Mark 1:17 Come after me, and I will make you

KJV Verse: 

Mar 1:17 Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Follow me and I will make you change into those who bring people into the warmth.

Hidden Meaning: 

As in the look at the similar verse in Matthew, (Matthew 4:19) the terms translated as "fisher" is more commonly used to simply mean "sailor" or "seaman." However, looking more closely at the other terms that specifically mean "fisherman," they are not as common as halieus and another term, nautês, is much more commonly used to refer to a "sailor." It is an adjective that is used here as a noun. As an adjective, it means "in the sun" or "in the warmth." It is also a verb that means "to have mercy."

However, there is a deeper meaning here. On a deeper level, halieus isn't based on a reference to fish (ichtheus) or sea (thalassa), but a reference to being in the sun (helios). The Greek verb "to fish" has the same base. The Greek described the act of fishing as "sunning a fish," bringing a fish to the sun, exactly like we say "landing a fish" bringing it to land. So they described fishermen as "sunners" (sort of), which we translated as "fishers" or "fishermen," but with the added very evocative idea of bringing things, in this case people, to the light.

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EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">This verse is a reference to Jeremiah 16:16 but it also works as a pun or double meaning.

As always, I prefer to think that all these ideas, that of being a fisherman, a sailor, and bringing things up to the sun are intended.

What does it mean to be sail upon the seas of humanity? It means not being tied to one place or group. It means to move where the wind (the real meaning of the Greek word for "spirit) takes you. It means to be at the mercy of the weather but to have a course and a purpose. No one wanders the sea as one might wander the desert.

However, the purpose is to bring things to the sun, in this case, people. A "fisher of men" means catching men, or as they did in Galilee, in nets, and pulling them from the dark, chaotic sea into the light of day and order of land. If we think of the sea as a metaphor for the world of men and the air and sunlight as the world of the spirit, it means bringing them up from a limited world to a bigger world.

Before Christ, all men were under water, lost in the depth. The role of the apostles was to pull them from the depths, up to the light. Of course, the fish would die out of water, but the men would be reborn. This metaphor gives more meaning to the symbol of baptism. Though the term in Greek means being dunked in water, the real rebirth here is the rising from the water, rising from the depths. It isn't a ritual washing, but a coming out of the depths into the air.

Wordplay: 

 A play on the Greek word meaning "in the sun," "fisherman," and "to have mercy." 

Vocabulary: 

Δεῦτε "Come" is from deute (deute), which means "come here" and "come hither." It is an imperative form, indicating a command.

ὀπίσω "After is from opisô (opiso), which means "back", "behind", "hearafter," and in the special case with deute as here, "follow me."

μου, "Me" is from mou, which mean "me", "my," or "mine."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ποιήσω (1st sg fut ind act ) "I will make" is from poieô (poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

ὑμᾶς "You" is from humas and humon, which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

γενέσθαι "Become" is from gignomai (ginomai), which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be."

ἁλεεῖς "Fishers" is from halieus (halieus), which is an adjective that means "in the sun" and "in the warmth." Used as a noun, it also means "one who has to do with the sea", "seaman", "sailor," and "fisher." It is also the second person verb form of the verb ἐλεέω meaning "to have mercy" and "to have pity."

ἀνθρώπων. "Of men" is from anthropos, which "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

Related Verses: