Posted by: dhkrause | March 24, 2016

Significance of the 153 Fish

Numbers in the Bible are known to have symbolic significance, and scholars have long pondered the meaning of the 153 large fish Peter dragged up in his net in John 21:11, after catching nothing all night prior to Jesus’ command to try again: “Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.”  These thoughts come to mind.

The number 153 is 3 times 51, and 51 is 3 times 17.  So, 153 factors to 17 x 3 x 3. These numbers may lead one to look in John 17:3 where Jesus prays, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  The number 3 in the Bible is representative of deity.  The second 3 calls to mind the second person of the Trinity, “the Word of God” who “became flesh and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Thus, both the miraculous catch of 153 (17 x 3 x 3) large fish (after catching nothing all night), and this numerically related verse (John 17:3) point to the deity of Jesus Christ who is the Way to eternal life.


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