Parable #18. The Fish Net (Kingdom of Heaven):
- Today is Day #18
- The Eighteenth Mashal of Messiah
- Fourteen Observations
Today is Day #18:
1. Today is “Day #18” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is eighteen days which are two weeks and four days of the Omer.
.היום שמונה עשר יום, שהם שני שבועות וארבעה ימים בעומר
Haiyom shmonah asar yom, shehaym shnay shavuot ve-arba’ah yamim ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Eighteenth Mashal of Messiah:
עוֹד דּוֹמָה מַלְכוּת הַשָׁמַיִם לְמִכְמֶרֶת אֲשֶׁר הָשְׁלְכָה לַיָּם וּמִינִים שׁוֹנִים יֵאָסְפוּ לְתוֹכָהּ׃ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִמְלְאָה הֶעֱלוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל־שְׂפַת הַיָּם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ וַיִּלְקְטוּ אֶת־הַמִּינִים הַטּוֹבִים לְתוֹךְ הַכֵּלִים וְאֵת הָרָעִים הִשְׁלִיכוּ׃
Again, the Kingdom of heaven can be compared to a net that was cast into the sea, and a variety of species were gathered into it. When it was full, they brought it up to the seashore, then they sat down and collected the good species into vessels but through the bad ones away.
כֵּן יִהְיֶה לְקֵץ הָעוֹלָם הַמַּלְאָכִים יֵצְאוּ וְהִבְדִּילוּ אֶת־הָרְשָׁעִים מִתּוֹךְ הַצַּדִּיקִים׃ וְהִשְׁלִיכוּם אֶל־תַּנּוּר הָאֵשׁ שָׁם תִּהְיֶה הַיְלָלָה וַחֲרֹק הַשִׁנָּיִם׃
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous. They will cast them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Observation #1. The Eighteenth Mashal is similar in many ways to the mashal of the “Weeds among good plants.” Judgment is suspended, the good plants (fish) are allowed to exist side-by-side with the wicked weeds (fish) until both are matured. Then at maturity judgment comes: so that the good plants (fish) are permanently separated from the wicked plants (fish), which are thrown into the fire (or in the case of the fish, ‘thrown back into the Sea’).
Observation #2. This mashal (מָשָׁל) summarizes the main ideas of the six previous Kingdom of heaven meshalim.
Observation #4. The Kingdom of heaven was compared to the largest kind of net, weighed below with corks on top, sweeping over an area as large as a half mile of water.
Observation #5. Because it is so large and spread out the net collects a multitude of different kinds of fish described in the text as “every kind.” The Net represents the preaching of the besorah (Good News) of the Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of Adonai.
Observation #6. Nets of this size were too large to empty into a boat and had to be drawn to shore.
Observation #7. The Sea, as just discussed in the last mashal, is symbolic of all the Gentile nations and peoples.
Observation #8. The Shore is a symbol of the remnant of messianic Jews who are a part of the Land and People of Israel.
Observation #9. Here the fish were sorted. Those that were bad, or for any reason unusable, were thrown away (by inference, cast back into the sea).
Observation #10. In ancient Israel this sorting out of the fish on the shore was a very familiar process on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Observation #11. The Parable of the Fish Net is an illustration of the judgment at the end of the age. Angels were described as separating those who are wicked from among the righteous.
Observation #12. The location from which these judgments are rendered is on the “Beach.” Therefore, the judgments of Messiah are administered from the vantage point of His Jewish talmidin (תלמידיו-disciples, students) who are a part of (a remnant from among) the People and Land of Israel. The Beach is an interface. It is a very special location. The Beach of the Land of Israel is occupied by a very special people who are engaged in a very special vocation. The Beach is a base of operations. It is a launch point and a return point from which the messianic remnant of Israel does the business of the Kingdom of heaven.
For now this business of fishing in the Sea of the Gentile world to bring many souls into our messianic faith is being done only by a small remnant of Israel. After Messiah comes all Israel will be messianic Jews. Then all of us will be engaged in the fishing business. When the Kingdom of Adonai comes every man, woman, and child of Israel will be engaged in the national (priestly and royal) vocation of “bringing in” to our faith all of the Gentiles of the world (cf the mitzvah of hospitality, hachnasat orchim-הכנסת אורחים). In the messianic golden age of Israel all of the nations, peoples, and families of the world will come to worship Adonai with us in Israel.
Observation #13. The righteous who remain, after the wicked are judged unworthy of acceptance, are able to enter into the messianic Kingdom of Adonai and by faith (later still) into the eternal age to come.
Observation #14. The fulfillment of these prophecies will begin to occur at the second coming of the Messiah, when the world is judged and the messianic kingdom is instituted.
Interpretation of the Fishnet:
Like the other six preceding Kingdom of heaven meshalim, the “Fishing Net” (seventh) mashal describes the dual tracks of good and evil. These two competing directions (and opposing factions) of life will remain in conflict with each other until the time of the end; when G-d will render to each person according to his deeds. To those who do not become Rich in Adonai (מעשיר למען השם–literally, “Enriching for the sake of Adonai), who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness, they will suffer loss; they will be removed and cast away from the Presence of the Living G-d (Elohim Chayim). However, to those who do good (אשרי-האיש-Ashrei-Man) by seeking for the glory and honor of Adonai Avinu (אבינו ה’)—-they will receive eternal life.