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Fishing In The Sea of Galilee

A local fisherman casts his net into the Sea of Galilee.For millennia, fishing has been a very prosperous industry around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spent most of the early years of his ministry in this area. He soon asked twelve men to help him. The first men He selected were local fishermen.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. - Matthew 4:18-22

Later, after Jesus' resurrection, He encountered His apostles while they were fishing at the Sea of Galilee.

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. - John 21:1-14

Have you ever wondered what type of fish was caught? I have. Of course, we can't know for sure because the Bible doesn't tell us. But, generally, there were three different species of fish in the sea during the First Century. The most common was a species called Tilapia. It is primarily a fresh water fish and lives in lakes and seas in warmer climates. As an adult, these fish are about 7-8 inches long and weigh about a pound.

Tilapia, a common fish found in the Sea of Galilee, being served at a restaurant in Magdala.Over time, this species of fish has been nicknamed "St. Peter's Fish". This is an obvious reference to the passage mentioned above as well as a couple of others in Scripture. Present day visitors to the area can have the opportunity to eat this at a few restaurants around the shore. On my first trip to Israel, we ate at a small restaurant near the ancient city of Magdala. I have attached a picture of my plate. Being from the southeastern part of the United States, the opportunity to eat fried foods while I was over there was definitely a highlight of the day.

Was it good? Yes, it was.