Net - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


diktyon (G1350) Net
amphiblestron (G293)
sagene (G4522)
Although diktyon, amphiblestron, and sagene are usually translated by "net," it is possible to distinguish these words more accurately.
Diktyon is the more general term for nets, including the hunting net, the net used to catch birds (Prov. 1:17), and the fishing net. In the New Testament diktyon has only the latter meaning (Matt. 4:20; John 21:6). Often in the Septuagint diktyon is used in the figurative sense in which Paul used pagis, with which it is associated (Job 18:8; Prov. 29:5).
Amphiblestron and sagene are types of fishing nets. These two words are used together in Habakkuk 1:15 and in Plutarch, who joined gripos with sagene and hypoche with amphiblestron. The amphiblestron is a casting net.When skillfully cast from the shore or over the shoulder from a boat, this net spreads out into a circle as it falls on the water, where it sinks swiftly because of its lead weights and encloses whatever is below it. Its circular, bell-like shape made it suitable for use as a mosquito net. An amphiblestron is the garment in whose deadly folds Clytemnestra entangled Agamemnon; it was the fetter used to fasten Prometheus to his rock; and it was the envenomed garment that Deianira gave to Hercules.
Sagene, which occurs only once in the New Testament (Matt. 13:47; cf. Isa. 19:8; Ezek. 26:8) is the long-drawn net or sweep-net. Its ends are taken by boats to the open sea where they are drawn together, thus capturing all that the net encircles. The Vulgate translates sagene by sagena (fishing net).In classical Latin, a sagene is referred to as an everriculum (drag-net), because it sweeps the bottom of the sea. Since it was a panagron, or take-all, the Greeks gave the name of sageneuein to a device reportedly used by the Persians to clear a conquered island of its inhabitants. Virgil described fishing first by using amphiblestron and then by using sagene:"One, seeking its depth, beats the wide steam with a net, another draws the wet nets from the sea."
Thus Jesus' use of sagene in a parable to describe the wide and all-embracing character of his future kingdom is very appropriate (Matt. 13:47). Neither amphiblestron nor diktyon (which might have meant no more than amphiblestron) would have been as suitable.

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