ABOUT TWELVE miles southwest from Capernaum and six miles west of the Sea of Galilee stands a mountain which can be seen many miles away. It is now called “Kurn Hattin,” which means, “The double horns of Hattin.” The name is given because the mountain has two tops, one at each end, and a wide hollow between them, its form making it look somewhat like a saddle or a camel with two humps. Near this mountain, roads ran to almost every part of the land of Israel, so that from every place it could be reached.
The word went throughout the land that Jesus was coming to this mountain; and a great multitude of people gathered in the hollow place between its two crowns, all waiting to see Jesus. He came to the mountain and went up alone to one of its hill-tops. All night Jesus was there in prayer with his heavenly Father; for he had an important work to do, and before any great work Jesus prayed to God. In the morning he called forth out of the vast company of people before -him twelve men, who were to be with him all the time, go with him wherever he should go, listen to his teachings, and learn them by heart, and be ready to preach his words when he should send them out. These twelve men Jesus afterward called “apostles,” which means “men sent out” ; but they were generally named “the twelve.” They are also spoken of as “the disciples,” although the word “disciples” is also used of all the followers of Jesus.
Most of the twelve men had been called before, and had been for some time with Jesus. Others were new men whom Jesus called now for the first time. Their names are arranged in pairs, two of them together. They were Simon Peter and Andrew his brother; James and John, the sons of Zebedee; Philip and his friend Bartholomew, also called Nathanael; Thomas and Mat-thew, who had been the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphâeus; another Simon, who was called “the Zealot,” and Judas Iscariot, the one who afterward became the traitor and sold his Lord to his enemies. About most of these men we know very little, but some of them in later years did a great work for the church of Christ. Simon Peter was always a leader among the Twelve, being a man of quick mind and ready words; and John long after that time wrote” The Gospel according to John,” one of the most wonderful books in the world.