The seine net was about eight feet (three meters) broad and hundreds of feet long. It was suspended in the water like a net fence, kept afloat by corks, and weighted down with stone weights to keep it vertical. Either a single boat would make a huge circle with the net, or two boats would suspends the net between them and make a sweep toward the shore. When the net was in a tight circle, It was possible to pull in the lower rope so that the net formed a huge bag from which the fish could not escape.

The boats used for fishing were not normally very large, taking about four men comfortably. A large triangular sail was attached to a wooden support and suspended on a central mast so that it could be moved to catch the wind.

Steering was form the rear, with a large oar that acted as a rudder. Two men could operate a boat, and they often worker in partnership with another boat. The boat that Jesus used with the twelve disciples would have been of the same basic design but larger. When the disciples are listed in pairs in the Bible (Simon and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him-Matthew 10:2-4). the pairs may represent the way they sat in the boat and rowed together, as seen from the position of Jesus who sat in the stern (Mark 4:38).

Because the boats were quite small, they were very vulnerable in a storm. The Sea of Galilee is about six hundred feet (two hundred meters) below sea level and is surrounded by hills. In the hot summer sun, the water evaporates. If the vertical air stream is met by cooler air from the Mediterranean, there is great turbulence and an unexpected storm arises. This may be what happened when the disciples were caught in a sudden storm on the lake (Mark 4:35-41). When the wind stops, the lake calms quite quickly because it is not a large stretch of water (about twelve miles [twenty kilometers] long and six miles [ten kilometers] across at its widest).

When fishing was over, the nets were spread out on the shore for dying and any broken pieces were repaired.

Ezekiel 26:5; Habbakuk 1:15; Luke 5:4

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