Luke 5:2
And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
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(2) Two ships.—Better, boats, or little ships, the Greek word being a diminutive, as in John 6:23. The narrative implies that they were the boats respectively of Jonas, the father of Peter and Andrew, and of Zebedee.

Washing their nets.—There is a slight, but noticeable variation here, from the “mending their nets” in St. Matthew and St. Mark. The process implied that having fished fruitlessly during the night, they were now giving up the work, and cleaning their nets from weeds, etc., before laying them up. On the assumption that the two narratives refer to the same event, some have seen in the mending,” a confirmation of the statement in St. Luke that the “nets brake.” The Note on Luke 5:6 will, however, show that is precisely what he does not say.

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.Two ships - The ships used on so small a lake were probably no more than fishing-boats without decks, and easily drawn up on the beach. Josephus says there were 230 of them on the lake, attended by four or five men each. That they were small is also clear from the account commonly given of them. A single large draught of fishes endangered them and came near sinking them.

Standing by the lake - Anchored by the lake, or drawn up upon the beach.


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.)

See Poole on "Luke 5:1"

And saw two ships standing by the lake,.... Or two fishing boats; which were, as the Arabic version renders it, "detained by anchors at the shore of the lake"; the one belonging to Peter and Andrew, and the other to Zebedee, and his two sons, James and John:

but the fishermen were gone out of them; that is, either the above persons, or their servants:

and were washing their nets; on shore; they having gathered a great deal of soil and filthiness, but had caught no fish; and therefore were cleansing their nets, in order to lay them up, finding it to be in vain to make any further attempts with them at present; and which considered, makes the following miracle the more illustrious.

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Luke 5:2. ἑστῶτα: two boats standing by the lake, not necessarily drawn up on shore, but close to land, so that one on shore could enter them. They had just come in from the fishing, and were without occupants, their owners having come on shore to clean their nets.

2. ships] Rather, boats (ploiaria).

standing] i. e. lying at anchor.

were washing their nets] If we combine these notices with those in Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22, we must suppose that during a discourse of Jesus the four disciples were fishing with a drawnet (amphiblestron) not far from the shore, and within hearing of His voice; and that the rest of the incident (here narrated) took place on the morning after. The disciples had spent the night in fruitless labour, and now Peter and Andrew were washing, and James and John mending, their castingnets (diktua), because they felt that it was useless to go on, since night is the best time for fishing.

nets] Here diktua or castingnets (from dikô I throw, funda, jaculum) as in Matthew 4:20; John 21:6. In Matthew 4:18 we have the amphiblestron or drawnet (from amphi and ballo, I throw around); and in Matthew 13:47, sagênê, seine or haulingnet (from sattô ‘I load’).

Luke 5:2. Ἁλεῖς, the fishermen) So they are called, as if being still regarded as strangers to Jesus.—ἀπέπλυναν, washed) inasmuch as their work was done.

Luke 5:2Ships (πλοῖα)

Used of vessels in general. Some texts read πλοιάρια, a diminutive form, meaning little boats.

Were washing

From the sand and pebbles accumulated during the night's work. Luke uses four different words for washing or cleansing: πλύνω, here, see also Revelation 7:14; ἀπομάσσω, of wiping the dust from the feet, only at Luke 10:11; ἐκμάσσω, of the woman wiping Christ's feet with her hair, Luke 7:38, Luke 7:44; ἀπολούω, of washing away sins, Acts 22:16; λούω, of washing the prisoners' stripes and the body of Dorcas, Acts 16:33; Acts 9:37. The reading ἀποπλύνω is rejected by the best texts, so that ἀπομάσσω is the only one peculiar to Luke. All the words were common in medical language.

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