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Bible Commentaries
Acts 27

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Acts 27:2 . μέλλοντι ] So A B א , min. and most vss. Approved by Mill., Bengel, and Griesb., adopted by Lachm. Tisch. Born. The usual μέλλοντες is an alteration in accordance with the preceding ἐπιβάντες .

τούς ] Lachm. reads εἰς τούς , following A B א , min. Other codd. have ἐπί . Different supplementary additions.

Acts 27:3 . πορευθέντα ] Lachm. reads πορευθέντι , following A B א , min. A hasty correction on account of ἐπέτρεψε .

Acts 27:12 . κἀκεῖθεν ] Lachm. and Scholz read ἐκεῖθεν , following A B G א , min. vss. Chrys. But the want of a reference of the καί in what goes before easily occasioned the omission.

Acts 27:19 . ἔῤῥιψαν ] Approved by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Born., after A B C א , min. Vulg. The Recepta is ἐῤῥίψαμεν . As this might just as easily be inserted on account of αὐτόχειρες , as ἔῤῥιψαν on account of ἐποιοῦντο , the preponderance of witnesses has alone to decide, and that in favour of ἔῤῥιψαν .

Acts 27:23 . The order ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτί (Lachm. Tisch. Born., also Scholz) is decidedly attested. Ἄγγελος is to be placed, with Lachm. Tisch. Born., only after λατρεύω (A B C א , min.), and ἐγώ is to be adopted (with Lachm. and Born.) after εἰμί , on the evidence of A C* א , min. vss.; it might very easily be suppressed before ᾧ .

Acts 27:27 . ἐγένετο ] A, lo ti 68, Vulg. have ἐπεγένετο . So Tisch.; and rightly, as the very unusual compound (only again in Acts 28:13 ) was easily neglected by the transcribers.

According to preponderating attestation, κατά (instead of εἰς ) is to be read in Acts 27:29 with Lachm. Tisch. Born.; comp. Acts 27:17 ; Acts 27:26 ; Acts 27:41 .

ἐκπέσωμεν ] Elz. has ἐκπέσωσιν , against decisive testimony. Alteration to suit the following ηὔχοντο .

Acts 27:33 . προσλαβόμενοι ] Lachm. reads προσλαμβανόμενοι , merely in accordance with A, 40. But the part. pres. is to be viewed as an alteration to suit προσδοκῶντες .

Acts 27:34 . μεταλαβεῖν ] Elz. has προσλαβεῖν , against preponderant testimony. From Acts 27:33 .

πεσεῖται ] Griesb. Lachm. Scholz, Tisch. Born. read ἀπολεῖται , which indeed has weighty attestation in its favour, but against it the strong suspicion that it was borrowed from Luke 21:18 . This tells likewise against the Recepta ἐκ , instead of which ἀπό is to be read, with Lachm. Tisch. Born. It is less likely that πεσεῖται should have been taken from the LXX. 1Ki 1:52 ; 1 Samuel 14:45 ; 2 Samuel 14:11 .

Acts 27:39 . ἐβουλεύσαντο ] Lachm. and Born. read ἐβουλεύοντο , after B C א , min. But on account of the preceding imperfects, the imperfect here also was easily brought in; and hence is to be explained the reading (explanatory gloss) ἐβούλοντο in A, min.

Acts 27:41 . τῶν κυμάτων ] has in its favour C G H א ** and all min. Chrys. and most vss., and is wanting only in A B א *. Deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. There is, however, especially as with τῆς βιᾶς a definition, although not necessary, is probable, amidst such strong attestation less a suspicion of its being a supplementary addition, than a probability that the transcribers confounded this τῶν with the τῶν of Acts 27:42 and thus overlooked τῶν κυμάτων . Besides, it would have more naturally suggested itself to a glossator to write on the margin τῆς θαλάσσ . than τ . κυμάτων , which does not again occur in the whole narrative of this voyage.

Acts 27:42 . Elz. has διαφύγοι . But Griesb. Lachm. Tisch. read διαφύγῃ , which is attested, indeed, by A B C א , min., but has arisen from the usual custom of the N.T. in such combinations to put not the optative, but the subjunctive.

On the variations in the proper names in this chapter, see the exegetical remarks.

Verse 1

Acts 27:1 . [166] Τοῦ ἀποπλεῖν ἡμᾶς ] contains the aim of the ἐκρίθη . “ But when (by Festus) decision was made (to the end) that we should sail away .” The nature of the “becoming resolved” ( κρίνεσθαι ) implies that the object the contents of the resolution may be conceived as embraced under the form of its aim. The modes of expression: ΚΕΛΕΎΕΙΝ ἽΝΑ , ΕἸΠΕῖΝ ἽΝΑ , ΘΈΛΕΙΝ ἽΝΑ , and the like, are similar; comp. Acts 27:42 , ΒΟΥΛῊ ἘΓΈΝΕΤΟ , ἽΝΑ . See also Luke 4:10 .

ἩΜᾶς ] Luke speaks as a fellow-traveller.

ΠΑΡΕΔΊΔΟΥΝ ] namely, the persons who were entrusted with the execution of the ἘΚΡΊΘΗ .

ἙΤΈΡΟΥς is purposely chosen (not ἌΛΛΟΥς ), to intimate that they were prisoners of another sort (not also Christians under arrest). Comp. Luke 23:32 ; Tittmann, Synon. N.T. p. 155 f.; and see on Galatians 1:7 . ἕτερος in Acts 15:35 , Acts 17:34 , also is to be similarly taken in the sense of another of two classes (in opposition to de Wette).

σπείρης Σεβαστ .] cohortis Augustae , perhaps: the illustrious (the imperial) cohort . Σεβαστ . is an adjective. Comp. ΛΙΜῊΝ ΣΕΒΑΣΤ . in Joseph. Antt . xvii. 5. 1 : the imperial harbour (in Caesarea). Probably (for historical demonstration is not possible) it was that one of the five cohorts stationed at Caesarea, which was regarded as body-guard of the emperor, and was accordingly employed, as here, on special services affecting the emperor. We have no right, considering the diversity of the names used by Luke, to hold it as identical with the σπεῖρα Ἰταλική , Acts 10:1 (so Ewald). Wieseler, Chronol . p. 351, and Beitr. z. Würdig. d. Ev . p. 325 (comp. Wetstein), finds here the cohors Augustanorum (imperial body-cohort) at Rome , consisting of Roman equites, of the so-called evocati (Tac. Ann . xiv. 15; Sueton. Nero , 25; Dio, lxi. 20, lxiii. 8), whose captain, Julius, he supposes, had been at this very time on business at Caesarea, and had taken the prisoners with him on his return. In this way the centurion would not have been under the command of Festus at all, and would have only been incidentally called into requisition, which is hardly compatible with the regulated departmental arrangements of Rome in the provinces; nor is there in the text itself, any more than in the σπεῖρα Ἰταλική , Acts 10:1 , the least intimation that we are to think of a cohort and a centurion, who did not belong at all to the military force of Caesarea . Schwarz ( de cohorte Ital. et Aug ., Altorf, 1720), with whom Kuinoel agrees, conceived that it was a cohort consisting of Sebastenes (from Sebaste , the capital of Samaria), as in fact Sebastene soldiers are actually named by Josephus among the Roman military force in Judaea ( Antt . xx. 6. 2, Bell . ii. 12. 5). But the calling a cohort by the name of a city ( the cohort of Sebaste ) is entirely without example; we should necessarily expect Σεβαστηνῶν (Joseph. Bell . ii. 12. 5 : “ ἵλην ἱππέων καλουμένην Σεβαστηνῶν ”), or an adjective of locality, such as ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗΝΉ , after the analogy of ἸΤΑΛΙΚΉ , Acts 10:1 .

Nothing further is known of the centurion Julius . Tacitus ( Hist . ii. 92, iv. 11) mentions a Julius Priscus as centurion of the Praetorians; but how extremely common was the name!

[166] Comp. on chap. 27. the excellent treatise of James Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul , London 1848, ed. 2, 1856; Vömel, Progr ., Frankf. 1850; in respect of the language, Klostermann, Vindiciae Luc . VII. In Baumgarten there is much allegorizing and play of fancy; he considers the apostle as the true Jonah , and the ship’s crew as a representative of the whole heathen world. Hackett treats chap. 27. with special care, having made use of many accounts of travels and notes of navigation.

Verse 2

Acts 27:2 . Ἐπιβάντες ] with dative , see on Acts 25:1 .

πλοίῳ Ἀδραμ .] a ship which belonged to Adramyttium , had its home there, the master of which resided there. Ἀδραμύττιον , or Ἀδραμύττειον (for several other modes of writing the name, see Steph. Byz. s.v. ; Poppo, ad Thuc. I. 2, p. 441 f.), was a seaport of Mysia, and is not to be confounded with Adrumetum on the north coast of Africa (Grotius, Drusius, Richard Simon), because amidst all the variations in the codd. ( Ἀδραμυντινῷ , Ἀδραμυντηνῷ , Ἀτραμυτηνῷ Ἀδραμμυτινῷ ) the υ in the middle syllable is decidedly preponderant.

μέλλοντι πλεῖν κ . τ . λ .] The ship, certainly a merchant-ship, was thus about to start on its homeward voyage. The prisoners were by this opportunity to be brought to the Asiatic coast, and sent thence by the opportunity of another vessel (Acts 27:6 ) to Italy.

τοὺς κατὰ τ . Ἀσίαν τόπους ] to navigate the places situated along Asia (on the Asiatic coast). On the accusative, see Winer, p. 210 [E. T. 280]; Thuc. vi. 63. 2 : πλέοντες τά τε ἐπέκεινα τῆς Σικελίας . Pausan. i. 35.

Ἀριστάρχου ] see Acts 19:29 , Acts 20:4 ; Colossians 4:10 ; Philemon 1:24 . Thus he also had from Asia (Acts 20:4 ) come again to Paul; Trophimus (see on Acts 21:29 ) already joined him at Jerusalem. But whether Aristarchus accompanied Paul as a fellow-prisoner (Ewald) does not follow with certainty from Colossians 4:10 . See in loc .

Verse 3

Acts 27:3 . Εἰς Σιδῶνα ] unto Sidon , into the seaport. Comp. Acts 21:3 , Acts 26:12 .

χρῆσθαι τινί ] to have intercourse , fellowship, with any one . See Wetstein, and Ruhnk. ad Tim . p. 101. The fact that the centurion treated Paul so kindly may be sufficiently explained from the peculiar interest, which a character so lofty and pure could not but awaken in humane and unprejudiced minds. It may be also that the procurator had specially enjoined a gentle treatment.

πορευθέντα is to be analysed as accusative with infinitive. See on Acts 26:20 , and Lobeck, ad Soph. Aj. 1006.

πρὸς τ . φίλους ] Without doubt Paul had told the centurion that he had friends (namely, Christian brethren, Acts 9:19 ) in Sidon. Still the centurion would not leave him without military escort, as indeed his duty required this. Comp. Grotius, “cum milite.”

Verses 4-5

Acts 27:4-5 . Ὑπεπλεύσ . τ . Κύπρον ] We sailed under Cyprus , so that we remained near the shore (elevated above the level of the sea), because the (shifting) winds were contrary, and therefore made a withdrawal to a distance from the (northern) shore not advisable.

κατὰ τ . Κιλίκ .] along . Just so Acts 27:7 , κατὰ Σαλμώνην ; comp. Acts 27:2 .

Μύρα ] or, as Lachmann, following B, reads, Μύῤῥα (it is neuter , yet the feminine form was also used, see Steph. Byz. s.v. ), was a seaport of Lycia, only twenty stadia from the coast (Strabo, xiv. p. 981). Forbig. Geogr. II. p. 256. The readings Λύστρα , or Λύστραν (A א , Copt. Vulg. Fathers), and Σμύρναν (31, Beda), are explained from want of acquaintance with that name of a town.

Verses 6-7

Acts 27:6-7 . Whether the Alexandrian ship was freighted with grain (which at least is not to be proved from Acts 27:38 ) or with other goods, cannot be determined; as also whether it was by wind and weather, or by affairs of trade, that it was constrained not to sail directly from Alexandria to Italy, but first to run into the Lycian port.

πλέον ] It was already on its voyage from Alexandria to Italy.

ἐνεβ . ἡμᾶς ] he embarked us , put us on board, a vox nautica . [167] See examples in Palairet and Wolf.

Acts 27:7 . But when we had made slow way for a considerable number of days, and had come with difficulty toward Cnidus (into its neighbourhood, thus in the offing, having passed along by Rhodes), so that the wind did not allow us (to land at Cnidus), we sailed under Crete, near Salmone . The wind thus came from the north, so that the vessel was drawn away from Cnidus and downward towards Crete.

προσεῶντος ] finds a definite reference in the immediately preceding ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῊΝ ΚΝΊΔΟΝ , and hence the view of Grotius (following the Peshito), that rectum tenere cursum should be supplied, is to be rejected.

Cnidus was a city of Caria on the peninsula of Cnidia, celebrated for the worship of Aphrodite and for the victory of Cimon over Pisander. See Forbiger, Geogr. II. p. 221.

The promontory Σαλμώνη , on the east coast of Crete, is called in Strabo, x. p. 727, ΣΑΛΜΏΝΙΟΝ , and in Dionys. Perieg. 110, ΣΑΛΜΩΝΊς .

[167] Baumgarten, II. p. 373 f., collects the nautical expression of this chapter, adducing, however, much that belongs to the general language.

Verse 8

Acts 27:8 . Παραλέγεσθαι ] corresponds entirely to the Latin legere (oram), to sail along the coast , Diod. Sic xiii. 3, xiv. 55. This keeping to the coast was only with difficulty ( μόλις ) successful.

αὐτήν refers to τ . Κρήτην .

Nothing is known from antiquity of the anchorage Καλοὶ λιμένες (Fair Havens [168] ). The name is perhaps, on account of Acts 27:12 ( ἀνευθέτου κ . τ . λ .), to be considered as euphemistic . The view that the place is identical with the town called by Stephanus Byzantinus Καλὴ ἀκτή , is improbable, because the Fair Havens here was not a town, as may be inferred from the appended remark: ἘΓΓῪς ἮΝ ΠΌΛΙς ΛΑΣ .

ἮΝ ] not ἘΣΤΊ . The preterite belongs to the graphic description . They saw the neighbouring city. Comp. Krüger, and Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 4. 9; Breitenb. ad Xen. Hier . xi. 4. The town Λασαία also is entirely unknown; [169] hence the many variations, ΛΑΣΈΑ (B. min.; so Tischendorf), ἌΛΑΣΣΑ (A, 40, 96, Syr. p. on the margin; so Grotius, Lachmann, Ewald), Thalassa (Vulgate, Aethiopic), Thessala (codd. Lat.), et al. The evidence in support of these other forms is not strong enough to displace the Recepta (G H), seeing that it is also supported by B א * (which has ΛΑΣΣΑΊΑ ). Beza conjectured ἘΛΑΊΑ (Plin. N. H. iv. 12); but such a conjecture, especially in the case of Crete with its hundred cities, was uncalled for.

[168] It is certainly the bay still called Limenes kali , Pococke, Morg. II. p. 361. Comp. Smith, p. 88, Exodus 2:0 . See, moreover, on the above localities generally, Hoeck, Kreta , I. p. 439 ff.

[169] Yet see on ruins with this name, Smith, p. 262.

Verse 9

Acts 27:9 . Ἱκανοῦ δὲ χρ . διαγ .] namely, since the beginning of our voyage.

πλοός ] See on this late form, instead of πλοῦ , Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 453, Paralip . p. 173.

διὰ τὸ καὶ τ . νηστείαν ἤδη παρελ .] because also (even) the fasting was already past . [170] The νηστεία ( κατʼ ἐξοχήν ) is the fasting of the great day of atonement, which occurred on the 10th of Tisri (Leviticus 16:29 ff; Leviticus 23:26 ff.). It was thus already after the autumnal equinox, when navigation, which now became dangerous ( ἐπισφαλ .), was usually closed. See Wetstein.

παρῄνει ὁ Π .] he had experience enough for such a counsel (2 Corinthians 11:25 ).

[170] According to Bleek and de Wette, this Jewish definition of time, as well as that contained in Acts 20:6 , betrays a Jewish-Christian author. But the definitions of the Jewish calendar were generally, and very naturally, adopted in the apostolic church. Comp. Schneckenburger, p. 18.

Verses 10-11

Acts 27:10-11 . Θεωρῶ ] when I view the tumult of the sea.

ὅτι … μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι ] A mixing of two constructions, of which the former is neglected as the speech flows onward. See Heind. ad Plat. Phaed . p. 63 C; Winer, p. 318 [E. T. 426]; Raphel, Polyb. in loc. Comp. on Acts 19:27 , Acts 23:23 f.

μετὰ ὕβρεως ] with presumption . Paul warns them that the continuance of the voyage will not take place without temerity . Accordingly μετὰ ὕβρ . contains the subjective, and ( μετὰ ) πολλῆς ζημίας οὐ μόνον κ . τ . λ . the objective, detriment with which the voyage would be attended. The expositors (Ewald, however, takes the correct view) understand μετὰ ὕβρ . of the injuria or saevitia tempestatis . But as the definition tempestatis has no place in the text, the view remains a very arbitrary one, and has no corresponding precedent even in poets (comp. Pind. Pyth . i. 73: ναυσίστονον ὕβριν ἰδών , Anthol. iii. 22. 58: δείσασα θαλάττης ὕβριν ). The whole utterance is, moreover, the natural expression of just fear , in which case Paul could say ἡμῶν without mistrusting the communication which he received in Acts 23:11 ; for by πολλῆς the ζημία τῶν ψυχῶν is affirmed, not of all, but only of a great portion of the persons on board. He only received at a later period the higher revelation, by which this fear was removed from him, see Acts 27:23-24 . He speaks here in a way inclusive of others ( ἡμῶν ), on account of their joint interest in the situation . A special “entering into the fellowship of the Gentiles” (Baumgarten) is as little indicated as is the assumption that he did not preach out of grief over the Jews. The present time and situation were not at all suitable for preaching.

ἐπείθετο μᾶλλον ] τοῖς ἐμπείρως ἔχουσι μᾶλλον πρὸς τὸ πλεῖν , ἢ ἐπιβάτῃ ἀπείρῳ ναυτικῆς , Oecumenius. So the opposite view of the steersman and the captain of the ship ( ναύκληρος ) prevailed with the centurion. By reason of the inconvenience of the haven for wintering, the majority of those on board came to the resolution, etc., Acts 27:12 .

Verse 12

Acts 27:12 . Ἀνευθέτου ] not well situated , Hesychius and Suidas, elsewhere not found; the (later) Greeks have δύσθετος . They ought, according to the counsel of Paul, to have chosen the least of two evils.

πρὸς παραχειμασίαν ] for passing the winter . Diod. Sic. xix. 68, and more frequently in Polybius. Comp. Acts 28:11 .

κἀκεῖθεν ] also from thence . As they had not hitherto lain to with a view to pass the winter, the resolution come to by the majority was to the effect of sailing onward from thence also . On ἔθεντο βουλήν , comp. Judges 19:30 ; Psalms 13:3 .

εἴπως δύναιντο ] i.e. in order to try, whether perhaps they would be able . See Hartung, Partikell . II. p. 206.

The haven Φοῖνιξ is called in Ptolem. Acts 3:17 , Φοινικοῦς , and the adjacent town Φοῖνιξ . Stephanus Byzantinus, on the other hand, remarks: Φοινικοῦς πόλις Κρήτης . Perhaps the two names were used in common of the haven and the city. Whether the haven was the modern Lutro , is uncertain. In opposition to Smith, p. 88, see Hackett.

βλέπειν ] quite like spectare , of the direction of the geographical position. See Alberti, Obss . p. 274; Kypke, II. p. 134 f.

Λίψ is the Africus , the south-west wind, and Χῶρος the Caurus , the north-west. See Kapp, ad Aristot. de mundo Exc. III. The haven formed such a curve, that one shore stretched toward the north-west and the other toward the south-west.

Verse 13

Acts 27:13 . But when gentler south wind had set in ( ὑποπνεύσ ., Arist. probl . viii. 6; Heliodor. iii. 3) this was the motive of the following δόξαντες . As, namely, Fair Havens , where they were, and also Phoenix farther to the west, whither they wished to go, lay on the south coast of the island, the south wind was favourable for carrying out their resolution, because it kept them near to the coast and did not allow them to drift down into the southern sea.

κεκρατηκέναι ] to have become masters of their purpose , that is, to be able safely to accomplish it. Examples in Raphel, Polyb .

ἄραντες ] namely, the anchor , which is understood of itself in nautical language: they weighed anchor . See Bos, Ellips. , ed. Schaefer, p. 14 f.

ἆσσον παρελέγ . τ . Κρήτ .] they sailed closer (than could previously, Acts 27:8 , be done) along the coast of Crete . ἆσσον , nearer , the comparative of ἄχρι , is not only found in poetry from the time of Homer, but also in prose; Herod, iii. 52, iv. 5; Joseph. Antt. i. 20. 1, al . The Vulgate, which Erasmus follows, has: cum sustulissent de Asson , so that thus ΑΣΣΟΝ is connected with ἄραντες and regarded as the name of a city of Crete ( Ἄσος in Steph. Byz., Asus in Plin. H. N. iv. 12); hence also Elz., Mill., Scholz have Ἄσσον (as a proper name). But as this translation is at variance with the words as they stand, Luther, Castalio, Calovius, and several older expositors have taken Ἄσσον as the accusative of direction: cum sustulissent Assum . But, even if the little town had really been situated on the coast (which does not agree with Plin. l.c. ), the expression would have been extremely harsh, as ἅραντες does not express the notion of direction; and not only so, but also the mere accusative of direction without a preposition is only poetical (Kühner, II. p. 204), and is foreign to the N.T.

Verse 14

Acts 27:14 . Ἔβαλε ] intransitive: fell upon , threw itself against it; often in the classical writers after Homer.

κατ ̓ αὐτῆς ] refers to the nearest antecedent Κρὴτην , not (Luther) to προθέσ .

ἄνεμος τυφωνικός ] The adjective is formed from τυφών , a whirlwind , and is found also in Eustathius. See Wetstein.

Εὐροκλύδων ] the broad-surging , from εὖρος , breadth , and κλύδω . It is usually explained: Eurus fluctus excitans , from Εὖρος (the south-east wind) and κλύδων . But this compound would rather yield an appellation unsuitable for a wind: south-east wave, fluctus Euro excitatus . Εὐρυκλύδων , [171] from ΕὐΡΎς , according to the analogy of ΕὐΡΥΚΡΕΊΩΝ , ΕὐΡΥΜΈΔΩΝ , ΕὐΡΥΔΊΝΗς , etc., would certainly be more suitable to the explanation broad-surging ; but on this very account the reading Εὐρυκλύδων in B ** 40, 133, is not to be approved with Griesbach, but to be considered as a correction. Lachmann and Bornemann, followed by Ewald, Smith, and Hackett, have ΕὐΡΑΚΎΛΩΝ , according to A א (Vulg. Cassiod.: Euroaquilo ), which also Olshausen, after Erasmus, Grotius, Mill, Bengel, and others, approves (the best defence of this reading is by Bentley, in Wolf, Cur. ). This would be the east-north-east wind ; the compound formed, as in εὐρόνοτος (Gel. ii. 22. 10), euroauster , euroafricus . But the words of the text lead us to expect a special actual name ( ΚΑΛΟΎΜ . ) of this particular whirlwind, not merely a designation of its direction . It is difficult also to comprehend why such an easily explicable name of a wind as Euroaquilo , ΕὐΡΑΚΎΛΩΝ , should have been converted into the difficult and enigmatic ΕὐΡΟΚΛΎΔΩΝ . Far more naturally would the converse take place, and the ΕὐΡΟΚΛΎΔΩΝ , not being understood, would be displaced by the similar ΕὐΡΑΚΎΛΩΝ formed according to the well-known analogy of ΕὐΡΌΝΟΤΟς Κ . Τ . Λ . ; so that the latter form appears a product of old emendatory conjecture. Besides, ΕὐΡΑΚΎΛΩΝ , if it were not formed by a later hand from the original ΕὐΡΟΚΛΎΔΩΝ , would be an improbable mixture of Greek and Latin, and we do not see why the name should not have had some such form as ΕὐΡΟΒΟΡΈΑς ; ἈΚΎΛΩΥ = aquilo , is nowhere found.

[171] Defended by Toup, Emend. in Suidam , III. p. 506. Comp. Etym. M. p. 772, 31: τυφὼν γάρ ἐστι ἡ τοῦ ἀνέμου σφόδρα πνοὴ , ὃ ; καὶ εὐρυκλύδων καλεῖται .

Verse 15

Acts 27:15 . Συναρπασθ .] but when the ship was hurried along with (the whirlwind).

On ἀντοφθαλμεῖν , to look in the face , then to withstand , see Schweigh. Lex. Polyb . p. 57. Comp. Sir 19:6 ; Wis 12:14 .

ἐπιδόντες ] may either, with the Vulgate ( data nave flatibus ferebamur), Luther, Elsner, and many others, be referred to τὸ πλοῖον , or be taken in a reflexive sense (Raphel, Wolf, Bengel, Kypke): we gave ourselves up and were driven. Comp. Lobeck, ad Aj. 250. The former is simpler, because τ . πλοίου precedes.

Verse 16

Acts 27:16 . Κλαύδη , or according to Ptol. iii. 7 Κλαῦδος , or according to Mela ii. 7 and Plin. iv. 20 Gaudos , according to Suidas Καυδώ , was the name of the modern Gozzo to the south of Crete. From the different forms of the name given by the ancients must be explained the variations in the codd. and vss., among which Καῦδα is attested by B א ** Syr. Aeth. Vulg., adopted by Lachmann, and approved by Ewald. We cannot determine how Luke originally wrote the name; still, as most among the ancients have transmitted it without λ , the λ , which has in its favour A G H א * vss. and the Greek Fathers, has probably been deleted by subsequent, though in itself correct, emendation.

τῆς σκάφης ] they could scarcely become masters ( περικρατεῖς , Simmias in the Anthol. I. p. 137, Jacobs) of the boat (belonging to the ship) which swam attached to it, when they wished to hoist it up (Acts 27:17 ; Acts 27:30 ), that it might not be torn away by the storm.

Verse 17

Acts 27:17 . And after they had drawn this up, they applied means of protection, undergirding the ship . This undergirding (Polyb. xxvii. 3. 3) took place, in order to diminish the risk of foundering, by means of broad ropes ( ὑποζώματα , tormenta ) which, drawn under the ship and tightened above, held its two sides more firmly together. [172] Comp. Plat. Rep. p. 616 C: οἷον τὰ ὑποζώματα τῶν τριήρων , οὕτω πᾶσαν ξυνέχων τὴν περιφοράν ; Athen. v. 37; and see generally, Boeckh, Urkunden üb. d. Seewesen des Attischen Staats , p. 133 ff.; Smith ( The Ships of the Ancients ), p. 173 ff.; Hackett, p. 426 ff. By βοηθείαις is to be understood all kinds of helpful apparatus (Aristot. Rhet. ii. 5) which they had in store for emergencies, as ropes, chains, beams, clamps, and the like; see Wetstein. The referring it to the help rendered by the passengers (Grotius, Heinsius, and others), which was a matter of course amidst the common danger, makes the statement empty and unnecessary.

φοβούμενοί τε κ . τ . λ .] and fearing to strike on the (nearest) Syrtis . It is entirely arbitrary to understand τὴν Σύρτιν , without linguistic precedent, in the wider sense of a sandbank ( θίς , ταινία , ἕρμα , στῆθος ), and not of the African Syrtis . Of the two Syrtes, the Greater and the Lesser, the former was the nearest. As the ship was driven from the south coast of Crete along past the island of Clauda, and thus ran before the north-east wind, they might well, amidst the peril of their situation, be driven to the fear lest, by continuing their course with full sail, they might reach the Greater Syrtis; and how utterly destructive that would have been! See Herod. iii. 25 f., iv. 173; Sallust. Jug. 78 f.; Strabo, xvii. p. 834 f.

ἐκπίπτειν , of ships and shipwrecked persons, which are cast (out of the deep, navigable water) on banks, rocks, islands, shoals, or on the land, is very common from Homer onward; Locella, ad Xen. Eph. p. 239; Stallb. ad Plat. Phil . p. 13 D.

τὸ σκεῦος ] the gear, the tackle , is the general expression for all the apparatus of the ship (Plat. Crit. p. 117 D: σκευῶν ὅσα τριήρεσι προσήκει , Dem. 1145. 1 : ΣΚΕΎΗ ΤΡΙΗΡΑΡΧΙΚΆ , 1145. 9; Xen. Oec. viii. 12. Polyb. xxii. 26. 13; and see Hermann, Privatalterth . § 50. 20). The context shows what definite tackle is here meant by specifying the aim of the measure, which was to prevent the ship from being cast upon the Syrtis , and that by withdrawing it as far as practicable from the force of the storm driving them towards the Syrtis. This was done by their lowering the sails, striking sail , and accordingly choosing rather to abandon the ship without sails to the wind, and to allow it to be driven ( οὕτως ἐφέροντο ), than with stretched sails to be cast quickly, and without further prospect of rescue, on the Syrtis. Already at a very early date ΤῸ ΣΚΕῦΟς was justly explained of the sails, and Chrysostom even read ΤᾺ ἽΣΤΙΑ . According to Smith, the lowering of the rigging is meant, by which the driving of the ship in a straight direction was avoided. But this presupposes too exact an acquaintance with their position in the storm, considering the imperfection of navigation in those times; and both the following description, especially Acts 27:20 , and the measure adopted in Acts 27:29 , lead us to assume that they had already relinquished the use of the sails. But the less likely it is that in the very exact delineation the account of the striking of the sails, which had not hitherto taken place (in opposition to Kypke and Kuinoel), should have been omitted, and the more definitely the collective meaning is implied in τὸ σκεῦος , the more objectionable appears the view of Grotius, Heinsius, Kuinoel, and Olshausen (after the Peshito), that ΤῸ ΣΚΕῦΟς is the mast . Still more arbitrary and (on account of ἐφέροντο ) entirely mistaken is the rendering of Kypke: “demittentes ancoram ,” and that of Castalio and Vatablus: “demissa scapha ” (see, on the other hand, Acts 27:30 ).

[172] Yet it is doubtful whether the procedure was not such, that the ropes ran in a horizontal manner right round the ship (Boeckh, Stallb. ad Plat. l.c .). But see Smith.

Verses 18-19

Acts 27:18-19 . Ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο ] they made a casting out, i.e. they threw overboard the cargo. [173] Dem. 926. 17; Aesch. Sept . 769; Arist. Eth. iii. 1; Pollux, i. 99; LXX. Jonah 1:5 . For the lightening of the vessel in distress, in order to make it go less deep and to keep it from grounding, they got rid in the first instance of what could, in the circumstances, be most fitly dispensed with, namely, the cargo; but on the day after they laid hands even on the σκευὴ τοῦ πλοίου (Diod. Sic. xiv. 79), i.e. the ship’s apparatus , the utensils belonging to the ship, as furniture, beds, cooking vessels, and the like. The same collective idea, but expressed in the plural, occurs in Jonah 1:5 . Others (Wetstein, Kypke, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel) understand the baggage of the passengers , but this is at variance with τοῦ πλοίου ; instead of it we should expect ἡμῶν , especially as αὐτόχειρες precedes. Following the Vulgate, Erasmus, Grotius, and many others, including Olshausen and Ewald, understand the arma navis , that is, ropes, beams, and the like belonging to the equipment of the ship. But the tackling is elsewhere called τὰ ὅπλα , or τὰ σκεύη (from σκεῦος ), and just amidst the danger this was most indispensable of all.

αὐτόχειρες ] with our own hands (Hermann, ad Soph. Ant. 1160), gives to the description a sad vividness, and does not present a contrast to the conduct of Jonah (who lay asleep , Jonah 1:5 ), as Baumgarten in his morbid quest of types imagines.

[173] Had the ship been loaded with ballast , and this been thrown out (Laurent), we should have expected a more precise designation ( ἕρμα ). The σκευή , too, would not have been included in the category of things thrown out at once on the following day, but after the ballast would have come, in the first instance, the cargo . The ship was without doubt a merchant-vessel, and doubtless had no ballast at all. Otherwise they certainly would have commenced with throwing the latter out, but would not thereupon have at once passed to the σκευή .

Verse 20

Acts 27:20 . Μήτε δὲ ἡλίου κ . τ . λ .] For descriptions of storms from Greek and Roman writers, which further embellish this trait (Virg. Aen. i. 85 ff, iii. 195 ff.; Ach. Tat. iii. 2, p. 234, al. ), see Grotius and Wetstein.

ἐπικεῖσθαι ] spoken of the incessantly assailing storm, see Alberti, Obss . 279; Wolf, Cur.

λοιπόν ] ceterum in reference to time, i.e. henceforth . See Vigerus, p. 22, and Hermann thereon, p. 706; Kühner, ad Anab. ii. 2. 5.

ἡμᾶς ] not ἡμῖν , which would not have been suitable to Paul (Acts 23:11 ), nor yet probably to his Christian companions.

Verses 21-22

Acts 27:21-22 . The perplexity had now risen in the ship to despair. But, as the situation was further aggravated by the fact that there prevailed in a high degree ( πολλῆς ) that abstinence from food which anguish and despair naturally bring with them, Paul came forward in the midst of those on board ( ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν ), in the first instance with gentle censure, and afterwards with confident encouragement and promise.

On ἀσιτία , jejunatio (Vulg.), comp. Herod. iii. 52; Eur. Suppl . 1105; Arist. Eth. x. 9; Joseph. Antt . xii. 7. 1.

τότε ] then , in this state of matters, as in Acts 28:1 . So also in the classics after participles, Xen. Cyr . i. 5. 6; Deuteronomy 33:5 , 60. 18.

σταθεὶς κ . τ . λ .] has here, as in Acts 17:22 , Acts 2:14 , something solemn.

αὐτῶν ] not ἡμῶν ; for the censure as well as also primarily the encouragement was intended to apply to the sailors .

ἔδει μέν ] it was necessary indeed . This μέν does not stand in relation to the following καί , but the contrast (possibly: but it has not been done) is suppressed. See Kühner, § 733, note, p. 430; Baeumlein, Partik . p. 163. Comp. on Acts 28:22 . Bengel well remarks: “ καί modestiam habet.”

κερδῆσαι κ . τ . λ .] and to have spared us this insolence (see on Acts 27:10 ) and the loss (suffered). ταὐτην points to the whole present position of danger in which the ὕβρις , wherewith the warnings of the apostle were despised and the voyage ventured, presented itself in a way to be keenly felt as such. κερδαίνειν , of that gain, which is made by omission or avoidance . See examples in Bengel, and Kypke, II. p. 139 f. The evil in question is conceived as the object, the non-occurrence of which goes to the benefit of the person acting, as the negative object of gain. Analogous to this is the Latin lucrifacere , see Grotius. On the form κερδῆσαι , see Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 740 f.

ἀποβολή γὰρ ψυχῆς κ . τ . λ .] for there shall be no loss of a soul from the midst of you, except (loss) of the ship, i.e. no loss of life, but only the loss of the ship. An inaccuracy of expression, which continues with πλήν , as if before there had simply been used the words ἀποβ . γὰρ οὐδ . ἔσται . Comp. Winer, p. 587 [E. T. 789].

To what Paul had said in Acts 27:10 , his present announcement stands related as a correction . He has now by special revelation learned the contrary of what he had then feared, as respected the apprehended loss of life .

Verses 23-25

Acts 27:23-25 . Ἄγγελος ] an angel . But naturally those hearers who were Gentiles, and not particularly acquainted with Judaism, understood this as well as τοῦ Θεοῦ κ . τ . λ . according to their Gentile conception (of a messenger of the gods, and of one of the gods).

οὗ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ , ᾧ καὶ λατρεύω ] to whom I belong , as His property, and whom I also (in accordance with this belonging) serve . Comp. Romans 1:9 . Paul thus characterizes himself as intimate with God, and therewith, assures the credibility of his announcement, in which τοῦ Θεοῦ with great emphasis precedes the ἄγγελος κ . τ . λ . (see the critical remarks). On ἐγώ (see the critical remarks), in which is expressed a holy sense of his personal standing, Bornemann correctly remarks: “Pronomen Paulum minime dedecet coram gentilibus verba facientem.”

κεχάρισταί σοι ὁ Θεός ] God has granted to thee, i.e. He has saved them (according to His counsel) for thy sake. See on Acts 3:14 .

Here, too (comp. on Acts 16:10 ), the appearance, which is to be regarded as a work of God, is not a vision in a dream . The testimony and the consciousness of the apostle, who was scarce likely to have slumbered and dreamed on that night, are decisive against this view, and particularly against the naturalizing explanation of Eichhorn ( Bibl . III. p. 407, 1084), Zeller, and Hausrath. De Wette takes objection to the mode of expression κεχάρισται κ . τ . λ ., and is inclined to trace it to the high veneration of the reporter; but this is unfair, as Paul had simply to utter what he had heard . And he had heard, that for his sake the saving of all was determined. Bengel well remarks: “Non erat tam periculoso alioqui tempore periculum, ne videretur P., quae necessario dicebat, gloriose dicere.”

οὕτως καθʼ ὃν τρ .] comp. Acts 1:11 .

Verse 26

Acts 27:26 . But ( δέ , leading over to the mode of the promised deliverance) we must be cast ( ἐκπεσεῖν , see on Acts 27:17 ) on some island . This assurance, made to Paul probably through the appearance just narrated, is verified Acts 27:41 ff. But it is lightly, and without reason assigned, conjectured by Zeller that Acts 27:21-26 contain a vaticinium post eventum on the part of the author.

Verses 27-29

Acts 27:27-29 . But after the commencement of the fourteenth night (namely, after the departure from Fair Havens, comp. Acts 27:18-19 ), while we were driven up and down ( διαφερ ., see the passages in Wetstein and Kypke, II. p. 141, and Philo, de migr. Abr. p. 410 E) in the Adriatic sea, about midnight the sailors descried, etc. The article was not required before the ordinal number (Poppo, ad Thuc. ii. 70:5), as a special demonstrative stress (Ameis on Hom. Od. xiv. 241) is not contemplated, but only the simple statement of time. On νὺξ ἐπεγένετο (see the critical remarks), the night set in , comp. Herod, viii. 70; Thuc. iv. 25; Polyb. i. 11. 15, ii. 25. 5.

ὁ Ἀδρίας ] here and frequently, not in the narrower sense (Philippians 3:16 . Philippians 3:20 ) of the Golfo di Venetia , but in the wider sense of the sea between Italy and Greece, extending southward as far as, and inclusive of, Sicily. See Forbiger, Geogr . II. p. 16 ff. “Hadriae arbiter notus .” [174] Horat. Od . i. 3. 15.

προσάγειν ] that it approaches to them . “Lucas optice loquitur nautarum more,” Kypke. See Cic. Quaest. acad. iv. 25. The opposite is ἀναχωρεῖν , recedere . See Smith and the passages in Kuinoel. The conjecture of the sailors ( ὑπενόουν ) had doubtless its foundation in the noise of the surf (Smith), such as is usual in the vicinity of land.

On βολίζειυ , to cast the sounding lead ( βολίς , in Herodotus καταπειρατηρία ), see the passages from Eustathius in Wetstein; and on ὀργυιά (concerning the accent, Göttling, p. 138), a measure of length of six feet, like our fathom , see Herod. ii. 169; Boeckh, metrol . Unters . p. 210 ff.

διαστήσαντες ] note the active: having made a short interval, i.e. having removed the ship a little way farther. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 41 [E. T. 47].

δεκαπέντε ] With this decrease of depth the danger increased of their falling on reefs ( κατὰ τραχεῖς τόπους ), such as are frequent in the vicinity of small islands.

τέσσαρας ] Comp. Caes. Bell. civ. i. 25 : “Naves quatenis ancoris destinabat, ne fluctibus moverentur.” For the different expressions for casting anchor , see Poll i. 103.

[174] Comp. Scherzer, statistisch commercielle Ergebnisse , p. 51: “During the European winter a sailing vessel may be often forced to lose fourteen days or more by a persistent south-east wind in the Adriatic Gulf.”

Verse 30

Acts 27:30 . While they were lying here at anchor longing for daylight ( ηὔχοντο ἡμέραν γενέσθαι , Acts 27:29 ), the sailors, in order with the proximity of land to substitute certainty for uncertainty, make the treacherous attempt to escape to land in the boat, which they had already let down under the pretence of wishing to cast anchor from the prow of the ship, and thus to leave the vessel together with the rest of those on board to their fate. Certainly the captain of the vessel (the ναύκληρος , Acts 27:11 ), whose interest was too much bound up with the preservation of the ship, was not implicated in this plot of his servants; but how easily are the bonds of fidelity and duty relaxed in vulgar minds when placed in circumstances of perilous uncertainty, if at the expense of these bonds a safe deliverance may be obtained!

προφάσει ὡς … μελλόντων ] The genitive is absolute , subordinate to the preceding χαλασ ., and προφάσει (comp. Luke 20:47 ; Thuc. v. 53. 1, vi. 76. 1) is adverbial (Bernhardy, p. 130), as in classical writers the accusative πρόφασιν more commonly occurs (Dorv. ad Charit . p. 319; Krüger on Thuc . iii. 111. 1); on ὡς , comp. on 1 Corinthians 4:18 , and see Xen. Anab . i. 2. 1. Hence: on pretence as though they would , etc.

ἐκτείνειν ] extendere (Vulg.). They affected and pretended that by means of the boat they were desirous to reach out anchors (“fune eo usque prolato,” Grotius) from the prow, from which these anchors hung (Pind. Pyth . iv. 342, x. 80), into the sea, in order that the vessel might be secured not only behind (Acts 27:29 ), but also before . Incorrectly Laurent renders: “ to cast out the anchors farther into the sea .” Against this, it is decisively urged that ἀγκύρας is anarthrous, and that ἐκ πρώρας stands in contrast to ἐκ πρύμνης , Acts 27:29 .

Verses 31-32

Acts 27:31-32 . Paul applied not first to the captain of the vessel, but at once to the soldiers, because they could take immediately vigorous measures, as the danger of the moment required; and the energetic and decided word of the apostle availed.

οὗτοι … ὑμεῖς ] Correlates. Paul, however, does not say ἡμεῖς , but appeals to the direct personal interest of those addressed.

σωθῆναι οὐ δύνασθε ] spoken in the consciousness of the divine counsel, in so far as the latter must have the fulfilment of duty by the sailors as the human means of its realization.

ἐκπεσεῖν ] to fall out . We are to think on the boat let down into the sea (Acts 27:30 ), yet hanging with its fastened end to the ship when the soldiers cut the ropes asunder.

Verse 33

Acts 27:33 . But now, when he had overcome this danger, it was the care of the prudent rescuer, before anything further, to see those on board strengthened for the new work of the new day by food. But until it should become day , so long, therefore, as the darkness of the night up to the first break of dawn did not allow any ascertaining of their position or further work, in this interval he exhorted all , etc.

τεσσαρεσκ . σήμ . ἡμέραν κ . τ . λ .] waiting (for deliverance), the fourteenth day to-day (since the departure from Fair Havens), ye continue without food . ἄσιτοι holds with διατελ . the place of a participle. See the passages in Winer, p. 326 [E. T. 437]; Krüger on Thuc . i. 34. 2, and Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 6. 2.

μηδὲν προσλαβ .] since ye have taken to you (adhibuistis) nothing (no food). This emphatically strengthens the ἄσιτοι . That, however, the two terms are not to be understood of complete abstinence from food, but relatively, is self-evident; Paul expresses the “insolitam cibi abstinentiam” (Calvin) earnestly and forcibly. Comp. πολλῆς , Acts 27:21 .

Verse 34

Acts 27:34 . ΙΙρὸς τῆς ὑμετ . σωτ .] on the side of your deliverance , e salute vestra, i.e. corresponding, conducing to your deliverance . Comp. Thuc. iii. 59. 1, v. 105. 3; Plat. Gorg . p. 459 C; Arr. An . vii. 16. 9. See on this use of πρός with the genitive (only found here in the N.T.), Bernhardy, p. 264; Winer, p. 350 [E. T. 467 f.]. Observe the emphatic ὑμετέρας ; your benefit I have in view.

οὐδενὸς γὰρ κ . τ . λ .] assigns the reason for the previous πρὸς τ . ὑμετέρ . σωτηρίας . For your deliverance, I say, for , etc. In this case their own exertions and the bodily strengthening necessary for this purpose are conceived as conditioning the issue.

On the proverbial expression itself, which denotes their being kept utterly exempt from harm , comp. Luke 21:18 ; 1 Samuel 14:45 ; 2 Samuel 14:11 ; 1 Kings 1:52 .

Verses 35-36

Acts 27:35-36 . Like the father of a family (comp. Luke 24:39 ) among those at table (not, as Olshausen and Ewald suppose, notwithstanding that most of the persons were heathens, regarding the meal as a Christian love-feast), Paul now, by way of formal and pious commencement of the meal, uttered the thanksgiving-prayer for the disposition towards, and relative understanding of, which even the Gentiles present were in this situation susceptible over the bread (Matthew 14:19 ; Matthew 15:36 ; Mark 8:6 ; John 4:11 ), broke it, and commenced to eat ( ἤρξατο ἑσθίειν ). And all of them, encouraged by his word and example, on their part followed.

προσελάβ . τροφῆς ] partook of food . Comp. Herod. viii. 90. It is otherwise in Acts 27:33 , with accusative.

Verse 37

Acts 27:37 . And what a large meal was thus brought about!

The number 276 may surprise us on account of its largeness (see Bornemann in loc .); but, apart from the fact that we have no knowledge of the size and manning of the Alexandrian ship, Acts 27:6 , it must, considering the exactness of the entire narrative, be assumed as correct; and for the omission of διακόσιαι the single evidence of B (which has ὡς ) is too weak.

Verse 38

Acts 27:38 . Now, seeing that for some time (and in quite a brief period must the fate of those on board be decided) further victuals were unnecessary now they ventured on the last means of lightening the ship (which, with the decreasing depth, Acts 27:28 , was urgently required for the purpose of driving it on to the land), and cast the provisions overboard, which, considering the multitude of men and the previous ἀσιτία , was certainly still a considerable weight. Chrysostom aptly remarks: οὕτω λοιπὸν τὸ πᾶν ἔῤῥιψαν ἐπὶ τὸν Παῦλον , ὡς καὶ τὸν σῖτον ἐκβαλεῖν . Σῖτος may denote either corn , or also, as here and often with Greek writers, provisions particularly prepared from corn (meal, bread, etc.). Others (Erasmus, Luther, Beza, et al. , including Baumgarten, Smith, Hackett) have explained it as the corn with which, namely, the ship had been freighted . But against this it may be urged, first, that this freighting is not indicated; secondly, that κορεσθ . δὲ τροφῆς corresponds to the throwing out of the provisions , and not of the freight ; and thirdly, that the throwing out of the freight had already taken place, Acts 27:18 , as this indeed was most natural, because the freight was the heaviest.

Verse 39

Acts 27:39 . Τὴν γῆν οὐκ ἐπεγίνωσκ .] i.e. when it became day, they recognised not what land it was; the land lying before them ( τὴν γῆν ) was one unknown to them.

κόλπον δέ τινα κατενόουν ἔχοντα αἰγιαλόν ] Thus Luke writes quite faithfully and simply (I might say naively) what presented itself to the scrutinizing gaze of those on board: but they perceived a bay which had a beach . A bay and a beach belonging to it so much they saw at the unknown land, and this sufficed for the resolution to land there, where it was possible. Observe that αἰγιαλός is a flat coast (Matthew 13:2 ; and see Nägelsbach on the Iliad , p. 254, Exodus 3:0 ), thus suitable for landing, in distinction from the high and rugged ἀκτή (see Hom. Od . v. 405, x. 89; Pind. Pyth . iv. 64; Lucian, Tox . 4). Hence it is not even necessary, and is less simple, to connect, with Winer, εἰς ὃν κ . τ . λ . as modal definition of αἰγιαλ . closely with the latter: “a shore of such a nature, that,” etc.

εἰς ὄν ] applies to αἰγιαλ . See Acts 27:40 . For examples of ἐξωθεῖν , used of the thrusting a ship from the open sea on to the land (navem ejicere, expellere ), see Wetstein. On St. Paul’s Bay , see the description and chart of Smith.

Verse 40

Acts 27:40 . A vivid description of the stirring activity now put forth in making every effort to reach the shore. 1. They cut the (four) anchors round about ( περιελόντες ), and let them fall into the sea, in order neither to lose time nor to burden the ship with their weight. 2. At the same time they loosened the bands, with which they had fastened the rudders to the ship in order to secure them while the ship lay at anchor from the violence of the waves, for the purpose of now using them in moving on. 3. They spread the top-sail before the wind, and thus took their course ( κατεῖχον ) for the beach ( εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν ).

εἴων ] is to be referred to the ἀγκύρας , which they let go by cutting, so that they fell into the sea . Arbitrarily, following the Vulgate (committebant se ), Luther, Beza, Grotius take it as “ εἴων τὸ πλοῖον ἰέναι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν .”

That τῶν πηδαλίων is not to be taken for the singular, but that larger ships had two rudders (Aelian, V. H. ix. 40) managed by one steersman, see Smith, p. 9, also Scheffer, de milit. nav . ii. 5; Boeckh, Urkunden , p. 125.

ὁ ἀρτέμων ] not elsewhere occurring in Greek writers as part of a ship, is most probably explained of the top-gallant-sail placed high on the mast. See especially Scheffer, de milit. nav . ii. 5; Forcellini, Thes . I. p. 231. Labeo in Jabolen. Dig. lib. 1. tit. 16, leg. 242, points to this view: “Malum navis esse partem, artemonem autem non esse, Labeo ait,” in which words he objects to the confounding of the artemon with the mast: the mast constituted an integral part of the ship, but the artemon did not, because it was fastened to the mast. Luther’s translation: “ mast ” [Segelbaum], is therefore certainly incorrect. Grotius, Heumann, Rosenmüller, and others, including Smith, explain it of “ the small sail at the prow of the ship .” In this they assume that the mast had already been lowered; but this is entirely arbitrary, as Luke, although he relates every particular so expressly, has never mentioned this (comp. on Acts 27:17 ). Besides, we cannot see why this sail should not have been called by its technical name δόλων , Polyb. xvi. 15. 2; Diod. xx. 61; Pollux, i. 91; Liv. xxxvi. 44, xxxvii. 30; Isidor. Orig . Acts 19:3 ; Procop. Bell. Vandal . i. 17. Hadrianus, Junius, Alberti, Wolf, and de Wette understand the mizzen-sail at the stern, which indeed bears that name in the present day (Italian, artimone ; French, voile d’artimon ; see Baysius, de re nav . p. 121), but for this ἐπίδρομου , Pollux i. 91, is well known to be the old technical name.

τῇ πνεούσῃ ] sc . αὔρᾳ , has raised itself quite to the position of a substantive. See examples in Bos, Ell. , ed. Schaefer, pp. 32, 40. The dative indicates the reference; they hoisted up the sail for the breeze , so that the wind now swelled it from behind. For examples of ἐπαίρειν , for hoisting up and thereby expanding the sail, and for κατέχειν , to steer towards , see Kypke, II. p. 144.

Verse 41

Acts 27:41 . But when they had struck upon a promontory . As to περιπ ., comp. on Luke 10:30 .

It is altogether arbitrary to abandon the literal import of διθάλασσος , forming two seas, or having the sea on both sides, bimaris (see the passages in Wetstein), and to understand by τόπος διθάλ . a sandbank or a reef (situated after the manner of an island before the entrance of the bay). This view is supposed to be necessary on account of Acts 27:43 f., and it is asked: “quorsum enim isti in mare se projicerent, si in ipsum litus navis impegerat prora?” Calovius; compare Kuinoel. But the promontory, as is very frequently the case, jutted out with its point under the surface of the water, and was covered to so great an extent by the sea, that the ship stranding on the point was yet separated from the projecting dry part of the isthmus by a considerable surface of water; hence those stranded could only reach the dry land by swimming. Even in Dio Chrys. v. p. 83, by which the signification of reef is sought to be made good, because there τραχέα κ . διθάλαττα κ . ταινίαι ( sandbanks ) are placed together, διθάλ . is not to be taken otherwise than τόπος διθάλ . here.

ἐπώκειλαν ] ἐποκέλλειν may be either transitive : to thrust the ship on, to cause it to strand (Herod. vi. 16, viii. 182; Thuc. iv. 26. 5), or intransitive : to strand , to be wrecked . So Thuc. viii. 102. 3; Polyb. i. 20. 15, iv. 41. 2, and see Loesner, p. 240. As τὴν ναῦν is here added (which in the intransitive view would be the accusative of more precise definition, but quite superfluous), the transitive view is that suggested by the text: they thrust the ship upon, they made it strand . Lachmann and Tischendorf, following A B* C, have ἐπέκιελαν , from ἐπικέλλω , to push to the land, navem appellere . But neither does this meaning suit, as here it is the ship going to wreck that is spoken of; nor can proof be adduced from the aorist form ἐπέκειλα (Hom. Od . ix. 138, 148, xiii. 114: ἐπέκελσα ), see Bornemann. In Polyb. iv. 31. 2, ἐπικέλλοντες has been introduced by copyists’ mistake for ἐποκέλλοντες .

ἐρείσασα ] having fixed itself . On ἐ̓ ρείδειν , used also by the Greeks in an intransitive sense, comp. Proverbs 4:4 .

ἡ δὲ πρύμνα ἐλύετο κ . τ . λ .] for the promontory had naturally the deeper water above it the farther it ran seawards, so that the stern was shattered by the power of the waves. This shipwreck was at least the fourth (2 Corinthians 11:25 ) which Paul suffered.

Verses 42-44

Acts 27:42-44 . Now, when the loss of the ship was just as certain, as with the proximity of the land the escape of those prisoners who could swim was easily possible, the soldiers were of a mind to kill them; but the centurion was too much attached to Paul to permit it. [175] Not sharing in the apprehension of his soldiers, he commanded that all in the ship who knew how to swim should swim to land, and then the rest (to whom in this way assistance was ready on shore) were to follow partly on planks and partly on broken pieces of the ship.

βουλὴ ἐγένετο , ἵνα ,] there took place a project (in the design), that , etc.; comp. on Acts 27:1 , and see Nägelsb. on the Iliad , p. 62, Exodus 3:0 , who on such modes of expression appropriately remarks that “the will is conceived as a striving will.”

ἀποῤῥίπτειν , to cast down , intransitive, in the sense of se projicere . See Schaefer, ad Bos Ell . p 127.

καὶ τοὺς λοιπούς ] sc. ἐξιέναι ( e mari ) ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν .

ἐπὶ σανίσιν ] on planks , which were at hand in the ship.

ἐπί τινων τῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ πλοίου ] on something from the ship , on pieces which had partly broken loose from it by the stranding, so forming wreck ( ναυά γιον , ἐρείπιον ), and were partly torn off by the people themselves for that purpose. ἐπί denotes both times the local being upon , and the change between dative and genitive is to be regarded as merely accidental. See Bernhardy, p. 200 f.; Kühner, § 624, ad Xen . Mem . i. Act 1:20 .

In the history of this final rescue, Baumgarten, II. p. 420, has carried to an extreme the arbitrariness of allegorico-spiritual fiction.

[175] In this remark (ver. 43) Zeller conjectures very arbitrarily a later addition to the original narrative, which was designed to illustrate the influence of the apostle upon the Roman.


The extraordinarily exact minuteness and vividness in the narrative of this whole voyage justifies the hypothesis that Luke, immediately after its close, during the winter spent in Malta, wrote down this interesting description in the main from fresh recollection, and possibly following notes which he had made for himself even during the voyage perhaps set down in his diary, and at a later period transferred from it to his history.


The transition from the first person in which he narrates as a companion sharing the voyage and its fortunes into the third is not to be considered as an accident or an inconsistency, but is founded on the nature of the contents, according to which the sailors specially come into prominence as subject. See Acts 27:13 ; Acts 27:17-19 ; Acts 27:21 ; Acts 27:29 ; Acts 27:38-41 .


If the assumption of the school of Baur as to the set purpose animating the author of the Acts were correct, this narrative of the voyage, with all its collateral circumstances in such detail, would be a meaningless ballast of the book. But it justifies itself in the purely historical destination of the work, and confirms that destination.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Acts 27". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/acts-27.html. 1832.
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