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February 20    Scripture



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Manners & Customs: Fishing
Fishing in the Ancient World

Angling Angling. It is not thought probable that the disciples in Galilee used this method of fishing very extensively. That it was use on occasions is seen from the account of Peter's catching a fish with a hook and discovering the coin in its mouth with which he paid the temple tax (Matthew 17:27). Isaiah speaks of it in connection with fishing in the streams: "The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament" (Isaiah 19:8). Amos makes reference to this type of fishing when he says, "He will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks" (Amos 4:2). The excavation at the mound of Gezer brought to light an actual fishhook, indicating the ancient use of the angling method of fishing. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Casting Net The cast net or handnet. Two of the disciples were busy with such a net when JESUS called them to be fishers of men. "Now as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Mark 1:16, 17). This sort of net is in circular form about fifteen feet in diameter, with fine meshes. Around the edge it has lead sinkers. A long piece of line is attached to the center of the net. This line is held by the left hand, and the net is gathered up in the right hand, and is cast with a broad sweep of that arm over shallow water near the shore wherever a shoal of fish is observed to be. The middle of the net is then drawn by the cord, and the fisherman is able to wade into the water to get what he has caught. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Dragnet The dragnet or drawnet. JESUS used this sort of fishing as the basis for one of his parables. "Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away" (Matthew 13:47, 48). This net is a long one, sometimes hundreds of feet in length and about eight feet broad. Ropes are furnished the ends of the net. Corks are attached along one of the long sides of the net to keep it buoyed up, whereas the other long side has lead sinkers attached to it to make it sink. Sometimes the net is set between two boats in the sea, being stretched between them. The boats are rowed so as to enclose a circular space and when the boats meet, then the net is hauled into the boats, the circle becoming smaller. The bottom rope is pulled in faster than the top one and thus the fish are enclosed in a bag and are pulled into the boats. Sometimes the net is set and then drawn from the land. The one end is then taken as far as possible by a boat seaward. Then this boat brings that end of the net around with a sweep to the place of starting, where men use the same method of pulling in the nets and landing the fish. Again, two boats sometimes stretch the net between them at a distance from shore, and then they will sweep in to the shore, forcing the fish to come with them. There must be no rocky obstructions for this method to be successful. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Fish in Easton's Bible Dictionary called _dag_ by the Hebrews, a word denoting great fecundity (Gen. 9:2; Num. 11:22; Jonah 2:1, 10). No fish is mentioned by name either in the Old or in the New Testament. Fish abounded in the Mediterranean and in the lakes of the Jordan, so that the Hebrews were no doubt acquainted with many species. Two of the villages on the shores of the Sea of Galilee derived their names from their fisheries, Bethsaida (the "house of fish") on the east and on the west. There is probably no other sheet of water in the world of equal dimensions that contains such a variety and profusion of fish. About thirty-seven different kinds have been found. Some of the fishes are of a European type, such as the roach, the barbel, and the blenny; others are markedly African and tropical, such as the eel-like silurus. There was a regular fish-market apparently in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 33:14; Neh. 3:3; 12:39; Zeph. 1:10), as there was a fish-gate which was probably contiguous to it. Sidon is the oldest fishing establishment known in history.

Fish in Naves Topical Bible Creation of Ge 1:20-22 -Appointed for food Ge 9:2,3 -Clean and unclean Le 11:9-12; De 14:9,10 -Caught With nets Ec 9:12; Hab 1 Hooks Isa 19:8; Am 4:2; Mt 17:27 Spears Job 41:7 -Ponds for In Heshbon So 7:4 In Egypt Isa 19:10 -Traffic in Ne 13:16; Joh 21:13 -Broiled Joh 21:9-13; Lu 24:42 -Miracles connected with Jonah swallowed by Jon 1:17; 2; Mt 12:40 Of the loaves and fishes Mt 14:19; 15:36; Lu 5:6; 9:3-17 Coin obtained from mouth of Mt 17:27 Great draught of Lu 5:4-7; Joh 21:6 Furnished to the disciples by Jesus after his resurrection Lu 24:42; Joh 21:9-13 -FIGURATIVE Eze 47:9,10

Fish in Smiths Bible Dictionary The Hebrews recognized fish as one of the great divisions of the animal kingdom, and as such gave them a place in the account of the creation, Ge 1:21,28 as well as in other passages where an exhaustive description of living creatures is intended. Ge 9:2; Ex 20:4; De 4:18; 1Ki 4:33 The Mosaic law, Le 11:9,10 pronounced unclean such fish as were devoid of fins and scales; these were and are regarded as unwholesome in Egypt. Among the Philistines Dagon was represented by a figure half man and half fish. 1Sa 5:4 On this account the worship of fish is expressly prohibited. De 4:18 In Israel, the Sea of Galilee was and still is remarkable well stored with fish. (Tristram speaks of fourteen species found there, and thinks the number inhabiting it at least three times as great.) Jerusalem derived its supply chiefly from the Mediterranean. Comp. Eze 47:10 The existence of a regular fish-market is implied in the notice of the fish-gate, which was probably contiguous to it. 2Ch 33:14; Ne 3:3; 12:39; Zep 1:10 The Orientals are exceedingly fond of fish as an article of diet. Numerous allusions to the art of fishing occur in the Bible. The most usual method of catching fish was by the use of the net, either the casting net, Eze 26:5,14; 47:10; Habb 1:15 probably resembling the one used in Egypt, as shown in Wilkinson (iii. 55), or the draw or drag net, Isa 19:8; Habb 1:15 which was larger, and required the use of a boat. The latter was probably most used on the Sea of Galilee, as the number of boats kept on it was very considerable.

Fish in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (dagh, daghah, da'gh; ichthus, ichthudion, opsarion): 1. Natural History: Fishes abound in the inland waters of Israel as well as the Mediterranean. They are often mentioned or indirectly referred to both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, but it is remarkable that no particular kind is distinguished by name. In Lev 11:9-12 and Dt 14:9 f, "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters" is declared clean, while all that "have not fins and scales" are forbidden. This excluded not only reptiles and amphibians, but also, among fishes, siluroids and eels, sharks, rays and lampreys. For our knowledge of the inland fishes of Israel we are mainly indebted to Tristram, NHB and Fauna and Flora of Israel; Lortet, Poissons et reptiles du Lac de Tiberiade; and Russegger, Reisen in Europa, Asien, Afrika, 1835-1841. The most remarkable feature of the fish fauna of the Jordan valley is its relationship to that of the Nile and of East Central Africa. Two Nile fishes, Chromis nilotica Hasselquist, and Clarias macracanthus Gunth., are found in the Jordan valley, and a number of other species found only in the Jordan valley belong to genera (Chromis and Hemichromis) which are otherwise exclusively African. This seems to indicate that at some time, probably in the early Tertiary, there was some connection between the Palestinian and African river systems. No fish can live in the Dead Sea, and many perish through being carried down by the swift currents of the Jordan and other streams. There are, however, several kinds of small fish which live in salt springs on the borders of the Dead Sea, springs which are as salt as the Dead Sea but which, according to Lortet, lack the magnesium chloride which is a constituent of the Dead Sea water and is fatal to the fish. Capoeta damascina Cuv. and Val., one of the commonest fishes of Syria and Israel, has been taken by the writer in large numbers in the Arnon and other streams flowing into the Dead Sea. This is surprising in view of the fact that the Dead Sea seems to form an effective barrier between the fishes of the different streams flowing into it. The indiscriminate mention of fishes without reference to the different kinds is well illustrated by the numerous passages in which "the fishes of the sea, the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field," or some equivalent expression, is used to denote all living creatures, e.g. Gen 1:26; 9:2; Nu 11:22; Dt 4:18; 1 Ki 4:33; Job 12:8; Ps 8:8; Ezek 38:20; Hos 4:3; Zeph 1:3; 1 Cor 15:39. 2. Jonah's Fish: An unusually large shark might fulfill the conditions of Jonah's fish (dagh, daghah; but Mt 12:40, ketos, "whale" or "sea monster"). The whale that is found in the Mediterranean (Balaena australis) has a narrow throat and could not swallow a man. No natural explanation...

Fish Spear in Naves Topical Bible General scriptures concerning Job 41:7

Fish-hooks in Easton's Bible Dictionary were used for catching fish (Amos 4:2; comp. Isa. 37:29; Jer. 16:16; Ezek. 29:4; Job. 41:1, 2; Matt. 17:27).

Fisher in Easton's Bible Dictionary Besides its literal sense (Luke 5:2), this word is also applied by our Lord to his disciples in a figurative sense (Matt. 4:19; Mark 1:17).

Fisherman in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fish'-er fish'-er-man (dayyagh, dawwagh; halieus; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek haleeus): Although but few references to fishermen are made in the Bible, these men and their calling are brought into prominence by Jesus' call to certain Galilee fishermen to become His disciples (Mt 4:18,19; Mk 1:16,17). Fishermen, then as now, formed a distinct class. The strenuousness of the work (Lk 5:2) ruled out the weak and indolent. They were crude in manner, rough in speech and in their treatment of others (Lk 9:49,54; Jn 18:10). James and John before they became tempered by Jesus' influence were nicknamed the "sons of thunder" (Mk 3:17). The fishermen's exposure to all kinds of weather made them hardy and fearless. They were accustomed to bear with patience many trying circumstances. They often toiled for hours without success, and yet were always ready to try once more (Lk 5:5; Jn 21:3). Such men, when impelled by the same spirit as filled their Master, became indeed "fishers of men" (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17). One of the striking instances of the fulfillment of prophecy is the use by the Syrian fishermen today of the site of ancient Tyre as a place for the spreading of their nets (Ezek 26:5,14). Figurative: Fish were largely used as food (Hab 1:16), hence, the lamentation of the fishermen, who provided for all, typified general desolation (Isa 19:8). On the other hand, abundance of fish and many fishermen indicated general abundance (Ezek 47:10). Our modern expression, "treated like a dog," had its counterpart in the language of the Old Testament writers, when they portrayed the punished people of Judah as being treated like fish. Yahweh would send many fishers to fish them up and put sticks or hooks through their cheeks as a fisherman strings his fish (Jer 16:16; Job 41:2). Such treatment of the people of Judah is depicted on some of the Assyrian monuments.

Fishermen in Naves Topical Bible Certain apostles Mt 4:18-21; Mr 1:16,19; Joh 21:2,3 -FIGURATIVE Jer 16:16; Mt 4:19

Fishermen Scripture - Luke 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing [their] nets.

Fishermen Working Together This way of fishing illustrates the value of co-operative effort. A number of men will work together. Some of them will row the boats, some will have to pull the rope with great strength, and some will throw stones or in other ways seek to keep the fish from getting away by frightening them. As they get close to the shore, the edges of the net are held, and it is dragged to land and the fish must be seized. Afterward the fish caught are sorted, as indicated in the parable of Jesus. What an illustrative lesson this is in co-operative soulwinning! [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Fishhook in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fish'-hook (cir dughah, chakkah): The word "fishhooks" occurs but twice in the American Standard Revised Version (Job 41:1; Am 4:2). In other passages the word hook or "angle" is applied to this instrument for fishing (Isa 19:8; Job 41:2). The ancient Egyptian noblemen used to amuse themselves by fishing from their private fishpools with hook and line. The Egyptian monuments show that the hook was quite commonly used for catching fish. The hook is still used in Bible lands, although not as commonly as nets. It is called a cinnarat, probably from the same root as tsinnah, the plural of which is translated hooks in Am 4:2. In Mt 17:27, agkistron (literally, "fishhook"), is rendered "hook."

Fishing in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fish'-ing (halieuo): Several methods of securing fish are resorted to at the present day along the seashores of Israel. Two of these, dynamiting and poisoning with the juice of cyclamen bulbs or other poisonous plants, can be passed over as havi ng no bearing on ancient methods. (1) With Hooks: Some fishing is done with hooks and lines, either on poles when fishing from shore, or on trawls in deep-sea fishing. The fishhooks now used are of European origin, but bronze fishhooks of a very early date have been discovered. That fishing with hooks was known in Jesus' time is indicated by the Master's command to Peter (Mt 17:27). See FISHHOOK. (2) With Spears: Job 41:7 probably refers to an instrument much like the barbed spear still used along the Syrian coast. It is used at night by torchlight. (3) With Nets: In the most familiar Bible stories of fisherman life a net was used. Today most of the fishing is done in the same way. These nets are homemade. Frequently one sees the fishermen or members of their families making nets or repairing old ones during the stormy days when fishing is impossible. Nets are used in three ways: (a) A circular net, with small meshes and leaded around the edge, is cast from the shore into the shallow water in such a manner that the leaded edge forms the base of a cone, the apex being formed by the fisherman holding the center of the net in his hand. The cone thus formed encloses such fish as cannot escape the quick throw of the fisher. (b) A long net or seine of one or two fathoms depth, leaded on one edge and provided with floats on the other, is payed out from boats in such a way as to surround a school of fish. Long ropes fastened to the two ends are carried ashore many yards apart, and from five to ten men on each rope gradually draw in the net. The fish are then landed from the shallow water with small nets or by hand. This method is commonly practiced on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (c) In deeper waters a net similar to that described above, but four or five fathoms deep, is cast from boats and the ends slowly brought together so as to form a circle. Men then dive down and bring one portion of the weighted edge over under the rest, so as to form a bottom. The compass of the net is then narrowed, and the fish are emptied from the net into the boat. Sometimes the net with the fish enclosed is towed into shallow water before drawing. The above method is probably the one the disciples used (Mt 4:18; Mk 1:16; Lk 5:2-10; Jn 21:3-11). Portions of nets with leads and floats, of early Egyptian origin, may be seen in the British Museum. See NET. The fishermen today usually work with their garments girdled up about their waists. Frequently they wear only a loose outer garment which is wet much of the time. This garment can be quickly removed by pulling it over the head, When occasion requires the fisherman to jump into the sea. If methods have not changed, Peter had probably just climbed back into the boat after adjusting the net for drawing when he learned that it was Jesus who stood on the shore. He was literally naked and pulled on his coat before he went ashore (Jn 21:7).

Fishing Locations FISHERMEN Places for fishing. In Israel the main fishing places have been along the Mediterranean coast, and in the Sea of Galilee, with some little done in the streams of water. The Israelites in the wilderness said: "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt" (Numbers 11:5). Most interest centers in the Galilee fishing, because of the Gospel incidents connected with the LORD JESUS and his early fishermen disciples. The Jews engaged in a large fishing business in the days of JESUS in the waters of Galilee. A few years ago A. C. Haddad, a native of Syria and a twentieth century resident of Israel, counted sixty men, all of them Arabs, as earning their living as Peter did, by fishing in the Sea of Galilee.24 Their methods of work have been very similar to those used by the disciples of JESUS. Such methods will fast disappear from this region now, since the new state of Israel controls this body of water, and up-to-date Western fishing equipment is taking the place of former more primitive methods. The new government has subsidized the fishing industry on Galilee. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Fishing Scripture - John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Night Fishing Fishing at night. Galilee fishermen often have fished at night. They light their way with a blazing torch, and sighting fish they let fly their fishing spear, or fling their net into the sea. But sometimes they fish all night with no results, as was the case with Simon Peter and his comrades. "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing" (Luke 5:5). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Shoals The location of shoals. A Galilee fisherman was seen one day to use his hand net as he waded into the waters of the sea. He cast his net several times and it came up empty. But presently the man's companion on the shore shouted to him to cast to the left, and when this was done, the net was drawn up with fish in it. Shoals of fish are sometimes seen by those on the shore when they are hidden from the view of the fishermen in the water. Such was what happened with JESUS and his disciples as reported by John: "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes" (John 21:46). This ability to see from the shore what the fishermen in a boat fail to see, does not do away with a miracle taking place with the disciples. It was the power of JESUS that brought the great number of fish to the particular spot where the disciples could catch them in their nets. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Spearing Fish spearing of fish. The book of Job refers to this method of fishing. "Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?" (Job 41:7). That such method was practiced in Egypt is proven by inscriptions picturing Egyptians using fishing-spears. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

The Art of Fishing in Easton's Bible Dictionary was prosecuted with great industry in the waters of Israel. It was from the fishing-nets that Jesus called his disciples (Mark 1:16-20), and it was in a fishing-boat he rebuked the winds and the waves (Matt. 8:26) and delivered that remarkable series of prophecies recorded in Matt. 13. He twice miraculously fed multitudes with fish and bread (Matt. 14:19; 15:36). It was in the mouth of a fish that the tribute-money was found (Matt. 17:27). And he "ate a piece of broiled fish" with his disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24:42, 43; comp. Acts 1:3). At the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14), in obedience to his direction, the disciples cast their net "on the right side of the ship," and enclosed so many that "they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." Two kinds of fishing-nets are mentioned in the New Testament: (1.) The casting-net (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16). (2.) The drag-net or seine (Matt. 13:48). Fish were also caught by the fishing-hook (Matt. 17:27). (See NET -T0002711.)

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