Luke 5:1-11

Luke 5:1-11
Narrative Lectionary 323


OnceA while Jesus was standingB beside the lakeC of Gennesaret,D

Notes on verse 1a

A “once” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
B “standing” = histemi. This is to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast.
C “lake” = limne. 11x in NT. Probably from limen (harbor, haven). This is a lake or small pond. It is used for earthly lakes as well as the lake of fire in Revelation.
D “Gennesaret” = Gennesaret. 3x in NT. From Hebrew Kinaroth (lyre, maybe harp-shaped; root may mean to twang). This is west of the Sea of Galilee.

and the crowd was pressing in onE him to hearF the wordG of God,H 

Notes on verse 1b

E “pressing in on” = epikeimai. 7x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + keimai (to lie, recline, be placed, lie outstretched, be appointed). This is to lie up, impose, insist, oblige, press on.
F “hear” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
G “word” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
H “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

he sawI two boatsJ thereK at the shore of the lake;

Notes on verse 2a

I “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
J “boats” = ploion. From pleo (to sail, voyage); probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow). This is a boat, ship, or vessel.
K “there” = histemi. Same as “standing” in v1. See note B above.

the fishermenL had gone out of them and were washingM their nets.N 

Notes on verse 2b

L “fishermen” = halieus. 5x in NT. From hals (salt or a body of salt water). This is a sailor, which implies fishermen. The term is used for those who fish on saltwater and freshwater.
M “washing” = pluno. Related to “boats” in v2. 3x in NT. Perhaps from pluo (see note J above). This is literally to plunge, as one does to wash clothing.
N “nets” = diktuon. 12x in NT. From dikein (to cast); probably from diko (to cast). A fishing net or any net used in hunting.

He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,O and askedP him to put outQ a littleR way from the shore.S Then he sat downT and taughtU the crowds from the boat. 

Notes on verse 3

O “Simon” = Simon. From Hebrew Shimon (Simon – Jacob’s son and his tribe); from shama (to hear, often implying attention and obedience). This is Simon, meaning “he who hears.”
P “asked” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
Q “put out” = epanago. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + anago (to lead up, offer, produce, set sail); {from ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go)}. This is to sail off from shore, to sail to deeper waters, to depart, return.
R “little” = oligos. This is few or small – it can be a short time or extent, low light, amount, or worth.
S “shore” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.
T “sat down” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
U “taught” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.

When he had finishedV speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep waterW and let downX your nets for a catch.”Y 

Notes on verse 4

V “finished” = pauo. 15x in NT. To stop, refrain, pause, restrain, quit, or come to an end.
W “deep water” = bathos. 8x in NT. From bathus (deep in a literal or figurative sense); from the same root as basis (step, foot). This is depth, fullness, profundity, or immensity. This is where the term “bathysphere” comes from, but not the English word “bath.”
X “let down” = chalao. 7x in NT. Perhaps from the base of chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is let down, slacken, loosen.
Y “catch” = agra. Related to “put our” in v3. Probably akin to agros (a field as a place where one grows crops or pastures cattle; a farm or lands); from ago (see note Q above). This is a catch or hunting.

Simon answered, “Master,Z we have workedAA allBB night long but have caughtCC nothing. Yet if you say so,DD I will let down the nets.” 

Notes on verse 5

Z “Master” = epistates. Related to “standing” in v1. 7x in NT – all in Luke. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + histemi (see note B above). This is a master, teacher, or commander. It is one who is in charge or who has authority.
AA “worked” = kopiao. From kopos (labor that leads to exhaustion, depletion, weariness, fatigue; working until worn out); from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is working with effort, whether of the body or mind, growing weary, feeling tired, working hard.
BB “all” = holos. This is whole, complete, or entire. It is a state where every member is present and functioning in concert. This is the root of the word “whole.”
CC “caught” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
DD “say so” = rhema. Related to “asked” in v3. Literally “at your word.” From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (see note P above). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.

When they had doneEE this, they caughtFF so manyGG fishHH that their nets were beginning to break.II 

Notes on verse 6

EE “done” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
FF “caught” = sugkleio. 4x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + kleio (to close, lock, shut). This is to shut in, enclose, shut up completely. It can also mean to make subject to.
GG “many” = plethos. From pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is fullness, multitude, great number.
HH “fish” = ichthus. This means fish. It was also an early, secret Christian symbol – the “sign of the fish.” It was short for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” in Greek. See
II “break” = diarresso. 5x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + rhegnumi (to break, burst, wreak, crack, break apart). This is to tear apart or burst.

So they signaledJJ their partnersKK in the otherLL boat to come and helpMM them. And they came and filledNN both boats, so that they began to sink.OO 

Notes on verse 7

JJ “signaled” = kataneuo. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + neuo (to nod, to signal). This is to nod the head as a signal, to nod down at someone in order to beckon them.
KK “partners” = metochos. 6x in NT. From metecho (to share in, participate, belong, eat or drink, be a member); {from meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + echo (to have, hold, possess)}. This is a partner, one who actively shares with, associate.
LL “other” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
MM “help” = sullambano. Related to “caught” in v5. 16x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + lambano (see note CC above). This is to take, take part in, conceive, help. It can also be clasp or seize as to arrest or take hold of someone.
NN “filled” = pleitho. This is to fill to the highest level possible – to accomplish, supply, or complete.
OO “began to sink” = buthizo. Related to “deep water” in v4. 2x in NT. From buthos (deep, bottom, deep sea); from bathus (see note W above). This is to sink or submerge.

8 But when Simon PeterPP saw it, he fell downQQ at Jesus’RR knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord,SS for I am a sinfulTT man!”UU 

Notes on verse 8

PP “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
QQ “fell down” = prospipto. 8x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + pipto (to fall in a literal or figurative sense). This is to fall on or fall before. It can be a violent attack, bowing before, or beat against.
RR “Jesus’” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
SS “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
TT “sinful” = hamartolos. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. This is sinning, sinful, sinner. It referred to missing the mark or falling short. The term was also used in archery for missing the target.
UU “man” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.

For he and all who were with him were amazedVV at the catch of fish that they had taken;WW 10 and so also were JamesXX and John,YY sons of Zebedee,ZZ who were partnersAAA with Simon.

Notes on verses 9-10a

VV “amazed” = thambos. 3x in NT – 2x in Luke and 1x in Acts. Akin to tapho (dumbfounded). This is amazement, wonder, being stunned or dumbfounded because something unusual happened. It can be positive or negative.
WW “taken” = sullambano. Same as “help” in v11. See note MM above.
XX “James” = Iabkobos. From Hebrew Yaaqov (Jacob); from the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.
YY “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v8. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note RR above) + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
ZZ “Zebedee” = Zebedaios. Related to “Jesus” in v8 & “John” in v10. 12x in NT. From Hebrew zebadyah (Zebadiah, “The Lord has bestowed”); {from Zabad (to bestow, confer, endure) + Yah (God, the Lord; a shortening of the sacred name of the God of Israel); {from YHVH (see note RR above)}. This is Zebedee, meaning “the Lord has bestowed.”
AAA “partners” = koinonos. 10x in NT. From koinonoia (sharing in common so it is fellowship, participation, communion, and aid that comes from the community); from koinos (common, shared, unclean, ritually profane); probably from sun (with, together with). This is partner, companion, partaker, sharer.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;BBB from now on you will be catchingCCC people.”DDD 

Notes on verse 10b

BBB “be afraid” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
CCC “catching” = zogreo. Related to “put out” in v3 & “catch” in v4. 2x in NT. From zoon (an animal, something alive, creature); {from zoos (alive); from zao (to live literally or figuratively)} + agreuo (to catch or capture or trap as an act of hunting); {from agra (catch, hunting); probably related to agros (see note Y above)}. This is something caught alive or taken captive. So, it could be an animal in a trap or a prisoner of war.
DDD “people” = anthropos. Related to “man” in v8. Probably from aner (see note UU above) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

11 When they had broughtEEE their boats to shore, they leftFFF everything and followedGGG him.

Notes on verse 11

EEE “brought” = katago. Related to “put out” in v3 & “catch” in v4 & “catching” in v10. 9x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + ago (see note Q above). This is to bring or lead down. It could be from higher to lower ground or from out to sea closer to the land.
FFF “left” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
GGG “followed” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.

Image credit: “Miracle Catch” by Mike Moyers, 2019.

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