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tunity of furnishing their table with plenty of fish, perfectly fresh.'
To this I would subjoin the account Doubdan gives, of what happened to him in a short voyage from St. John d'Acre to Sidon. They hired a fishing-boat for this voyage : through the indolence of the seamen. who would not row, they got no farther than Tyre that night. In the morning, not being, as when they went to Jerusalem, in a boat, whose proper business it was to carry passengers, but at the mercy of four or five fishermen, who did nothing but cast their nets into the sea, most commonly without success, exposed to the burning heat of the sun by day, and severe cold in the night, they employed a poor Jew, who was with them in the bark, and who could speak a little of the language used by the Franks in that country, to call upon them to push forward, that they might arrive in good time at Sidon. But contrary to their agreement, they immediately cast their nets into the sea, to procure themselves a dinner. Then they landed to dress their fish, and to eat it, after which they slept for more than two hours, while Doubdan, and those with him, were broiling with the scorching suu over-head, and the heated rocks underneath. Being put out again to sea, upon the promise of an augmentation of their pay, they took up their oars, and rowed with briskness, for.four or five miles, in order to reach Sidon, that same day. They then grew tired, and being
• Symposiac. lib. iv. probl. iv.
same da, miles, in ord with brisk they too
inclined to return to their fishing, they put Doubdan aud his companions on shore, where there was a very large and deep cavern, which had been hollowed by the violence of the waves, which enter it with fury upon the least wind that blows, and immediately applied themselves to cook some small fish with some rice, and, without speaking one word to Doubdan, carricd all on board the bark, and went away toward the place from whence they came, so that they lost sight of them in a few moments. This unexpected accident extremely astonished them, and what was worse, there were many Turks, Moors, and Arabs, of a variety of colours, in this cavern, of whom some were reclined on the sand, enjoying the fresh air ; some were dressing provisions among these 'rocks; others were smoking tobacco ; notwithstanding the apparent danger of the fall of great pieces of the rocks, which frequently happened: but it is common for them to retire hither, on account of a spring of fine water which glides along here, and is extremely cool.'
On these accounts I would make some remarks. .
1st. That the Greeks were wont, not unfrequently, to eat a repast on the sea-shore ; and that the Syrians, in the neighbourhood of the Holy Land, are wont to do the same, and people too that dwell in Syria of very different nations : Turks, Moors, and Arabs.
Voy. de la Terre-Sainte, ch. 61.
201y. That whatever other delicacies the Greeks might carry with them, on occasion of these parties of pleasure, they were wont to make use of that opportunity, to regale themselves on the fresh fish that happened to be caught, or brought to shore, while they were there. And by what is said of these fishermen, the Syrians too are very fond of fish; as it appears, from the words of our LORD, the Jews of that time were : If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent ? .... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, hori much more; $c.
3dly. When the Eastern fishermen are disposed to eat, it seems they frequently eat some of their own fish which they have caught; but that they are wont to land in order to dress it, whereas our fishermen dress their food on board their vessels, at least generally.
In what light then, after making these remarks, must our Lord's visit to the Apostles appear, which is recorded in the beginning of the 21st of John ?
If they first saw a man on the sea-shore, whom they did not immediately know, who appearing near a fire, asked them if they had caught any fish; was it not natural for thein to suppose it was somebody who was a stranger to them, who was come to the sea-shore to enjoy the freshness of the air, and to regale • Luke xi. 11, 13.
himself with some new caught fish there? If so, the word children," which he made use of, is to be understood as a familiar term made use of by a supposed superior to an inferior, and
fishermen were looked upon as being of a very "low profession.
. There was nothing so particular in his being alone, and unattended by servants, as to fix their attention and lead them to suspect something extraordinary in this. He might affect something of solitude, or expect company to join him, or he might be a traveller, for any any thing they knew, who might choose to take his repast on the shore, as companies of people did in excursions of pleasure. There were two travellers indeed that are described as regaling themselves by the side of the Tigris, on a fish newly caught, and which they roasted or broiled on some coals, of which mention is made in the book of Tobit ;' but Jacob travelled all alone, when he went into Mesopotamia. They might then take him to be some traveller; or they might look upon him to be one belonging to a party of pleasure, sent beforehand to prepare matters for the rest that were to follow in due time; or one that, though unaccompanied, was resolved to enjoy the pleasures of the sea-side.
There appeared pothing extraordinary in his directing to throw the net on the right side of
* Children, have you any meat? The word does not mean flesh-meat, but have you caught any fish proper for cating?
• Ch. vi. 3, 5.
the ship, it being no unusual thing for people on shore to make signals to fishing-vessels, pointing out to them the way the shoals of fish are taking. Nor was it their taking fish, in consequence of the direction that our Lord gave them, that occasioned their apprehending it was he himself, but the astonishing number of large fishes they had inclosed in their net, which first occasioned John to apprehend it was Jesus.
Rocky eminences are frequently met with on the sea-shore, from whence there is a view to the seaward pretty extensive : there were such proininences on the shore on which the fishermen landed Doubdan, and where he found Moors and Arabs enjoying themselves, and which rocks Doubdan ascended when these Moors and Arabs began to look sourly upon them, from whence they descried their ship, and called to the people aboard to take them in ;? and such there might be on this part of the shore of the sea of Gennesareth.
Nor will it occasion any great difference, if we should range these two circumstances in the contrary way: if we should suppose they first saw our Lord on some eminence by the sea-side; and afterwards, as they approached the land, in consequence of their success, saw a fire burning on the shore, and bread laid there, as if some person intended to regale himself.
It is neither necessary to suppose that the Ozgoy that the disciples saw, along with the
? Voy, de la Terre-Sainte, p. 542. TOL. II.