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What is the significance of 153 large fish in John 21:1-11?


John 21:1 - 11

ESV - 1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 04 2015 Image Thomas K M

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Philip medium Philip Davies
The significance of there being 153 fish is that there was a lot of them. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We are told the exact number not to encourage us to engage in mystical numerology, not to believe in numbers superstitiously, not to engage in silly speculations, not to invent ideas in our heads to put into the Bible, but simply to be amazed at the power of God in Jesus Christ that he could do big miracles. 

Not 6 fish!... 153 fish!... and still the net didn't break!


July 07 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
Here is an alternative to consider:

Fish have been traditionally been known as good food for the mind or brain. There were seven apostles who fished that day. Christ apparently ate at least one fish in addition. And if we add 1 to 153 we get 154. Divide 154 by 7 and you get 22, the number of letters in the Jewish alphabet. These seven apostles may have spiritually obtained a superior understanding of the Old Testament writings from the Holy Spirit, which would have aided them in converting the Jews and Gentiles. One apostle would have had Jesus' help in completing his full set of 22 letters. 

The other five apostles would have presumably been given other gifts as important as the seven's understanding of letters.

July 04 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Michael Harris Elder - N.A.C.M,, Author, This Final Generation
All creation is founded on a mathematical formula! EVERYTHING in Scripture has meaning. It was authored and written by the One who created the Universe! There is even a book named "Numbers!" All numbers have a spiritual meaning. "3" is Resurrection! These numbers point at and confirm "truth." They are one of the primary means by which we can KNOW that Scripture IS divinely inspired. This is known as the Hebrew Gematria (Geh-Ma-Tree-Ah). Hebrews and the Greeks had no separate numbering systems. Their alphabets are their numbering systems. This means that every word in Scripture has a numeric value, as do phrases. It is commonly known the NUMBER of the "beast" is "666" (Rev 13:17-18, 15:2); but, did you know that the name "Jesus" in Greek has a value of "888." "6" the number of "Fallen Man" and "Beast" as both man and beast were created on the 6th day. Man fell at the hands of the "Serpent" (a beast). "8" is the number of "New Beginnings" and "Dedication to God." On the 8th day a child is circumcised and dedicated to God. (Gen 17:10-27, 21:4). A perfect new beginning, "888" marks our savior! 

If you doubt this, take a look at the Book of Revelation. It is filled and overflowing with the number "7." This occurs not only in the surface text with the use of the number "7;" but, also with words and phrases which are used exactly seven times in this text. Then we have things like John being the 7th prophet of God to speak of the sun being darkened, the moon not giving its light and the stars falling from heaven. (Rev 6:12-13) Then we have things which are spoken of say... 2, 3, 4 or 5 times in all of Scripture (O/T and N/T) and John then speaks of it the exact number of times necessary to make it 7 times for all of Scripture. "7" is the number of "Divine Completion of Time." Seven days “completed” the "time" of creation. And, the number seven is what marks Revelation like no other book. It is "the book" of "The Divine Completion of Time" as it concludes with the 7th 1,000 year period of time from creation which we know as the "Millennial Reign." (Rev 20:4, 6) This “Reign of Messiah” (Christ) spoken of by the Holy Spirit through John was no surprise to Jews. The Sages had long taught there would be 6,000 years from Adam to Messiah’s reign on Earth which was to be a "Sabbath" of rest. "Sabbath" literally means a "Seventh." And remember, one day is as 1,000 years to the Lord." (2 Pet 3:8) The "Millennial Reign" and "the "Day" of the Lord" are one and the same!

Revelation is so pervasive in the number "7" and things that number "7" both within the book and in Scripture as a whole... that for a human to have done this is impossible! The last count I saw of the number of "7's" attached to the 22 chapters of Revelation was over 850! As I went over the list, I knew of over a dozen additional "7's" that were not on the list.

With this foundation laid, this brings us to the question: What does the number "153" mean in Scripture? Theologians have long believed the "153" fish caught by Simon Peter were somehow symbolic of all saved believers throughout all of time. After all, the symbol of the Church for the first 300 years was a "fish," not a cross! These theologians were not wrong... and if you spoke Greek AND knew their numbering system... you could find it pretty quick.

The Greek phrase, "The Sons of God" adds up to exactly... "153." This number (153) represents the totality of all the saved for all of time. 

This being said, the number "17" is the number of "The Sons of God." And as a number, "17" appears exactly 9 times in Scripture. "9" is the number of "Judgement by the Holy Spirit.” AND... 17 (The Sons of God) x9 (Judgment of the Holy Spirit) = 153 (All the Sons of God)! As a "sequence of order" a "17th" appears exactly 6 times in Scripture. "6" points at "Fallen Man." Thus “153” as "The Sons of God” are redeemed men and not angels.

Blessings... Michael

March 04 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Image Thomas K M A retired Defence Scientist from Indian Defence R&D Orgn.
The Bible explicitly tells us that there were 153 fish. It may have a very special significance for the Apostles. Probably at that time, there were only 153 species of fish. Jesus had already called the Apostles `Fishers of men' (Mark 1:17). The number 153 represented known people group in the world at that time, in other words the whole world.

John 21:15-17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (KJV)

In John’s last chapter, Jesus having died at the calculated age of 33, the new 12 need to take over for Him, with Simon Peter leading.

There are different interpretations available about the significance of 153 Fish referred to in John, 21:1-11. Out of all these interpretations, a sensible one is the one which is narrated above.

July 04 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

95 1 Jay Saunders
Jesus was once again demonstrating that He is the God of provision. The God of more than enough to go around and to be generous with others. The exact number of fish is eralivant. The 23third psalm starts out the Lord is my shepard I shall not want or to put it another way not to go without if we have faith and trust in Him.

March 04 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Duane Haugen
It's not that 153 is the most widely known Pythagorean theory formula known to man on the earth and what the pyramids are all about, but it means 153 meals in 40 days that the disciples will eat before Jesus departs. Don't read anything into it that is not there.

October 31 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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