From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( p. pr. & vb. n.) of Fish

(2): ( n.) Pertaining to fishing; used in fishery; engaged in fishing; as, fishing boat; fishing tackle; fishing village.

(3): ( n.) A fishery.

(4): ( n.) The act, practice, or art of one who fishes.

King James Dictionary [2]

FISH'ING, ppr. Attempting to catch fish searching seeking to draw forth by artifice or indirectly adding a piece of timber to a mast or spar to strengthen it.


1. The art or practice of catching fish. 2. A fishery.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [3]

( דִּיג , Dig; Ἁλιεύειν ). The copious supply of fish in the waters of Palestine encouraged the art or a vocation of fishery, to which frequent allusions are made in the Bible: in the 0. T. these allusions are of a metaphorical character, descriptive either of the,conversion ( Jeremiah 46:16;.  Ezekiel 47:10) or of the destruction ( Ezekiel 29:3 sq;  Ecclesiastes 9:12;  Amos 4:2;  Habakkuk 1:14) of the enemies of God. In the N.T. the allusions are of a historical character for the most part (see Thomson, Land And Book, ii, 79), though the metaphorical application is still maintained in  Matthew 13:47 sq. It was from the fishing-nets that Jesus called his earliest disciples to "become fishers of men" ( Mark 1:16-20); it was from a fishing-boat that he rebuked the winds and the waves ( Matthew 8:26); it was from a fishing-boat that -be delivered his wondrous series of prophetic parables of the kingdom of -heaven (Matthew 13); it was to a fishing-boat that he walked on the sea, and from it that Peter walked to him ( Matthew 14:24-32); it was with fish (doubtless dried) as well as with head that he twice miraculously fed the multitude ( Matthew 14:19;  Matthew 15:36); it was from the mouth of a fish, taken with a hook, that the tribute-stater was paid ( Matthew 16:27); it was " a piece of broiled fish" that he ate before his disciples on the day that he rose from the dead ( Luke 24:42-43); and yet again, before he ascended, he filled their net with "great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three," while he himself prepared a "fire of coals," and "laid fish thereon," on which then he and they' dined ( John 21:1-14). The most prevalent method of catching fish in use among the Hebrews was by sets of various kinds and sizes. Four of these are mentioned: two in  Habakkuk 1:15-16, חֶרֶם (che'rem, Sept. Ἀμφὶβληστρον : no doubt in v, 16 this word and Σαγήνη have been by' some means transposed;  Habakkuk 1:17 compared with  Habakkuk 1:15 makes this evident), the casting-net,  Matthew 4:18 ( Δίκτυον ) , and  Mark 1:16; and מִכְמֵרֶת ( Mikme'Reth , Sept. Σαγήνη ) , the Drag-Net, a larger kind (see  Matthew 13:48),. requiring the use of a boat: the latter was probably most used on the Sea of Galilee, as the number of boats kept on it was very considerable (Josephus, War, iii, 10, 9). The third occurs  Ecclesiastes 9:12, מִצּוֹדָה (Mitst3Odah', Sept. Ἀμφίβληστρον ),. a Castling-Net. The fourth, רֶשֶׁת (Re'Shet/, Sept. Παγίς ) , A Fowler'S Net As Sell As A Fisher'S. In  Psalms 35:7-8, the רֶשֶׁת , Inet, is used with שִׁחִת , a Pit ("they have hid for me their net in a pit"): the allusion would seem to be to that mode of winter-fishing which Aristotle describes as practised by the Phoenicians (Hist. Animal. 8:20). Net-fishing is still used on the lake of Tiberias (Dr. Pococke, Descrip. of the East, ii, 69). (See Net). This mode of fishing prevailed in Palestine, and is a prominent feature of the piscatorial associations in the Gospel history to the very last (see  John 21:6;  John 21:8;  John 21:11). It is certainly less characteristic of Egyptian fishing, of which we have frequent mention in the O. T. (See Angling).

The instruments therein employed were the חִכָּה (Chakkmh', Sept-. Ἀγκίστρον , comp.  Matthew 17:27), as Angling - Hook , four smaller fish;  Isaiah 19:8;  Habakkuk 1:15. These hooks were (for disguise) made to resemble Thorns (on The Principle of the fly- fishing instruments, though not in the same m inner; for the Egyptians, neither anciently nor now, seem to have put winged insects on their hooks to attract their prey Wilkinson, iii, 5-4), and were thence called סִירוֹת , Sisaoth',  Amos 4:2(" from their resemblance to thorns," Gesenius, Lex. S., v.); and (in the case of the larger sort) שֻׂכָּה , Sukkah', A. V. " barbed irons;"  Job 12:7 [40:31]. As-other name for these thorn-like instruments was צִנּוֹת ,  Amos 4:2 (a Generic word, judging from the Sept., Ὄπλα ). חוֹחִ , was either a hook or a ring put through the nostrils of fish to let them down again, alive into the water (Gesenius), or (it may be) A Crook by which fishes were suspended to long poles, and carried home after being caught (such as is shown in plate 344 [from a tomb near the Pyramids] in Wilkinson, iii, 56). The word is used in  Job 41:2 [40:26] with אִגְמוֹן , Agmaon,A Cord Of Rushes ( Σχοῖνος ) . Rosenmuller, ad loc., applies these two words to the binding of larger fish to the bank of the river until wanted, after they are captured and quotes Bruce for instances of such a practice in modern Egyptian fishing. The rod was occasionally dispensed with (Wilkinson, iii, 53), and is not mentioned in the Bible: ground-bait alone was used, fly fishing being unknown. Though we have so many terms for the hook, it is doubtful whether any have come down to us denoting the line אגְמוֹן and הֶבֶל and though the most nearly connected with piscatorial employment, hardly express our notion of a line for angling (see Gesenius, s.v.); while חוּט and פָּתִיל ) (Thread,, twine) are- never used in Scripture for fishing purposes. (See Hook).

The large' fish- spear or Harpoon used for destroying the crocodile and hippopotamus was called צלְצִל דָּגִים ( Job 41:7 [40:31]; comp. with Wilkinson, iii, 72, 73). צְלָצִל means a cymbal or any clanging instrument, and this seems to have led to the belief of fishes being attracted and caught by musical sounds; stories of such, including Arioa- and the dolphin, are collected by Schelhorn in his Dissertatio de Dean צלצל דגים (Ugolini Thesantr. 29:329). "The Egyptian fishermen used the net; it was of a long form, like the common drag-net, with wooden floats on the upper and leads on the lower side, though sometimes let down from a boat, those who pulled it generally stood on the shore and landed the fish on a shelving- bank" (Wilkinson, ii, 21). This net is mentioned in  Isaiah 19:8, under the name מִכְמוֹרֶת . It is, however, doubtful whether this be anything more than a frame, somewhat between a basket and a net, resembling the landing-net represented in Wilkinson, iii, 55. The Mishna (vi, 76,116) describes it by the word אָקיּן , nassa, Corbis Piscatoria, a basket. Maillet (Epist. ix) expressly says that "Nets For Fishing Are Not Used in Egypt." If this be so, the usage has much altered since the times which Wilkinson has described. Frame's for fishing, attached to stakes driven into the bottom, were prohibited in the lake of Tiberias, "because they are an impediment to boats" (Talmudic Gloss, quoted by Lightfoot, Hora Heir. on  Matthew 4:18). No such prohibition existed in Egypt, where wicker-traps, now as anciently, are placed at the mouth of canal, by which means a great quantity of fish is caught (Rawlinson, Herod. ii, 232', note). The custom of drying fish is frequently represented is the sculptures of Upper and Lower Egypt (p. 127, note). There was a caste of fishermen; and allusion to the artificial reservoirs and fish-ponds of Egypt occurs in the Prophets ( Isaiah 19:8-10). Fishing pavilions, apparently built on the margin of artificial lakes, also appear in the Assyrian sculptures (Layard's Nineveh, i, 55). According to Aristotle (Hist. Animal. 8:19), compared with  Luke 5:5. the night was the best time for fishing operations: "before sunrise and after sunset."

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

fish´ing ( ἁλιεύω , halieúō ): Several methods of securing fish are resorted to at the present day along the seashores of Palestine. Two of these, dynamiting and poisoning with the juice of cyclamen bulbs or other poisonous plants, can be passed over as havi ng no bearing on ancient methods.

(1) with Hooks

Some fishing is done with hooks and lines, either on poles when fishing from shore, or on trawls in deep-sea fishing. The fishhooks now used are of European origin, but bronze fishhooks of a very early date have been discovered. That fishing with hooks was known in Jesus' time is indicated by the Master's command to Peter ( Matthew 17:27 ). See Fishhook .

(2) with Spears

 Job 41:7 probably refers to an instrument much like the barbed spear still used along the Syrian coast. It is used at night by torchlight.

(3) with Nets

In the most familiar Bible stories of fisherman life a net was used. Today most of the fishing is done in the same way. These nets are homemade. Frequently one sees the fishermen or members of their families making nets or repairing old ones during the stormy days when fishing is impossible.

Nets are used in three ways: ( a ) A circular net, with small meshes and leaded around the edge, is cast from the shore into the shallow water in such a manner that the leaded edge forms the base of a cone, the apex being formed by the fisherman holding the center of the net in his hand. The cone thus formed encloses such fish as cannot escape the quick throw of the fisher. ( b ) A long net or seine of one or two fathoms depth, leaded on one edge and provided with floats on the other, is payed out from boats in such a way as to surround a school of fish. Long ropes fastened to the two ends are carried ashore many yards apart, and from five to ten men on each rope gradually draw in the net. The fish are then landed from the shallow water with small nets or by hand. This method is commonly practiced on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. ( c ) In deeper waters a net similar to that described above, but four or five fathoms deep, is cast from boats and the ends slowly brought together so as to form a circle. Men then dive down and bring one portion of the weighted edge over under the rest, so as to form a bottom. The compass of the net is then narrowed, and the fish are emptied from the net into the boat. Sometimes the net with the fish enclosed is towed into shallow water before drawing. The above method is probably the one the disciples used ( Matthew 4:18;  Mark 1:16;  Luke 5:2-10;  John 21:3-11 ). Portions of nets with leads and floats, of early Egyptian origin, may be seen in the British Museum. See Net .

The fishermen today usually work with their garments girdled up about their waists. Frequently they wear only a loose outer garment which is wet much of the time. This garment can be quickly removed by pulling it over the head, When occasion requires the fisherman to jump into the sea. If methods have not changed, Peter had probably just climbed back into the boat after adjusting the net for drawing when he learned that it was Jesus who stood on the shore. He was literally naked and pulled on his coat before he went ashore ( John 21:7 ).