Fishing (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 (Jer 46:16;. Eze 47:10) or of the destruction (Eze 29:3 sq; Ec 9:12; Am 4:2; Hab 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 Mt 13:47 sq. It was from the fishing-nets that Jesus called his earliest disciples to "become fishers of men" (Mr 1:16-20); it was from a fishing-boat that he rebuked the winds and the waves (Mt 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 (Mt 14:24-32); it was with fish (doubtless dried) as well as with head that he twice miraculously fed the multitude (Mt 14:19; Mt 15:36); it was from the mouth of a fish, taken with a hook, that the tribute-stater was paid (Mt 16:27); it was " a piece of broiled fish" that he ate before his disciples on the day that he rose from the dead (Lu 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 (Joh 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 Hab 1:15-16, חֶרֶם (che'rem, Sept. ἀμφὶβληστρον: no doubt in v, 16 this word and σαγήνη have been by' some means transposed; verse 17 compared with verse 15 makes this evident), the casting-net, Mt 4:18 (δίκτυον), and Mr 1:16; and מִכמֵרֶת (mikme'reth, Sept. σαγήνη), the drag-net, a larger kind (see Mt 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 Ec 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 Ps 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 Joh 21:6,8,11). It is certainly less characteristic of Egyptian fishing, of which we have frequent mention in the 0. T. SEE ANGLING. The instruments therein employed were the חִכָּה(chakkmh', Sept-. ἀγκίστρον, comp. Mt 17:27), as angling- hook, four smaller fish; Isa 19:8; Hab 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', Am 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, Am 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 אִגמוֹן, 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 אגמוֹן 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 צלצִל דָּגִים (Job 41:7 [40:31]; comp. with Wilkinson, iii, 72, 73). צלָצִל 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 Isa 19:8, under the name מִכמוֹרֶת. 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 Mt 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 (Isa 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 Lu 5:5. the night was the best time for fishing operations: "before sunrise and after sunset."