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47“天国又好像一个网,撒在海里,网到各样的鱼。




47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
47 Verse 47. Is like unto a net] A drag-net. This is the proper

meaning of σαγηνη, which the Latins translate verriculum, a sweep

net; Quod in aquam jacitur ad pisces comprehendendos; imprimis,

cujus usus est extrahendis iis a fundo. MARTINIUS. "Which is cast

into the water to catch fish, and the particular use of which is

to drag them up from the bottom." As this is dragged along it

keeps gathering all in its way, both good and bad, small and

great; and, when it is brought to the shore, those which are

proper for use are preserved, and those which are not are either

destroyed or thrown back into the water.



By the net may be understood the preaching of the Gospel of the

kingdom, which keeps drawing men into the profession of

Christianity, and into the fellowship of the visible Church of

Christ. By the sea may be represented that abyss of sin, error,

ignorance, and wickedness in which men live, and out of which they

are drawn, by the truth and Spirit of God, who cordially close in

with the offers of salvation made to them in the preaching of the

Gospel.



By drawing to shore, may be represented the consummation of all

things, see , when a proper distinction shall be made

between those who served God, and those who served him not; for

many shall doubtless be found who shall bear the name without the

nature of Christ. By picking out the good, and throwing away the

bad, , is meant that separation which God shall make

between false and true professors, casting the former into hell,

and bringing the latter to heaven.



Instead of τακαλα the good, the Cod. Bezae, and five copies of

the old Antehieronymian, or Itala version, read τακαλλιστα,

the best, the very best. Every reader would naturally hope that

this is not the true reading, or that it is not to be understood

literally, as it seems to intimate that only the very best shall

be at last saved.



It is probable that this parable also refers, in its primary

meaning, to the Jewish state, and that, when Christ should come to

judge and destroy them by the Roman power, the genuine followers

of Christ only should escape, and the rest be overwhelmed by the

general destruction. See , &c.