in use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used by the Egyptians (Isa 19:8). There were three kinds of nets. (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Mt 13:47-48). (2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Mt 4:18; Mr 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, "like the top of a tent." (3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Lu 5:4-9).
The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, "gin;" Ps 69:22; Job 18:9; Ec 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer 5:26-27). Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.
1. Diktuon (from dikoo "to throw"); let down, cast, and drawn to shore (Lu 5:2-6; Joh 21:6-11; Mt 4:18-22).
2. Amfibleestron, "a cast net," from amfiballoo "cast about," "cast hither and there" (Mt 4:18; Mr 1:16). The Egyptians make it a tent over their sleeping place to ward off insects (Herodotus ii. 95).
3. Sageene, from sattoo "to load" (Mt 13:47), "a net ... cast into the sea ... gathered (together) of every kind," a sweepnet or dragnet (Hab 1:14 michmereth), or drawnet "seine," that takes in the compass of a small bay. In Pr 1:17 explain" surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird," because the bird sees the net and is on its guard; so youths warned by God's word raise their souls heavenward, on the wings of the fear, faith, and love of God, as the bird flies upward; and therefore escape the net which the tempters fancy they are going to entrap the "innocent" in, but in which really "their own blood and their own lives" are taken (Pr 1:11,18). (See BIRD.) The tempters think that their intended victims are "innocent in vain" (so translated for "without cause"), i.e. that their innocence will not save them; but it is themselves who "spread the net in vain" (Ps 7:15-16; 9:15; Re 16:6). A net is also the image of God's vengeance, which surprises in a moment and inextricably the sinner, when he least expects (La 1:13; Eze 12:13; Ho 7:12). In 1Ki 7:17 netted checker work about a pillar's capital.
Various words are translated 'net,' some signifying large nets, and others the drag net. Symbolically nets represent devices secretly laid or they would be shunned, even as a bird avoids a net spread in its sight. Pr 1:17. The kingdom of heaven is compared to a net cast into the sea., which gathers good and bad; 'the wicked' will be sorted from 'the just' at the end of the age. Mt 13:47-49. Satan and the wicked also prepare their nets and snares. Ps 141:10; 1Ti 3:7.