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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
Acts 27

 

 

Verse 1

Acts 27:1. Blass at the outset speaks of this and the next chapter as “clarissimam descriptionem” of St. Paul’s voyage, and he adds that this description has been estimated by a man skilled in nautical matters as “monumentum omnium pretiosissimum, quæ rei navalis ex tota antiquitate nobis relicta sint”. He refers to Die Nautik der Alten by Breusing, formerly Director of the School of Navigation in Bremen, 1886; a book which should be read side by side with J. Smith’s well-known Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, 4th edit., 1880 (cf. also J. Vars, L’Art Nautique, 1887, and see also Introd., p. 8).— ὡς: particula temporalis, often so used by St. Luke in Gospel and Acts, and more frequently than by the other Evangelists; in St. Matthew not at all, in St. Mark once; often in O.T., Apoc., and especially in 1 Macc.— ἐκρίθη τοῦ ἀποπ.: common construction in LXX with kindred words, e.g., βουλεύομαι, but no other instances of the genitive with infinitive after κρίνω (except 1 Corinthians 2:2, T.R.) in N.T., Lumby; see also Burton, p. 159. ἀποπ.: St. Luke stands alone amongst N.T. writers in the number of compounds of πλεῖν which he employs, no less than nine, J. Smith, u.s., p. 28, 61.— ἡμᾶς: “with this section we tread the firm ground of history, for here at Acts 27:1 the personal record of the book again enters, and that in its longest and fullest part” (Weizsäcker): see also on ἡμᾶς, as intimating by its recurrence the narrative of an eyewitness, Hilgenfeld, Zw. Th., iv., p. 549 (1896), Wendt (1899), p. 402, note. The ἡμᾶς included Paul, Luke, Aristarchus; Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 315, maintains that both Luke and Aristarchus must have accompanied Paul as his slaves, and that they would not have been permitted to go as his friends, but see Gilbert, Student’s Life of Paul, p. 201; and Wendt (1899) in reply to Ramsay points out that as the ship was not sailing as a transport vessel with the prisoners direct to Rome, but that a vessel engaged in private enterprise and commerce was employed, it is quite possible that Paul’s friends may have travelled on the same ship with him as independent passengers. But see further Ramsay, p. 323. So far as Luke is concerned, it is possible that he may have travelled in his protessional capacity as a medical man, Lekebusch, Apostelgeschichte, p. 393.— παρεδίδουν: assimilated to form of contracted verbs, so most certainly in Acts, cf. Acts 3:2; Acts 4:33; Acts 4:35, Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 37. Winer-Schmiedel, p. 121.— δεσμώτας, see below, p. 516.—That Paul commanded respect is implied by the whole narrative: some of the other prisoners may also have been sent to Rome on the ground of an appeal, cf. Josephus, Vita, 3, but others may have been already condemned, Ramsay, p. 314.— ἑτέρους: Meyer and Zöckler take the word to indicate prisoners of a character different from Paul, i.e., heathen, not Christians; but Wendt (so Hackett) points out that Luke in Acts uses ἕτερος in singular and plural as simply = another, or other, additional; Acts 7:18, Acts 8:34, Acts 15:35, Acts 17:34. As against this Zöckler quotes Luke 23:32, Galatians 1:7.— ἰουλίῳ: name far too common for any identification; Tacitus speaks of a Julius Priscus, Hist., ii. 92, iv. 11, a centurion of the prætorians, but see below on Acts 28:16.— σπείρης σ.: “of the Augustan band,” R.V. It is suggested that the term is here used is a popular colloquial way by St. Luke, and that it is not a translation of a correct Roman name, but rather “the troops of the emperor,” denoting a body of legionary centurions who were employed by the emperor on confidential business between the provinces and the imperial city, the title Augustan being conferred on them as a mark of favour and distinction. If this is so we gather from this notice in Acts a fact which is quite in accordance with what is known from other sources, although nowhere precisely attested. But can any connection be established between such a body and any branch of the imperial service which is actually known to us? There were certain legionary centurions who went by the name of frumentarii, who were employed not only, as their name implied, on duties connected with the commissariat, but also with the custody of prisoners and for purposes of police. In Acts 28:16, A.V. and R.V. margin, we have the remarkable reading: “and the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the [prætorian] guard” (see on l.c.). But it is urged that we cannot understand by this expression the Prefect of the Prætorian Guard, who would not be concerned with the comparatively humble duty of receiving and guarding prisoners. But in the Old L.V, called Gigas (unfortunately the only representative of the Old Latin for this passage) we have for a translation of the Greek στρατοπεδάρχης, in itself a very rare word, princeps peregrinorum. Now the legionary centurions who formed the frumentarii were regarded in Rome as being on detached duty, and were known as peregrini; on the Cælian Hill they occupied the camp known as the castra peregrinorum, and their commander bore the name of princeps peregrinorum. If therefore we may identify the Stratopedarch in Acts 28:16 with this commanding officer, we may also infer that Julius was one of the Peregrini, and that he hands over his prisoners to his superior officer, Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 315, 347, Mommsen, Sitzungsberichte d. Berl. Akad., 1895, p. 495 ff., Rendall, Acts, p. 340. But see on the other hand Zahn, Einleitung, i., p. 389 (1897), Knabenbauer, Actus Apostolorum, p. 448, Belser, Beiträge, p. 147 ff., who point out amongst other reasons (1) that there is no clear evidence of the title princeps peregrinorum before the reorganisation of Sept. Severus, (2) that we have evidence that prisoners were sent from the provinces and committed to the care of the præfectus prætorio, cf. Traj., Ad Plin., 57, with reference to one who had appealed: “vinctus mitti ad præfectos prætorii mei debet,” and other instances in Zahn, u. s., and Knabenbauer. See further for the value of the Old Latin reading in Gigas “Julius” (Headlam), Hastings’ B.D., and below on Acts 28:16. But whether we adopt the explanation suggested by Prof. Ramsay or not, it is still open to us to maintain that the title “Augustan” was a title of honour and not a local title; not connected with Sebaste the chief town of Samaria, or with Cæsar ea Sebaste. Schürer in answer to Mr. Headlam’s criticism (“Julius,” Hastings’ B.D.) is still of opinion, Theol. Literaturzeitung, 20, 1899, that reference is here made to one of the five cohorts of Cæsareans and Sebasteni mentioned by Josephus (for references see Jewish People, div. i., vol. ii., p. 53, E.T., and Schmiedel, Encyclop. Biblica, i., 909, 1899), and therefore a σπεῖρα σεβαστηνῶν; but he maintains that this same cohort was distinguished by the title Augusta from the other four cohorts, and that the writer of Acts is rendering this title in the word σεβαστή (see also below). It is possible (as Wendt admits, although he prefers Schürer’s view, 1899) that Julius might have belonged to the cohors Augusta, cf. C. I. L., iii., 66, 83, Augustiani, Suet., Nero, 25, Augustani, Tac., Ann., xiv., 15, etc. (Belser, Beiträge, p. 154, Knabenbauer, p. 425), a select number of Roman knights who formed a kind of body-guard for the emperor, instituted about 59 A.D., and that he may have been in Cæsarea on some temporary special duty; but on the other hand see Page’s note, in loco (cf. note on Acts 10:1). Grimm-Thayer, sub v. σεβαστός (2), describes it as (an adj(407)) a title of honour given to certain legions, or cohorts, or battalions, for “valour”: “Ala Augusta ob virtutem appellata,” C. I. L., vii., 340, 341, 344, but there is no inscriptional proof that this title was given to any Cæsarean cohort; see “Augustan Band” (Barnes), Hastings’ B.D., and Wendt can only refer to the bestowal of the title as “probable”.


Verse 2

Acts 27:2. πλοίῳ ἀδραμ.: a boat which belonged to Adramyttium in Mysia, in the Roman province Asia, situated at the top of the gulf Sinus Adramyttenus, to which it gives its name (Ramsay, Hastings’ B.D., sub v.). It was of considerable importance as a seaport and commercial centre, and under Roman rule it was the metropolis of the north-west district of Asia. Not to be confounded as by Grotius and others with Adrumetum on the north coast of Africa. For the spelling see critical note.— μέλλοντες the usual route to Rome would have been by way of Alexandria, cf. the route taken by Titus from Judæa to the capital, Suet., Tit., 5. But apparently there was no ship sufficiently large at hand. From some of the great harbours of the Asian coast the centurion might have passed to Italy, or probably from Adramyttium (if the ship was going home) he intended to go to Neapolis, and take the great high road to Rome, if no ship could be found in the Asian harbours so late in the season.— τοὺς κατὰ. τὴν . τόπους: “to sail by the coasts of Asia,” A.V.; but with εἰς after πλεῖν see critical note, “to sail unto the places on the coast of Asia,” R.V., cf. for the phrase, Acts 11:1, Polyb., i., 3, 6. In Acts 16:3 τόποι is similarly used. See J. Smith’s note, u.s., p. 63.— ἀνήχ., see above on Acts 13:13; in the preceding verse we have the corresponding nautical term κατάγεσθαι, to come to land.— ἀριστ., cf. Acts 19:39, Acts 21:4. Perhaps the expression σὺν ἡμῖν may mean that he was with them, but only for a time, not being actually one of them, i.e., of Paul’s company; he may have gone in the Adramyttian ship on his way to his native home, and left Paul at Myra. On the other hand, Colossians 4:10, he is named as one of Paul’s companions in Rome, and as his “fellow-prisoner,” see Salmon, Introd., p. 383. Whether he made the journey as an actual fellow-prisoner with Paul cannot be proved, although Col., u. s. (Philemon 1:24), may point to it, see Lightfoot, Philippians, 35, 36, Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 183; “one Aristarchus,” A.V., as if otherwise unknown; R.V. gives simply his name. Jüngst refers ΄ακεδ. θεσσ. to his Redactor.


Verse 3

Acts 27:3. τῇ δὲ ἑτέρᾳ: an easy journey to Sidon—distance 69 sea miles (Breusing).— κατήχ.: technical nautical term, opposite of ἀνάγειν in Acts 27:2, see above.— φιλανθ. τε ἰούλιοςχρης.: “and Julius treated Paul kindly,” R.V., cf. Acts 28:2. Bengel says “videtur audisse Paulum,” 25:32. Hobart, so also Zahn, sees in φιλανθ., which is peculiar to Luke in N.T., the word a medical man might be likely to use. See also on φιλανθρωπία, Acts 28:2, below, but in Dem., 411, 10, we have the phrase φιλανθ. τινὶ χρῆσθαι, so in Plutarch, and the adverb occurs in 2 Maccabees 9:27, 3 Maccabees 3:20. χρης. only in Luke and Paul, cf. 2 Corinthians 13:10, in LXX Genesis 26:29.— πρὸς τοὺς φίλους παρευθέντα: probably with the soldier to whom he was chained, but see also (408) text, critical note.— ἐπιμελείας τυχεῖν: “to receive attention,” R.V. margin, cf. Isocr., 113 D. The noun is found in Proverbs 3:8, 1 Maccabees 16:14, 2 Maccabees 11:23, 3 Maccabees 5:1, and also in classical Greek; it was also frequently employed in medical language for the care bestowed upon the sick, and it may be so here; so Hobart, Zahn, Felten, Vogel, Luckock. St. Luke alone uses the word in the N.T., and he alone uses the verb ἐπιμελεῖσθαι in the sense of caring for the needs of the body, Luke 10:24; Luke 10:35, another word frequently employed with this meaning by medical writers (Zahn). A delay would be made at Sidon, no doubt, for merchandise to be shipped or unladen. There is no occasion to regard the verse, with Overbeck, as an interpolation; see Wendt’s note in favour of its retention, p. 543 (1888)).


Verse 4

Acts 27:4. ὑπεπλεύσαμεν τὴν κ.: “we sailed under the lee of Cyprus,” R.V. So Wetstein with whom James Smith is in agreement, i.e., to the east of the island, as was usual for ships westward bound, to avoid the prevalent west winds. Otherwise the direct course would have been to make for Patara in Lycia across the open sea to the south-west of Cyprus (cf. Acts 21:1-3, where Paul makes a direct run from Patara to the Syrian coast (Ramsay, Goerne)).


Verse 5

Acts 27:5. τό τε πέλαγος τὸ κατὰ τὴν κ. καὶ π. διαπλ.: the ship in its northerly course would reach the coast of Cilicia, and then creep slowly along from point to point along the Cilician and Pamphylian coast, using the local land breezes when possible, and the current constantly running to the westward along the southern coast (Ramsay, J. Smith, Breusing). Blass takes πέλαγος as “mare vaste patens” and thinks that the ship did not coast along the shore, but J. Smith gives several instances of ships following St. Paul’s route. On the additional reading in (409) text see critical note.— ΄ύρα τῆς λυκίας: two and a half miles from the coast of Lycia; on the spelling see critical notes. On its importance as one of the great harbours in the corn trade between Egypt and Rome see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 298, 318, Lewin, Saint Paul, ii. 186, and for later notices Zöckler, in loco. As a good illustration of the voyage of the Adramyttian and Alexandrian ship see Lucian’s dialogue, πλοῖον εὐχαί, 7–9; Ramsay, p. 319; Breusing, 152.


Verse 6

Acts 27:6. πλοῖον: St. Luke does no mention what kind of ship, but the fact that it was on its way from Egypt to Italy, and that in Acts 27:38 the cargo was evidently grain, makes it a reasonable inference that the ship was carrying corn for conveyance to Rome. On this trade to Rome, Seneca, Epist., 77, and for the large size of the ships (cf. Acts 27:37) so employed cf. references in Wetstein to Lucian and Plutarch, and Breusing, p. 157, Goerne, and also for the reputation of the Alexandrian ships and sailors.— εὑρὼν: there was nothing unlikely in this, if Myra was situated as above described. The ship, therefore, Ramsay holds, had not been blown out of her course, and the westerly winds, prejudicial to the run of the Adramyttian ship from Sidon to Myra, were favourable for the direct run of a ship from Alexandria, cf. Acts 27:9, and the course taken by the Alexandrian ship was probably a customary one during a certain season of the year for the voyage from Alexandria to Italy. Blass, on the other hand, quoting from Lucian, maintains that the ship was obliged to quit the usual course owing to the winds, but Ramsay has here the entire support of J. Smith, u. s., p. 73.— ἐνεβίβασεν: vox nautica, Holtz-mann, cf. Thuc., i., 53.


Verse 7

Acts 27:7. ἐν ἱκαναῖς ἡμέραις or ἱκανός: in temporal sense only in Luke in N.T., see Hawkins, p. 151, and cf. Vindiciæ Lucanæ (Klostermann), p. 51.— βραδυπλοοῦντες: Artemid., Oneir., iv., 30; ταχυπλοεῖν, Polyb. (Blass), evidently on account of the strong westerly winds; the distance was about a hundred and thirty geographical miles to Cnidus.— καὶ μόλις γεν. κατὰ τὴν κ.: “and were come with difficulty off Cnidus,” R.V., to this point the course of the two ships would be the same from Myra; here they would no longer enjoy the protection of the shore, or the help of the local breezes and currents; “so far the ship would be sheltered from the north-westerly winds, at Cnidus that advantage ceased” (J. Smith).— κνίδον: the south-west point of Asia Minor, the dividing line between the western and southern coast; a Dorian colony in Caria having the rank of a free city like Chios; see 1 Maccabees 15:23.— μὴ προσεῶντος: “as the wind did not permit our straight course onwards,” Ramsay, so Blass, J. Smith, p. 79: the northerly wind in the Ægean effectually prevented them from running straight across to the island of Cythera, north of Crete; cf. Wendt’s note (1899), in loco, inclining to agree with Ramsay, see critical note; others take the words to mean “the wind nor permitting us unto it,” i.e., to approach Cnidus (Hackett), so too R.V., margin. But there does not seem to have been any reason why they should not have entered the southern harbour of Cnidus. They might have done so, and waited for a fair wind, had they not adopted the alternative of running for the east and south coast of Crete. The verb προσεῶντος does not occur elsewhere, and the same must be said of the conjecture of Blass, προεῶντος.— ὑπεπλεύ.: “we sailed under the lee of Crete off. Cape Salmone” (Ramsay), i.e., a promontory on the east of the island, and protected by it from a north-westerly wind (Ramsay). Strabo has σαλμώνιον and σαμώνιον (Pliny, Sammonium); σαλμώνις is also found; σαλμώνιον (or σαμμ.) may be explained, sc. ὄρος, Winer-Schmiedel, p. 65.


Verse 8

Acts 27:8. μόλις τε παραλεγ. αὐτὴν: “and with difficulty coasting along it,” i.e., Crete on the southern side—with difficulty because under the same conditions as in their journey along the coast of Asia Minor (Breusing) (this is better than to refer αὐτήν to σαλμώνην, and render to work past, to weather, cf. Grimm-Thayer); παραλέγομαι, oram legere, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo.— καλοὺς λιμένας: a small bay two miles east of Cape Matala, in modern Greek, λιμεῶνας καλούς, J. Smith, p. 82, and Appendix, p. 251 ff., 4th edition; not mentioned, however, elsewhere. This harbour would afford them shelter for a time, for west of Cape Matala the land trends suddenly to the north, and they would have been again exposed to the north-westerly winds; see further for a description of the place Findlay’s Mediterranean Directory, p. 66, quoted by Breusing and Goerne, who also have no doubt that the place is identical with that mentioned by St. Luke (see also Wendt, 1898 and 1899).— λασαία, see critical note; like the Fair Havens not mentioned by name in any ancient writer. but since 1856 it may be fairly said that its identification has been established with a place some four miles to the east of Fair Havens, or rather the ruins of a place to which the name Lasea was still given, see J. Smith, 4th edition, p. 82, and p. 268 (Appendix); Alford, Proleg. to Acts, p. 27. If Lasea was one of “the (ninety or) hundred towns of Crete,” and one of the smaller amongst them, it ceases to be strange that no precise mention of it should occur in ancient writers (Grimm).


Verse 9

Acts 27:9. ἱκανοῦ δὲ χρ. γεν.: not since the commencement of the voyage (as Meyer), but since they lay weather-bound. Wendt (1899) agrees with Meyer as against Weiss and Ramsay, on the ground that there is no ἐκεῖ, so Hackett.— ἐπισ. τοῦ πλοός: “terminus proprie nauticus,” Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, J. Smith, p. 84, who refers to Jul. Pollux, i., 105, although the adjective was not distinctively so. It is only used by St. Luke, and although it is frequently employed by medical writers, it is found also in Plato, Polybius, Plutarch (cf. also Wisdom of Solomon 9:14, and for the adverb Acts 4:4). τοῦ πλοός: “the voyage,” R.V., but perhaps “sailing,” A.V., is best, so Ramsay—the dangerous season for sailing had commenced; in the next verse = “voyage,” i.e., to Rome (Alford); only in Luke, cf. Luke 21:7, on the form of the genitive see Winer-Schmiedel, p. 84, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Corinthians 14:19, 2 Thessalonians 2:2. The dangerous season was reckoned from 14th September to 11th November, and from 11th November to 5th March all navigation was discontinued; see Blass, in loco, and Ramsay, Saint Paul, p. 322; according to Hesiod, Works and Days, 619, navigation ceased after the setting of the Pleiades about 20th October. The Jewish period for navigation ended 28th September.— διὰ τὸ καὶ τὴν νηστείαν ἤδη παρεληλυθέναι: the mention of the fact that the Fast, i.e., the Great Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16:29, Jos., Ant., xiv., 16, 4, was over, Tisri the 10th, made the danger more apparent. According to Mr. Turner, “Chronology,” Hastings’ B.D., the great Fast on Tisri 10 in 58 A.D. fell circa 15th September, so that the dangerous sailing season would have just commenced. In A.D. 59, the date preferred by Ramsay, the Fast would be on 5th October. Starting from the view that a considerably later point of time than Tisri 10 is implied, cf. Acts 28:11, various attempts have been made to interpret νηστεία differently, and it has been referred to the Athenian festival of the Thesmophoria, the third day of which was so called; or to some nautical mode of expression not elsewhere employed equivalent to extremum autumni, but all such attempts are based upon no authority (Zöckler, in loco), and there can be no doubt that the expression “the Fast” κατʼ ἐξοχήν refers to the Jewish Fast as above. St. Paul usually reckoned after the Jewish calendar, 1 Corinthians 16:8, and as Wendt observes there is nothing strange in the fact that his travel-companion should also so reckon, cf. Acts 20:6 above, even if he was a Gentile Christian, an observation to be noted in face of Schmiedel’s recent arguments against the Lucan authorship, Encycl. Biblica, p. 44, 1899. The indication that St. Paul kept the Jewish Fast Day is significant.— παρήνει: “admonished,” R. and A.V., in N.T. only here, and in Acts 27:22, see note. The Apostle had sufficient experience to justify him, 2 Corinthians 11:25 (Weiss), his interposition is all an indication of the respect which he had secured: “the event Justified St. Paul’s advice,” J. Smith.


Verse 10

Acts 27:10. θεωρῶ: here used of the result of experience and observation, not of a revelation, cf. Acts 17:22; Acts 19:26; Acts 21:20.— θεωρῶ ὅτιμέλλειν ἔσεσθαι: anacoluthon. ὅτι: forgotten by the number of words intervening in the flow of speech—a vivid dramatic touch; cf. Xen., Hell., ii., 2, 2, see Blass, Gram., p. 279, Winer-Moulton, xliv., 8, A 2. μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι, cf. Acts 11:28, Acts 24:15; Acts 24:25, only in Luke, Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 120. μετὰ ὕβρεως καὶ πολλῆς ζημίας, cf. Acts 27:21 : “with injury and much loss,” A. and R.V. ὕβρις: used of the injury inflicted by the elements, injuria tempestatis, cf. Jos., Ant., iii., 6, 4. τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν ὄμβρων ὕβριν: Anthol., vii., 291, 3. δείσασα θαλάττης ὕβριν: Grimm-Thayer renders “injury inflicted by the violence of a tempest,” and this well combines the active and passive shades of meaning; for the passive signification of ὕβρις cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10. ζημίαν: only elsewhere in Paul, cf. Philippians 3:7-8. οὐ μόνον: occurs regularly with the infinitive in the N.T. instead of μὴ μόνον, Burton, p. 183. φόρτου, see critical note, if we read φορτίου the word which is dim. in form not in significance is often found of the freight of a ship; but see also Blass and Wetstein, in loco, for distinction between φορτίον and φόρτος.


Verse 11

Acts 27:11. δὲ ἑκατόν.: the centurion evidently presides at the Council as the superior officer, see Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 324, 325, but, as Wendt notes (and so Blass), the majority decide, not the centurion alone.— τῷ κυβερ. καὶ τῷ ναυκλ.: “to the master and to the owner of the ship,” A. and R.V., better “to the pilot and the captain”; ναύκληρος was not the owner, although the word might denote ownership as well as command of the ship, for the ship if it was a corn ship would belong to the imperial service, and would form a vessel of the Alexandrian fleet. In Breusing’s view, p. 160, ναύκληρος is owner of the ship, but κυβερνήτης is better rendered, he thinks, “captain” than “pilot,” cf. Plut., Mor., 807 (410) (Wetstein and Blass).— ἐπείθετο μᾶλλον τοῖς λεγ.: “locutio Lucana,” cf. Acts 28:24, the centurion’s conduct was natural enough; what would be said of him in Rome, where provision ships for the winter were so eagerly expected, if out of timidity he, though a soldier, had hindered the captain from continuing his voyage? Breusing, pp. 161, 162, and quotations from Suet., Claudius, 18, as to the compensation offered by the emperor to merchants for losses in winter and storm. Goerne points out that it may have been also to their interest to proceed on the voyage, rather than to incur the responsibility of providing for the keep of the large crew during a long stay at Fair Havens.


Verse 12

Acts 27:12. ἀνευθέτου: here only, but in later Greek we have δύσθετος, so in Jos. St. Luke, however, uses εὔθετος in his Gospel, Luke 9:62, Luke 14:35 (found only once elsewhere in N.T., Hebrews 6:7). We may compare J. Smith’s 1James , 4 th edition, p. 85. In the latter he points out that recent surveys show that Fair Havens may have been a very fair winter harbour, and that even on nautical grounds St. Paul’s action may have been justified, but Blass, in loco, adheres to the view that the harbour was only fit for use during the summer.— πρὸς παραχειμασίαν: noun only here in N.T., not found in LXX, but in Polyb. and Diod. Sic. παραχειμάσαι: only in Luke and Paul in N.T., 1 Corinthians 16:6, cf. Acts 28:11, Titus 3:12, not in LXX, but used by Dem., Polyb., Plut., Diod. Sic.— οἱ πλείονες: πλείονες ( πλείους) with the article only by Luke and Paul in N.T., cf. Acts 19:32; by St. Paul seven times in his Epistles. Bengel well says, “plura suffragia non semper meliora”.— ἔθεντο βουλὴν: on the noun and its use by St. Luke see above, Acts 2:23, and for the phrase cf. Luke 23:51, in LXX, Psalms 12:2 (Judges 19:30, A al(411)); so also in classical Greek.— ἀναχθῆναι: “to put to sea,” R.V., see on Acts 13:13.— εἴ πως δύναιντο: on the optative see Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 172; and Burton, p. 111; cf. Mark 11:13, Acts 8:22; Acts 18:27, Romans 1:10; Romans 11:14, Philippians 3:11.— καταντήσαντες: Lucan and Pauline, see above, Acts 16:1.— εἰς φοίνικα, Strabo, x., 4; Ptolemy, iii., 17. Generally taken as = modern Lutro, so Ramsay, Alford, Renan, Rendall, Blass, J. Smith (pp. 87, 88), Lewin, Rendall, Plumptre, and Muir in Hastings’ B.D., “Fair Havens”; so amongst recent German writers on this voyage, cf. Breusing, p. 162, and Goerne, u. s., p. 360, both of whom quote Findlay, Mediterranean Directory, p. 67, “Port Lutro, the ancient Phœnix, or Phœnice, is the only bay on the south coast where a vessel could be quite secure in winter”; but on the other hand Hackett, in loco. Wordsworth, Humphry and Page (whose full note should be consulted) suppose the modern Phineka to be meant; so also C. H. Prichard in Hastings’ B.D., “Crete”; see below. Alford, Acts, Proleg., p. 28, quotes from J. Smith’s Appendix (2nd edition) the words from Mr. G. Brown’s Journal (1855, l856) stating that Lutro is the only secure harbour in all winds on the south coast of Crete, words quoted by Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 326, and Muir, Hastings’ B.D., “Fair Havens”.— λιμένα τῆς κ. κ. τ. λ.: “a harbour of Crete which faces south-west and north-west,” so Ramsay, and so A.V. and Vulgate. But R.V. so Rendall, “looking north-east and south-east,” which is a correct description of the entrance of the harbour of Lutro, so J. Smith, Alford, Lumby and Plumptre, who interpret “looking down the south-west and north-west winds,” literally translated as = in the direction of these winds, i.e., the direction to which they blew, and so north-east and south-east, κατά indicating the line of motion, Cf. R.V. margin, and so Rendall and Knabenbauer, in loco. C. and H., so Ramsay and Farrar, find an explanation of the rendering in A.V. in the subjectivity of the sailors, who describe a harbour from the direction in which they sail into it; and thus by transmission from mouth to mouth the wrong impression arose that the harbour itself looked south-west and north-west. As against Rendall’s interpretation and that of R.V., see Page and Hackett’s learned notes in loco. Both lay stress upon the phrase, βλέπειν κατά τι, as used only of that which is opposite, and which you face. cf. Luke’s own use of κατά, Acts 3:13, Acts 8:26, Acts 16:7, Acts 27:7. Page, and so C. H. Prichard, Hastings’ B.D., “Crete,” would adopt A.V. reading, but would apply it to the harbour Phineka, opposite Lutro, which does look south-west and north-west. λίψ, (prob. λείβω) Herod., ii., 25, Polyb., x., 103, etc., south-west wind Africus, χῶρος, north-west wind Corus or Caurus.


Verse 13

Acts 27:13. ὑποπνεύσαντος: leniter afflante, aspirante, Cf. ὑποκινέω, ὑπομειδιάω, a moderate breeze from the south arose which would favour their westerly course. cf. Luke 12:55, not in LXX or Apocrypha, but see Heliod., iii., 3 (Wetstein).— δόξαντες, Acts 12:9, τῆς προθ. κεκρατηκέναι: their purpose, i.e., of starting from Fair Havens for the more desirable anchorage of Lutro some forty miles distant. προθέσεως, cf. Acts 11:23; in N.T. only in Luke and Paul in this sense; cf. 2 Maccabees 3:8. κεκρατ.: only here in this sense in N.T., cf. Diod. Sic., xvi. 20, κεκρατηκότες ἤδη τῆς προθέσεως (Grimm-Thayer, Page), and for instances of the same collocation of words in Galen, and in Polyb. ( κατακρατεῖν), see Wetstein and Blass, in loco. Breusing, p. 164, takes the phrase to refer here to their purpose of continuing their voyage to the end (so too Goerne).— ἄραντες: “they weighed anchor,” R.V. So Ramsay, J. Smith, pp. 65, 97; only here in N.T. in this sense, sc. τὰς ἀγκύρας, cf. Thuc., i., 52, and ii., 23, but the word may imply simply profecti, of movement, whether by sea or by land, of armies or ships; so Breusing takes it intransitively, no need of any noun, Thuc., iv., 129; vii., 26 (p. 164): see also Acts 27:17. For aorist participle of an action antecedent in time to that of the principal verb cf. Acts 14:19 : Burton, pp. 63, 64.— ἆσσον παρελ. τὴν κ.: “sailed along Crete, close in-shore,” R.V., i.e., as they rounded Cape Matala, about six miles west of Fair Havens; the statement so emphatically introduced by St. Luke seems to imply that their ability to weather the point was for some time doubtful, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 326. ἆσσον: “if the wind went round a point towards the west they would fail; and the anxious hour has left its record in the single word of Acts 27:13, ‘ ἆσσον,’ ” Ramsay, u. s. See critical note, and above on Acts 27:8. ἆσσον, an adverb comparative of ἄγχι; the comparative degree makes it more emphatic (see above), as they had been coasting for weeks, and they now went “closer” in shore (see R.V.); Wendt (1899) takes it, however, not as a comparative with reference to Acts 27:8 (so Meyer, Weiss), but as a superlative, cf. Acts 24:22, Acts 25:10.


Verse 14

Acts 27:14. μετʼ οὐ πολὺ δὲ, cf. Acts 20:12. οὐ μετρίως, Luke 15:15, Acts 1:5, “observe the ‘Litotes’ of οὐ with an adjective or adverb, four times in ‘We’ sections, twelve in rest of Acts, twice in Luke 7:6; Luke 15:13, rare in rest of N.T.,” Hawkins, p. 153.— ἔβαλε κατʼ αὐτῆς: intransitive, as often in classical Greek since Homer: “there beat down from it,” R.V., i.e., from Crete and its mountains over 7,000 feet in height; so also Blass, Holtzmann, Ramsay, Zöckler, Page, Rendall, Wendt, Weiss, Knabenbauer, and J. Smith, in later editions, see p. 100, 4th edition; a graphic description of a common experience in the Cretan waters; as the ship crossed the open bay between Cape Matala and Phœnice, the wind suddenly shifting to the north, a violent hurricane (strictly from east-north-east) burst upon them from Mount Ida, cf. St. Luke’s κατέβη, Luke 8:23, of a squall descending from the hills on the Lake of Gennesaret, and κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ, Luke 8:33, cf. Matthew 8:32 (J. Smith, Weiss, Zöckler). Breusing, p. 164 (so Hackett, Lewin, Farrar), takes κατʼ αὐτῆς as = against the ship, but the word πλοῖον is used for ship, and not ναῦς until Acts 27:41. Luther regarded αὐτῆς as agreeing with προθέσεως (so Tyndale and Cranmer).— τυφωνικός: formed from τυφώς, turbo, denoting not the direction, but the vehemence of the wind (Breusing, Page), a heavy, eddying squall (J. Smith, Ramsay), vorticosus (Bentley).— εὐροκλύδων, see critical note. If we read with (412) (413) (414)* εὐρακύλων, render “which is called Euraquilo,” R.V. Perhaps the irregularly formed Euraquilo occasioned the corrections. V. Euroaquilo. Blass calls it vox hybrida from εὗρος and Aquilo (qui Latin = κῠ, ut ἀκύλας, Acts 18:2), strictly the “East-north-east” wind (Breusing thinks “North-east” sufficient; so Wycliffe and Tyndale in their translations). Such a wind would drive the ship into the African Syrtis as the pilot feared, Acts 27:17, and the word is apposite to the context, to all the circumstances, and is so well attested as to fairly claim admission as the word of St. Luke. The Latin had no name for the Greek καικίας blowing between Aquilo and Eurus, and it is quite possible that the Roman seamen, for want of a specific word, might express this wind by the compound Euro-Aquilo; cf. καλούμενος, which seems to point to some popular name given to the wind; for similar compounds cf. εὐρόνοτος and Euro-Auster, and Gregalia, the name given to the same wind by the Levantines, as Euripus has become Egripou (Renan, Saint Paul, p. 551); see Bentley, Remarks on a late Discourse on Freethinking, p. 97, quoted at length by Breusing, “Euraquilo” Hastings’ B.D. and B.D., i.


Verse 15

Acts 27:15. συναρπασθέντος δὲ τοῦ πλοίου: “and when the ship was caught by it” (Ramsay), a graphic word as if the ship was seized in the grasp of the wind; only in Luke, cf. Luke 8:29, Acts 6:12; Acts 19:29; in LXX. cf. Proverbs 6:25, 2 Maccabees 3:27; 2 Maccabees 4:41, 4 Maccabees 5:4; so in classical Greek, e.g., Soph., Electr., 1150.— ἀντοφθαλμεῖν: “and could not face the wind,” R.V., “look at the wind eye to eye”: eyes were painted on the prows of vessels, but Alford thinks that the word was not originally a nautical term derived from this practice, but that more probably the expression was transferred to a ship from its usage in common life; it is used in Polybius of facing an enemy, Polyb., i., 17, 3, of resisting temptation, Acts 28:17-18, with δύνασθαι as here, and also with δύνασθαι in Wisdom of Solomon 12:14, cf. Acts 6:11, (415) text. For the fit application of the word to a ship see Breusing, p. 168.— ἐπιδόντες ἐφερόμεθα: “we gave way to it (to the wind), and were driven,” or τὸ πλοῖον may be regarded as the object, “we gave up the ship to the winds,” “data nave fluctibus ferebamur,” Vulgate, so Holtzmann, Zöckler, Hackett, Wordsworth, and J. Smith, p. 106. The instances in Wetstein justify either rendering, see also references in Blass, in loco. ἐφερόμεθα: “and let the ship drive,” Ramsay and A.V., others render as passive, so Grimm-Thayer, sub v.; in classical Greek it is often used passively for being borne along by wind, or storm, or wave, cf. Hom., Odys., v., 343 (Page); Diod. Sic., xx., 16.


Verse 16

Acts 27:16. ὑποδραμόντες: “and running under the lee of a small island,” R.V.J. Smith calls attention to the nautical accuracy of St. Luke’s terms; they ran before the wind to leeward of Cauda; ὑποδραμ., they sailed with a side wind to leeward of Cyprus and Crete, ὑπεπλεύσαμεν, Acts 27:4, see also Ramsay, Saint Paul, p. 328, to the same effect; here was calmer water, and the island (see below) would afford them a refuge for a time from the gale. Breusing, pp. 167, 168, 181, thinks that the great sail had been struck at once, and that the artemon or small foresail was kept up as a storm sail; otherwise the ship would have been simply the plaything of the waves. But Ramsay and others (see Farrar) think, on the contrary, that the one huge sail, in comparison with which all others were of little importance, was kept up, but that the strain of this great sail on the single mast was more than the hull could sustain; the timbers would have started, and the ship foundered, had she not gained the smooth water to the lee of Cauda.— μόλις ἰσχύσ.: “we were able with difficulty to secure the boat,” R.V., the boat had not been hauled in, as the storm was so sudden; and now as it was nearly filled with water, and battered by the waves and storm, it was hard work to haul it in at all (J. Smith), as Luke himself experienced (pressed into this service of hauling in the boat; note first person, Hackett, Ramsay, p. 327); clearly they could not afford to lose such a means of safety; even as it was, the boat was dragging along as a heavy weight retarding the ship (Breusing, p. 169).— περικ., cf. Susannah, ver. 39, A, for ἐγκρατεῖς in .— σκάφης: a small boat towed behind, only in this passage in N.T., cf. Acts 27:30; Acts 27:32, Latin, scapha; Cic., De Invent., ii., 51 (Humphry).— κλαύδην, see critical note, an island twenty-three miles from Crete, nearly due south of Phœnice. Ramsay (but see on the other hand Wendt, p. 408, 1899) maintains that preference be given to the forms of the name in which the letter (416) is omitted, cf. the modern Gavdho in Greek, and Gozzo in Italian; not to be confounded with Gozzo near Malta (Renan, Saint Paul, p. 551), and see further on its present name, J. Smith, pp. 95, 259, 4th edition.


Verse 17

Acts 27:17. ἣν ἄραντες: “and when they had hoisted it up” into the ship, see on Acts 27:13.— βοηθ. ἐχρῶντο: they used helps ὑποζ. τὸ πλοῖον undergirding the ship, A. and R.V., on ἐχρῶντο see Acts 27:3, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:12; 1 Corinthians 9:15; often compared to the custom called in modern language frapping, or undergirding the ship with cables to prevent the timbers from being strained, or to hold them together during a storm, Plato, Rep., 616, , Polyb., xxvii., 3, 3, Horace, Od., i., 14, 6. The difficult point to decide is whether the girders were put longitudinally round the ship, i.e., passed from stem to stern, or under the ship transversely. Breusing, p. 670 (so Goerne and Vars), defends the former at great length, following Böckh. The passage from Plato, u. s., he admits may possibly make for the latter view, but it is evident that the description is not very definite or precise, and the passage in Isidore of Seville, Orig., xix., 4, 4, “tormentum ( ὑπόζωμα) funis in navibus longus, qui a prora ad puppim extenditur, quo magis constringantur,” which Böckh quotes (so also Vars, L’Art Nautique, p. 219) is much clearer. Moreover, the girding was often performed when the ships were on land, on the stocks, and it is not likely that the operation in the circumstances under discussion could have meant passing a cable under the keel. Further, by girding the ship transversely, i.e., underneath the ship (p. 175), only the timbers in the middle of the ship would be held together, whilst a girding longitudinally was needed to secure the whole plankage of the ship. But see on the other hand Ramsay, p. 329, who agreeing with Smith holds that the cables were passed underneath round the ship transversely. Either operation, one would suppose, would have been difficult during a storm. For instances of this practice in modern times, see Smith, and C. and H., small edit., p. 645. Wendt (1899) refers to Naber’s conjecture of βοείαις for βοηθ. as very plausible.— μὴ εἰς τὴν σ.: “on the great quicksands,” Ramsay; “the Syrtis,” R.V., not merely “the quicksands,” as A.V., but the Syrtis Major, “the Goodwin Sands of the Mediterranean”(Farrar), lying at a distance to the south-west of Clauda; upon them the sailors knew that they would be cast, unless they could manage by some means to alter their course.— ἐκπέσωσι: a regular nautical term, to fall off, ἐκ, i.e., from a straight course, εἰς—Eur., Hel., 409, Herod., viii., 13, others supply “from deep water” and render ἐκπ. to be cast away, Grimm-Thayer, sub v., cf. Acts 27:26; Acts 27:29.— χαλάσ. τὸ σκεῦος: “lowered the gear,” R.V., they reduced sail,” Ramsay; here and in Acts 27:30 used as a nautical term; the tempting reference to Isaiah 33:23, LXX, cannot be sustained, for the meaning of the words is very doubtful. The article with the singular (in Acts 27:19, the plural) seems to indicate “the gear,” the mainyard carrying the mainsail (so Page, Wordsworth, Humphry). Of the A.V., J. Smith says that no more erroneous translation could be imagined, as “they struck sail” would imply that the ship had no means of escaping danger, but was left to flounder hopelessly in the storm, although Meyer-Wendt take the words to mean that they preferred to let the ship drift without any mast or sail than to be driven on upon the Syrtis, as was inevitable with the ship kept in full sail. Chrysostom explains τὸ σκ. as = τὰ ἱστία, but some sail was necessary, and they had still the artemon or storm sail, so J. Smith, who thinks that they lowered the great sail and mainyard some way, but not apparently entirely. The aim of the sailors was not merely to delay their course (which would only bring them upon the Syrtis), but to alter it, and it is therefore quite possible that χαλάσ. τὸ σκεῦος may denote a series of operations, slackening sail, lowering as much of the gear as they could, but leaving enough sail spread to keep the ship’s head to the wind, i.e., to the north instead of drifting to south-west upon the quicksand (Ramsay). Breusing, p. 177 ff., who thinks that the mainsail had been lowered at the commencement of the storm, adopts quite a different meaning for the words, and interprets them as implying that weights and great stones were let down by ropes into the sea for the purpose of retarding the progress of the vessel, and with this view Blass and Knabenbauer are in agreement (Wendt, 1899, evidently inclines to it, and Goerne adopts it); this curious view, which Ramsay finds it difficult to regard seriously, Breusing supports by a passage in Plut., Moral., p. 507, A (so Hesychius’ explanation, ἄγκυρα τὸ ναυτικὸν σκεῦος), which intimates that σπεῖραι and ἄγκυραι were frequently employed to check the course of a ship in a storm; but even if the Greek words admit of this explanation, the object of the sailors was nothing less than to alter the course of the vessel, and Breusing’s supposition would not conduce to this.— οὕτως ἐφέροντο: “so were driven,” R.V., i.e., in this state, “and drove on so,” Rendall; meaning that we let the ship drift in that position, viz., undergirded, with storm sail set and on the starboard tack; J. Smith, so Ramsay, not simply “were driven hopelessly”. For οὕτως, Acts 17:33, Acts 20:11.


Verse 18

Acts 27:18. σφοδρῶς δὴ χειμαζ. ἡμῶν: “and as we laboured exceedingly with the storm,” R.V., Ramsay, Rendall, a regular nautical and classical term; cf. Thuc., ii., 25; iii., 69; viii., 99; Plato, Ion, 540 B. In Attic Greek usually σφόδρα, but cf. LXX, Joshua 3:16, Sirach 13:13, 4 Maccabees 6:11; only here in N.T. Weiss thinks that it is used to express how severely they were distressed by the storm.— τῇ ἑξῆςκαὶ τῇ τρίτῃ, cf. Luke 13:32, connected with the words which follow in R.V. and by Ramsay. For τῇ ἑξ. cf. Luke 7:11 (but see W.H(417)), Acts 9:37, and above on Acts 21:1, Acts 25:17; nowhere else in N.T.— ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο: “they began to throw the freight overboard,” R.V., Ramsay, Felten, a technical term, so in classical Greek, for throwing out cargo to lighten a ship; Latin jactura, LXX, Jonah 1:5, with τῶν σκευῶν, and Julius Pollux, i., 99, who also has the phrase κουφίσαι τὴν ναῦν, cf. Acts 27:38 below. The imperfect marks that they began by throwing away the cargo, probably what was on deck, so that the vessel would ship less water; and in Acts 27:19 they cast out ( ἔῤῥιψαν, aorist) the furniture of the ship, its fittings and equipment, anything movable lying on the deck upon which the passengers could lay their hands ( αὐτόχειρες only here in N.T. representing the haste, Weiss). Others include under the word the actual baggage of the passengers, but we should have expected ἡμῶν instead of τοῦ πλοίου, whilst others explain of beds and crockery, tables, etc., furniture in this sense (Zöckler and Felten, exclusive of beds which were not in use). Breusing rejects this interpretation as “too silly,” and he thinks that the expression really means that by thus throwing overboard the poles and tackling, room was found for the crowd of passengers on the deck, as the hatchways could not be kept open, since the heavy sea would have swamped the ship, p. 186. J. Smith takes σκεύη to mean the mainyard, but the word is here apparently used in a more general sense, as above, R.V., margin, “furniture of the ship”.


Verse 19

Acts 27:19. ἐῤῥίψαμεν, see critical note. Ramsay prefers the first person, although not well supported, because it increases the effect; but in any case the scene is graphically described, ἔῤῥιψαν may be due to ἐποιοῦντο, but, as Wendt notes, ἐῤῥίψαμεν may have been equally due to αὐτόχειρες. Breusing rejects the first person, p. 187, from a seaman’s point of view; the sailors would have kept the passengers in their places, and not have allowed them to engage in a work in which they might perchance have done more harm than good.


Verse 20

Acts 27:20. μήτε δὲ ἡλίου μήτε ἄστρων: the omission of the article here intensifies the meaning, Blass, Gram., p. 143, “weder etwas von Sonne”.— ἐπιφαινόντων, cf. Luke 1:79; only in Luke and Paul, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4; “shone upon us,” R.V., thus their only guidance, humanly speaking (for, of course, they had no compass), was taken from them, cf. Æneid, i., 88; iii., 195; Horace, Epod., x., 9, and for the phrase, Polyb., v., 6, 6.— ἐπὶ πλείονας: often in Luke ἐπί with acc. of time, cf. Acts 28:6, and for instances in Luke and other parts of Acts of the same usage as predominant (though not exclusive) in Luke see Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 152; Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 53; Luke 10:35; Luke 18:4, Acts 3:1; Acts 4:5; Acts 13:31; Acts 16:18; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:20; Acts 19:8; Acts 19:10; Acts 19:34.— οὐκ ὀλίγου: only in Luke, eight times in Acts; see above on Acts 27:14.— ἐπικειμ., cf. 1 Corinthians 9:16, Hebrews 9:10, Luke 5:1; Luke 23:23 (John 11:38; John 21:9, literal sense), and for its use here, Plut., Timol., 28, τέλος δὲ τοῦ χειμῶνος ἐπικειμένου. In LXX, Job 19:3, Wisdom of Solomon 17:21 , 1 Maccabees 6:57, 3 Maccabees 1:22, etc.— λοιπὸν (cf. Matthew 26:45), “now,” R.V., jam, Blass; often = ἤδη, L. and .; others render it: for the future (2 Timothy 4:8), finally, at last.— περιῃρεῖτο: “was gradually taken away,” Ramsay, “imperf. quod in dies magis,” Blass; Page renders “was being gradually stripped from us,” a very vivid word, cf. 2 Corinthians 3:16, Hebrews 10:11 (Acts 27:40, see below), and its use in LXX and Psalms of Solomon, Acts 2:22; cf. Westcott’s note on Heb., l.c., but on the other hand Blass, in loco, regards the force of περί as lost in the word in N.T. J. Smith (so Breusing) sees in the expression more than the hopelessness arising from the force of the storm—we have also to consider the fact that they could not see their course, and the increasing leakage of the vessel.


Verse 21

Acts 27:21. δέ: if we read τε, see critical note, the word closely connects what follows as the result of the hopelessness.— πολλῆς δὲ ( τε) ἀσιτίας ὑπαρχ.: “and when they had been long without food,” R.V.; “abstinence” A.V. and Tyndale, “fasting” in Wycl., Rhem., imply rather a voluntary refraining which is not in the Greek; disinclination for food may have resulted from their anxiety (Humphry), and to the same effect Breusing, Goerne, “and little heart being left for food,” Rendall. But the storm may also have prevented the preparation of food (so Smith, Ramsay, Page, Farrar); the former gives instances to show that ἀσιτία was one of the most frequent concomitants of heavy gales, owing to the impossibility of cooking food, and to the destruction of provisions by leakage. ἀσιτίας, see below, Acts 27:33, for the adjective: both noun and adjective peculiar to St. Luke, and much employed in medical language, both so noted by Hobart and Zahn, the noun often meaning “want of appetite,” see instances in Hobart, p. 276, Hipp., Galen, Aret. The word was no doubt similarly used in classical Greek, so in Jos., but cf. the striking parallel in Acts 27:33 in medical phraseology. For the genitive absolute cf. locutiones Lucanæ (Klostermann, p. 53), Acts 15:7, Acts 19:40, Acts 21:40. Acts 23:10. Felten, Zöckler, Bethge (and so Wendt, 1888, but cf. p. 410 (1899)), rightly refuse to regard Acts 27:21-26 or Acts 27:10 as interpolations in the “We” section, or a “vaticinium post eventum,” and no one has contended more forcibly than Weizsäcker that the narrative is to be taken as an indivisible whole, and that it is impossible to disentangle the mere history of travel from it, or to strip away the miraculous additions, see especially Apostolic Age ii., pp. 126, 127, E.T.— τότε: in this state of things, at this juncture,—hungry, and thirsty, and their soul fainting in them; cf. Acts 28:1, so also in classical Greek.— σταθεὶς π. ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, cf. Acts 1:15, Acts 2:14, Acts 17:22; vividness and solemnity of the scene ( αὐτῶν, not ἡμῶν), characteristically marked by Luke; Mr. Page well says that it is impossible not to recall Horace, Od., iii., 3, 1, “vir justus et propositi tenax,” unmoved amidst the storms “inquieti Adriæ”.— ἔδει μὲν: antithesis, not strictly expressed.… καὶ τὰ νῦν, Acts 27:22, “modestiam habet,” Bengel. For μέν answered not by δέ, but occasionally by other particles, as here by καί, cf. Luke 22:22, Acts 4:16; see Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 168, and for τὰ νῦν, see Acts 4:29, Acts 5:38, Acts 17:30, Acts 20:32, and note on p. 135. On the imperfect ἔδει cf. Burton, p. 14; Winer-Moulton, xli., 2.— ἄνδρες: “gentlemen,” “viri quos decet virtus,” Bengel, the word may thus mark St. Paul’s courtesy, and also his firmness; in counsel, Acts 27:10, he had been prudent and confident; in danger he was equally so; cf. especially Weizsäcker, u. s.πειθαρχ.: only in Acts in N.T., Acts 5:29; Acts 5:32, except once again as used by St. Paul, Titus 3:1.— ἀνάγ., see above, Acts 13:13, and Blass, in loco, on the tense.— κερδῆσαι: “and have gotten this injury and loss,” R.V., carrying on μή; Page on the other hand prefers the combination ἔδει τε κερδῆσαι (“hoc non pendet a μή,” Bengel), i.e., you ought not to have put to sea, and (you ought by so not putting to sea) to have gained this loss, i.e., not suffered it; with nouns signifying loss, injury, the verb κερδαίνειν is used of the gain arising from shunning or escaping from the evil, Grimm-Thayer, sub v., see Eur., Cycl., 312, with ζημίαν, to escape a loss, and cf. Jos., Ant., ii., 3, 2, and the Latin lucrifacere, Pliny, N.H., vii., 40, “lucri fecit injuriam”. The Genevan Version adds an explanatory note, “that is, ye should have saved the losse by avoyding the danger”; see also Acts 27:10. κερδῆσαι = κερδῶναι, - δῆναι; almost always in N.T., cf. Winer-Schmiedel, p. 110.


Verse 22

Acts 27:22. καὶ τὰ νῦν, see on Acts 27:21, Paul would spare their reproaches, and rather awaken hope in their hearts (Bethge).— παραινῶ: only in Luke, here and in Acts 27:9. Hobart speaks of it as the verb employed for a physician giving his advice, and although the word is common in classical Greek, cf. also 2 Maccabees 7:25-26 R, 3 Maccabees 5:17; 3 Maccabees 7:12 A, its frequency in medical usage may account for its occurrence in this “We” section only; see also Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 153.— εὐθυμεῖν, cf. Acts 27:25; Acts 27:36, and Acts 24:10, elsewhere in N.T. only in James 5:10, but in classical Greek, and εὔθυμος in 2 Maccabees 11:26. The verb, adjective, and adverb εὐθύμως are used in medical language of the sick keeping up spirit, opposed to ἀθυμία and δυσθυμία; εὐθυμεῖν παραινῶ might therefore well be a medical expression, Hobart, p. 280, although the verb εὐθ. is used intransitively, as here, in classical Greek, and in Plutarch.— ἀποβολὴ: only here in N.T., “there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship,” R.V., Winer-Moulton, lxvii. I.e., πλὴν with the genitive, Acts 8:1; Acts 15:28 (once elsewhere in N.T., Mark 12:32).


Verse 23

Acts 27:23. παρέστηἄγγελος: on this Lucan phrase and description of angelic appearances cf. Luke 2:9; Luke 24:4, Acts 12:7 (Acts 23:11), and see above, Acts 1:10.— τοῦ θεοῦ: “of the God whose I am, whom also I serve,” R.V., Ramsay, Rendall, not “an angel of God,” as A.V.; the R.V. rendering gives the force of the Greek more naturally in addressing a heathen; see also critical note.— λατρεύω, see on Acts 24:14; cf. Romans 1:9, and LXX, Jonah 1:9.


Verse 24

Acts 27:24. μὴ φοβοῦ, see above, Acts 18:9.— παραστῆναι, cf. Romans 14:10, the words emphatically bear out the prominence already laid upon the Apostle’s witness in Rome.— καὶ ἰδού, see on Acts 1:10.— κεχάρισταὶ σοι: “hath granted them as a favour”; see on Acts 3:14, no doubt Paul had prayed for this, cf. especially Philemon Acts 27:22. The statement in Acts 27:24 looks back to Acts 23:11, which, as Wendt allowed (1888), is only to be rejected if one presupposes that Paul could not have confidently looked forward to a visit to Rome, or at least if we suppose that the confidence could not have been created and sustained by a heavenly vision. Wendt, however, in 1899 edition, speaks much more doubtfully as to the existence of Acts 27:21-26 as part of the original source; see also on Acts 27:21.


Verse 25

Acts 27:25. πιστεύω γὰρ τῷ θ. ὅτι οὕτως ε. καθʼ ὃν τρόπον, cf. Acts 15:11, and also Acts 1:11, Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 53.


Verse 26

Acts 27:26. εἰς νῆσον δὲ κ. τ. λ.: the words do not form part of the message of the angel as they stand, but they may be considered as forming part of the contents of that message, and the Apostle may himself be regarded as speaking μαντικῶς. With Jüngst’s question “How could Paul know anything of an island?” and his dismissal of the statement here as a vaticinium ex eventu, cf. Weizsäcker, u. s., see Acts 27:21; in the section, Acts 27:33-36, which Jüngst defends and refers to his source A, the element of prophecy is equally present, Acts 27:34, as in the verse before us.— ἐκπεσεῖν, cf. Acts 27:17, and further instances in Wetstein, see also Acts 27:29; Acts 27:32, below.


Verse 27

Acts 27:27. τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτη νύξ, i.e., since their departure from Fair Havens, cf. Acts 27:18-19, see also the reckonings of mileage in Breusing, p. 189, and Goerne, who reckons from the departure from Cauda.— διαφερομένων ἡμῶν: “as we were driven to and fro,” R.V., so Ramsay; “huc illuc ferri,” Blass, cf. for a similar meaning of the verb Philo, De Migr. Abr., 27, Strabo, 3, p. 144, and other instances as in Plutarch, see Wetstein, Grimm-Thayer, sub v. But J. Smith (so Breusing, Goerne, Rendall) takes the word as signifying that they were driven through the waters of the Adria uniformly in the same direction, i.e., right across from Cauda to Malta, and not as moving up and down, or to and fro. Ramsay (so Farrar) holds that St. Luke writes as a landsman who supposes that they drifted to and fro, whilst a sailor would have known that they drifted in a uniform direction (an explanation which Page describes as easy but unsatisfactory, but he thinks that the Greek word cannot be used as J. Smith believes); Rendall however maintains that throughout the Acts the habitual force of διά in composition, e.g., διέρχεσθαι, διαπλεῖν, διαφεύγειν, διαπερᾷν, διοδεύειν, whether governing an accusative or used absolutely is to express continuous movement onwards over an intervening space.— ἐν τῷ ἀδρίᾳ: “in the sea of Adria,” R.V. (on the form of the word see Hastings’ B.D., more properly “Adrias”); not in the narrower sense of the Adriatic, the Gulf of Venice, or as we now speak of “the Adriatic,” but as including the whole sea which lay between Malta, Italy, Greece and Crete; St. Luke probably used the term as it was colloquially used by the sailors in this wider sense. For Mommsen’s objection to the term here see above, Introd., p. 8. The passage in Strabo, ii., 123 (cf. vii. 187), where the Ionian sea is spoken of as a part of what is now called Adria plainly justifies a wider use of the term in St. Paul’s day than had been originally attached to it, cf. Ptolemy, Geogr, iii., 4, 14, 15, 16, who applies it to the sea extending from Sicily to Crete, and thus represents, although living some sixty or seventy years after him, what was no doubt the current usage in St. Luke’s day; so J. Smith, Breusing, Goerne, Vars, Ramsay, Renan, Blass, etc. Josephus, Vita, 3, speaks of being taken up in the middle of Adria, κατὰ μέσον τὸν ἀδρίαν, when his ship foundered, by a vessel sailing from Cyrene to Puteoli. See further “Adria,” Hastings’ B.D., where a full criticism of the attempt made by W. Falconer (and others), Dissertation on St. Paul’s Voyage, 1817, republished with additions in 1870, to limit the term to the branch of the sea between Italy and Illyria, and to identify Melita with an island off its Illyrian shore, will be found; see further on Acts 28:1, and C. and H., small edition, p. 660 ff., for other references to the meaning of the term “Adria,” and Renan, Saint Paul, p. 552, J. Smith, p. 280 ff., 4th edit, (editor’s note), and Encycl. Bibl., i., 72, 1899.— κατὰ μέσον τῆς ν., cf. Acts 16:25 for a similar expression, only in Luke.— ὑπενόουν: only in Luke; “surmised,” R.V., less decided than “deemed,” A.V., see on Acts 13:25 (cf. 1 Timothy 6:4).— προσάγειν τινὰ αὐτοῖς χ.: “that some land was approaching them,” R.V., so Breusing and Ramsay; intransitive in LXX, Joshua 3:9, 1 Samuel 9:18, Jeremiah 26(46):3, etc., “Lucas optice loquitur, nautarum more,” Kypke; the opposite verb would be ἀναχωρεῖν, recedere, see Wetstein and Blass for illustrations. J. Smith thinks that probably they heard the breakers on the shore, but Breusing and Goerne (so Blass) think that the anchor or whatever weight was dragged behind the ship appeared to strike the ground, see above on Acts 27:17, cf. critical note for προσαχεῖν, Doric for προσηχεῖν.— χώραν: the point of Koura, east of St. Paul’s Bay, J. Smith; the ship would pass within a quarter of a mile of it, and while the land is too low to be seen when the night is stormy, the breakers can be heard for a considerable distance; cf. the description of the wreck of the Lively in 1810, Smith, p. 123, 4th edition.


Verse 28

Acts 27:28. βολίσαντες: having let down the sounding-lead ( βολίς), elsewhere only in Eustath., in active voice, but see also Grimm-Thayer, sub v.ὀργυιὰς: five or six feet, a fathom, Grimm; Breusing compares Herod., iv., 41, and gives six feet; on the accent see Winer-Schmiedel, p. 72. “The ancient fathom so nearly agrees with the English that the difference may be neglected,” J. Smith, p. 131.— βραχὺ δὲ διαστήσαντες: “and after a little space,” so Ramsay, Rendall; the phrase may refer to space or time; if we understand to τὸ πλοῖον or ἑαυτούς we should take it of the former (Grimm); but if we explain = βραχὺ διάστημα ποιήσαντες (Blass), it may be taken of either. διΐστημι is only found in Luke for signifying any space of time, Luke 22:59, cf. Acts 5:7; but Luke 24:51, διέστη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν. J. Smith shows how exactly the geographical details in the traditional St. Paul’s Bay correspond with the description here. Before a ship drifting from Cauda could enter the bay it would not only pass within a quarter of a mile of Point Kaura, north-east of Malta, but the measurements of 20 and 15 fathoms exactly correspond to ascertained soundings according to the vessel’s average of speed.


Verse 29

Acts 27:29. φοβούμενοι: the diminution of the depth of water increased the danger of running aground, perhaps on some hidden reef of rocks.— τραχεῖς τόπους, cf. Luke 3:5, in quotation Isaiah 40:4; nowhere else in N.T., cf. Baruch 4:26 (3 Maccabees 1:23), so in Diod. Sic., xii., 72, of rocks, Polyb., i., 54. It was evidently a hydrographic term, and classed with δύσορμος, ἀλίμενος, etc., Jul. Pollux, i., 101; J. Smith, p. 132.— ἐκπέσωμεν, see Acts 27:17, “to cast ashore,” R.V., or simply “cast on rocky ground,” which is more indefinite than the former rendering, and perhaps correctly so, as there were possible dangers from sunken reefs as well as from a rocky coast. On the subjunctive after verbs of fear and danger cf. Burton, p. 15.— ἐκ πρύμνης: this was unusual, but to anchor was their only chance of safety, and four anchors would make the vessel more secure: ancient vessels carried as a rule several anchors. Athenæus speaks of a ship which had eight iron anchors, cf. for the number here, and the security which they gave, Cæsar, Bell. Civ., i., 25, “naves quaternis anchoris destinabat, ne fluctibus moverentur”; anchorage from the prow would have caused the ship to swing round from the wind, whereas anchorage from the stern would enable the sailors to manage the ship far more easily, and to bring her under control of the helm when they wished to run her aground (see the description in Ramsay, Rendall, Farrar, and J. Smith). On the interesting parallels of anchoring ships from the stern in our own naval engagements see C. and H., small edition, p. 653, and J. Smith, p. 133, 4th edition.— ηὔχοντο: “prayed,” R.V. margin, the Greek sailors might pray at such a crisis (Rendall).— ἡμέραν γενέσθαι, cf. Acts 27:33; Acts 27:39, characteristic of Luke, cf. Luke 4:42; Luke 6:13; Luke 22:26, Acts 12:18; Acts 16:35; Acts 23:12.


Verse 30

Acts 27:30. ζητούντων: “and as the sailors were seeking,” R.V.; “about to flee,” A.V. is incorrect, for they were planning possible means of escape, and could scarcely be said to be about to escape, cf. (418) text—if they succeeded the passengers and the soldiers would thus be left to their fate.— προφ. ὡς: under colour, under pretence, specie, cf. Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47, John 15:22, Philippians 1:18, 1 Thessalonians 2:5. Cf. for its use here Thuc., v., 53, vi., 76. For ὡς cf. Acts 17:14, Acts 28:19, Luke 23:14, and ὡς μέλλων with present infinitive active as here, Acts 23:15; Acts 23:20, Klostermann, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 54.— ἐκτείνειν: “lay out anchors,” R.V., Ramsay, i.e., at the full length of the cable. The sailors pretended that more anchors from the prow would help to steady the ship, and that they must go off in a boat to carry them out to cable’s length, rather than drop them out as in Acts 27:29.— ἐκτ.: a technical expression (cf. éonger, Vars, p. 248, and so ῥίπτειν in Acts 27:29, mouiller), Breusing, p. 195. It seems impossible to suppose with Breusing, p. 194, and Vars, p. 248 (so also Goerne), that the sailors may have been actuated by an honourable motive, and that they wished to put off in the boat to see if the soundings and the nature of the ground allowed the ship to get nearer shore, for although St. Paul’s words do not expressly accuse them of treachery, yet the narrative of his companion does so, cf. προφάσει, etc. But, as Breusing himself points out, St. Paul’s words issued in the best result, for the centurion’s counsel prevented a terrible scene of sauve qui peut (as in the stranding of the Cimbria, Goerne).


Verse 31

Acts 27:31. ὑμεῖς not ἡμεῖς: St. Paul appeals to the law of self-preservation, and the centurion acts promptly on his advice; although safety had been divinely promised, human means were not excluded, and it is altogether hypercritical to find any contradiction here with Acts 27:24-26, as Holtzmann supposes.


Verse 32

Acts 27:32. τότε οἱ στρ. ἀπέκ.: Lewin, Saint Paul, ii., 202, sees in this the absolute ascendency which St. Paul had gained; he had said that their lives should be spared, and although, humanly speaking, the boat offered the best prospect of reaching land, yet at a word from St. Paul the soldiers deprived themselves even of this last resource.— σχοινία: only elsewhere in N.T. in John 2:15; in classical Greek, and also frequently in LXX. For the terrible scene which would doubtless have ensued if the soldiers had not thus acted, Breusing and Vars (so Wetstein, in loco) strikingly compare the description of a shipwreck in Achilles Tatius, iii. 3; the whole passage is cited by Breusing, p. 194.


Verse 33

Acts 27:33. ἄχρι δὲ οὐ: only used by Luke in the historical books of the N.T., cf. Luke 21:24, Acts 7:18; in St. Paul’s Epistles three or four times, Hebrews 3:13, Revelation 2:25. Ramsay renders “and while the day was coming on,” so A. and R.V.; dum with imperfect, Hebrews 3:13 (Blass). But Rendall takes it as = until, as if Paul had continued his entreaties until close on dawn (imperfect).— μεταλαβεῖν τροφῆς, cf. Acts 2:46 for the same phrase, only in Luke in N.T.— τεσσαρεσκ.… προσδοκῶντες κ. τ. λ.: “this is the fourteenth day that ye wait (A.V. ‘tarry,’ Ramsay, ‘watch’) and continue fasting”. Rendall renders “this is the fourteenth day that ye have continued fasting on the watch for the dawn”— προσδ. sc. ἡμέραν, as if St. Paul did not mean a fourteenth day of continuous fasting, but fourteen successive nights of anxious watching for the dawn, all alike spent in restless hungry expectation of what the day might reveal (Acts, p. 347), but προσδοκᾶν is here without an object as in Luke 3:15 (Weiss). For the word see further Acts 28:6, and cf. προσδοκία only in Acts 12:11 and Luke 21:26. On the accusative of time, as expressed here, cf. Blass, Gram., p. 93.— ἄσιτοι διατελεῖτε: precisely the same collocation of words occur in Galen, εἴ ποτε ἄσιτος διετέλεσεν, so also καὶ ἄδιψοι διατελοῦσιν, and Hippocrates speaks of a man who continued suffering πάσχων διατελέει for fourteen days (see Hobart and Zahn). It must however be admitted that the same collocation as in this verse ἄσιτοι and διατελεῖν is found in Dion. Hal. (Wetstein, in loco). For the construction see Winer-Moulton, xlv., 4; cf. Thuc., i., 34.— μηδὲν προσλ., i.e., taking no regular meal, so Weiss, Blass, Zöckler, Alford, Plumptre, Felten, Bethge, Wendt. Breusing, p. 196, and Vars, p. 250, both explain the word as meaning that in their perilous and hopeless condition those on board had not gone to fetch their regular food and rations, but had subsisted on any bits of food they might have by them; in ancient ships there were no tables spread, or waiters to bring food to the passengers, and each one who wanted refreshment must fetch it for himself. Plumptre takes πρός as meaning no extra food, only what would keep body and soul together, but it is doubtful whether the Greek will bear this or Breusing’s interpretation.


Verse 34

Acts 27:34. διὸ: so that they might be ready for the work which would be necessary.— προσλαβεῖν, see critical note.— πρὸς: here only with genitive in N.T., cf. Blass, Gram., p. 136; i.e., stands, so to speak, on the side of our deliverance, Latin a parte, cf. Thuc., ii. 86; iii. 59; Plat., p. 459 C Winer-Moulton, xlviii. f.— ὑμετ., emphatic.— σωτ.: “safety,” R.V., only used here and in Hebrews 11:7 of the preservation of physical life, safety, so in classical Greek and in Greek medical writers, see on Acts 16:17; “health,” A.V., not limited formerly as now to the condition of body and mind, cf. Luke 1:77, “science of health” Wycliffe = “knowledge of salvation,” and cf. also Psalms 67:2, “thy saving health,” literally “thy salvation” (Humphry). Effort on their part was necessary, and yet no hair of their heads should perish; what a significant union of faith in God and self-help! (Bethge.)— οὐδενὸς γὰρπεσεῖται, see Acts 27:22, cf. Luke 21:18, nowhere else in N.T., but the proverbial phrase, as it apparently was, is found in 1 Samuel 14:45, 2 Samuel 14:11, 1 Kings 1:52 (cf. Matthew 10:29), see critical note, and cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, Acts 1 Scene 2.


Verse 35

Acts 27:35. λαβὼν ἄρτον εὐχαρίστησε τῷ θ., cf. Luke 22:19; Luke 24:30, with intentional solemnity (Weiss, Weizsäcker). The words are sometimes taken to mean that Paul simply encourages them by his own example to eat. But Blass, see critical note, who comments “et oratione confirmat et exemplo,” adds in (419) text ἐπιδιδοὺς καὶ ἡμῖν, i.e., to Luke and Aristarchus, in which he sees a distinct reference to the cœna sacra (so Belser). But quite apart from this reading in (420) the peculiar language of St. Luke seems to intimate such a reference. Olshausen and Ewald (so Plumptre) take the words to refer to the Agape, whilst Meyer (so Hackett) sees a reference to the act of the Jewish house-father amidst his household; but Wendt simply refers it to the act of a pious Jew or Christian giving thanks before eating a meal and sharing it, so Zöckler. Bethge, more specifically, sees in the act a thanksgiving of a Christian to God the Father, an instance of what St. Paul himself recommends, Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 3:17, and both Felten and Knabenbauer apparently prefer to interpret the words as marking Paul’s reverence towards God before the Gentiles around him. Breusing shows, p. 196, that ἄρτος might = panis nauticus, but in the passage which he quotes from Lucian we have ἄρτους ναυτικούς.


Verse 36

Acts 27:36. τροφῆς: with a partitive meaning; cf. γεύσασθαι, Acts 23:14, μεταλαβεῖν, Acts 27:33, κορέννυσθαι, Acts 27:38. Cf. Herod., viii. 90. Luckock points out that St. Luke distinguishes between the bread of which the Apostle partook and the food, τροφῆς, taken by the rest, and certainly the expression κλάσας is remarkable, cf. Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-24; but it is perhaps noteworthy that the Romanist Felten (see above) sees no reference to the Eucharist, although he fully admits that this act of Paul in thus giving thanks must have made a great impression at such a moment.— εὔθυμοι, Acts 27:22, cf. 2 Maccabees 11:26.— καὶ αὐτοί: “also themselves,” following his example. For the second time Paul had restored their courage by his faith and prudence; the event had already shown that he deserved confidence, and it is evident that he inspired it; see the testimony of Breusing, pp. 198, 199.

Wendt, so too Jüngst, and Clemen see no reason to regard Acts 27:33-36 as an interpolation in the “We” source, as Acts 27:21-26 above. Overbeck regards both sections as standing or falling together, and treats them both as interpolations, but Ramsay, whilst regarding the two sections as inseparably connected, treats them both as belonging to the original “We” source, and he rightly expresses surprise at those who accept Acts 27:33 ff., and refuse to accept Acts 27:21-26 (Saint Paul, p. 337); much more intelligible is the judgment of Weizsäcker than that of the other German critics in question when he describes the narrative as an indivisible whole, and considers it impossible to disentangle the mere history of travel from it, or to strip away the miraculous additions.


Verse 37

Acts 27:37. The number was large, but nothing is told us of the size and manning of the Alexandrian ship, and Josephus, Vita, 3, mentions that there were about 600 in the ship which took him to Italy. On the large size of the ships engaged in a traffic similar to that of the corn ship in this chapter see Breusing, p. 157; Vars, p. 191; Hackett and Blass, in loco, and Acts 27:6; Lucian, πλοῖον εὐχαί., 5. The number may be mentioned at this point that they might know afterwards that all had been saved. But Breusing thinks that it would have come perhaps more naturally at the end of the narrative, and that it is given here because the rations were distributed to each on board at this juncture. For the phrase cf. Acts 19:7.


Verse 38

Acts 27:38. κορεσθ., 1 Corinthians 4:8, nowhere else in N.T., with genitive of the thing with which one is filled, as in classical Greek. Alford refers to LXX, Deuteronomy 31:20, but see Hatch and Redpath, sub v.ἐκούφιζον: de nave, Polyb., i., 60, 8; LXX, Jonah 1:5.— τὸν σῖτον: “the wheat,” A. and R.V., Vulgate, triticum; so Ramsay, Breusing, Vars, J. Smith, Page, and so too Erasmus, Bengel, etc., i.e., the cargo, cf. Acts 27:6. Blass thinks that the word used is decisive in favour of this interpretation; otherwise we should have had σιτία or ἄρτοι if merely food had been meant; not only was the cargo of sufficient weight really to lighten the ship, but there was need for the ship being as clear as possible for the operations in Acts 27:40. Wendt 1899 appears also to favour this view, cf. his comments with those in 1888 edition, where he adopts the view of Meyer and Weiss, that the word means provisions of food, as at first sight the context seems to indicate. But the latter would not have made much appreciable difference in weight, nor would those on board have been likely to throw them away, since they could not tell on, what shore they might be cast, whether hospitable or not, or how long they would be dependent on the food which they had in the ship. In Acts 27:18 the reference may be to the cargo on deck, or at all events only to a part of the cargo (Holtzmann). Naber conjectured ἱστόν, but no such emendation is required (Wendt).


Verse 39

Acts 27:39. τὴν γῆν οὐκ ἐπεγ.: “they did not recognise the land,” Ramsay; the sailors probably knew Malta, since, Acts 28:11, there was evidently nothing unusual in eastern ships touching at the island on their way to Rome. But they did not know St. Paul’s Bay, which is remote from the great harbour, and was not distinguished by any marked features to secure recognition, Ramsay, J. Smith; see also note on Acts 28:1. C. and H. lay stress on the imperfect, “they tried to recognise …, but could not”; but in Acts 28:1 we have the aorist indicating that the land was recognised immediately on landing.— κατενόουν: “perceived,” R.V., cf. Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:41; Luke 20:23.— κόλπον τινα: a sort of bay or creek, “a bay,” R.V., the word means a bay either small or large, and St. Paul’s Bay may be described as a small bay or creek (Rendall); ἔχοντα αἰγιαλόν “with a sandy beach,” Ramsay, with a beach, R.V., i.e., smooth and fit for a vessel’s landing-place, cf. Acts 21:5, Matthew 13:2; Matthew 13:48, John 21:4; cf. Xen., Anab., vi., 4, 4 (see Page’s note); in LXX, Judges 5:17 A, Sirach 24:14, al(421) J. Smith adds that St. Luke here again employs the correct hydrographical term, frequently used by Arrian in this sense. The traditional St. Paul’s Bay may certainly well have been the place meant (so Wendt, 1899, and Blass). On the smooth, sandy beach see Hackett, note, p. 334,) who has also visited the spot, and confirmed Smith’s view, although both admit that the former sandy beach has been worn away by the action of the sea; Smith, p. 247, 4th edition, and see also Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 341.— ἐξῶσαι τὸ πλοῖον: “to drive the ship upon it,” R.V., i.e., the beach, so Ramsay, Rendall, Breusing, Vars, Goerne, J. Smith (4th edit., p. 142); the object was not to save the ship from being destroyed, but the crew from perishing; under like circumstances the same would be done today (so Breusing, Vars), cf. Arrian, Peripl. Pont. Eux., 6. ἐξῶσαι: so in Thuc., ii., 90; viii., 104 (and see Wetstein); see also critical note on ἐκσῶσαι εἰ δύναιντο, and Burton, p. 106, and Grimm-Thayer, sub εἰ, i., 7, c., with optative, where the condition represents the mind and judgment of others …, as if the sailors had said amongst themselves ἐξώσομεν εἰ δυνάμεθα, cf. Acts 24:19.


Verse 40

Acts 27:40. καὶ τὰς ἀγκ. περιελόντες: “and casting off the anchors,” R.V., cf. Acts 27:20 for the same verb, so that the meaning cannot be as A.V., following Vulgate, “having taken up”; in fact it is the very reverse. The sailors loosed the cables of the anchors which were fastened within the ship, that they might fall off into the sea (Blass); Breusing and Vars compare Xen., Hell., xvi., 21, τὰς ἀγκύρας ἀποκόπτοντες = τὰ σχοινία τῶν ἀγκυρῶν.— εἴων εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν: “they left them (the anchors) in the sea,” R.V., relinquebant, Blass; so Breusing, Vars, Goerne, as against A.V., and Vulgate, committebant se, or Luther’s rendering (Beza and Grotius), εἴων τὸ πλοῖον ἰέναι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν. Grimm-Thayer renders “they let down into the sea,” i.e., abandoned, which gives better the force of εἰς than regarding it simply as = ἐν.— ἅμα: “at the same time,” R.V., “simul laxantes,” Vulgate, “loosing withal,” Rhem., but in no other E.V(422) (Speaker’s Commentary).— τὰς ζευκτ. τῶν πηδαλίων: the bands of the rudders, the fastenings of the rudders, i.e., the two paddle-rudders with which Greek and Roman ships were supplied, one on each quarter, C. and H. and J. Smith, p. 183, 4th edition, these rudders had been lifted from the water and lashed up while the ship was anchored by the stern (see Breusing’s description, p. 98, cf. Eur., Hel., 1536: πηδάλια ζεύγλαισι παρακαθίετο), but the rudders were wanted when the ship again got under weigh.— τῇ πνεούσῃ, sc. αὔρᾳ.— ἐπάραντες: technical word for spreading out the sail, opposite to ὑφίεσθαι.— κατεῖχον εἰς τὸν αἰγ.: “they made for the beach,” R.V., in order to land, cf. Xen., Hell., ii., 1, 29; others take it as meaning to check the ship’s headway, but better, to hold or head the ship, Herod., vii. 59, 188, so Grimm-Thayer, sub v., sc. τὴν ναῦν, whilst others take the verb intransitively as above in R.V.— τὸν ἀρτέμονα: “the foresail,” R.V., Ramsay, J. Smith. The word has been interpreted by various writers as meaning nearly every sail which a vessel carries. If the interpretation of Acts 27:17 is correct, it could not mean the mainsail as A.V. Others apply it to the stern-sail, which bears the name to-day (Italian, artimone; French, voile d’artimon), but to set this sail would have been the most foolish thing they could have done, so Vars, Breusing. The word is found only here for the foresail, and its meaning is fixed by the fact that no other sail could be so well used by sailors under the circumstances, see Breusing, p. 79, J. Smith, pp. 141 and 193 ff., 4th edit. In his edition, 1899, Wendt thinks it probable that the sail here meant is otherwise called δόλων, but see J. Smith, p. 200, 4th edit. In his former edition he preferred to interpret it of the topsail (Meyer, Weiss, Zöckler, Baumgarten), but Breusing, p. xii., points out that only in the sixteenth century were topsails introduced; see also Vars, p. 93.


Verse 41

Acts 27:41. περιπ. δὲ εἰς τ. διθ.: Luke 10:30, James 1:2, with the dative, as generally, but Arrian, περιπίπτειν εἰς τόπους πετρώδεις (Wetstein), 2 Maccabees 6:13; 2 Maccabees 10:4, Polyb., i., 37, i. εἰς τόπον διθ.: a bank or a ridge between two seas, which has sea on both sides; cf. Dio Chrys., 5, p. 83, where reference is made to the dangers of the sea: βραχέα καὶ διθάλαττα καὶ ταινίαι μακραὶἄπορονπαρέχουσι τὸ πέλαγος (Wetstein and Blass). Breusing, Vars and Goerne (so Blass) take the words εἰς τ. δ. to refer to a hidden ridge beneath the water, and the aorist περιπ. in contrast to the imperfect κατεῖχον seems to favour this, as expressing that they came upon a τόπ. διθ. unexpectedly, cf. Page’s note and Ramsay’s translation, “chancing on a bank between two seas”. But the latter writer adds that the περιπ. does not imply want of purpose, as ἐπώκειλαν shows, and the meaning is that while at anchor they could not see the exact character of the spot (see also C. and H.), but as they approached they found that they had lighted on the channel not more than a hundred yards in breadth between the island of Salmonetta and the mainland; this might very properly be called “a place where two seas meet,” A. and R.V., as it formed a communication between the sea within the bay and the sea outside. The adjective διθ. is as applicable to water uniting two seas, e.g., the Bosphorus, cf. Strabo, ii., 5, 12 (quoted by Smith), as to land like the Isthmus of Corinth; see J. Smith, pp. 142, 178, 4th edit., Hackett, C. and H., Lumby, Rendall, and note in Speaker’s Commentary. Breusing, p. 204, Goerne, Wendt (1899) take it of St. Paul’s Bank which lies just in front of St. Paul’s Bay, so too Vars, p; 258, for the same view and its support.— ἐπώκειλαν τὴν ναῦν: “they ran the vessel aground” (cf. J. Smith, p. 143, 4th edit.), see critical note. ἐποκέλλω and ἐπικέλλω are both used in classical Greek, but the latter is “altogether poetical” (Blass), and more usually intransitive. In Homer, Odys., ix., 148, however, we have νῆαςἐπικέλσαι, and 546, νῆα ἐκέλσαμεν (cf. adpcllere navem). Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 186, sees in this sudden introduction of the phrase ἐπώκειλαν τὴν ναῦν an indication that St. Luke had read his Homer, since in no other passage in the N.T. do we find the obsolete word ναῦς, the commoner expression τὸ πλοῖον occurring in this chapter no less than thirteen times. R.V. renders τὴν ναῦν “the vessel.” all other E.V(423) “the ship,” and it has been thought that the word is so changed here because that which had hitherto been a πλοῖον capable of sailing was now reduced to a mere hulk (Wordsworth, Humphry).— καὶ μὲν πρώρα ἐρείσασα: “and the prow struck,” R.V., Ramsay, this is accounted for by the peculiar nature of the bottom in St. Paul’s Bay, see J. Smith, Ramsay, Hackett, Alford, “a bottom of mud graduating into tenacious clay, into which the fore part would fix itself, and be held fast while the stern was exposed to the force of the waves”. For the verb in intransitive sense as here cf. Proverbs 4:4, cf. Æneid, v., 206 (Wetstein).— ἀσάλ.: only in Hebrews 12:8 in N.T., but σαλεύειν several times in Luke, in Gospel and Acts; in classical Greek and LXX adverb - τως, Polyb., ix., 9, 8, cf. also Sirach 29:18.— δὲ πρύμνα ἐλύετο ὑπὸ τῆς βίας: “but the stern began to break up,” R.V., marking the imperfect as distinguished from aorist ἔμεινεν, Blass, Gram., p. 186; Æn., x., 303, Cic., Att., xv., 11 (Wetstein).— βίας τῶν κυμ., see critical note, βία: four times in Acts, see on Acts 5:26, nowhere else in N.T., but frequent in LXX, Vulgate, “a vi maris,” which Breusing, p. 203, strongly endorses.


Verse 42

Acts 27:42. τῶν δὲ στρατ.: only the soldiers, since they and not the sailors were responsible for the safety of the prisoners, cf. Acts 12:7, Acts 16:27; C. and H., small edit., p. 236.— ἐκκολ.: “swim away” (Ramsay), literally “out,” Eur., Hel., 1609, Dion H., v., 24.— διαφ.: only here in N.T., LXX, Joshua 8:22, Judges 7:19, Proverbs 19:5, 1 Maccabees 15:21, 2 Maccabees 12:35, etc., so absolutely in Herod., i., 10.


Verse 43

Acts 27:43. βουλόμενος: “desiring,” R.V.; the centurion had from the first, Acts 27:3, treated Paul with respect, and the respect had no doubt been deepened by the prisoner’s bearing in the hour of danger, and he would naturally wish to save the man to whom he owed his own safety, and that of the whole crew. διασῶσαι, even if he cared little for the rest he was determined “to save Paul to the end,” literally, so C. and H. There is no reason whatever to regard the words βουλ.… τὸν π. as an interpolation.— ἐκώλυσεν αὐτοὺς τοῦ β.: only here with this construction, accusative of person and genitive of thing, but similar usage in Xenophon, Polybius. For the resultative aorist, i.e., the aorist of a verb whose present implies effort or intention, commonly denoting the success of the effort, cf. also Matthew 27:20, Acts 7:36, Burton, p. 21.— τοὺς δυν. κολυμβᾷν: probably Paul was amongst the number; he had thrice been shipwrecked, and had passed a day and a night in the open sea, 2 Corinthians 11:25 (Felten, Plumptre).— ἐξιέναι: four times in Acts, nowhere else in N.T., Acts 13:42, Acts 17:15, Acts 20:7.— ἀποῤῥίψαντας: “should cast themselves overboard and get first to the land,” R.V., where they could help the others to safety, so Breusing, Goerne, Renan; A.V. not so expressive, ἀποῤῥίπτειν: here used reflexively, see instance in Wetstein.


Verse 44

Acts 27:44. τοὺς λ., sc. ἐξιέναι ἐπὶ τῆν γῆν.— οὓς μὲνοὓς δὲ, Luke 23:33, and in classical Greek.— ἐπὶ σανίσιν: “some on planks and some on pieces from the ship,” Ramsay; the planks which were in use in the ship as distinguished from actual parts or fragments of the ship in the next clause; in LXX, Ezekiel 27:5, the word is used of planks for the deck of a ship (Song of Solomon 8:9, 2 Kings 12:9 (?)). Breusing, pp. 45, 203 (so Blass), takes it of the boards or planks which were used for keeping the cargo firmly in its place. The furniture of the vessel had already been thrown overboard, so that we can only think of the pieces broken away as the ship stranded, or perhaps broken off by the escaping crew, ἐπί: here used promiscuously with dative and genitive in the same sense.— ἐγένετο: with infinitive following, characteristic of St. Luke, Friedrich, p. 13.— διασωθῆναι: on its use by St. Luke here and in Acts 28:1; Acts 28:4 (Luke 7:3), see Hobart, pp. 9, 10, 284. For the remarkable correspondence between the details of the scene of the shipwreck and the topography of St. Paul’s Bay see not only J. Smith and Ramsay, but Goerne, p. 374, Breusing, p. 204, and Vars, p. 257. Breusing and Vars both admit that it is not safe to trust too much to tradition, but in this case, as they both point out, it was only likely that St. Paul would have won loyal adherents in the island who would have handed down every detail of his visit to their children, and the local tradition is in striking accordance with the description of the sacred narrative; see further Introd., p. 8.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 27:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/acts-27.html. 1897-1910.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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