And he said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Cast the net on the right side of the ship.—Comp. Note on Luke 5:6. Here the special direction is to cast the net on the right side. We must suppose that the net was cast on the left side, and that they think the speaker who stands on the shore sees some indication of fishes on the other side, for He is still as a stranger to them, and yet they at once obey Him.
They were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.—That is, they were not able to draw it up into the boat. In John 21:8 they are described as dragging it to the shore.
cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find; that is, a large multitude of fish, as they did. The ship was an emblem of the church in its present afflicted state; the right side of it points to the elect, and where they are to be found in this world; the casting of the net signifies the preaching of the Gospel; the promise of finding fish, the assurance Christ gives of the success of his word, which he owns and blesses for the conversion of elect sinners:
they cast therefore; the net, willing to try what success they might have at the instance of this person, whom they knew not. The Ethiopic version reads the passage thus, "and they said unto him, we have laboured all night, and have found nothing, but at thy word we will let down"; which seems to be taken out of Luke 5:5. However, they obeyed his orders and directions, as the faithful ministers of the Gospel do, and should, and, succeeded.
And now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. The Syriac adds, "which it held"; being in number, as in John 21:11 an hundred and fifty, and three great fishes; which was an emblem and presage of that large number of souls both among the Jews and Gentiles, which they should be instrumental in bringing to Christ, through the preaching of the Gospel.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 21:6. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν … καὶ εὑρήσετε. “Cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find.” They supposed the stranger had been making observations from the shore, had seen a shoal or some sign of fish, and unwilling to come in empty, ἔβαλον οὖν … ἰχθύων. “They cast therefore, and were no longer (as they had been before) able to draw it [ἑλκύσαι, not ἑλκῦσαι, see Veitch’s Irreg. Verbs, seems here to be used as we use ‘draw’ in connection with a net, meaning to draw over the side of the boat so as to secure the fish. Contrast σύροντες in John 21:8] for the multitude of fishes”; ἀπό often means “on account of” in Dionysius Hal., Plutarch, and even in Thucydides and Sophocles as shown by Kypke.6. They cast therefore] Perhaps they thought the stranger saw fish on the right side. Fish are at times seen “in dense masses” in the lake.John 21:6. Δεξιὰ, the right side) A most precise and unerring command. The power of the Lord collected together the fishes thither.—ἑλκύσαι) [to draw] The verb σύρειν, John 21:8 [to drag], implies the employment of greater force.
Were not able (οὐκ ἴσχυσαν)
To draw (ἑλκῦσαι)
Into the boat. Compare σύροντες, John 21:8, dragging the net behind the boat.
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