Letter to the Editor

Fishing in the Sea of Galilee

Monday, June 10, 2019

Dear Editor,

Hopefully, fishermen can return to our manmade reservoirs here in Nebraska after our tornadoes and other serious weather problems.

Recently, I read a story about how fishing was done on the Sea of Galilee at the time of Jesus Christ.

Generally speaking four or five people fished in one or more boats. They fished at night so the fish could not see their nets and be scared away.

Fish were hauled in and then the fishermen returned to shore. They used fish nets made of flax, grass and tree fibers. These were attached to ropes with pieces of cork to keep the top of the nets afloat and make certain they remained upright.

They fished on the Sea of Galilee, which was pear-shaped, 12 1/2 miles long and 7 1/2 miles across. It was 680 feet below sea level. Cold air rushes down from the hills and heat levels tend to be hot. This causes sudden storms. In Luke 8:22-24, Christ rebuked the wind and raging water.

When I was in Israel, I was on a fishing troller situated in a wheel chair, when a storm occurred on the Sea of Galilee. They covered me with a sheet of plastic. I felt like I might be blown overboard!

After the fishermen from the New Testament returned to shore, layers of the nets were separated, washed and rinsed and hung out to dry to prevent them from rotting.

Generally, they caught three main types of fish in the Sea of Galilee. They were biny or a type of carp, must (tilapia) and small sardines. I have eaten all three. Carp are related to gold fish.

These fishermen spent lots of time mending their nets. Twice, Jesus guided them and helped locate very large hauls of fish. These Galilean fishermen whom the Savior called as hi apostles, were involved in a business enterprise. They owned and maintained fishing boats. Other fishermen worked for them (See Matthew 4:22 and Mark 1:20)

When they forsook everything to follow the Savior, it was a sacrifice. It was a loss of income (see Luke 5:17)

A Greek settlement, Tricheae, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was where they salted their fish.

The town of Capernaum was a boat 4 1/2 miles away from the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. They probably took their fish to market there.

In 2019, the fishing in that vicinity is still important. When I was in Israel, I ate some of that fish. We saw a number of fishing boats.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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