And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Fear not; from now on you shall catch men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Which were partners with Simon.—The Greek word is not the same as that in Luke 5:7; that expressing that they were sharers in the work, this a more general partnership in business, as in Philemon 1:17.
Thou shalt catch men.—This is St. Luke’s equivalent for the “I will make you fishers of men” in St. Matthew and St. Mark. The word implies that what is caught is taken alive. The only other passage in which it occurs in the New Testament is 2Timothy 2:26.
From henceforth - Hereafter.
from henceforth—marking a new stage of their connection with Christ. The last was simply, "I will make you fishers."
fishers of men—"What wilt thou think, Simon, overwhelmed by this draught of fishes, when I shall bring to thy net what will beggar all this glory?" (See on Mt 4:18.)See Poole on "Luke 5:3"
which were partners with Simon; were sharers with him in loss and gain in the fishing trade; these were equally astonished at the miracle, as Simon and his brother, and the men that were in the boat with them, where Jesus was:
and Jesus said unto Simon; who was at his knees, and expressed his dread of his majesty, and the consternation of mind he was in particularly:
fear not; do not be afraid of me, I shall do thee no harm, nor shall the boats sink, or any damage come to any person, or to the vessels, nor be so much amazed and affrighted, at the multitude of the fish taken:
from henceforth thou shalt catch men; alive, as the word signifies, or "unto life", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; thou shalt cast the net of the Gospel, and be the happy instrument of drawing many persons out of the depths of sin and misery, in which they are plunged, into the way of life and salvation; and which was greatly verified, in the conversion of three thousand at one cast, under one sermon of his,And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 5:10. Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάννην, dependent on περιέσχεν: fear encompassed them also, not less than Peter and the rest. This special mention of them is not explained, unless inferentially in what follows.—μὴ φοβοῦ, fear not, addressed to Peter alone. He alone, so far as appears, is to become a fisher of men, but the other two are named, presumably, because meant to be included, and in matter of fact they as well as Simon abandon all and follow Jesus (Luke 5:11).—ζωγρῶν: the verb means to take alive, then generally to take; here and in 2 Timothy 2:26. The analytic form (ἔσῃ ζωγρῶν) implies permanent occupation = thou shall be a taker.10. partners] Here koinonoi, ‘associates’ in profits, &c.
Fear not] Accordingly, on another occasion, when Peter sees Jesus walking on the sea, so far from crying Depart from me, he cries “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come to Thee on the water” (Matthew 14:28); and when he saw the Risen Lord standing in the misty morning on the shore of the Lake “he cast himself into the sea” to come to Him (John 21:7).
10. thou shalt catch] Literally, ‘thou shalt be catching alive.’ In Jeremiah 16:16 the fishers draw out men to death, and in Amos 4:2, Habakkuk 1:14, men are “made as the fishes of the sea” by way of punishment. Here the word seems to imply the contrast between the fish that lay glittering there in dead heaps, and men who should be captured not for death (James 1:14), but for life. But Satan too captures men alive (2 Timothy 2:26, the only other passage where the verb occurs). From this and the parable of the seine or haulingnet (Matthew 13:47) came the favorite early Christian symbol of the ‘Fish.’ “We little fishes,” says Tertullian, “after our Fish (ΙΧΘΥΣ, i. e. Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ) are born in the water (of baptism).” The prophecy was first fulfilled to Peter, when 3000 were converted by his words at the first Pentecost. In a hymn of St Clement of Alexandria we find “O fisher of mortals who are being saved, Enticing pure fish for sweet life from the hostile wave.” Thus, He who “spread the fisher’s net over the palaces of Tyre and Sidon, gave into the fisher’s hand the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” “He caught orators by fishermen, and made out of fishermen his orators.” We find a similar metaphor used by Socrates, Xen. Mem. ii. 6, “Try to be good and to catch the good. I will help you, for I know the art of catching men.”Luke 5:10. Πρὸς τὸν Σίμωνα, unto Simon) He spake to Simon especially, though not to him alone, inasmuch as Simon was the one who had spoken in Luke 5:8. Comp. Matthew 4:18-19. Luke also, as well as Matthew, has this saving of Jesus, in order that he may definitely describe those to whom the Saviour spake [just as he more definitely specifies the persons addressed in the following instances, with which comp. the parallel Gospels]: ch. Luke 6:20; Luke 6:27, Luke 9:23, Luke 11:45, Luke 16:1, Luke 12:22; Luke 12:41; Luke 12:54.—μὴ φοβοῦ, Fear not) Peter ceased to fear when he became accustomed to the miracles.—ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν, from henceforth) This was accomplished, ch. Luke 9:2.Verse 10. - Fear not. A feeling of intense overpowering awe on a sudden came on Simon after listening to the words and seeing this last act of power which so closely affected him. The very fish of his native lake, then, were subject to this strange holy Man! This was no mortal, thought the fisherman, and he fell at the Master's feet. "Finding as it does its parallel in almost all manifestations of a Divine or even an angelic presence, it (this awful fear) must be owned to contain a mighty, because an instructive, witness for the sinfulness of man's nature, out of which it comes to pass that any near revelation from the heavenly world fills the children of men, even the holiest among them, with terror and amazement, yea, sometimes with the expectation of death itself" (Archbishop Trench, 'Introduction to the Epistles to the Seven Churches'). The same "Fear not" ("Be not afraid") was uttered on like occasions to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:7), to Daniel (Daniel 10:12), and several times during the earthly ministry was said to the disciples, and for the last time the reassuring words were spoken by the Redeemer after the Ascension to his own dear follower, John, who could not bear the sight of the glorious majesty of his risen Lord. Thou shalt catch men. The imagery contained in these words of the Master to his fishermen-followers was, of course, drawn from the late scene. Their failure in catching fish, their Teacher's marvellous success, the net bursting with the great catch of silvery fish; the Lord's strange prophetic words which accompanied their call to his service, - all would in after-years often come up before the disciples in their hours of alternating failure and success in the mighty task he had set them to do. The great Fisherman, Christ; his imitators and servants, fishers; the world of men pictured as fish, - were ever favourite images for the pencil, the graving tool, and the pen of the Christian artist and writer of the first ages of the faith. One of the earliest extant hymns, for instance, of the Church, by Clement of Alexandria, dwells on the image. The words are addressed to Christ -
"Fisher of men, the blest,
Out of the world's unrest,
Out of sin's troubled sea,
Taking us, Lord, to thee;
Out of the waves of strife
With bait of blissful life;
Drawing thy nets to shore,
With choicest fish, good store."
(Hymn of Clement of Alexandria.) The favourite Christian monogram of the fish, carved on so many tombs in the Catacombs, belongs to the same imagery - the ιχθυς
In Luke 5:7 the word rendered partners is μέτοχοι; from μετά, with, and ἔχω, to have. The word here denotes a closer association, a common interest. The kindred noun, κοινωνία, fellowship, is used of the fellowship of believers with Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9); the communion of the body and blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16); the communion of the Holy Ghost (2 Corinthians 13:14). The persons referred to in Luke 5:7 might have been only hired workmen (Mark 1:20), temporarily associated with the principals.
Thou shalt catch (ἔσῃ ζωγρῶν)
Lit., thou shalt be catching, the participle and finite verb denoting that this is to be his habitual calling. Both Matthew and Mark make the promise to be addressed to Peter and his companions; Luke to Peter alone. The verb ζωγρέω, to catch, is compounded of ζωός, living, and ἀγρεύω, to catch or take. Hence, lit., to take alive: in war, to take captive, instead of killing. Thus Homer, when Menelaus threatens the prostrate Adrastus:
"Adrastus clasped the warrior's knees and said,
O son of Atreus, take me prisoner" (ζώγρει).
Iliad, vi., 45, 6; compare Iliad, x., 378.
So Herodotus: "The Persians took Sardis, and captured Croesus himself alive" (ἔξώγρημαν). - I., 86.
There is certainly a reason for the use of this term, as indicating that Christ's ministers are called to win men to life. Compare 2 Timothy 2:26, where, according to the best supported rendering, the servant of God is represented as taking men alive out of the power of Satan, to be preserved unto the will of God; i.e., as instruments of his will (compare A. V. and Rev.). The word thus contains in itself an answer to the sneering remark of the Apostate Julian, that Christ aptly termed his apostles fishers; "for, as the fisherman draws out the fish from waters where they were free and happy, to an element in which they cannot breathe, but must presently perish, so did these."
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