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.