Generic lines:

Shalom, welcome weary travelers. Have you journeyed far?

Do not forget to pay your takes. I have seen the Roman soldiers carrying off those who refused to pay their taxes. Beware of the Roman soldiers they are in a foul mood this night.

Keep your valuables and children close to you. There are rumors that the Romans sell small children to the Phoenicians as slaves.

Shop Specific Lines

The fish in our shop slept in the Sea of Galilee last night.

Fine fish, fresh fish. Come buy our fish.

Here we catch only the best fish and bring them to you for just a small price.

Please buy our fish we must pay our taxes or lose our boats and nets to the tax collector.

Job Description and Background


Places for fishing. In Palestine the main fishing places have been along the Mediterranean coast, and in the Sea of Galilee, with some little done in the streams of water. The Israelites in the wilderness said: "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt" (Numbers 11:5). Most interest centers in the Galilee fishing, because of the Gospel incidents connected with the LORD JESUS and his early fishermen disciples. The Jews engaged in a large fishing business in the days of JESUS in the waters of Galilee. A few years ago A. C. Haddad, a native of Syria and a twentieth century resident of Palestine, counted sixty men, all of them Arabs, as earning their living as Peter did, by fishing in the Sea of Galilee.Their methods of work have been very similar to those used by the disciples of JESUS. Such methods will fast disappear from this region now, since the new state of Israel controls this body of water, and up-to-date Western fishing equipment is taking the place of former more primitive methods. The new government has subsidized the fishing industry on Galilee.

Angling. It is not thought probable that the disciples in Galilee used this method of fishing very extensively. That it was use on occasions is seen from the account of Peter's catching a fish with a hook and discovering the coin in its mouth with which he paid the temple tax (Matthew 17:27). Isaiah speaks of it in connection with fishing in the streams: "The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament" (Isaiah 19:8). Amos makes reference to this type of fishing when he says, "He will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks" (Amos 4:2). The excavation at the mound of Gezer brought to light an actual fishhook, indicating the ancient use of the angling method of fishing.

Spearing of fish. The book of Job refers to this method of fishing. "Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?" (Job 41:7). That such method was practiced in Egypt is proven by inscriptions picturing Egyptians using fishing-spears.

The cast net or handnet. Two of the disciples were busy with such a net when JESUS called them to be fishers of men. "Now as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Mark 1:16, 17).

This sort of net is in circular form about fifteen feet in diameter, with fine meshes. Around the edge it has lead sinkers. A long piece of line is attached to the center of the net. This line is held by the left hand, and the net is gathered up in the right hand, and is cast with a broad sweep of that arm over shallow water near the shore wherever a shoal of fish is observed to be. The middle of the net is then drawn by the cord, and the fisherman is able to wade into the water to get what he has caught.

The dragnet or drawnet. JESUS used this sort of fishing as the basis for one of his parables. "Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away" (Matthew 13:47, 48). This net is a long one, sometimes hundreds of feet in length and about eight feet broad. Ropes are furnished the ends of the net. Corks are attached along one of the long sides of the net to keep it buoyed up, whereas the other long side has lead sinkers attached to it to make it sink. Sometimes the net is set between two boats in the sea, being stretched between them. The boats are rowed so as to enclose a circular space and when the boats meet, then the net is hauled into the boats, the circle becoming smaller. The bottom rope is pulled in faster than the top one and thus the fish are enclosed in a bag and are pulled into the boats. Sometimes the net is set and then drawn from the land. The one end is then taken as far as possible by a boat seaward. Then this boat brings that end of the net around with a sweep to the place of starting, where men use the same method of

pulling in the nets and landing the fish. Again, two boats sometimes stretch the net between them at a distance from shore, and then they will sweep in to the shore, forcing the fish to come with them. There must be no rocky obstructions for this method to be successful. This way of fishing illustrates the value of co-operative effort. A number of men will work together. Some of them will row the boats, some will have to pull the rope with great strength, and some will throw stones or in other ways seek to keep the fish from getting away by frightening them. As they get close to the shore, the edges of the net are held, and it is dragged to land and the fish must be seized. Afterward the fish caught are sorted, as indicated in the parable of Jesus. What an illustrative lesson this is in co-operative soulwinning!

Fishing at night. Galilee fishermen often have fished at night. They light their way with a blazing torch, and sighting fish they let fly their fishing spear, or fling their net into the sea. But sometimes they fish all night with no results, as was the case with Simon Peter and his comrades. "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing" (Luke 5:5).

The location of shoals. A Galilee fisherman was seen one day to use his hand net as he waded into the waters of the sea. He cast his net several times and it came up empty. But presently the man's companion on the shore shouted to him to cast to the left, and when this was done, the net was drawn up with fish in it. Shoals of fish are sometimes seen by those on the shore when they are hidden from the view of the fishermen in the water. Such was what happened with JESUS and his disciples as reported by John: "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes" (John 21:4-6). This ability to see from the shore what the fishermen in a boat fail to see, does not do away with a miracle taking place with the disciples. It was the power of JESUS that brought the great number of fish to the particular spot where the disciples could catch them in their nets.