A big haul of fish (Lk 5:6-5:6)

“When they had done this,

They caught

So many fish

That their nets

Were beginning

To break.”

 

καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες συνέκλεισαν πλῆθος ἰχθύων πολύ· διερήσσετο δὲ τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν.

 

This is similar to John, chapter 21:6, where the nets were filled to capacity.  Luke said that when they did what Jesus had told them to do (καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες), they caught so many fish (συνέκλεισαν πλῆθος ἰχθύων πολύ) that their nets were beginning to break (διερήσσετο δὲ τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν).  The moral was to do what Jesus said.  Then all will be well for you in abundance.

No fish here (Lk 5:5-5:5)

“Simon answered.

‘Master!

We have worked

All night long.

But we have caught

Nothing!

Yet,

If you say so,

I will let down

The nets.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς Σίμων εἶπεν Ἐπιστάτα, δι’ ὅλης νυκτὸς κοπιάσαντες οὐδὲν ἐλάβομεν· ἐπὶ δὲ τῷ ῥήματί σου χαλάσω τὰ δίκτυα.

 

Luke said that Simon answered Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς Σίμων) by calling him Master or Teacher (εἶπεν Ἐπιστάτα).  He said that they had worked all night long (δι’ ὅλης νυκτὸς κοπιάσαντες), but caught nothing (οὐδὲν ἐλάβομεν).  However, he indicated that if Jesus said so (ἐπὶ δὲ τῷ ῥήματί σου), he would let down the nets (χαλάσω τὰ δίκτυα).  In John, chapter 21:6-8, Jesus told them where to let the nets down to catch some fish, after a night of not catching anything.  Simon already called Jesus a teacher or master, something similar to a Rabbi.  Simon explained that they had not caught any fish, but at Jesus’ word, he would do whatever Jesus wanted him to do.  Thus, Simon was faithful from the beginning.

Jesus saves Peter (Mt 14:31-14:31)

“Jesus immediately reached out

His hand.

He caught him.

He said to him.

‘You of little faith!

Why did you doubt?’”

 

εὐθέως δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ὀλιγόπιστε, εἰς τί ἐδίστασας;

 

This section about Peter is unique to Matthew, as he tended to emphasize the importance of Peter, yet at the same time, there was a continual mention of the lack of Peter’s faith.  After Peter cried out for help, Jesus immediately reached out his hand (εὐθέως δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα) and caught or grabbed Peter before he fell into the water (ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ).  He said to him (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ).  Why did he have so little faith (Ὀλιγόπιστε,)?  Why did he doubt or hesitate (εἰς τί ἐδίστασας) when he was already walking?  Thus, even the leader of his disciples, Peter, was not so sure of his confidence in Jesus.

The fishing net and the kingdom of heaven (Mt 13:47-13:48)

“Again,

The kingdom of heaven is

Like a net

That was thrown

Into the sea.

It caught fish

Of every kind.

When it was full,

They pulled it ashore.

They sat down.

They put the good fish

Into baskets.

But they threw out

The bad fish.”

 

Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ·

ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν καὶ καθίσαντες συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη, τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον.

 

Only Matthew has this parable about the fishing net.  Jesus, via Matthew, makes another comparison about the kingdom of heaven (Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  This time, it was like a fishing net that was thrown into the sea (σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  They caught all kinds of different fish (καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ).  When this fishing net was full, they pulled it ashore (ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν).  Then they sat down (καὶ καθίσαντες) to sort out the fish.  They collected the good fish into basket containers (συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη), but they threw out the bad fish (τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον).  The details of this fishing expedition, like the sowing in the field speak to an agricultural and fishing community.

The problem of Jerusalem (Zech 12:2-12:3)

“See!

I am about to make Jerusalem

A cup of trembling

For all the surrounding people.

It will be against Judah also

In the siege against Jerusalem.

On that day,

I will make Jerusalem

A heavy stone

For all the people.

Anyone who lifts it

Shall grievously hurt themselves.

All the nations of the earth

Shall come together against it.”

Zechariah pointed out that Jerusalem was going to have a special place.  They were going to be like a cup of trembling or reeling, perhaps an allusion to the cup, bowl, or basin that caught the blood of the Passover lamb.  The neighboring people should be aware that Jerusalem was under siege.  Thus, Jerusalem was to become a heavy stone that few people could lift.  Apparently, there was a practice of lifting stones to show one’s strength among young men, like weight lifting.  Thus, anyone who tried to lift the heavy stone of Jerusalem would hurt themselves.  All the various countries in the world would come against Jerusalem, but at their own risk.

The good river (Ezek 47:10-47:12)

“People will stand fishing

Beside the sea,

From En-gedi

To En-eglaim.

It will be a place

For the spreading

Of nets.

Its fish will be

Of a great many kinds,

Like the fish

Of the Great Sea.

But its swamps,

With its marshes,

Will not become fresh.

They are to be left

For salt.

On the banks,

On both sides

Of the river,

There will grow

All kinds of trees

For food.

Their leaves

Will not wither.

Their fruit

Will not fail.

But they will bear

Fresh fruit

Every month,

Because the water

For them

Flows from the sanctuary.

Their fruit will be

For food.

Their leaves will be

For healing.”

This mysterious water from the Temple would mean that people could fish out on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim. All one had to do was spread fishing nets, then all kinds of wonderful fish would be caught, just like in the great Mediterranean Sea. However, the swamps and marshes would not become fresh, but they would remain salty. On both sides of this river, all kinds of trees would grow with monthly fresh fruit and perennial leaves for healing. This river coming from the sanctuary of the Temple had all these wonderful powers because of the power of Yahweh, much like other Canaanite and Mesopotamian mythical rivers.

 

The second young lion was captured (Ezek 19:7-19:9)

“The second young lion

Ravaged

Their strongholds.

He laid waste

To their towns.

The land

Was appalled.

All who were in it

Were appalled

At the sound

Of his roaring.

The nations

Set upon him

From the provinces

All around.

They spread

Their net

Over him.

He was caught

In their pit.

With hooks,

They put him

In a cage.

They brought him

To the king of Babylon.

They brought him

Into custody.

Thus his voice

Would be heard

No more

On the mountains

Of Israel.”

This second young lion ravaged the strongholds and towns around there. The land and everybody in it were appalled at the sound of his roaring. Thus various countries from around the area set upon him. They spread out their nets over him. They caught him in a pit. They hooked him and put him into a cage. They brought him to the king of Babylon. He was now in custody so that his voice would no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel. This sounds a lot like a reference to King Zedekiah (598-587).