Luke 5:1
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
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(1-11) And it came to pass . . .—See Notes on Matthew 4:18-22. The narrative here has so many points in common with that in St. Matthew and St. Mark (Mark 1:16-20) that it has been supposed by most commentators to be a different report of the same facts. It is supposed to be all but incredible that the call to the four disciples, the promise that they should be “fishers of men,” their leaving all and following their Master, could have been repeated after comparatively so short an interval. On the other hand, St. Luke places it after the healing of Simon’s wife’s mother; St. Mark and St. Matthew place what they relate before, and the miraculous draught of fishes and Peter’s confession are singularly distinctive features. Their narrative, again, is unconnected with our Lord’s preaching to the people, with which this opens. On the whole we cannot go farther than saying that there is a slight presumption against the hypothesis of identity. On the assumption of difference we may infer that while our Lord went by Himself to preach the gospel of the kingdom to “the other cities,” the disciples returned, as they did after the Resurrection, to their old manner of life, and were now called again to their higher work.

The lake of Gennesaret.—St. Luke is the only Evangelist who thus describes the Sea of Galilee. On the land of Gennesaret, see Note on Matthew 14:34.

Luke 5:1-10. As the people pressed upon him, with great eagerness, to hear the word of God — Insomuch that no house could contain them: they perceived Christ’s word to be the word of God, by the divine power and evidence that accompanied it, and therefore they were eager to hear it. It seems the sermons which Jesus had preached in his last tour through the country had made a great impression on the minds of the people who heard him; for they either followed him to Capernaum, or came thither soon after his return in great numbers, in expectation of receiving still further instruction from him. He stood by the lake of Gennesaret — Elsewhere called the sea of Galilee, Mark 1:16; and the sea of Tiberias, John 6:1; being distinguished by these names, because it was situated on the borders of Galilee, and the city of Tiberias lay on the western shore of it. The name Gennesaret seems to be a corruption of the word Cinnereth, the name by which this lake was called in the Old Testament. See note on Matthew 4:13. It appears from Mark 1:16, that Jesus had been walking on the banks of this lake. And he saw two ships — Two small vessels, as the word πλοια, frequently occurring in the gospels, evidently means, though in the common versions rendered ships. They were a sort of large fishing-boats, which Josephus calls σκαφαι, observing that there were about two hundred and thirty of them on the lake, and four or five men to each. Standing by the side of the lake, or aground near the edge of the lake, as Dr. Campbell renders εστωτα παρα την λιμνην, observing that the vessels are said to be, not εν τη λιμνη, in the lake, namely, at anchor, but παρα την λιμνην, at, or beside the lake. But the fishermen were gone out of them — After the labour of a very unsuccessful night; and were washing their nets — Namely, in the sea, as they stood on the shore. And he entered into one of the ships — Namely, Simon’s — With whom, as well as with his brother Andrew, he had formed some acquaintance on the banks of Jordan, while John was baptizing there. See John 1:37-42 : and prayed that he would thrust out a little from the land — Jesus desired this, that he might avoid the crowd, and at the same time be more conveniently heard. And he taught the people out of the ship — The subject of his discourse at this time is not mentioned by the evangelist; he introduces the transaction only because it was followed by an extraordinary miracle, which he is going to relate. When he had left speaking, he said unto Simon — Who was the owner of the boat, and his own disciple; Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught — Christ intended by the multitude of fishes, which he would make Simon catch, to show him the success of his future preaching, even in cases where little success was reasonably to be expected. And Simon said, We have toiled all the night and taken nothing — A circumstance this, which “one would have thought,” says Henry, “should have excused them from hearing the sermon; but such love had they to the word of God, that it was more reviving and refreshing to them than the softest slumbers.”

Nevertheless, at thy word — In obedience to it, and dependance on it; I will let down the net — Though they had toiled to no purpose all night, yet at Christ’s command they are willing to renew their toil, knowing, that by relying on him, their strength should be renewed as work was renewed upon their hands. Observe, reader, we must not presently quit the callings in which we are engaged, because we have not the success in them which we promised ourselves. The ministers of the gospel in particular must continue to let down their nets, though they have, perhaps, toiled long, and caught nothing. They must persevere unwearied in their labours, though they see not the success of them. And in this they must have an eye to the word of Christ, and a dependance thereupon. We are then likely to have success, when we follow the conduct of Christ’s word. And they enclosed a great multitude of fishes — The net was no sooner let down, than such a shoal of fishes ran into it, that it was in danger of breaking, or rather did break in many parts. How vast was that power which brought such a multitude of fishes into the net! But how much greater and more apparently divine was the energy which, by the ministration of one of these illiterate men, converted at once a much greater number of souls, and turned the despisers and murderers of Christ into his adorers! And they beckoned to their partners which were in the other ship — Namely, James and John, who, it seems, were at such a distance from them, that they were not within call; that they should come and help them — To secure this vast draught of fishes, and bring them safe to the shore. Such a draught had, doubtless, never been seen in the lake before. Wherefore it could not miss being acknowledged plainly miraculous, by all the fishermen present, especially as they had toiled in that very place to no purpose the whole preceding night, a season much more favourable than the daytime for catching fish in such clear waters. Peter in particular was so struck with the miracle, that he could not forbear expressing his astonishment in the most lively manner, both by words and gestures: he fell down at Jesus’s knees — In amazement and confusion; saying, in deep self-abasement, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord — And therefore utterly unworthy to be in thy presence. He believed the holy God was peculiarly present with the person who could work such a miracle; and a consciousness of sin made him afraid to continue in his presence, lest some infirmity or offence should expose him to some more than ordinary punishment. Observe here, reader, 1st, Peter’s acknowledgment was very just, and one which it becomes us all to make, I am a sinful man, O Lord: for even the best of men are sinful men, and should be ready upon all occasions to own it, and especially to own it to Jesus Christ; for to whom else but to him, who came into the world to save sinners, should sinful men apply themselves? 2d, His inference from it was not just: if we be sinful men, as indeed we are, we should rather say, “Lord, for that very reason, while we own ourselves most unworthy of thy presence, we most importunately entreat it: Come unto me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man, and if thou stand at a distance from me, I perish! Come and recover my heart from the tyranny of sin; come and possess it, and fix it for thyself.” But, considering what reasons sinful men have before the holy Lord God to dread his wrath, Peter may well be excused in crying out, on a sudden, under a sense of his sinfulness and vileness, Depart from me, O Lord. Though Peter was the only person who spake on this occasion, the rest were not unaffected. James and John, who were partners with him — Were also struck with astonishment, and, doubtless, were also humbled before him. But Jesus encouraged them all, and especially Simon, saying, Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men — Instead of doing thee any harm, I from this time design to employ thee in much nobler work, in which I will give thee such happy success, that thou shalt captivate men, in greater abundance than those fishes thou hast now caught: enclosing them in the net of the gospel, and drawing them out of the gulf of ignorance, sin, and misery, to the land of life eternal. The original expression here is very emphatical, ανθρωπους εση ζωγρων, Thou shalt be employed in catching men alive: it is spoken in allusion to those fishes and beasts that are caught, not to be killed, but to be put into ponds and parks.

Thus by a signal miracle our Lord, 1st, Showed his dominion in the seas as well as on the dry land; and over its wealth as well as over its waves; and that he was that Song of Solomon of man, under whose feet all things were put. 2d, He confirmed the doctrine he had just preached out of Peter’s ship, and proved that he was at least a preacher come from God. 3d, He repaid Peter for the loan of his boat; and manifested that his gospel now, as his ark formerly, in the house of Obed-Edom, would be sure to make ample amends for its kind entertainment; and that Christ’s recompenses for services done to his name would be abundant, yea, superabundant. And lastly, he hereby gave a specimen to those who were to be his ambassadors to the world, of the success of their embassy; that though they might for a time, and in some particular places, toil and catch nothing, yet, that they should be made the instruments of enclosing many in the gospel net, and bringing them to Christ and salvation, present and eternal.

5:1-11 When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to apply to the business of his calling. Time spent on week days in public exercises of religion, need be but little hinderance in time, and may be great furtherance to us in temper of mind, as to our worldly business. With what cheerfulness may we go about the duties of our calling, when we have been with God, and thus have our worldly employments sanctified to us by the word and prayer! Though they had taken nothing, yet Christ told them to let down their nets again. We must not abruptly quit our callings because we have not the success in them we desire. We are likely to speed well, when we follow the guidance of Christ's word. The draught of fishes was by a miracle. We must all, like Peter, own ourselves to be sinful men, therefore Jesus Christ might justly depart from us. But we must beseech him that he would not depart; for woe unto us if the Saviour depart from sinners! Rather let us entreat him to come and dwell in our hearts by faith, that he may transform and cleanse them. These fishermen forsook all, and followed Jesus, when their calling prospered. When riches increase, and we are tempted to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for Christ is thankworthy.The people pressed upon his - Multitudes came to hear. There were times in the life of our Saviour when thousands were anxious to hear him, and when many, as we have no reason to doubt, became his true followers. Indeed, it is not possible to tell what "might" have been his success, had not the Pharisees and scribes, and those who were in office, opposed him, and taken measures to draw the people away from his ministry; "for the common people heard him gladly," Mark 12:37.

The Lake of Gennesaret - Called also the Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias. "Gennesaret was the more ancient name of the lake, taken from a small territory or plain of that name on its western borders. See Numbers 34:11; Joshua 19:35, where, after the Hebrew orthography, it is called Chinnereth" (Owen). The plain lying between Capernaum and Tiberias is said by Dr. Thomson ("The Land and the Book," vol. i. p. 536) to be a little longer than thirty, and not quite twenty furlongs in breadth. It is described by Josephus as being, in his time, universally fertile. "Its nature is wonderful as well as its beauty. Its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it, and the inhabitants accordingly plant all sorts of trees there; for the temperature of the air is so well mixed that it agrees very well with those several sorts; particularly walnuts, which require the coldest air, flourish there in vast plenty. One may call this the ambition of nature, where it forces those plants which are naturally enemies to one another to agree together. It is a happy conjunction of the seasons, as if every one laid claim to this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruits beyond people's expectations, but preserves them a great while. It supplies people with the principal fruits; with grapes and figs continually during ten months of the year, and the rest of the fruits, as they become ripe, through the whole year; for, besides the good temperature of the air, it is also watered from a most fertile fountain."

Dr. Thomson describes it now as "preeminently fruitful in thorns." This was the region of the early toils of our Redeemer. Here he performed some of his first and most amazing miracles; here he selected his disciples; and here, on the shores of this little and retired lake, among people of poverty and inured to the privations of fishermen, he laid the foundation of a religion which is yet to spread through all the world, and which has already blessed millions of guilty and miserable people, and translated them to heaven.


Lu 5:1-11. Miraculous Draught of Fishes—Call of Peter, James, and John.

Not their first call, however, recorded in Joh 1:35-42; nor their second, recorded in Mt 4:18-22; but their third and last before their appointment to the apostleship. That these calls were all distinct and progressive, seems quite plain. (Similar stages are observable in other eminent servants of Christ.)Luke 5:1-3 Christ teacheth the people out of Simon’s ship.

Luke 5:4-11 The miraculous draught of fishes: Simon and the two

sons of Zebedee follow him.

Luke 5:12-15 Christ cleanseth a leper,

Luke 5:16 prayeth in the wilderness,

Luke 5:17-26 answereth the reasonings of the scribes and Pharisees

concerning his forgiving sins, and healeth the sick of

the palsy,

Luke 5:27,28 calleth Levi from the receipt of custom,

Luke 5:29-32 justifieth his eating with publicans and sinners,

Luke 5:33-35 excuses his disciples from fasting for the present,

Luke 5:36-39 and illustrates the matter by a twofold parable.

Ver. 1,2. It is by many interpreters thought that Luke in this history, to Luke 5:11, doth but give us a larger account of what Matthew, Matthew 4:18, and Mark, Mark 1:16, told us shortly. The sea of Galilee (as they call it) and the lake of Gennesaret were both the same, receiving the different denomination from the opposite coasts between which it was. hara thn limnhn had been better translated upon, or at, than by the lake, for without doubt the two ships here mentioned were upon the water, though possibly fastened as usually to the shore.

And it came to pass, that as the people pressed upon him,.... As Christ went through Galilee, and preached in the synagogues there, great crowds of people attended on him, and they followed him wherever he went; and so large were their numbers, and so very eager were they to see him, and hear him, that they were even troublesome to him, and bore hard upon him, and were ready to press him down, though they had no ill design upon him, but only

to hear the word of God; the scriptures of the Old Testament explained, and the doctrines of the Gospel preached; and which were preached by him, as never were before or since, and in such a manner as were not by the Scribes and Pharisees; and both the matter and manner of his ministry drew a vast concourse of people after him:

he stood by the lake of Gennesaret; the same with the sea of Chinnereth, Numbers 34:11 where the Targums of Onkelos, Jonathan, and the Jerusalem, call it, , "the sea of Geausar" or "Gennesaret": and so it is elsewhere called (a), and is the same which is called the sea of Galilee, and of Tiberias, John 6:1 and is, by other writers (b), as here, called the lake of Gennesaret, and said to be sixteen miles long, and six broad. Josephus says (c), it is forty furlongs broad, and an hundred long. The Jews say (d), that

"the holy, blessed God created seven seas, but chose none of them all, but the sea of Gennesaret.''

And indeed, it was a place chosen by Christ, and honoured, and made famous by him, by his preaching at it, his miracles upon it, and showing himself there after his resurrection.

(a) Targum in Ezekiel 39.11. Zohar in Gen. fol. 3. 2. & 17. 2. & in Exod. fol. 52. 4. & 61. 4. (b) Plin. l. 5. c. 15. Solin, c. 48. Ptolom. l. 5. c. 15. (c) De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 18. (d) Pirke Eliezer, c. 18.

And {1} it came to pass, that, as the people {a} pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

(1) Christ reveals to the four disciples whom he had taken unto himself the office of the apostleship, which would be committed unto them in the future.

(a) Did as it were lie upon him, so desirous were they both to see him and hear him, and therefore he taught them out of a ship.

Luke 5:1-11. Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 are parallel passages. Nevertheless, the history of the calling in Luke, as compared with it in Matthew and Mark, is essentially different, for in these latter the point of the incident is the mere summons and promise (without the miracle, which, without altering the nature of the event, they could not have passed over; in opposition to Ebrard and others); in Luke it is the miracle of the draught of fishes Moreover, in Matthew and Mark no previous acquaintance on the part of Jesus with Peter is presupposed, although, probably, it is in Luke 4:38 ff., whereby, at the same time, Luke falls into self-contradiction, since Luke 5:8 does not allow it to be supposed that such miraculous experiences have previously occurred to him as, according to Luke 4:38 ff., Peter had already had in connection with Jesus. Luke follows a source of later and more plastic tradition (in opposition to Schleiermacher, Sieffert, Neander, v. Ammon, who ascribe to Luke the merit of being the earliest), which, fastening in pursuit of symbolic meaning upon the promise in Luke 5:10 (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17), glorified the story of the call of the fishermen by joining to it a similar story of the draught of fishes, John 21 (comp. Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 288); but in the historical sequence after Luke 4:38 ff. Luke has become confused.

καὶ αὐτός] not: he also, but: and he; he on his part, in respect of this pressing (ἐπικεῖσθαι) of the people upon him. Comp. on Luke 5:15; Luke 5:17; as to καί after ἐγένετο, see on Luke 5:12.

ἔπλυναν] “ut peracto opere,” Bengel; see Luke 5:5.

Luke 5:4. ἐπανάγαγε, the special word for going out into the deep sea (Xen. Hell. vi. 2. 28; 2Ma 12:4); the singular in reference to Peter alone, who was the steersman of the craft; but χαλάσατε in reference to the whole fisher company in the vessel. Changes of number, to be similarly accounted for by the connection, are often found in the classical writers. See Bornemann, Schol. p. 35 f.; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 2. 27.

Luke 5:5. ἐπιστάτα] Superintendent (see in general, Gatacker, Op. posth. p. 877 ff., and Kypke, I. p. 228) occurs only in Luke in the New Testament, and that, too, always addressed to Jesus, while he has not the ῥαββί which is so frequent in the other evangelists. Peter does not yet address Him thus as his doctrinal chief, but generally (Luke 5:1; Luke 5:3). Comp. Luke 17:13.

νυκτός] when fishing was accustomed to be carried on successfully. See Aristotle, H. A. viii. 19; Heindorf, ad Plat. Soph. p. 287.

ἐπί] of the reason: for the sake of Thy word (on the ground of Thy word). Comp. Winer, p. 351 [E. T. 491]: “Senserat Petrus virtutem verborum Jesu,” Bengel. Οὕτως ἦν τὴν πίστιν θερμὸς καὶ πρὸ τῆς πίστεως, Theophylact.

χαλάσω] Simon speaks thus in his capacity of captain. Comp. afterwards ποιήσαντες.

Luke 5:6. διεῤῥήγνυτο] The tearing asunder[93] actually began, but was only beginning. See on Luke 1:59. The assistance for which they signalled prevented further damage. The subsequent phrase ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι, is similar. Hence there is no exaggeration (Valckenaer, de Wette).

Luke 5:7. κατένευσαν] they made signs to, according to Euthymius Zigabenus: μὴ δυνάμενοι λαλῆσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκπλήξεως κ. τοῦ φόβου. So also Theophylact. This would have needed to be said. In the whole incident nothing more is implied than that the other craft still lying close to the shore, Luke 5:2, was too far away for the sound of the voice to reach, and hence they were restricted to making signs, which, moreover, for the fishermen of the other boat—who, according to Luke 5:4, were doubtless eagerly giving attention—was quite sufficient. As to συλλαβ., see on Php 4:3.

Luke 5:8. On ΠΡΟΣΈΠΕΣΕ Τ. ΓΌΝΑΣΙ, comp. Soph. O. C. 1604. It might also be put in the accusative (Eur. Hec. 339, and thereon Pflugk).

ἔξελθε] out of the ship. He dimly recognises in Christ a something superhuman, the manifestation of a holy divine power, and in the consciousness of his own sinful nature he is terrified in the presence of this power which may, perchance, cause some misfortune to befall him; just as men feared the like on the appearances of God or of angels. Comp. 1 Kings 17:18. Euthymius Zigabenus and Grotius in loc. Eisner and Valckenaer are mistaken in saying that Peter speaks thus in accordance with the notion that one ought not to stay on board a ship with any criminal (Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 37; Diog. Laert. i. 86; Horat. Od. iii. 2. 26 ff.). He does not indeed avow himself a criminal, but only as a sinful man in general, who as such cannot without risk continue in the presence of this θεῖος καὶ ὑπερφυὴς ἄνθρωπος (Euthymius Zigabenus). See the later exaggeration of the sinfulness of the apostles before their call, in Barnabas 5.

Luke 5:9. ἌΓΡΑ] in this place is not the draught, as at Luke 5:4, but that which was caught (τὸ θηρώμενον, Pol. v. 1), as Xen. De Venat. xii. 3, xiii. 13, and frequently.

Luke 5:10. This mention of James and John at the end is one of the traces that the narrative grew out of the older history of the call. But certainly Andrew was not found in the source from which Luke drew.

ἀνθρώπους] instead of fishes.

ΖΩΓΡῶΝ] vivos capiens—in characteristic keeping with this ethical draught (winning for the Messiah’s kingdom), as well as with the figure taken from fishermen (Aristaen. Ep. ii. 23).

[93] Augustine has interpreted this tearing of the nets allegorically of the heresies, and the Saxon Anonynms (p. 212 f.) of Judaism and the law; both interpretations being equally arbitrary. There is much allegorical interpretation of the whole narrative in the Fathers (the ship, the church; the net, the doctrine; the sea, the heathen world, etc.).

Luke 5:1-11. The call of Peter. This narrative, brought in later than the corresponding one in Mk., assumes larger dimensions and an altered character. Peter comes to the front, and the other three named in Mk., James, John and Andrew, retire into the shade; the last-named, indeed, does not appear in the picture at all. This, doubtless, reflects the relative positions of the four disciples in the public eye in the writer’s time, and in the circle for which he wrote. The interest gathered mainly about Peter: Christian people wanted to be told about him, specially about how he became a disciple. That interest had been felt before Lk. wrote, hence the tradition about his call grew ever richer in contents, till it became a lengthy, edifying story. Lk. gives it as he found it. Some think he mixes up the call with the later story told in John 21:1-8, and not a few critics find in his account a symbolic representation of Peter’s apostolic experience as narrated in the book of Acts. Such mixture and symbolism, if present, had probably found their way into the history before it came into Lk.’s hands. He gives it bonâ fide as the narrative of a real occurrence, which it may quite well be.

Ch. Luke 5:1-11. The Draught of Fishes. The Calling of four Disciples

1. pressed upon him] St Mark (as is his wont) uses a stronger word to express the physical inconvenience, and adds that sometimes at any rate, it was with a view to touch Him and be healed (Luke 3:9-10).

to hear] The more probable reading is not tou but kai, ‘and listened to.’

the lake of Gennesaret] “The most sacred sheet of water which this earth contains.” Stanley. St Luke alone, writing for the Greeks, accurately calls it a lake. The Galilaean and Jewish Evangelists unconsciously follow the Hebrew idiom which applies the name yam ‘sea,’ to every piece of water. Gennesareth is probably a corruption of the old Hebrew name Kinnereth, but the Rabbis derive it from ganne sarimgardens of princes.’ This same inland lake is generally called ‘the Sea of Galilee’ (Matthew 15:29, &c.). In the Old Testament it is called “the Sea of Chinneroth” (Joshua 12:3) from its harplike shape. St John calls it “the Sea of Tiberias;” because by the time he wrote Tiberias, which in our Lord’s time had only just been founded by Herod Antipas, had grown into a flourishing town. Gennesareth is a clear sweet lake about five miles long and twelve broad, with the Jordan flowing through it. Its fish produced a valuable revenue to those who lived on its shores. The plain of Gennesareth, which lies 500 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, is now known as El Ghuweir, ‘the little hollow.’ It is so completely a desolation, that the only inhabited places on the western shore of the Lake are the crumbling, dirty earthquake-shaken town of Tiberias and the mud village of El Mejdel the ancient Magdala. The burning and enervating heat is no longer tempered by cultivation and by trees. It is still however beautiful in spring, with flowering oleanders, and the soil is fruitful where it is not encumbered with ruins as at Khan Minyeh (Tarichaea) and Tell Hûm (Capernaum). In our Lord’s time it was, as Josephus calls it, “the best part of Galilee” (B. J. iii. 10, § 7) containing many villages, of which the least had 15000 inhabitants. Josephus becomes quite eloquent over the descriptions of its rich fruits nearly all the year, its grateful temperature, and its fertilising stream (Jos. B. J. iii. 10, §§ 7, 8), so that, he says, one might call it ‘the ambition of nature.’ It belonged to the tribe of Naphtali (Deuteronomy 33:23) and the Rabbis said that of the “seven seas” of Canaan, it was the only one which God had reserved for Himself. In our Lord’s time it was covered with a gay and numerous fleet of 4000 vessels, from ships of war down to fishing boats; now it is often difficult to find a single crazy boat even at Tiberias, and the Arabs fish mainly by throwing poisoned breadcrumbs into the water near the shore. As four great roads communicated with the Lake it became a meeting-place for men of many nations—Jews, Galilaeans, Syrians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Greeks and Romans.

Luke 5:1. Ἐγένετο δὲ, moreover it came to pass) This is in close connection with ch. Luke 4:44.[54]—ἐπικεῖσθαι) The people pressed upon Him. Hence is evidenced the patient endurance of the Saviour.

[54] Beng. seems to have subsequently adopted a different opinion, when both in the later Edition of the New Testament he began the fifth chapter with a larger capital letter, to indicate a greater division between it and the last verses of ch. 4; and in the Harm. Ev. he has set down the incidents which are given in ch. Luke 4:42-44, after those which we have in ch. Luke 5:1, etc., as we may see l. c. § 48, compared with § 35, 36. But as to Transpositions—viz. those which are to be especially attributed to Luke—I should like any one, who desires a brief and powerful suggestion of advice, to weigh well what Beng. has said in his Ordo Temp., pp. 242, 243 (Ed. ii. pp. 211, 212).—E. B.

Verse 1. - And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God. His fame as a great Teacher was evidently now firmly established. If it were known that he intended speaking in public, a crowd of listeners would gather quickly round him, whether in the synagogues, or by the lake-shore, or in the market-place. He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret. On this occasion, as he taught by the quiet lake waters, the throng was so great that he borrowed the fishing-boat of one of his friends, and, just pushing out from the shore, spoke to the multitude from the little craft as it rocked on the wavelets of the lake. Dean Stanley calls it "the most sacred sheet of water which the earth contains." The rabbinical derivation is interesting: "Gannesarim, garden of princes;" but it is more probable that Gennesaret is but a reproduction of the old Hebrew name Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3), so called from its harplike shape. It is a beautiful sheet of water, twelve or thirteen miles long and nearly seven broad at one portion of the lake. The Jordan flows through it. In our Lord's time it was surrounded by the richest and most populous district of the Holy Land; large and flourishing towns were built along its shores. Capernaum, as has been said, was the junction of the great roads leading from Syria and the far East to the Mediterranean on the west, and Jerusalem and Egypt on the south. The lake was famous for its fish, and was crowded with all descriptions of craft. The whole scene is now changed. Scarcely a rude boat is ever seen on the blue silent waters. Desolate ruins fringe the deserted shores, with here and there a crumbling mud village, inhabited by the poorest and least enterprising of peasants, so sadly changed is this beautiful and wealthy district, which the rabbis used to love to speak of as the one among the seven seas of Canaan which God had reserved for himself. Luke 5:1Pressed (ἐπικεῖσθαι)

Lit., were laid upon.

To hear

The A. V. is correct according to the reading τοῦ ἀκούειν, which it follows. The true reading is καὶ ἀκούειν, and heard. So Rev.

He stood (αὐτὸς ἦν ἑστὼς)

The pronoun distinguishes him from the crowd which pressed upon him: he on his part stood. Render the participle and finite verb as Rev., was standing.

Lake (λίμνην)

An illustration of the more classical style of Luke as compared with Matthew and Mark. They and John also use θάλασσα, sea. See on Matthew 4:18.

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