Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 21:10

Jesus *said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Fish;   Galilee;   Net;   Peter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Fish, Fisher;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Hospitality;   Miracle;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fishing, the Art of;   Peter;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Fish;   Net;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Presence of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Discourse;   Draught of Fishes;   Fish, Fisher, Fishing;   Honey;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Trade and Commerce;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   3 To Draw, Drag;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Thomas;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fishing;   James;   Thomas;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   New Testament;   Simon Cephas;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 19;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now taken. Simon Peter therefore went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, a hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, the net was not rent.

It is hard to have patience with scholars who make this event a Johannine adaptation of Luke's account of another event (Luke 5:1-11). There are more differences between them than there are similarities.

<MONO>

JOHN'S RECORD LUKE'S RECORD

Christ was on the land. Christ was on the water.

There was one boat. There were two boats.

The catch was pulled ashore. The catch was left on board.

The net held. The net broke.

Six men brought in the catch. Two shiploads of men did it.

The number of fishes is given. The fishes were not counted.

Christ was 100 yards distant. Christ was on board with them.SIZE>MONO>

To meld these two miracles requires the contradiction of both Gospels; and it would be just as correct to make the signing of the Magna Carta and that of the Declaration of Independence the same event.

Simon Peter went up ... He "went aboard" (English Revised Version margin), meaning that he went up into the boat and unfastened the net prior to beaching the catch of fishes. Again, Peter took the lead in matters requiring action.

A hundred and fifty and three ... Commentators have had a field day with this number, some pointing out that it is a number formed by adding all the cardinal numbers consecutively from one through seventeen, thus making it a perfect number. It seems to this writer that there is no more significance to the number of fishes than there was to the six water-pots at Cana or the 200 cubits that Peter swam to meet the Lord. The big point of all such details lies in their being the kind of specific details that only an eye-witness could have or would have given. There are many examples of such details in John.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Jesus saith unto them,.... The disciples:

bring of the fish which ye have now caught: for they might have caught some before, though so few and small, as scarcely to be reckoned any; nor were they bid to bring all they had taken, only some of them, to add to these Christ had prepared for them on land; they being both indeed of a miraculous production, and the effects of his divine power. Christ's view in ordering to bring some of them, and put to those that lay upon the coals, was partly that they might have enough to make a meal of for them all; and also, that they might have a more perfect knowledge of the miracle wrought, by seeing the number and largeness of the fishes, and by bringing the net full of them to shore unbroken; and may be an emblem of the bringing of souls to Christ by the ministry of the word, thereby adding to those that are already gathered.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 21:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish ye have now caught — Observe the double supply thus provided - His and theirs. The meaning of this will perhaps appear presently.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-21.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Which (ωνhōn). Ablative case by attraction from αha to agree with οπσαριωνopsariōn They had caught the fish by Christ‘s direction.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Of the fish ( τῶν ὀψαρίων )

As in John 21:9. Emphasizing the fish as food.

Ye hate caught ( ἐπιάσατε )

See on John 21:3. Bengel says: “By the Lord's gift they had caught them: and yet, He courteously says, that they have caught them.”

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The text of this work is public domain.
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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

So when they got out upon the land, they see a fire of coals there1, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

  1. So when they got out upon the land, they see a fire of coals there,
  2. and fish laid thereon, and bread. The sight gave a new meaning to the Lord's question at John 21:5. He had not come to buy, but to supply.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 21:10". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Принесите рыбы. Хотя сеть наполнилась мгновенно без какого-либо труда, Христос, тем не менее, приписывает этот успех ученикам. Так и мы зовем нашим тот хлеб, который признаем происходящим по благословении Божию.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

Ver. 10. Which ye have now caught] He saith not, Which I have caused you to catch. God is pleased to say, for our encouragement, that we do such and such good works, when it is he that doth all our works, in us and for us. Certum est nos facere quod facimus, sed ille tacit ut faciamus. (Aug.) The bowls of the candlestick had no oil but that which dropped from the olive branches.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 21:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-21.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. What was Christ's end in commanding his disciples to bring forth the fish which they had now taken: namely, that the sight of their number and bigness, together with the sight of the net remaining unbroken, might confirm them in the belief of its being a real miracle. Christ had fed their bellies before, his business now is to feed their minds with the contemplation of the greatness and reality of the miracle. All Christ's miracles were obvious to sense, and would bear the examination of the senses; not like the lying wonders of the church of Rome, which are commonly wrought in the dark to cozen the vulgar, and are mere cheats and impostures.

Observe, 2. That this full draught of fishes, which Peter and the rest of his disciples now had, might probably presage that great and wonderful success which he and they were afterwards to have in fishing for men.

Here we have an hundred fifty and three great fishes caught at one draught: but Acts 2:41 we find three thousand souls converted by St. Peter at one sermon.

O the marvellous success of the gospel at the first preaching and planting of it! Three thousand then proselyted by one sermon. Now we have cause to fear that there are three thousand sermons preached, and scarce one soul savingly converted. Lord! who hath believed our report?

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 21:10". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-21.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 21:10. ἐνέγκατε, bring) Thus the disciples were able to perceive, that that fish was as real as the rest of the fishes.— ἀπὸ, of) The remainder of the plentiful supply, they were allowed to keep.— ἐπιάσατε, ye have caught) It was by the Lord’s gift that they had caught them: and yet He kindly says, that they had caught them.— νῦν, now) Demonstratively, in order that they might attend. In antithesis to, “that night they caught nothing,” John 21:3.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 21:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 10,11. In this one miracle there is a complication of miracles.

1. That having fished all night and caught nothing, they should at Christ’s command throw out the net on the side of the ship next the shore, and so most unlikely to have plenty of fish, and catch so many.

2. That before their fish could be brought on shore, they should see a fish broiling on coals, and bread lying by.

3. That notwithstanding the multitude of fish, the net should not be broken.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 21:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Bring of the fish—The minister in the final day shall rest from his labour, and feast forever on its results. He shall gather the avails of his ministry into the treasury of God.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-21.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Even though there was already one fish (Gr. opsarion, singular) on the fire Jesus instructed the disciples to bring some of the fish (plural) that they had caught. He would not provide for their physical needs by multiplying the food miraculously as He had done in the past. Now He would use the product of their labor to satisfy their need. Nevertheless it was clear that their fish had been the result of His miraculous provision. Perhaps this was all symbolic of how Jesus would carry out His mission through His disciples in the future compared with how He had done it during His pre-cross ministry.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 21:10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fishes which ye have now laid hold on. The meal, therefore, consists of materials provided by the combined action of Jesus and His disciples.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-21.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 21:10. But miracle is not gratuitously wrought; indeed, Weiss maintains there is neither miracle nor the appearance of one in this preparation. Accordingly Jesus says, . And in compliance . “Simon Peter went on board and drew the net on shore full of large fishes, 153, and though there were so many the net was not torn.” Mysteries have been found in this number. In Hebrew characters Simon Iona is equivalent to 118 + 35, i.e., 153. Some of the Fathers understood that 100 meant the Gentiles, 50 the Jews, 3 the Trinity. Jerome cites the authority of naturalists to prove that there were exactly 153 species of fish, and he concludes that the universality of the Gospel take was thus indicated. Calvin, with his usual robust sense, says: “quantum ad piscium numerum spectat, non est sublime aliquid in eo quaerendum mysterium”. Peter never landed a haul of fish without counting them, and John, fisherman as he was, could never forget the number of his largest takes. The number is given, because it was large, and because they were all surprised that the net stood the strain. The only significance our Lord recognises in the fish is that they were food for hungry men.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 21:10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-21.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the fish. Here the word is opsarion in the plural. But they were great fishes (John 21:11). So it must be used in a general sense.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 21:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Observe the double supply thus provided-His and theirs. The meaning of this will appear presently.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.—Comp. Note on last verse. It is implied that they did so, and thus furnished part of the meal of which they are about to partake.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-21.html. 1905.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 10. "Jesus saith unto them. Bring of the fish which ye have now caught."

John speaks of the fishes, ἰχθύες, vers. 6, 8, 11. Jesus describes the same thing by another word, προσφάγιον, ver. 5, ὀψάρια here. The difference had some significance. The disciples spoke as in the style of fishermen; Jesus for him who was to eat. He regards the fish only in the light of food.

Why did the Lord cause His disciples to bring of their fish?—not that they might serve, together with the one fish which already lay on the fire of coals, for the disciples' repast. The symbolical character of the whole incident opposes this; as also does ver. 13, which shows that the disciples ate only of that one fish and one loaf which were provided already before the landing of the net. That important circumstance, further, would not have been omitted. Manifestly the end was answered, when the fish, or rather one representing the whole, was brought to Jesus; for nothing more was done with them. The fishes were regarded under the aspect of food, as the very term used has shown. But materially the Lord did not eat of them any more than the disciples. This shows that they bore a symbolical character. If they represented men or nations gathered into the kingdom of God, then our Lord's eating was simply spiritual: it signified the Lord's participation in the fruit of His servants' labours, the joy which their labour would provide for Him in the future: comp. Jeremiah 15:16, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart," where eating is equivalent to the finding pleasure in it, as the succeeding words show. Ezekiel says, ch. John 3:3, concerning the Divine revelation, "Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." This spiritual eating which His disciples were to prepare for Jesus, was to be the condition on which their own eating should depend. So Isaac ate of his son's venison before he blessed him: that was the condition of the paternal blessing, that he should first show himself a son by providing the venison; and in the enjoyment of the venison the blessing was uttered.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 21:10". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10.Bring some of the fishes which you have now caught. Though the net was filled in a moment, without any great labor on their part yet the taking of them is not ascribed by Christ to the disciples, thus, we call the bread which we daily eat, OUR bread, and yet, by asking that it may be given to us, we acknowledge that it proceeds from the blessing of God, (Matthew 6:11.)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.