the choice of them was of his free grace and mercy; and his continuing all night in prayer before this choice, lets us know the gravity of the work of choosing persons fit to be sent out to preach the gospel.

And he goeth up into a mountain,.... Near Capernaum, being solitary, and a place of recess and retirement, "to pray", as Luke says, Luke 6:12, who adds, "and continued all night in prayer to God", notwithstanding the great fatigue of the day past. His prayer, as is very probable, was chiefly concerning the great and important work, which was upon his mind, and he was about to do; the making and constituting twelve of his disciples, as his apostles, to preach in his name, and work miracles:

and calleth unto him whom he would; that is, "when it was day", as the above evangelist observes; when he called his disciples, such as had been for some time followers of him, as many of them as he thought fit: for it seems by the same evangelist, that others were called to him besides the twelve; and out of them he chose them: the phrase "whom he would", is in the Arabic version rendered, "whom he loved"; and it is a common observation of expositors, that the choice and call of the apostles to office, were not according to their will, works and merits, but according to the sovereign will and grace of Christ, who chose them, and not they him: but to me there seems no foundation for such a remark here, though it is a truth; because this regards not the call of the twelve only, and much less of them to office, but a call of many of the followers of Christ to come to him on the mountain:

and they came unto him; as many as he called out of the multitude; and from among these he made the following choice.

And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
Mark 3:13-19. Comp. Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:12-16.

τὸ ὄρος] upon the mountain there. See on Matthew 5:1.

οὓς ἢθελεν αὐτός] so that no one might come forward of his own will. Jesus first of all made a wider selection, and then out of this, Mark 3:14, the narrower one of the Twelve. To raise a doubt of the actual selection of the latter (Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 370), as if they to some extent had become apostles with less of assent on Christ’s part, is at variance also with John 6:70.

Mark 3:14 f. ἐποίησε] He made, that is, He ordained, appointed. Comp. Acts 2:36; 1 Samuel 12:6. On the clause ἵνα ὦσι μετʼ αὐτοῦ, comp. Acts 1:21.

ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτούς] namely, subsequently. See Mark 6:7.

καὶ ἔχειν] conjoined with the κηρύσσειν as an aim of the sending forth, in which it was contemplated that they were to preach and to have power,[71] etc. Comp. Mark 6:7. The simple, naive detail of the appointment and destination of the Twelve bears the stamp of originality, not of elaboration after Matthew and Luke (Zeller in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift, 1865, p. 396 ff.).

Mark 3:16 ff. Inexactly enough Mark relates, instead of Simon’s appointment, only his being named; but he leaves his appointment to be thence understood of itself, and then, as if he had narrated it in connection with ἐποίησε, continues by ΚΑῚ ἸΆΚΩΒΟΝ, which still depends on ἘΠΟΊΗΣΕ,—an awkwardness which is scarcely to be attributed to a reflecting reviser.

As to the arrangement—generally according to rank, but in Mark and Acts 1:13 giving precedence to the three most intimate disciples—of the twelve names in three quaternions, see on Matthew 10:2; Ewald, p. 205 f.

Mark narrates the naming of Peter as having taken place at that time, which is not incompatible with Matthew 16:18 (see in loc.), although it is doubtless with John 1:43.

Mark 3:17. And He assigned to them names, (namely) Boanerges. The plural ὀνόματα (for which D reads ὊΝΟΜΑ) depends on the conception that the names bestowed on the two brothers are included in Boanerges. Βοανεργές] ܒܢܳܝܪܓܷܫ, בְּנֵי רֶגֶשׁ. The Sheva, according to Aramaic pronunciation (see Lightfoot): oa. רֶגֶשׁ, in the Hebrew, a noisy crowd, Psalm 55:15; in the Syriac, thunder; comp. the Arabic رجس, tonuit.[72] The historical occasion of this appellation is altogether unknown. It has been sought in the mighty eloquence of the two (Victor Antiochenus, Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Calvin, Wetstein, Michaelis, and others, comp. Luther’s gloss); but it may be objected to this view that such a quality could hardly have appeared at that time, when the men had not yet taught; and also that in the case of John at least, a thundering eloquence (as in Pericles; Cic. Orat. 29) is not to be supposed. Others (Heumann, Kuinoel, comp. also Gurlitt in the Stud. u. Krit. 1829, p. 715 ff.) have understood it to be a name of reproach, and referred it to Luke 9:54, so that the meaningless, destructive power (Gurlitt) would be the point of comparison; but the time of the giving this name is not in accordance with this view, as it is also in itself improbable, and at variance with the analogy of Peter’s name, that Jesus should have converted a reproach into a name and thereby have made it the signature of their character; to which we may add, that in Luke, l.c, there is nothing at all said about thunder. Moreover, it is historically demonstrable that the disciples were of impetuous, ardent temperament (Mark 9:38; Luke 9:54; comp. Matthew 20:20 ff., and Mark 10:35 ff.), and it is therefore not arbitrary to conjecture that some special exhibition of this peculiarity at the time suggested the name, of which, however, it is absolutely unknown for what reason it did not become permanent, like the name of Peter, and in fact is no further mentioned elsewhere, although it was given by Jesus.

Θαδδαῖον] see on Matthew 10:3. As to Ὁ ΚΑΝΑΝΑῖΟς, see on Matthew 10:4.

[71] Observe the correctness of the expression ἔχειν ἐξουσ. κ.τ.λ. (in opposition to de Wette). For the destination of the apostles in fact was not: to teach and to drive out the demons, but to teach and in so doing to possess the power of driving out demons, in order that they might apply this power on appropriate occasion for the confirmation of their teaching. Comp. Mark 16:20; 2 Corinthians 12:12.

[72] Jerome’s reading (in Daniel 1, Isaiah 62): Benereem, is an emendation (רעם, thunder).

Mark 3:13-19 a. Selection of the Twelve (cf. Matthew 10:2-4, Luke 6:12-16).

13–19. The Calling of the Twelve Apostles

13. And he goeth] We have now reached an important turning-point in the Gospel History, (i) The fame of the Saviour had spread abroad in every direction throughout the land, and the current of popular feeling had set strongly in His favour. But (ii) the animosity of the ruling powers had deepened in intensity alike in Judæa and Galilee, and an active correspondence was going on between the Scribes and Pharisees in both districts respecting Him. Meanwhile (iii) He Himself had seemed to stand almost alone. A few indeed had gathered round Him as His disciples, but as yet they did not present the appearance of a regular and organized body, nor had they received a distinct commission to disseminate His doctrines. Such a body was now to be formed. Such a commission was now to be given. Accordingly He retired to the mountain-range west of the Lake, and spent the whole night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12). The scene of His retirement and lonely vigil was in all probability the singular elevation now known as the Karûn Hattîn, or “Horns of Hattîn,” the only conspicuous hill on the western side of the Lake, and “singularly adapted by its conformation both to form a place for short retirement, and a rendezvous for gathering multitudes.” Then at dawn of the following day (Luke 6:13), He

calleth unto him whom he would] of the disciples, who had gradually gathered around Him, and when they had come to Him He selected for Himself (Luke 6:13), and

Mark 3:13. Εἰς τὸ ὄρος, into a mountain) Apart.—οὓς ἤθελεν αὐτὸς, whom He Himself would) He had unlimited authority, and that the highest. His will was in accordance with the will of the Father [among these partly the Twelve, just mentioned, were included; partly others, for instance, Joseph and Matthias, Acts 1:23.—V. g.]—ἀπῆλθον, they came away) leaving all things.

Verse 13. - Into a mountain; literally, into the mountain (εἰς τὸ ὄρος). Similarly, St. Luke (Luke 6:12) says," He went out into the mountain to pray." The use of the definite article might either point to some well-known eminence, or to the high table-land as distinguished from the plain, and in which there would be many recesses, which would explain the use of the preposition Tradition indicates Mount Hatten as the place, about five miles to the west of the Sea of Galilee. The summit rises above a level space, where large numbers might stand within hearing. It is supposed, with good reason, that it was from thence that the sermon on the mount was delivered. It was at daybreak, as we learn from St. Luke (Luke 6:13), after this night of prayer, that he called unto him whom he himself would (ου{ς ἤθελεν αὐτός): and they went unto him (καὶ ἀπῆλθον πρὸς); literally, they went away to him, the word implying that they forsook their former pursuits. His own will was the motive power: he called "whom he himself would;" but their will consented. "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will seek." Mark 3:13Whom he would (οὓς ἤθελεν αὐτός)

Rev., more strictly, "whom he himself would;" not allowing any to offer themselves for special work. Out of the larger number thus called he selected twelve. See Mark 3:14.

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