Matthew 4:21
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
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(21) Mending their nets.—On the assumption that the facts in St. Luke preceded what we read here, the “mending” might seem the natural consequence of the “breaking” there described, and be noted as an undesigned coincidence. It must be remembered, however, (1) that the “mending” as well as “washing” flowed naturally even on a night of unsuccessful fishing, and (2) that the Greek of St. Luke does not say that the nets actually broke, but that they were on the point of breaking, and were beginning to do so.

Matthew 4:21-22. Going on from thence — Mark says, A little further thence, He saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother — The reader will observe, there was another James, the son of Alpheus, or Cleophas, commonly called James the Less. In a ship, with Zebedee their father — By the sea-side, mending their nets — Which had been broken by the vast draught of fishes they had taken just before. And he called them — Not with his voice only, but by his Spirit affecting and drawing their hearts, so that they immediately left their ship and their father, and indeed their earthly all, and followed him.

4:18-22 When Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who should be hearers, and afterwards preachers of his doctrine, who should be witnesses of his miracles, and afterwards testify concerning them. He went not to Herod's court, not to Jerusalem, among the chief priests and the elders, but to the sea of Galilee, among the fishermen. The same power which called Peter and Andrew, could have wrought upon Annas and Caiaphas, for with God nothing is impossible. But Christ chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Diligence in an honest calling is pleasing to Christ, and it is no hinderance to a holy life. Idle people are more open to the temptations of Satan than to the calls of God. It is a happy and hopeful thing to see children careful of their parents, and dutiful. When Christ comes, it is good to be found doing. Am I in Christ? is a very needful question to ask ourselves; and, next to that, Am I in my calling? They had followed Christ before, as common disciples, Joh 1:37; now they must leave their calling. Those who would follow Christ aright, must, at his command, leave all things to follow him, must be ready to part with them. This instance of the power of the Lord Jesus encourages us to depend upon his grace. He speaks, and it is done.And going on from thence - From the place where he had found Peter and Andrew, Matthew 4:18.

Saw two other brothers - They were men engaged in the same employment, as it is probable that there were many such in the neighborhood of the lake.

In a ship - A small vessel. In fact, it was little more, probably, than a sail-boat.

Mending their nets - A very common employment when they were not actually engaged in fishing.

21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship—rather, "in the ship," their fishing boat.

with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and he called them.

See Poole on "Matthew 4:22".

And going on from thence, he saw other two,.... When he had gone but a little way further, Mark 1:19 he spied two other persons he was looking for, and had designed to call to the office of apostleship; and these are also described as "brethren", and by name,

James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother. The Jews make mention in their writings (h), of one , "R. James, the son of Zebedee": which Capellus (i) conjectures is the very same person here mentioned: but the James they speak of as a disciple of Jesus, they call , "James the heretic" (k); who, they say, was of the village of Secaniah, and sometimes of the village of Sama. His brother's name was John, who was the Evangelist, as well as Apostle: these were

in a ship with Zebedee their father. Men of this name, and sons of men of this name, were very common among the Jewish Rabbins; but neither this man, nor his sons, were masters or doctors in Israel; for such Christ chose not for his apostles. It seems to be the same name with Zebadiah, 1 Chronicles 27:7 these, with him, were "mending their nets", which were broken, and needed repairing; and perhaps being poor, could not afford to buy new ones: this shows their industry and diligence, and may be a pattern and example to persons, closely to attend the business of their calling, whilst the providence of God continues them in it.

And he called them: from their employment, to follow him, and become his disciples; and no doubt gave them the same promise and encouragement he had given the two former.

(h) T. Hieros. Yebamot, fol. 9. 4. & Maaser Sheni, fol. 55. 2. Trumot. fol. 45. 2. Sheviith. fol. 35. 1. Bereshith Rab. fol. 31. 4. & 36. 2.((i) Spicilegium in loc. (k) T. Bab. Megilla, 23. 1. Avoda Zara, fol 17. 1. & 27. 2. & 28. 1. Cholin. fol. 84. 1. T. Hieros. Sabbat. fol. 14. 4. & Abvoda Zara, fol. 40. 4. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 62. 4. & 77. 1. Juchasin, fol. 41. 1.

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
Matthew 4:21. ἄλλους δύο, another pair of brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee, the four together an important instalment of the twelve. The first pair were casting their nets, the second were mending them, (καταρτίζοντες), with their father.

Matthew 4:21. Μετὰ Ζεβεδαίου, with Zebedee) They were therefore youths; their father Zebedee being still in his prime, and both their parents alive. John lived seventy years longer. James was the first of the apostles who died; John survived him a long time.[160]—καταρτίζοντας, adjusting for work) This word is said of a vessel or tool, which is either prepared for work or repaired after work. The first meaning is more suitable to this passage. The sons of Zebedee, as well as those of Jonas, on more than one occasion, abandoned the work in which they were respectively engaged with the greatest promptitude and obedience.

[160] These two are more frequently joined together in the New Testament than Peter and Andrew.—B. G. V.

Verse 21. - Other two brethren (cf. ver. 18, note); in Matthew only. James the son of Zebedee. Why is the father of Peter and Andrew never mentioned, save incidentally, and by our Lord (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42; John 21:15-17)? Probably Zebedee and his wife Salome became, unlike Peter's parents, well-known believers. It may be that Peter was the eldest of the Twelve, and that his father was already dead or, though perhaps believing on Jesus, was too old to take any special part in the work. Luke (Luke 5:10) adds, "Who were partners with Simon" - an item of information perhaps obtained from the same source as his first and second chapters. In a ship; in the boot (Revised Version), and so always in the Gospels. The word (πλοῖον) may be used of any sized vessel (equivalent to "large ship ' in Acts 27.), but here, as managed by so few men, it is equivalent to "boat." Other words translated "boat" in the New Testament are πλοιάριον, "little boat" (Mark once, John four times), and σκάφη, "small ship's boat" (Acts 27:16, 30, 32). Josephus says ('Bell. Jud.,' 2:21.8) that when he gathered all the boats on the lake to attack Tiberius, there were "not more than four sailors in each;" by which he probably means, not the number of men wherewith he was able to equip them, but the number he found already managing them. With Zebedee their father. In Matthew only. Mending their nets. The first pair of brothers were in the excitement of catching; the second had perhaps caught, and were mending their nets with a view to a fresh attempt; in neither case was there a moment's delay. And he called them. This time his words are not given. Matthew 4:21Mending (καταρτίζοντας)

Not necessarily repairing; the word means to adjust, to "put to rights." It may mean here preparing the nets for the next fishing.

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