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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Acts 27

Verse 1

Acts 27:1 . Ἐκρίθη , it was decided ) The setting out of Paul to Cæsar was already before decreed: now the time was appointed, and their route by sea. As to Paul, it was decided in the strict judicial sense of the word: his friends freely followed Paul, and among them Luke. τοῦ ) ἐκρίθη τὸ κρίμα τοῦ ἀποπλεῖν . ἑτέρους , other prisoners) Comp. Luke 22:37 . σπείρης Σεβαστῆς ) the Augustan band .

Verse 2

Acts 27:2 . Πλοίῳ ) They did not choose for the sake of prisoners to take such a ship [so large, and therefore charging dearly for passage], as that in it alone the whole voyage might be accomplished. see Acts 27:6 . Ἀδραμυττηνῷ ) Adramyttium , a town of Asia Minor, situated towards the north of Pergamos, as Raphelius observes from Xenophon, contrary to what the geographical maps represent. μέλλοντι ) So the language appertains to the ship; with which comp. Acts 27:6 . Μέλλοντες is the reading of others, flowing from the rhythm ἐτιβάντες . [147] ΤΟῪς ΤΌΠΟΥς , the localities ) As the sea is navigated, so the parts ( τόποι ) of the sea are navigated. ἈΡΙΣΤΆΡΧΟΥ ) Aristarchus was either returning to his native country, or was on his journey to Rome.

[147] Μέλλοντι is the reading of AB Vulg. (Amiat.) both Syr. Versions, Memph. Μέλλοντες of the Rec. Text is not supported by any very old authority. E. and T.

Verse 3

Acts 27:3 . Φιλανθρώπως , courteously ) A suitable word, applied to offices of kindness on the part of comparative strangers, ch. Acts 28:2 ; Titus 3:4 , ἡ φιλανθρωπία . Ἰούλιος , Julius ) He seems to have heard Paul (when speaking before Agrippa, who is said to have been accompanied by the chief captains and principal men of the city ), ch. Acts 25:23 . φίλους , friends ) who were at Sidon, [equally as (as also) at Tyre . V. g.]

Verse 4

Acts 27:4 . Ὑπεπλεύσαμεν , we sailed under ) They were wishing to pass by the southern part of Cyprus: they passed the eastern part at no great distance. The ὑπο here has the same force in the compound as in Acts 27:7 ; Acts 27:16 .

Verse 5

Acts 27:5 . Πέλαγος ) the deep sea , more remote from the land. In antithesis to, we sailed under .

Verse 7

Acts 27:7 . Μὴ προσεῶντος ) the wind not admitting us towards Crete.

Verse 8

Acts 27:8 . Μόλις , hardly ) Construed with ἤλθομεν , we came . καλοὺς ) Perhaps this epithet was given by antiphrasis; comp. Acts 27:12 , “the haven was not commodious :” as the name, Pontus Euxinus. [148] Λασαία ) So the best MSS.: two have Ἄλασσα : whence the Latin Vulg. has Thalassa . [149] The word civitas , immediately preceding (in the Vulg.), may have caused the prefixing of the letter t from its third syllable. [150] We assign more weight to the Asiatic MSS. than to the African, when the question is concerning the names of places. Crete is said to be ἑκατόμπολις , as is remarked in the Periplus of Scylax. Among the hundred towns, how many are unknown in our days?

[148] Which means hospitable to strangers , whereas it was a sea notoriously inhospitable , ἄξεινος , and inclement: but was called the former from a superstitious feeling to avoid a bad omen. E. and T.

[149] Rec. Text and Tisch. read Λασαία , with the sanction of the two Syr. Versions alone of the oldest authorities. B and Memph. read Λασέα . A has Ἄλασσα ; and so Lachm. Vulg. has Thalassa, and in other MSS. Thassala. E. and T.

[150] Before Ἄλασσα , which would favour the reading of A: Alassa, Talassa, Thalassa . E. and T.

Verse 9

Acts 27:9 . Ἤδη , now ) by reason of the time of year. The ancients were more afraid of winter in their voyages than men of our days are. τὴν νηστείαν , the fast ) The time of the year is denoted, by Metonymy [see Append.], from the fast of the seventh month, Leviticus 16:29 . [The feast of atonement, of which this was the fast, answers to that portion of time which immediately precedes our vintage. V. g.] παρῄνει , advised ) that they should not leave Crete: Acts 27:21 . ὁ Παῦλος , Paul ) Paul furnishes a noble example of faith in the case even of things altogether external, accompanied with great presence of mind and dexterity of counsel putting itself forth, and stirring up others.

Verse 10

Acts 27:10 . Αὐτοῖς , unto them ) to the centurion and the rest. ὅτι μέλλιεν ) ὅτι sometimes has an infinitive. Polybius writes, διαδοθείσης φήμης , ὅτι τὰ θηρία τοὺς πλείστους διαφθεῖραι . Raphelius adduces more instances from him. ὕβρεως ) ὕβρις , Latin injuria , is often said with respect to one suffering who had not deserved the injury, even though the operating (agent) cause be not culpable. This word, ὓβρις , especially has regard to the ship: ζημία has regard both to the ship and to the souls in it. μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι ) μέλλει makes the language modal [see Append. Sermo Modalis ], is likely to be, is liable to be: and savours of modesty. [He does not expressly say that it ought or must be done; with which comp. Acts 27:21 ; but merely indicates the danger impending from the course which they were choosing to adopt. So also in Acts 27:31 . V. g.]

Verse 11

Acts 27:11 . Κυβρενήτῃ , the master ) who was in command of the ship. ναυκλήρῳ , the owner of the ship ) to whom the ship belonged. He too was under the control of the centurion. ἐπείθετο μᾶλλον , had more regard to ) The artificer is not always to be trusted in his own art. Often the believing Christian, at the time when there is the greatest need, speaks more seasonable advice; but he is less regarded: Ecclesiastes 9:15 . Perhaps Julius was afraid of the indignation of his superiors.

Verse 12

Acts 27:12 . Οἱ πλείους , the majority ) In time of danger, even those give their votes and opinions who are not entitled to do so: but the majority of votes does not always prove a thing to be really better. ἔθεντο βουλὴν ) gave their advice : Pricæus observes, that consilium posuerunt is a Petronian phrase. LXX., Judges 19:30 , θέσθε βουλήν : and so Psalms 13:0 (12):3, θήσομαι βουλάς . Φοίνικα , λιμένα ) Φοίνιξ was the name of a town: its port is called Φοινικοῦς by Ptolemy. An easy Metonymy. κατὰ Λίβα καὶ κατὰ Χῶρον , towards the south-west [Africus], and towards the north-west [Corus]) By the putting down of the two winds, it is more distinctly expressed, how open the harbour was, and how great their hope of being able to put in there, than if the west wind (Zephyrus) only were put down, from which the wind called Africus or Λίβς declines towards the south, Corus declines towards the north.

Verse 13

Acts 27:13 . Δόξαντες , having supposed ) as the south wind blew in their favour. ἄραντες ) having moved . Where there is motion, there the mass is raised from the support beneath on which it rests. Thence αἴρειν , to move , by a Metonymy of the consequent for the antecedent. ἆσσον ) nearer . The comparative contracted from ἐγγὺς , which Herodotus also uses everywhere, and Josephus, l. i. Ant. c. 20. See Beza, E. Schmidt, and Raphelius. It is not in this place the name of a town, otherwise unknown, that they were seeking [as if ἆσσον were a town]; for it was Phenice which they had sought. [151]

[151] Rec. Text accents it, ἄσσον . Vulg. makes it a town: cum sustulissent de Asso. E. and T.

Verse 14

Acts 27:14 . Ἔβαλς ) viz. ἑαυτόν · so ἐπιδόντες , Acts 27:15 ; ἀποῤῥίψαντες . Acts 27:43 . Intransitive. αὐτῆς ) The modern Greek Version has, τῆς Κρήτης κατʼ αὐτῆς , upon Crete and from Crete against us. ἄνεμος Τυφωνικὸς , a Typhon-like [tempestuous] wind ) Aristotle, de mundo , writes, Τυφών ἐστι τὸ ἀστράψαν ἄχρι τῆς γῆς διεκθέον , ἐὰν ἄπυρονπαντελῶς . It is called so from τύφω ( to smoke ), for θύφω , as τρέφω for θρέφω . Typhon, in Pliny, means the hurricane ( ἐκνεφίας , the hurricane caused by clouds meeting and bursting) descending like a thunderbolt, the especial bane of sailors: l. ii. c. 48 and 49; and when, moreover, there is rather a stormy blast than a wind. On this account, it is therefore conjointly called ἄνεμος τυφωνικός . Εὐροκλύδων ) that is, the east wind ( Eurus ) exciting the billows . An appropriate compound; the Εὖρος forming one part of it, because of the ἄνεμος , and the κλύδων forming the other part, because of the Τυφωνικός . [“See App. Crit. P. ii. on this passage, which refutes, by more than one reason, the reading Εὐρακύλων , which many advocate.” Not. Crit.]

[ 152]

[152] Others prefer εὐρυκλύδων , from the MS. Petav., as Ernesti suggests, Bibl. Th. T. viii. p. 24. E. B.

Εὐρακύλων is read by AB (according to Lachm.: but B corrected , acc. to Tisch.) Vulg. (Euroaquilo) and Thcb. Εὐροκλύδων of the Rec. Text and Tisch. has the sanction of the two Syr. Versions alone among the oldest authorities. Bentley, in his Letter to F. H., D. D., signed Phileleutherus Lipsiensis, ably supports Εὐρακύλων . The wind Euroclydon was never heard of before. Εὖρος and κλύδων , presenting a disparity of ideas, would never be joined in one compound; but Εὐρακύλων exactly suits the sense. Eurus is often taken (Gellius ii. 22) for the middle equinoctial East , the same as Solanus . Between the two cardinal winds, Septentrio and Eurus, there are two at stated distances, Aquilo and καικίας . The Latins, having no name for καικίας (Seneca, Nat. Quæst . 16), expressed the wind blowing between Aquilo and Eurus by the compound Euro-Aquilo , on the analogy of the Greek Εὐρόνοτος , the middle wind between Eurus and Notus. The καικίας is well called by Luke τυφωνικὸς , whirling ; for the proverb shows that this was the peculiar character of καικίας in those climates, Ἕλκων ἐφʼ αὐτὸν ὡςκαικιας νέφη . So Luther’s and the Danish Version, North-east . More strictly it is the East-north-east , the very wind which would drive a ship from Crete to the African Syrtis, according to the pilot’s fears, ver. 17. E. and T.

Verse 16

Acts 27:16 . Περικρατεῖς γένεσθαι τῆς σκαφῆς ) to retain , and haul out of the sea, the boat , which heretofore had accompanied the ship: Acts 27:30 ; Acts 27:32 .

Verse 17

Acts 27:17 . Ἣν , which ) the boat. βοηθείαις , they used helps ) which the boat afforded. ὑποζωννύντες , undergirding ) Gyraldus, in his book concerning voyages, says (ch. xv), that the “mitra” (girdle) is the rope with which a ship is girded in the middle. Add Raphelius. τὴν Σύρτιν , the Syrtis ) quicksands towards Africa. τὸ σκεῦος ; the tackling ) [that wherewith the ship was furnished ]) the sails, etc., Acts 27:19 , in order that they might be driven on the Syrtis with less violence.

Verse 18

Acts 27:18 . Ἐκβολὴν ) a casting out of the merchandise.

Verse 20

Acts 27:20 . Μήτε ἡλίου , μέτε ἄστρων , neither the sun, nor the stars ) which the ancients could the less do without before the discovery of the mariner’s compass.

Verse 21

Acts 27:21 . Πολλῆς ) Their abstinence was much , frequent, and long-continued. τότε , then ) When the world exults with joy, Christians abstain; when all others are in alarm, Christians are of good courage, and cheer up the others: Acts 27:36 . ἔδει μὲν , ye ought indeed ) It is not without cause that Paul thus begins: I had given you good counsel, I will give you good counsel again; now comply with it. κερδῆσαι , to have gained ) This does not depend on. μὴ . Κερδῆσαι , by a Euphemism, is equivalent to avoid . Josephus, b. ii. de Bello Jud. ch. xvi, τόγε τῆς ἣττης ὄνειδος κερδήσετε , ye will supersede (escape from) the disgrace of defeat . Add B. ii. Ant. Jud. ch. 3. Basilius of Seleucia, Or. 19, ἵνα , εἰ μὲν φθάσαςλόγος ἐπιστρέψτὴν ἔννοιαν , τὴν τιμωρίαν κερδάνωσιν . Casaubon on this passage compares Arist. ἠθ . μεγ . [153] . ii., ΚΑῚ ΚΑΤᾺ ΛΌΓΟΝ ΖΗΜΊΑΝ ἯΝ ΛΑΒΕῖΝ , ΤῸΝ ΤῸ ΤΟΙΟῦΤΟΝ ΚΕΡΔΆΝΑΝΤΑ ΕὐΤΥΧῆ ΦΑΜΈΝ . So too the Latins use lucrifacere . ταύτην , this ) which is before our eyes.

[153] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

Verse 22

Acts 27:22 . Καί ) The particle μὲν , put previously, required δὲ to follow, but καὶ has in it a degree of modesty. [ παραινῶ ὑμᾶς , I exhort you ) Paul, however neglected his advice had been, is not angry notwithstanding, but proceeds to give wholesome advice in this place, and in Acts 27:33 . V. g.] οὐδεμία , πλὴν , no loss except ) A marvellous prediction: Acts 27:24 ; Acts 27:34 ; Acts 27:44 .

Verse 23

Acts 27:23 . Εἰμὶ , I am ) To belong to GOD is the height of religion; wherein faith, love, and hope, are comprehended. The correlative is, to serve GOD. λατρεύω , I serve ) They who were in the ship saw this.

Verse 24

Acts 27:24 . Κεχάρισται , hath freely given thee) Paul had prayed: Even many of these perhaps, as far as life is concerned, were given to Paul. Even the centurion, in subservience to Divine providence, saved the prisoners in compliment to Paul, Acts 27:43 . The providence of God marvellously reigns under contingent events, such as was the accompanying retinue here. More readily many bad men are preserved with a few godly men, than one godly man perishes with many guilty men. The world is like this ship. [And although the men of the world owe very much beyond what they think to the children of God, yet they are most evilly disposed towards them. V. g.] σοὶ , to thee ) There was no danger, at a time otherwise so dangerous, that Paul should seem to speak boastingly what he spoke of necessity. πάντας , all ) not merely, as Julius desired, the prisoners: Acts 27:43 . These “all” were many: Acts 27:37 . Do thou seek souls: they shall be given thee, more than thou couldest hope. μετὰ σοῦ , with thee ) Paul, in the sight of GOD, was chief man in the ship, and its commander by his counsels.

Verse 25

Acts 27:25 . Ἄνδρες , men ) whom courage becomes. τῷ Θεῷ , God ) Faith exercised towards the (word of the) angel of GOD, is exercised towards GOD.

Verse 26

Acts 27:26 . Εἰς νῆσον , upon an island ) This took place presently, Acts 27:27 .

Verse 27

Acts 27:27 . Τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτη , the fourteenth ) after having left Crete: Acts 27:18-44.27.19 . αὐτοῖς χώραν , that land drew near to them ) To persons who are being carried along, the lands seem to be in motion.

Verse 30

Acts 27:30 . Φυγεῖν , to flee ) in the boat, which would go more safely over the rough places.

Verse 31

Acts 27:31 . Ὑμεῖς , ye ) He does not say, we . The soldiers had no anxiety as to the safety of the prisoners; Paul was not afraid for his own.

Verse 32

Acts 27:32 . Τότε , then ) Paul left it to the soldiers to consider what they ought to do.

Verse 33

Acts 27:33 . Ἄχρι ) until, whilst . In the time of dawn there was more scope for lengthened exhortation. τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην , fourteenth ) Construed with προσδοκῶντες , waitlng for, expecting (relief): for they had not so long abstained from food, although perhaps they had had no regular dinner or supper. For the rest, the fourteenth day, as Wall thinks, was thought the critical [decisive of their fate] day among sailors.

Verse 34

Acts 27:34 . Σωτηρίας , for your safety ) that ye may be the stronger (the better able) for swimming to land.

Verse 35

Acts 27:35 . Εὐχαρίστησε , he gave thanks ) A public confession of the Lord. ἤρξατο , he began ) There was the force of example even in this. Paul, taking food with good courage, imparts courage to those giving way to despair.

Verse 37

[37. Αἱ πᾶσαι , all ) of whom we may, not without good reason, suppose that no few were won to the Gospel. V. g.]

Verse 38

Acts 27:38 . Τὸν σῖτον , the corn ) having a sure hope of getting to land.

Verse 39

Acts 27:39 . Τὴν γῆν , the land ) which they had begun to see. αἰγιαλὸν , the shore ) which was smooth: Matthew 13:2 , note [Hesychius defines αἰγιαλός as a smooth shore with sands].

Verse 40

Acts 27:40 . Εἴως , they committed, let go ) viz. the ship, and themselves with it. τὰς ζευκτηρίας τῶν πηδαλίων ) “ The rudders are attached to the ship by certain bands . When these are loosened, then the rudders go down much into the waters, and by their weight keep back the ship, so as not to be upset by the winds.” Grotius . τὸν ἀρτέμονα ) “The artemon is that smaller sail which is wont to be attached to larger sails, whence also it takes its name” [Th. ἀρτάω , I hang to, fasten to ]. Gyrald . de Navig., T. I. Op., f. 604, where he refutes many errors concerning the artemon . τῇ πνεούσῃ ) viz. αὔρᾳ . This is construed in the Ablative with the verb κατεῖχον , as the old Engl. Vers. [but authorised Engl. Vers., “They hoised up the mainsail to the wind ”] and Heinsius. It was by the sail, not by the oars, that they were now aiming to reach the shore.

Verse 41

Acts 27:41 . Εἰς τόπον διθάλασσον , to a place where two seas met ) Such a place, for instance, is an oblong mound composed of sand formed into a dense mass. It is called ταινία , a ridge, “pulvinus,” a sandbank .

Verse 42

Acts 27:42 . Βουλὴ , counsel ) A cruel, unjust, and ungrateful one. [The soldiers no longer reflected how much they owe to Paul. V. g.]

Verse 43

Acts 27:43 . Ἀποῤῥίψαντας ) viz. ἑαυτούς .

Verse 44

Acts 27:44 . Ἀπὸ , from ) from the wooden parts of the ship.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 27". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.