21 March 2017 Bible Reading
The Sea of Galilee is about 7 miles wide and 12.5 miles long. The importance of fish in Palestinian society is demonstrated by prominent names: Jerusalem had a “fish gate” (Neh 3:3), Bethsaida (“Fishing Village” or “Temple of the Fish-God”), located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 6:45), and the Greek name for the town of Magdala on the western shore of Galilee was Tarichaeae, or “Processed-Fishville”. Jesus’ ministry was centered on Galilee, and specifically in the harbor village of Capernaum.
Fishing was labor-intensive. If there were not enough family members, fishermen had to hire laborers to help man the oars and sails, mend nets, and sort fish. Zebedee was a net fisher who not only has two working sons in the business, but hired laborers as well.
Fishermen also needed farmers and artisans for flax for nets, cut stone for anchors, wood for boat building and repairs, and baskets for fish. In 1986 an ancient fishing boat was discovered in the mud along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. Its dimensions were: 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and 4.5 feet deep; a variety of woods were used in its construction, but it is primarily constructed of cedar and oak. Archaeologists have concluded that the boat was built between 40 BCE and 70 CE, based upon the type of construction, carbon-14 testing, and adjacent pottery. This boat originally had a sail, and places for four oarsmen and a tillerman. Boats of this size could accommodate a load in excess of one ton, which means the five crew members and their catch or cargo, or the crew and about ten passengers (Mark 6:45).
32 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock. When they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that behold, the place was a place for livestock; 2 the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the princes of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land which Yahweh struck before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock; and your servants have livestock.” 5 They said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Don’t bring us over the Jordan.”
6 Moses said to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war, and shall you sit here? 7 Why do you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which Yahweh has given them? 8 Your fathers did so when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. 9 For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which Yahweh had given them. 10 Yahweh’s anger burned in that day, and he swore, saying, 11 ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me, 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun; because they have followed Yahweh completely.’ 13 Yahweh’s anger burned against Israel, and he made them wander back and forth in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, who had done evil in Yahweh’s sight, was consumed.
14 “Behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, an increase of sinful men, to increase the fierce anger of Yahweh toward Israel. 15 For if you turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and you will destroy all these people.”
16 They came near to him, and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones; 17 but we ourselves will be ready armed to go before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. Our little ones shall dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our houses, until the children of Israel have each inherited their inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan, and forward; because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan eastward.”
20 Moses said to them, “If you will do this thing, if you will arm yourselves to go before Yahweh to the war, 21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before Yahweh, until he has driven out his enemies from before him, 22 and the land is subdued before Yahweh; then afterward you shall return, and be guiltless towards Yahweh, and towards Israel; and this land shall be to you for a possession before Yahweh.
23 “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against Yahweh; and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which has proceeded out of your mouth.”
25 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock, shall be there in the cities of Gilead; 27 but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, before Yahweh to battle, as my lord says.”
28 So Moses commanded concerning them to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ households of the tribes of the children of Israel. 29 Moses said to them, “If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over the Jordan, every man who is armed to battle, before Yahweh, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession; 30 but if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.”
31 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, “As Yahweh has said to your servants, so will we do. 32 We will pass over armed before Yahweh into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.”
33 Moses gave to them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, according to its cities and borders, even the cities of the surrounding land. 34 The children of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atrothshophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran: fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 The children of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, and Baal Meon, (their names being changed), and Sibmah. They gave other names to the cities which they built. 39 The children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were therein. 40 Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh; and he lived therein. 41 Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its towns, and called them Havvoth Jair. 42 Nobah went and took Kenath, and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.
33 These are the journeys of the children of Israel, when they went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. 2 Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of Yahweh. These are their journeys according to their goings out. 3 They traveled from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Passover, the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians, 4 while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom Yahweh had struck among them. Yahweh also executed judgments on their gods. 5 The children of Israel traveled from Rameses, and encamped in Succoth. 6 They traveled from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness. 7 They traveled from Etham, and turned back to Pihahiroth, which is before Baal Zephon: and they encamped before Migdol. 8 They traveled from before Hahiroth, and crossed through the middle of the sea into the wilderness. They went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and encamped in Marah. 9 They traveled from Marah, and came to Elim. In Elim, there were twelve springs of water, and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there. 10 They traveled from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea. 11 They traveled from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. 12 They traveled from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. 13 They traveled from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush. 14 They traveled from Alush, and encamped in Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. 15 They traveled from Rephidim, and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai. 16 They traveled from the wilderness of Sinai, and encamped in Kibroth Hattaavah. 17 They traveled from Kibroth Hattaavah, and encamped in Hazeroth. 18 They traveled from Hazeroth, and encamped in Rithmah. 19 They traveled from Rithmah, and encamped in Rimmon Perez. 20 They traveled from Rimmon Perez, and encamped in Libnah. 21 They traveled from Libnah, and encamped in Rissah. 22 They traveled from Rissah, and encamped in Kehelathah. 23 They traveled from Kehelathah, and encamped in Mount Shepher. 24 They traveled from Mount Shepher, and encamped in Haradah. 25 They traveled from Haradah, and encamped in Makheloth. 26 They traveled from Makheloth, and encamped in Tahath. 27 They traveled from Tahath, and encamped in Terah. 28 They traveled from Terah, and encamped in Mithkah. 29 They traveled from Mithkah, and encamped in Hashmonah. 30 They traveled from Hashmonah, and encamped in Moseroth. 31 They traveled from Moseroth, and encamped in Bene Jaakan. 32 They traveled from Bene Jaakan, and encamped in Hor Haggidgad. 33 They traveled from Hor Haggidgad, and encamped in Jotbathah. 34 They traveled from Jotbathah, and encamped in Abronah. 35 They traveled from Abronah, and encamped in Ezion Geber. 36 They traveled from Ezion Geber, and encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. 37 They traveled from Kadesh, and encamped in Mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. 38 Aaron the priest went up into Mount Hor at the commandment of Yahweh, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month. 39 Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died in Mount Hor.
31 He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. He was teaching them on the Sabbath day, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Ah! what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!”
35 Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down in the middle of them, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
36 Amazement came on all, and they spoke together, one with another, saying, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 News about him went out into every place of the surrounding region.
38 He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever, and they begged him for her. 39 He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her. Immediately she rose up and served them. 40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 Demons also came out of many, crying out, and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Rebuking them, he didn’t allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
42 When it was day, he departed and went into an uninhabited place, and the multitudes looked for him, and came to him, and held on to him, so that he wouldn’t go away from them. 43 But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of God’s Kingdom to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent.” 44 He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
5 Now while the multitude pressed on him and heard the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered him, “Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word I will let down the net.” 6 When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came, and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” 9 For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive.”
11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything, and followed him.
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
64 Hear my voice, God, in my complaint.
Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the noisy crowd of the ones doing evil;
3 who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
and aim their arrows, deadly words,
4 to shoot innocent men from ambushes.
They shoot at him suddenly and fearlessly.
5 They encourage themselves in evil plans.
They talk about laying snares secretly.
They say, “Who will see them?”
6 They plot injustice, saying, “We have made a perfect plan!”
Surely man’s mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot at them.
They will be suddenly struck down with an arrow.
8 Their own tongues shall ruin them.
All who see them will shake their heads.
9 All mankind shall be afraid.
They shall declare the work of God,
and shall wisely ponder what he has done.
10 The righteous shall be glad in Yahweh,
and shall take refuge in him.
All the upright in heart shall praise him!
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout,
is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.