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THE APOSTLE’S JOURNEY BY SEA FROM CESAREA TO ROME
Acts 27:1 to Acts 28:15
A.—THE VOYAGE TO ITALY, AND ITS DANGERS, BUT ALSO THE DIVINE PROTECTION GRANTED TO THE APOSTLE AND THOSE WHO WERE WITH HIM. THE SHIPWRECK, AND THE ESCAPE FROM DEATH AT THE ISLAND OF MALTA
1And [But] when it was determined [resolved] that we should sail into [to] Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion ofAugustus’ band [to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan band] 2And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one [We embarked, then (δὲ), in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail1 to the places [τόπους] in Asia; and we put to sea,] Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica,being with us. 3And the next day we touched [landed] at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul [treated Paul with kindness], and gave him liberty [permitted him] to go2 unto his friends to [friends and] refresh himself. 4And when we had launched [put to sea] from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the windswere contrary [to us]. 5And when we had sailed over [through] the sea of [sea, along (the coast of)] Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra3, a city of Lycia [to Myra in Lycia].
6And there [There] the centurion found a ship of Alexandria [which was] sailinginto [to] Italy; and he put us therein [us on board of it]. 7And when we had [But we] sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, [and with difficulty reached the region of Cnidus; but as the wind did not allow us to land,] we sailed under Crete4, over against Salmone; 8And, hardly [with difficulty] passing it, came unto a place which is called the [om. the] Fair Havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea5.
9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now [was already] dangerous, because [also, χαὶ] the fast was now already [was now] past, Paul admonished them,10And said unto them, Sirs [Ye men, Ἄνδρες], I perceive that this [the, τὸν] voyage will be [will terminate, μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι] with hurt6 [injury] and much damage, not only of the lading [cargo7] and ship, but also of our lives. 11Nevertheless [However, δὲ] the centurion believed the master [steersman] and the owner of the ship [ship-owner],more than those [the, τοῖς] things which were spoken by Paul. 12And [But] because the haven [harbor] was not commodious [suited] to winter in, the more [greater] part advised [resolved] to depart thence also8, if by any means [if perhaps, εἴπως] they might attain to Phenice [might be able to reach Phoenix], and there to winter [and winter there]; which is a haven of Crete, and lieth toward the southwest and north-west.13And when [as] the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing [setting sail] thence, they sailed close9 by [close along the coastof] Crete. 14But not long after [this,] there arose10 against it [against the ship] a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon [which is called Northeasterly11]. 15And when [Now as] the ship was caught [carried along], and could not bear up into [against]the wind, we let her drive [wind, we gave her up, and were driven onward]. 16And running under a certain [But when we came near to a small] island which is called Clauda12, we had much work to come by [much difficulty in obtaining control of] theboat: 17Which when they had taken [raised] up, they used helps [aids], undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands [should be drivenupon the sand-banks], strake sail [lowered the tackling], and so were driven. 18And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest [And as we suffered exceedingly from the storm], the next day they lightened the ship [they threw merchandise overboard];19And [on] the third day we13 cast out with our own hands the tackling [the furniture]of the ship. 20And [Now (δὲ)] when neither sun nor stars in [for] many days appeared, and no small [slight] tempest lay [pressed] on us, all hope that we should be saved was then [all hope that our lives would be saved was at last (λοιπὸν)] taken away. 21But after [a] long abstinence [from food], Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, [Ye men], ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed [sailed] from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss [Crete; ye would thus haveavoided this injury and this damage]. 22And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall [will] be no loss of any man’s life among you, but [only that] of theship. 23For there stood by me this night the [an] angel of God, whose I am, andwhom I serve, 24Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cesar [must stand before the emperor]: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.25Wherefore, sirs [ye men], be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall [will] be even as it was told me. 26Howbeit [Yet (δὲ)] we must be cast upon [be wrecked at] a certain island.
27But when the fourteenth night was come14 [came], as we were driven up and down in Adria [in the Adriatic sea], about midnight the shipmen [mariners] deemed [conjectured] that they drew near to some country [that some land was approaching them];28And sounded, and [heaving the lead, they] found it twenty fathoms [deep]: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it [deep; after ashort interval they again cast the lead, and found] fifteen fathoms. 29Then fearing lest we [lest they, ἐχπέσωσιν]15 should have fallen [should be wrecked] upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of [at] the stern, and wished for the day [wished that daywould come]. 30And as the shipmen were about [But when the mariners sought, ζητούντων] to flee out of the ship, when they had [ship, and] let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of [on the pretextthat they were about (μελλόντων) to let go anchors at] the foreship, 31Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these [If these do not] abide in the ship, ye can-not be saved. 32Then the soldiers cut off [cut away] the ropes of [from] the boat, andlet her fall off. 33And while the day was coming on [But until it began to be day], Paul besought [exhorted] them all to take meat [nourishment], saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried [waited] and continued fasting, having [and have]taken nothing. 34Wherefore I pray [exhort] you to take16some meat [nourishment]; for this is for your17 health [preservation,σωτηρίας]: for there shall not a hair fall from the head of any of you [for not a hair of the head of any one of you will perish18]. 35And when [When] he had thus spoken19, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all; and when he had broken it, he [all, broke it, and] began toeat. 36Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat [took nourishment.37And [But] we were20 in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen [two hundred and seventy-six] souls. 38And [But] when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat [grain] into the sea. 39And [But] when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek [inlet] with a shore [beach], into the [om. the] which they were minded [they resolved21], if it werepossible, to thrust in [drive] the ship. 40And when they had taken up the anchors [Therefore, cutting away the anchors], they committed themselves unto the sea [they let them fall into the sea22], and loosed the rudder bands [and, at the same time (ἅμα) loosened the fastenings of the rudders], and hoised [hoisted] up the mainsail [foresail23]to the wind, and made toward the shore [beach]. 41And [But] falling into a place where two seas met [which had the sea on both sides], they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves [broken by the violence (om. of thewaves)24]. 42And the soldiers’ counsel was [But the soldiers formed the resolution] to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out and escape25 [that no one mightescape by swimming]. 43But the centurion, willing [The centurion, however (δὲ), wished] to save Paul, [and] kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which [who] could swim should cast themselves first into the sea [water], and get toland: 44And the rest, some [partly] on boards, and some [partly] on broken pieces [on pieces] of the ship. And so [thus] it came to pass, that they escaped all [they all came] safe to land.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Acts 27:1. And when it was determined [resolved].—The resolution which was now adopted, did not refer to the voyage itself, which had already been determined, but to the mode and the time of the journey to Italy; it was, namely, decided that the party should set forth immediately, and go by sea. [“When Vespasian went to Rome, leaving Titus to prosecute the siege of Jerusalem, he went on board a merchantship, and sailed from Alexandria to Rhodes, and thence pursued his way through Greece to the Adriatic, and finally went to Rome through Italy by land. Jos. B. J. vii. 2. 1.”(Conyb. and Howson, etc., II. 318).—Tr.]. It was now late in the autumn of the year A.D. 60 [Acts 27:9]. By the word ἡμᾶς the narrator indicates, in addition to Paul, both himself and also the Macedonian Christian Aristarchus of Thessalonica, Acts 27:2; see Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4 [and Colossians 4:10; Philem. Acts 27:24.—“Our English translators speak of him, very strangely, as ‘one Aristarchus,’ as if he were otherwise unknown.” (Hackett).—Tr.]; both voluntarily accompanied the apostle. Hence Luke here speaks communicatively for the first time since the mention of the arrival at Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-18), and retains the same form of speech until the party reaches Rome.—The expression τοῦ excites attention in a grammatical point of view, since it presents the object to which the resolution referred as the purpose or design of that resolution. [On the later usage with regard to this construction (the article in the genitive, with the infinitive, see Winer’s remark on the passage, Gram. N. T., § 44. 4, under the second a).—Tr.]. In accordance with the resolution already mentioned, Paul, with his voluntary attendants, on the one hand, and, on the other, the rest of the prisoners who were to be sent forward, and who belonged to a different class (ἕτεροι, i.e., of another sort), were officially given in charge to a centurion named Julius, who was thus made responsible for the safe delivery of all the prisoners. [De Wette denies that ἑτέρους is here intentionally employed instead of ἄλλους, (as Meyer and Lechler assume), in order to imply that the other prisoners were of another kind, i.e., not Christians; and, to show that ἄλλος and ἕτερος are used promiscuously, appeals to Acts 15:35; Acts 17:34.—They delivered.—“Who? Perhaps the assessors with whom Festus took counsel on the appeal, Acts 25:12; but, more likely, the plural is used indefinitely, the subject being ‘they,’ like the French ‘on,’ or the German ‘man.’ ” (Alf.).—See Winer, Gr. N. T., § 64. 3.—Tr.].—Different views have been entertained by interpreters respecting the cohors Augusta, to which the centurion Julius belonged. Kuinoel, who adopted the opinion of Schwarz (Diss. de cohorts Italica et Augusta, 1720, p. 43), assumed that a cohort of soldiers from Sebaste (Samaria) was meant. [After Herod had rebuilt the city of Samaria, he gave it the name of Σεβαστή, in honor of Augustus; Jos. Ant. xv. 7. 7 and 8. 5.—Tr.]. But this supposition is, for various reasons, entitled to very little consideration. [If, for instance, the fact had been as Schwarz supposes, the cohort would have been described as σπ. καλουμένη Σεβαστηνῶν. (De Wette).—Tr.]. Wieseler: (Ap. Chron., p. 389 ff.) conjectures that Julius belonged to the special imperial bodyguard of Nero (cohors Augustanorum), that he had been sent to the East for the purpose of fulfilling some official duty, and that, when he was returning to Rome, Festus availed himself of the opportunity, in order to send the prisoners, under his care, to that city. But the terms of the text before us, convey the impression that both the centurion and the cohort in question, were stationed at Cesarea, and were under the command of Festus. Hence the name is still involved in a certain obscurity, which we cannot remove by any arbitrary conjectures.
Acts 27:2. And entering into a ship.—The prisoners, with a body of Roman soldiers, who served as a guard, accordingly embarked at Cesarea on a trading vessel which came from Adramyttium, a seaport of Asia Minor, in the province of Mysia, not far from Troas and Assos, and opposite to the island of Lesbos. The ship was homeward bound, but previously to the conclusion of the voyage, was yet to touch at several seaports along the coast, of Asia proconsularis.[Πλεῖν τοὺς - - τόπους is the reading of the text. rec. with G. H.—Lachm. inserts εἰς after πλεῖν, on the authority of A. B., to which Cod. Sin. is now also to be added. Alford. with de Wette and Meyer, rejects the preposition as a later attempt to correct an apparently harsh construction; for the latter, see Winer: Gr. § 32. 1 ult. on the passage.—Tr.]. It was intended that this ship should be exchanged for another which was on its way to Italy, and which could be readily found in some one of the seaports of Asia Minor.—The nautical and topographical points which occur in the narrative of Luke, have been explained in a manner which claims all our gratitude, in the work of a learned Englishman, entitled: “The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul: with Dissertations on the Life and Writings of St. Luke, and the Ships and Navigation of the Ancients. By James Smith, Esq., of Jordanhill, F.R.S. 1848. Second edition, London, 1856.” This writer employed a winter’s residence in Malta, in carefully examining all the localities of the island; he consulted educated and experienced seamen on the subject of the navigation of the Levant, and collected all the information which modern log-books and descriptions of seavoyages could furnish. He devoted special attention to the ship-building and the navigation of the ancients, and availed himself of all accessible documents and aids, in order to shed all possible light on the narrative in the Acts. The result was, that he clearly explained many points which had hitherto been involved in obscurity, and, at the same time, essentially contributed to the evidences of the historical truth and of the credibility of the Book of the Acts. He has, in particular, demonstrated in the clearest manner, in many passages of the work, that the writer of the narrrative before us, 1, could not have himself been a seaman, inasmuch as his language, when he speaks of nautical matters, is not that which any one who was professionally and practically acquainted with the subject, would have employed. He has demonstrated that, for this very reason, the writer must, 2, have been an eye-witness of all that he records; this point is proved both by the statements respecting all that occurred on board, and by the geographical details which are interwoven with the narrative; for no man who was not professionally acquainted with marine affairs, could have furnished a description of a sea-voyage so consistent in all its parts, unless he related that which he had personally observed and experienced. [Similar testimony is borne to the value of the services of J. Smith, by Meyer, Alford, Alexander, Hackett, Howson, etc., in their respective works; all gladly express their sense of the obligations which he has conferred on those who interpret the Acts of the Apostles.—Tr.]
Acts 27:3. And the next day we touched [landed] at Sidon.—If they reached Sidon the day after they left Cesarea, the wind must have been favorable, as the distance between the two places is about 67 miles. [Sidon is mentioned in Acts 12:20.—Tr.]. At the season of the year which had now arrived, Acts 27:9, westerly winds prevail in that part of the Mediterranean, and such a wind would be desirable for the ship, in view of the course in which it was proceeding. The courteous treatment of Paul by the centurion may possibly have been originally due to certain instructions received from the procurator, although there can be no doubt that, at the same time, the personal character and conduct of the apostle must have made a most favorable impression on every unprejudiced and intelligent mind. The vessel doubtless touched at Sidon for the purposes of trade; during the delay, Paul was permitted to spend his time among the Christians of that city, accompanied, of course, by a guard.
Acts 27:4-5. When they sailed from Sidon, contrary winds compelled them to sail under Cyprus, that is, instead of sailing in the open sea, they tacked, and sailed on the lee side of the island. Interpreters had hitherto been divided in their opinions respecting the side of the island along which the vessel proceeded. Some (e. g., Falconer; J. F. v. Meyer [not the commentator, H. A. W. Meyer], etc.), understand the text as if the vessel had left Cyprus on the right, and sailed along its southern coast; but Erasmus, wetstein, Bengel, etc., suppose that they passed by Cyprus on the left, that is, north of it. The latter is, without doubt, the correct view [and accords with that of J. Smith.—Tr.]; for we are informed in Acts 27:5, that they sailed through [the whole length of (Alf.)] the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia (διαπλεύσαντες); hence, they must have, at first, sailed between Syria and the eastern coast of Cyprus, and then between the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, on the one hand, and the northern coast of Cyprus, on the other. (J. Smith). [“Modern nautical investigation has brought to light that from Syria to the Archipelago, along the coast of Asia Minor, there is a constant current to the westward .… By getting into this strong current they would be able to make some way westward, even in the face of an unfavorable wind.” (Alex.).—Tr.].—Myra, where they landed, was, at that time, a flourishing seaport of Lycia, about twenty stadia [between two and three miles] distant from the sea, according to Strabo, but was situated on a stream which was navigable to the city.
Acts 27:6-8. a. And there the centurion found a ship.—At Myra the centurion Julius transferred the soldiers who accompanied him, together with the prisoners, to a merchant-vessel which had arrived from Alexandria, and was on its way to Italy. The cargo consisted of wheat, according to Acts 27:38, Egypt at that time being one of the granaries of Italy. Grain was usually transported from that country to Italy in very large vessels; according to a statement of Lucian, they could not have been inferior in size to the largest merchant-vessels of modern times. [“Josephus states (Life, § 3) that the ship in which he was wrecked in his voyage to Italy, contained six hundred persons.” (Hackett).—Tr.].—This circumstance explains the fact that not less than 276 persons (Acts 27:37) found room on board of this vessel.
b. The travellers had at first proceeded from Cesarea to Myra, Acts 27:1-5; the second part of the voyage, from Myra to Crete, is next described, Acts 27:6-8. They now made unusually slow progress, as they encountered contrary winds; that it was not merely a calm which occasioned the delay, J. Smith infers from the word μόλις, which implies an effort, a struggle with the wind; besides, the words μή προςεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ seem intended to explain μόλις γεν. κατὰ τὴν Κνίδον. Cnidus, a peninsula between Cos and Rhodes, was not too distant from Myra [130 miles], to have been reached in a single day, with favorable winds. The voyage from the vicinity of Cnidus to Italy, should, properly, have been in a south-western direction, so that the travellers would pass along the northern coast of Crete. But as the wind continued to be contrary, they chose another course, namely, to the south-south-west, towards the eastern shore of Crete, the extreme point of which, to the east, is formed by the promonotory of Salmone. The voyage was thence continued along the southern shore of the island, and the ship was constantly struggling with the wind and the waves (μόλις) [occurring in Acts 27:7, find repeated in Acts 27:8.—Tr.], until it reached a place called Fair Havens, not far from the city of the name of Lasea. [Αὐτὴν, Acts 27:8, refers to τ. Κρήτην. (Meyer).—Tr.]. There is a bay on the southern shore of Crete, which, as J. Smith has proved, still bears the name of Λιμένες Καλοί, and in which a ship is sheltered from north-west winds.
Acts 27:9-12. Paul admonished them.—[Πλοὸς, in later Greek, occurred also as a genitive, instead of πλοῦ, Winer, Gr. § 8. 2.—Tr]. A crisis had now arrived in the affairs of the voyagers. The favorable season for sailing had passed by, for the time of the fast (νηστεία)—that is, the fast of expiation—was already over, and they had accordingly reached a period which was subsequent to the autumnal equinox. [This fast of the day of atonement was observed on the tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 16:29 ff; Leviticus 23:26 ff.), that is, of Tisri; this was the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical or sacred year, but the first of the civil year. The fast occurred about the close of September, or the beginning of October, soon after which navigation was suspended in those waters. It is here mentioned simply to specify the season of the year, and is designated as the fast (τὴν νὴσ.), as it was the only annual, public and rigid fast, which Moses instituted. See Horne’s Introd. Part III. Ch. 5 Sect. II. p. 132; Keil’s Bibl. Arch. § 69; Winer’s Realw, art. Fasten; Herzog’s Real-Encyk. IV. 332.—Tr.]. Hence Paul warned the centurion and the owner of the vessel not to continue the voyage, and advised that they should winter in the harbor which they had succeeded in reaching, as any other course of action would expose the vessel to great danger.—The construction, in Acts 27:10, is loose: ὅτι—μέλλειν ἔσεσ. [The sentence begins with ὅτι but closes with the infinitive and accusative (μέλλειν ἔσ. τὸν πλοῦν), as if ὅτι had not been used. Analogous cases occur in the best classic writers. (Winer: Gr. § 44. 8. Anm. 2, and § 63. 2. c.)—Tr.].—Meyer and Ewald understand ὕβρις, in Acts 27:10, in a moral sense, viz., presumption; but then it would be necessary to take the word in the same sense in Acts 27:21, where it is again combined with ζημία, but where, according to the context, it would be inappropriate in that sense (see the Exeg. note below on Acts 27:21-26). It must, accordingly, be understood in the natural sense, according to the usual interpretation, as referring to the evils occasioned by the violence of the storm. The language of Paul on this occasion expresses the results of his own intelligent observation (θεωρῶ) and reflection; afterwards, he speaks in consequence of a divine revelation which he had received, Acts 27:21 ff. The event demonstrated that his fears had been well founded, although all escaped with their lives. At the consultation which was held, the centurion attached more weight to the opinion of the steersman and the ship-owner than to the advice of Paul—and naturally, as the former were professionally and practically acquainted with such subjects. Besides, the reason which they assigned for objecting to the plan of wintering in that spot, claimed consideration: the bay was not suited for that purpose; for the words ἀνενθ.—παραχειμ. in Acts 27:12, obviously state the grounds of their opposition to Paul’s advice. They agreed with him that the voyage to Italy could not at present be continued; but the majority of those who had a voice in the matter (οἱ πλείονς) decided in favor of selecting a more favorable place for passing the winter, namely, a harbor on the south-western coast of Crete, named Phœnix, provided that they could reach it. Luke describes this harbor as lying toward Λίψ, Africus [the south-west wind], and Χῶρος [Corus, or Caurus, the north-west wind]. This language has usually been understood to mean that of the two sides of the harbor, the one extended in the direction of the south-west, the other, in that of the north-west, [the irregular coast itself, in the interior of the harbor, looking due west.—Tr.]. J. Smith adopts the opposite view, p. 47 ff. [second ed. pp. 84–89], in order to sustain his opinion that a harbor which is now known as Lutro [Loutro] is identically the same spot. In that case κατὰ Λίβα καὶ κατὰ Χῶρον would denote the direction in which these winds blew, that is, the north-east and the south-east. But such an interpretation does violence to the usus loquendi, and is adopted merely to sustain a certain hypothesis. See the Commentary of Hackett, of North America, 1858, p. 420 ff. [Prof. Hackett, in his second edition (1863, p. 421 f.), adheres to his original opinion, which agrees with that of Lechler, as given here; he is not willing to identify Phœnix with the modern Lutro, which, as J. Smith states: “looks or is open to the east.” Alford agrees with J. Smith; Howson (Conyb. and H. II. 382) also adopts the conclusion at which Smith arrives, but admits that at least the philological arguments of the latter, are not conclusive.—Tr.].
Acts 27:13. And when the south wind blew softly.—The voyage from Crete to Malta, terminating with the shipwreck, is next described, Acts 27:13-44. A moderate south wind began to blow ὑποπν. is applied to a gentle breeze). It was supposed to be favorable for their purpose, inasmuch as at Cape Matala, not far from Fair Havens [four or five miles], the coast of Crete turns to the north-west, and for a voyage in that direction a south wind was precisely the one which sailors would desire. Hence they weighed anchor (αἴρειν was a common term in nautical language, used in this sense, even without the addition of τὰς ).—The word ἆσσον was formerly believed to be the name of a city of Crete [see note 9 above, appended to the text.—Tr.], and was connected with ἄραντες, as the place from which they sailed, or else as indicating the direction in which they proceeded. [Assos, in Mysia, Asia Minor, is mentioned in Acts 20:14.—Tr.]. It should, however be written with a small initial letter, as it is here the comparative of ἐγγύς [of ἄγχι (Passow).—Tr.], and signifies “nearer,” that is, nearer than was usual, or, quite near to the coast.
Acts 27:14-15. But not long after.—Ἔβαλε, i.e., struck against [intransitively, fell upon, beat against, as frequently in classic writers, after the age of Homer. (Meyer).—Tr.].—Κατʼ αὐτῆς; Luther supposed that these words referred to προθέσεως, Acts 27:13 [“their purpose”], which, however, would be a forced construction: Meyer refers them to Κρήτην. But it is more natural, in accordance with the context, to assume that ναῦς is the subject, [Win. Gr. § 47. 5. k. note.—Tr.], although this word does not here actually occur. [“Luke employs αὐτῆς, because the mental antecedent is ναῦς, which actually occurs in Acts 27:41, though his ordinary word is πλοῖον.” (Hackett).—Tr.].—Τυφωνικός is derived from τυφών, a whirlwind, a hurricane.—Εὐρακύλων is compounded of Eurus and Aquilo, that is, northeast; this reading [see note 11 above, appended to the text.—Tr.] is preferable to Εὐροκλύδων. [The latter form, adopted by the Engl. version is, according to de Wette, derived from εὖρος, the south-east wind, and κλύδων, billow, wave. Other explanations have been furnished, but no one has met with general approbation. Howson remarks (Conyb. and H. II. 825 n. 7): “The addition of the words ὁ καλούμενος seems to us to show that it was a name popularly given by the sailors to the wind: and nothing is more natural than that St. Luke should use the word which he heard the seamen employ on the occasion.”—Tr.]. The term τυφωνικός describes the violence of the wind, εὐρακύλων states its direction; for it was only a north-east wind which could have produced the effects that are subsequently described. The wind had veered around in an opposite direction.—Ἀντοφθαλμεῖν, i.e., to look [the wind] in the face, to bear up against, to strive against.—Ἐπιδόντες, i.e.,τὸ πλοῖον. [“They were compelled to scud before the gale.” (Howson, l. c.)—Tr.]
Acts 27:16; Acts 17. a. And running under a certain island [But when we came near to a small island],—Ὑποτρέ χειν is, as J. Smith remarks (p. 61, Note [2d ed. p. 100, Note], the most appropriate nautical term which could have here been employed. It states, first, that the ship had the wind behind it, and, secondly, that the wind was between the ship and the island, so that the former went to the south-east of the island. Clauda (also called Claudus by Ptolemy), [“a small island about twenty miles from the south coast of Crete” (Sir C. Penrose)—Tr.], now bears the name of Gozzo. Here they endeavored to hoist on board the boat with which the ship had been provided, so that, if the circumstances should render it necessary, they might make use of it; otherwise, the violence of the winds and the waves might tear it loose from the ship by which it had been towed, and it would then have been irretrievably lost. This work was performed with some difficulty [μόλις, a third time, see Acts 27:7-8]; Luke does not, however, explain wherein the difficulty consisted. [“After towing so long, it must have been nearly filled with water.” (Conyb. and H. II. 337.)—Tr.]. It was, next, considered to be indispensably necessary, that the ship should be undergirded, in order to prevent it from foundering at sea. This work was accomplished by means of certain βοήθειαι; such aids or helps consisted of cables, chains, etc., which were passed under the keel of the vessel, in order to bind the planks together as tightly as possible. In mechanics, the ancients understood by βοήθειαι, props or supports. [Undergirding, technically termed frapping, consists in “passing cables or other large ropes under the keel and over the gunwales, and then drawing them tight by means of pullies and levers.” (Sir C. Penrose, quoted in Conyb. and H. II. 336, note 6).—Tr.]
b. And fearing lest, etc.—They were apprehensive of being driven on the Syrtis, i.e., Syrtis Major, between Tripoli and Barca on the African coast, which, on account of the rocks found in it, is still regarded by navigators as a dangerous shallow (ἐκπέσωσι, i.e., driven from the open sea against the land or rocks). The men had reason to entertain such fears, as the north-east wind was blowing at the time directly toward that quarter. The other, Syrtis Minor, cannot be here meant, it lay too far to the west [near Carthage]; they were, accordingly, in imminent danger of being driven upon the greater Syrtis. (There is, therefore, no reason to assume that Σύρτιν is here an appellative, in the general sense of sand-bank, particularly as the definite article is prefixed). [Nevertheless Lechler translates the word in the text above, Acts 27:17, “sandbanks.”—Tr.]. In order to avoid this danger, they lowered the tackling. [“They lowered the gear. This is the most literal translation of the Greek expression.” (Conyb. and H. II. 337.)—“Strake sail (Engl. version) is regarded by the latest nautical interpreters as not only incorrect but contradictory, denoting not a wise precaution against danger, but a reckless rushing into it.” (Alex.).—Tr.]. The expression τὸ σκεῦος no doubt here means, in accordance with the context, the sails, which were furled, in order that the storm might not have too much power over the vessel; in that case, the wordsυὅτως ἐφέροντο mean that the latter was allowed to be driven without sails. But it is precisely this expression which shows that, if the narrator had been practically acquainted with nautical affairs, he would, unquestionably, if he at all mentioned the subject, have been more definite and full in his statements. [“What precise change was made we are not able to determine, in our ignorance of the exact state of the ship’s gear at the moment. It might mean that the mainsail was reefed and set. (Such is Mr. Smith’s view). Or it might mean that the great yard was lowered upon deck, and a small storm sail hoisted, etc.” (Conyb. etc. II. 337, 338).—Tr.]. J. Smith, who it is true, interprets here a priori, that is, according to the course which under the circumstances, ought to have been adopted, rather than according to the direct sense of the words themselves, speaks of the lowering of the gear, of the hoisting of the storm sail, and of tacking, p. 68 ff. [Second ed. p. 108, 109].—These (Acts 27:13-17) were the events of the first day, after the vessel had left Pair Havens.
Acts 27:18-19. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest.—In consequence of the violence of the storm, many things were, on the following day, thrown overboard; the articles thus sacrificed for the purpose of lightening the ship, were probably the heavier and less valuable parts of the cargo. But on the third day, they were compelled to proceed even further [as the leaks no doubt admitted an increasing quantity of water.—Tr.], and cast out even a part of the furniture of the ship, such as tables, chests, etc. And the passengers themselves were now required to lend their assistance (αὐτόχειρες). [Lechler, namely, prefers the reading which exhibits the verb ἐῤῥιψ. in the first person. See note 13, above, appended to the text.—Tr.]
Acts 27:20. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared.—[“The sun and stars were the only guides of the ancients when out of sight of land.” (Alf.).—Tr.]. The voyagers were now exposed to the most severe trial; during eleven days they were in imminent danger of perishing; comp. Acts 27:27. As the violence of the storm did not abate, and heavy clouds obscured the sky both by day and by night, they abandoned all hope of escaping with their lives, especially as the vessel appears to have suffered serious damage. [The leaky state of the ship increased upon them. (J. Smith).—Tr.]
Acts 27:21-26. But after long abstinence.—This πολλὴ , that is, the long-continued and rigid abstinence from regular meals, cannot have been occasioned by an actual want of provisions, as the ship’s cargo consisted of wheat, which had not yet been cast overboard, Acts 27:38. It was, partly, the impossibility of properly cooking food, and, partly, the incessant labors which were performed, together with the mental distress occasioned by fear and despair, which had prevented the voyagers from eating.—Paul stood forth … and said.—During this period of danger and painful anxiety, Paul came forward (the precise time previously to the catastrophe mentioned below, is not stated), and spoke to the company in encouraging terms; he promised all, on the authority of a divine revelation which he had received, that they should escape with their lives. If he, nevertheless, begins by saying that the advice which he had previously given (Acts 27:10), should have been adopted, he is not influenced by an undue tenaciousness in adhering to his own opinion, but simply desires to demonstrate that he is justified in claiming the faith and confidence of his hearers, by reminding them that the result had so far fully established the soundness of his advice. [Μέν after ὲδει is not connected with καὶ at the beginning of Acts 27:22; the clause expressing the contrast (e. g., “but such I was not the case”) is omitted. See Kuehner. Gram. § 322. 5: 100. Rem. 4. (Meyer).—Tr.]. He uses the word κερδαίνειν in a sense in which it often occurs in later Greek, after the time of Aristotle; it indicates, in that case, a certain gain which consists, not, positively, in securing an advantage, but, negatively, in avoiding an injury or a loss against which precautions had been successfully adopted: and it is precisely for this reason that ὕβρις cannot here with any propriety be understood in a moral sense, which is the interpretation of Meyer and Ewald. [See the Exeg. note above on Acts 27:9-12.—Tr.]. The construction of the clause in Acts 27:22, beginning with ἀποβολή, is the following: ‘for there will be no loss of life in the case of any of you, unless it be of the ship,’ that is, there will be a loss: the less precise πλήν is used instead of πλήν μόνου. [Winer. Gr. § 67. 1. e.—Tr.].—This night. Acts 27:23. that is, the preceding night, as Paul undoubtedly made this address to the company in the day-time. Οὖ εἰμί, that is, ‘whose property I am’; a different thought is conveyed by ῷ λατρεύω [comp. Romans 1:9], ‘to whom I offer worship.’ The latter refers to acts of prayer on the part of Paul, which the people on board may at times, have noticed. We can hardly suppose that the vision occurred in a dream (Ewald); it was doubtless granted at a time when Paul was awake. If the promise made in Acts 23:11, and which is here more fully explained in reference to the person of the emperor, was to be fulfilled, it also included an assurance of the safety of the life of Paul in the present danger. The words κεχάρισταί etc. do not merely furnish a general promise that the follow-travellers of the apostle shall escape with their lives, but also state in particular that they will be saved from death for the sake of Paul, inasmuch as God assures Paul of their safety, as an act of grace to him. Paul had, without doubt, offered prayers (λατρεύω) not only in behalf of himself, but also in behalf of all who were around him, and God had now accepted his intercessory petitions. Δέ, in Acts 27:26, implies that their lives would indeed be spared, but that they would, nevertheless, experience much evil. The knowledge that they would be cast upon a certain island, appears to have been derived from the vision, but ‘Where?’ and ‘When,’—were questions which Paul could not yet answer.
Acts 27:27-28. But when the fourteenth night was come.—The days and nights continue to be counted from the time when the vessel left the bay in Crete. The name of Adria was occasionally employed, it is true, in a restricted sense, even by the ancients, and designated that which is now known as the Adriatic Sea, namely, the gulf on the north of the straits of Otranto (N. lat. 40°—45°). But the name also frequently embraced, as in the present case, in addition to the Adriatic, also the Ionian Sea, so that it was applied to the sea on the east of Lower Italy and Sicily, in which Malta is also found. [For the anecdote of Cæsar, see below, Hom. and Pr. Acts 27:27.—Tr.]. The conjecture of the sailors that they were in the vicinity of land, is expressed by the word ὑπενόουν, suspiciebant, as this circumstance would necessarily expose them to a new danger. [“The roar of breakers is a peculiar sound, which can be detected by a practised ear.” (Conyb. and H. II. 344).—Tr.]. The language προςάγειν - - χώραν is adapted to an optical illusion [“according to which the vessel seems to stand still and the land to move.” (Alex).—Tr.]: the converse is found in the following: “terraque urbesque recedunt.” [Æn. III. 72]. Luke does not state the grounds of the conjecture, but it was no doubt, suggested by the increasing sound which proceeded from the surf. J. Smith refers, on p. 81 ff. [118, 119], to a case which is, in a striking manner, similar to the one before us; it is that of the British frigate Lively, which was wrecked, Aug. 10, 1810, in the same region in which Paul is now found, not far from the point of Koura. He refers to the records of the Admiralty, and exhibits the remarkably analogous circumstances in the case of the English frigate, as given in evidence at the court-martial held on its officers. [“The mean rate of a drift of a ship circumstanced like that of Paul,” says J. Smith, “would be thirty six and a half miles in twenty-four hours. … Hence, according to the calculations, a ship starting late in the evening from Claude (476 miles distant from the point of Koura), would, by midnight on the fourteenth, be less than three miles from the entrance of St. Paul’s Bay.” See the Exeg. note on Acts 27:39, bellow.—Tr.].—In order to learn whether there was reason to entertain fear, the sailors sounded and found at first a depth of 20 fathoms (120 feet), and after proceeding a little further, ascertained that the depth was only 15 fathoms (90 feet). [“The ancient fathom and the modern coincide so nearly, that the nautical interpreters, in their calculations, treat them as identical.” (Alex.).—Tr.]. Such a rapid decrease of the depth afforded just grounds for apprehending that they would be carried on the rocks or reef (τραχεἴς τόπους).
Acts 27:29. They cast four anchors out of the stern.—They had a twofold purpose in anchoring: first, to keep the ship from foundering on a reef, and, secondly, to wait for day-light, so that the vessel might strand at a point which would, with the greatest probability, afford means of escaping to land. Not less than four anchors were let down; for vessels in ancient times did not possess those colossal anchors which modern vessels carry, and therefore took a larger number of them on board. They acted with prudence in letting go the anchors at the stern, for if they had anchored by the bow [the head of the Ship], the north-east wind, which still continued to blow, would have the more easily obtained control of the ship, and the wreck would have occurred under still more unfavorable circumstances [“the vessel would have swung round and gone upon the rocks.” (Conyb. and H. II., 345).—Tr.]. J. Smith has shown that these seamen acted with much prudence, and exhibited great skill. Howson, an English writer, mentions, that when Nelson appeared before Copenhagen, April, 1801, he ordered that each ship [as she arrived nearly opposite her appointed station], should let go her anchors astern—that this procedure was of advantage to the fleet—and that Nelson stated, after the battle, that he had that morning been reading the twenty-seventh chapter of the Acts, which had suggested this measure to him. [Lechler refers to Conybeare and Howson’s Life, etc., of St. Paul, II., 345.—Tr.]
Acts 27:30. To flee out of the ship.—The sailors doubtless believed that the ship was in such a shattered state, that it would entirely go to pieces before the night was over; they may have, at the same time, apprehended that the character of the coast was so unfavorable, that when the ship would be finally wrecked, no hope of escape would remain. Hence they designed to flee out of the ship, by resorting to the boat, which had previously been secured on board, Acts 27:16-17. The ship itself, and the company, they had cruelly intended to leave to their fate. They accordingly let down the boat into the sea, under the pretext that they proposed to cast anchors out of the foreship or prow. [“Μελλόντων must be regarded as the genitive absolute, like the foregoing (τῶν δὲ ναυτῶν ζητ.), and προφάσει (comp. Thuc. V. 53.1, and VI. 76. 1) is used adverbially (Bernhardy, p. 130), while, in the classic writers the accusative, πρόφασιν is more usual, etc.” (Meyer).—Tr.]
Acts 27:31-32. Except these abide in the ship.—[“For the third time in this memorable voyage and tempest (see Acts 27:10; Acts 27:21), Paul the prisoner comes forward as the counsellor of those who seemed to have his life and liberty at their disposal.” (Alex.).—It may seem singular that Paul, even after the divine promise (Acts 27:22-24), should regard the safety of the whole company as depending on the presence of the sailors. It must, however, be remembered that the efficacy of any divine interposition is not here represented as depending on human means and ends. But when God has prescribed a certain course of action, which men are to pursue, he requires that they should adopt that course, and employ the means appointed by Him, if they desire the aid of His omnipotence. (Calvin).—Tr.] Paul defeated the plan of the faithless and treacherous sailors by communicating it to the Roman military force. [“He penetrated the design of the former, and either from some divine intimation of the instruments which were to be providentially employed for the safety of all on board,—or from an intuitive judgment, which showed him that those who would be thus left behind, the passengers and soldiers, would not be able to work the ship in any emergency that might arise,—he saw that, if the sailors accomplished their purpose, all hope of being saved would be gone. With his usual tact, he addressed not a word to the sailors, but spoke to the soldiers and his friend the centurion; and they, with military promptitude, held no discussion on the subject, but decided the question by immediate action.” (Conyb. and Howson, etc., II. 347 f.).—Tr.]. The soldiers were, as a matter of course, not acquainted with the art of navigation, and would have been left without any resource, if all the sailors had withdrawn. They therefore cut the ropes by which the boat was still attached to the ship, and abandoned it to the waves.
Acts 27:33-37. And while the day was coming on.—[But until it began to be day]. Ἄχρι, i.e., before it was day, and, accordingly, before they could begin to work and resort to the final measures which were to be adopted for saving their lives. As the strength of each individual would be taxed to the utmost by the effort to reach the shore, and as each one should be as fully as possible prepared to meet the emergency, Paul encouraged all, both by his words and his acts, to take a full meal. [“For the fourth time Paul the prisoner assumes, as it were, the command of the vessel, or at least the direction of the company, etc. … The words ‘having taken nothing’ are not to be strictly understood, but as a natural and popular hyperbole, denoting the omission of all stated meals, etc.” (Alex.).—Tr.]. The apostle himself showed a good example, after having given thanks to God aloud in the presence of all. [“Paul does not here observe a love-feast (Olsh.), nor does he act as the head of a family (Meyer), but simply proceeds as a devout Jew, who offers the prayer of thanks before he eats.” (De Wette).—Tr.]
Acts 27:38. And when they had eaten enough.—It was now time to adopt active measures for their rescue. The first step which they took was that of lightening the ship by casting the wheat [τὸν σῖτον] overboard. Meyer maintains that this word designates the ship’s provisions; these could not, however, under any circumstances, have been merely grain, but must have consisted of biscuit and other articles of food, and had, no doubt, been already so far reduced in quantity that their weight could not attract attention in the present emergency. It was, namely, the main object of the voyagers to bring the vessel as near to the shore as possible, before it actually struck. [“The cargo of wheat was now probably spoilt by the salt water. … Besides this, it is probable that, the ship having been so long in one position, the wheat had shifted over to the port side, and prevented the vessel from keeping that upright position, which would be most advantageous when they came to steer her towards the shore.” … “Sir C. Penrose says: ‘I doubt not that it was found, that, from the ship having been so long pressed down on one side, the cargo had shifted—towards the larboard side, etc.’ ” (Conyb. and Howson, II. 349, and note 3).—Tr.]. The cargo, accordingly, consisted chiefly of grain, and this opinion is the more probable, as the ship had come from Alexandria, and was proceeding to Italy, while it is well known that grain was the principal article which was exported from Egypt. This view, viz., thatὁ σῖτος was the cargo of the ship, had already been entertained by Erasmus, Luther, Beza, etc., and has recently been sustained by James Smith, Hackett, and also Baumgarten. Hackett, the American commentator, has, in particular, here adduced a very ingenious remark of Blunt, namely, that various incidental notices in different parts of the chapter, when properly combined, throw light on this subject. Thus, we are told in Acts 27:6, that the ship belonged to Alexandria, and was on its way to Italy; we learn next, from Acts 27:10, where the “lading” is mentioned, that it was a merchant-vessel (although we do not yet receive any information respecting the nature of the freight, τὸ φορτίον); at length we ascertain from Acts 27:38, that the lading consisted of wheat [“the very article which such vessels were accustomed to carry from Egypt to Italy.” (Blunt, quoted by Prof. Hackett, 2d ed., p. 440).—Tr.]. The freight had very naturally been kept as long as it was possible to preserve it from injury.
Acts 27:39. And when it was day.—The seamen did not recognize the land which had now become visible, although Malta was necessarily well known to Egyptian sailors. [For the identity of the island, see the Exeg. note on Acts 28:1.—Tr.]. It is, however, to be considered that they were at a part of the island which was remote from the harbor best known to them [“and which possesses no marked features by which it might be recognized.” (J. Smith).—Tr.]. It has been proved, beyond all doubt, by J. Smith, that this shipwreck must have occurred on that spot which the Maltese tradition has always designated as “St. Paul’s Bay.” It is found on the north-east extremity of the island, and forms a tolerably deep incisure into the land, between two beaches, of which the one to the south-east terminates with Koura point, while the one to the north-east ends at the small island of Salmonetta. The men observed that this bay [“creek,” Engl. version] had an ἀιγιαχός [“shore,” Engl. version], that is, a flat beach, whereas the word ἀκτή [which does not occur in the N. T.] denotes a coast which is considerably elevated above the margin of the sea. Hence Luke here uses the correct hydrographical term (J. Smith, p. 136, note [Engl. ed.]). The coasts of that bay consist of an unbroken chain of rocks, with the exception of two points, each of which presents a flat beach. It was one of these which the seamen chose, as suited for running the ship aground, if it were possible to do so (ἐξωθεῖν, ejicere navem [i.e., ashore, out of (ἐκ) the sea (Rob. Lex.).—Tr.].
Acts 27:40. And when they had taken up the anchors.—[Therefore, cutting away the anchors.—“The verb is here more correctly rendered in the margin of the English Bible ‘cut the anchors.’ The same remark applies to the words following: ‘committed themselves unto the sea,’ which the margin properly explains as still referring to the anchors, etc.’ ” (Alex.). So, too, Meyer: “εἴων refers to ἀγκύρας; the interpretation of the Vulg.: committebant se is arbitrary;” also Alford (“they cut away all four anchors”), and others.—Tr.]. In order to set the ship in motion, they let the anchors fall into the sea, as they had not time to draw them up, [and, besides, the anchors would have encumbered the water-logged ship with their additional weight. (Alford).—Tr.]. At the same time [ἅμα] they unloosed the lashings with which the rudders had been secured. The vessels of the ancients were usually supplied with two rudders, one being placed on each side of the stern; they were, respectively, named the right and the left rudder. These had been hoisted up out of the water, and lashed to the ship [“no doubt—lest they should foul the anchors” (Conyb. and H. II. 350, n. 2)—Tr.], but were now untied, in order that they might assist in propelling the ship in the desired direction. They, moreover, hoisted a sail τῇ πνεούσῇ, scil. αὕρᾳ, to the wind. The word ἀρτέμων does not occur in any other Greek writer; it is found only in Latin, in the form artemo [artemon], and has been very differently explained. [The various sails to which different writers have supposed this name to be applicable, are specified by Meyer, and, especially, de Wette, ad. loc.—Tr.]. According to J. Smith, the foresail is meant, that is, the one nearest to the forepart of the ship. After all these arrangements had been made, the sailors steered the ship towards the flat beach (κατεῖχον εἰς τ. αἰγ.).
Acts 27:41. And falling into a place, etc.—The place where two seas met, τόπος διθάλασσος, was a spot, on both sides of which the sea was found to flow. J. Smith supposes that the place was in the vicinity of the island of Salmonetta, which is separated from Malta by a narrow channel, not more than 100 yards in breadth, so that there was here a current between the sea in the interior of St. Paul’s Bay, and the sea outside. [The channel would thus appear to be “a place between two seas,” like the Bosphorus, to which Strabo applies the very word διθάλασσος. The island of Salmonetta is so situated, that the sailors, looking from the deck when the vessel was at anchor, could not possibly be aware that it was not a continuous part of the main land; whereas, while they were running her aground, they could not help observing the channel. (Conyb. and Howson, etc. II. 352 and n. 2).—Tr.]. Here the vessel suddenly struck, so that the forepart cut deeply into a bank of sand or clay, while the hinder part was broken by the surging of the sea. [J. Smith says: “The rocks of Malta disintegrate into extremely minute particles of sand and clay, which form a deposit of tenacious clay—and mud. … A ship, therefore, impelled by the force of the gale into a creek with a bottom such as has been described, would strike a bottom of mud into which the fore part would fix itself and be held fast, whilst the stern was exposed to the force of the waves.”—Tr.]
Acts 27:42-44. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners.—This design was formed in consequence of existing laws which imposed the most severe penalties on guards, who suffered prisoners for whom they were answerable, to escape; comp. Acts 12:19 [and Exeg. note on Acts 16:25-28.]. The centurion, however, frustrated the cruel design; he commanded, on the contrary, that, first of all, those persons on board who were able to swim, should at once seek the shore, in order to render any aid which might be necessary in the case of the others. [Ἀποῤῥίπτειν is used intransitively, in the sense of se projicere; Winer: Gr. 38. 1. (Meyer).—Tr.]. The latter availed themselves, partly, of σανίδες, i.e., planks and boards, which were in the ship, and, partly, of timbers which had entered into the construction of it, but had now been loosened or could be torn away. To these they attached themselves, and were thus carried ashore by the waves. [This is at least the fourth shipwreck which Paul experienced; the second Epistle to the Corinthians, in which three are mentioned (Acts 11:25), had been previously written. (Meyer).—Tr.]
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. Paul exhibits such true dignity in every respect, during this voyage, that we can see revealed in him the glory of Christ, by whose grace he was what he was [1 Corinthians 15:10]. The divine-human Person of the Redeemer manifests itself in the apostle. Even as the eternal Son of God appropriated to himself, through his incarnation, all that is human, with the single exception of sin, insomuch that he nihil humani a se alienum putaret, and descended into the lowest depths of human sorrow, so, too, his apostle here faithfully follows in his footsteps. He not only shares in all the hardships, privations, and dangers of the voyage, which were, indeed, unavoidable, but he does so with all his soul. He is as much concerned for the welfare of his fellow-travellers, for the safety of the ship, and even for that of the freight, as if no higher object occupied his mind. He so carefully observes all that occurs, (like his friend Luke, who was thus enabled to furnish us with this precise and faithful account), and revolves all in his mind with so much soberness and intelligence, that he is competent to give the soundest and most appropriate advice (Acts 27:10; Acts 27:21); and, shortly before the catastrophe occurred, his prudent warnings (Acts 27:31) and seasonable exhortations, combined with his own example, materially contributed to the rescue of all on board. And thus his sympathy, his presence of mind, his calm reflection, and resolute spirit, not only claim our regard on their own account, but precisely in the case of a child of God, constitute the evidence of genuine human virtue and excellence.—But Paul is, on the other hand, in this peculiar situation, obviously far more than a mere model of human prudence and ability—he is, besides, one of the servants and the redeemed of the God-Man. Indeed, he unreservedly confesses that he belongs to God, when the angelic appearance (Acts 27:23) enables him to foretell the escape of all, precisely at the time when their circumstances seemed to be most desperate. And this promise which, in truth, was fulfilled, he repeats on every appropriate occasion. The most striking fact, however, in the whole narrative, is found in the statement that God promises to save the lives of all on board for the apostle’s sake (κεχάρισταί σοι, Acts 27:24), and then fulfils His promise. They all owed their lives to Paul, or, rather, to the grace of God in Christ, which he enjoyed in so large a measure.
2. The concluding remark of the narrator (‘And it came to pass … safe to land’, Acts 27:44), although expressed in simple and unpretending terms, possesses a deep significance. It not only constitutes a graphic conclusion of the narrative of the voyage from Cesarea to Malta, viewed as a whole, but it also directs attention to Acts 27:21 ff. particularly Acts 27:22; Acts 27:24-25. Luke connects the happy issue with the assured hope previously expressed by Paul, on the authority of a divine revelation, at the very time when the lives of all were in the most imminent danger. Hence this concluding remark is, as it were, that link in the chain, which connects the fulfilment with the promise itself, demonstrating that this promise had been actually and completely fulfilled. This simple concluding remark thus enables us to recognize the invisible in the visible—the eternal counsel of God in the ultimate result—the secret in that which is revealed—grace, in nature.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Acts 27:1. And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, etc.—The path in which believers walk, often seems indeed to be determined by accident, or by the caprice or will of men; nevertheless, it will always be found to be, in reality, in strict accordance with the promises of God. (Rieger).—Why has God caused this detailed account of the external circumstances connected with the voyage, to be introduced into the volume of his revelations? I. To teach us that even the strangest and most painful paths of believers are ordered and closely watched by God, and to show that times, places, associates, the weather and the elements, are controlled by the Lord, and work together for good to them that believe. II. To warn us, showing that even when the circumstances in which we are placed, are at first painful and embarrassing, we should not rashly conclude that they are not ordered by God; when we are tempted to yield to a natural feeling of anxiety, we should not despond, but overcome our difficulties by faith. III. The Holy Ghost depicts in this section the character of a servant of Christ, who, even when he is involved in the greatest dangers, or is among the wildest and rudest people, or is placed in the most trying circumstances, nevertheless remains faithful to himself and to his Lord, “as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” 2 Corinthians 6:9-10. (Ap. Past.).—The land and the sea are full of the Spirit of the Lord; why should He not, therefore, have moved upon the face of these waters, too, and upon this shipwreck? The miracles wrought in nature, and those displayed in the kingdom of grace, constitute one system. The compass continually points in this voyage to the work of God. (Starke).
Acts 27:2. Aristarchus … being with us.—God can always alleviate our trials, as in the case of Paul’s captivity, when another true friend and companion was associated with the faithful Luke. (Starke).—Aristarchus voluntarily offered himself as a companion of the suffering apostle. This fraternal act of taking up the cross, was so precious in the sight of the Spirit of God, that he caused it to be recorded for our benefit as an example. (Ap. Past.).
Acts 27:3. Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends.—God, who comforts the lowly, not only provides his servant with a companion who is a believer (Aristarchus), but also inclines the heart of a man of the world (Julius) to treat him kindly. (Rieger).
Acts 27:4. We sailed under Cyprus.—How deeply Paul must now, at the close of his missionary course, have been affected by the sight of this island, on which he had gathered the first-fruits of his harvest! Acts 13:4. (Williger).
Acts 27:5. Sailed over the sea, etc.—Even when the route is circuitous, and the winds are unfavorable, God conducts his servants to the desired port.
Acts 27:7. And when we had sailed slowly many days.—As a vessel does not always meet with a favorable wind, and continue its voyage with celerity, so the Christian, in his journey through life, is often required to wait.
Acts 27:8. Nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea—Unimportant towns that are mentioned in this narrative, and that would otherwise have been forgotten, acquire an interest in our eyes, because Paul, the elect of the Lord, was in the ship. He passed by many spots, some of which were known, others unknown, to him; he may have, in spirit, visited every one of them, however insignificant any might be, and have saluted and blessed it “in the name of the Lord.” (Williger).
Acts 27:9-10.Now when much time was spent … Paul admonished them, and said, etc.—God often imparts enlightened eyes and prudent counsels to his people, even in temporal matters, and it is well with them when they adopt the appointed course. (Starke).—Let it not be said that the servants of God can render no services in temporal affairs. Such is not, it is true, their principal aim, and yet “godliness is profitable unto all things.” [1 Timothy 4:8]. The devout Joseph was employed by God as his instrument in preserving all Egypt and Canaan, during the famine, by his wise counsel. But when the advice of a servant of the Lord is rejected, he does not obstinately insist on it, but submits the result to God. (Ap. Past.).—Paul, who entertained such holy sentiments, was at first watchful, and then anxious to guard against bodily danger and temporal losses; and he teaches us, precisely by such a course, that the Christian will not rashly venture his life, and does not subject temporal goods to waste, but remembers that his body and soul, with all that he possesses in this life, are gifts of God. (Rieger).
Acts 27:11. Nevertheless, the centurion believed the master, etc.—It is very possible that the sailors may have, after their manner, indulged in boasting language, and have ridiculed the fears of the “gloomy” Paul. (Williger).—In the matter of giving or receiving advice, the first point which claims consideration is, not the character or position of the counsellor, but the soundness or unsoundness of the advice which he gives. Persons of very ordinary intelligence have sometimes, in such cases, been wiser than the most learned and prudent. 2 Kings 5:3. (Starke).
Acts 27:12. And because the haven was not commodious, etc.—It is a bad rule, that votes must be counted and not weighed. For sometimes the worst men are those who constitute the majority. 1 Kings 22:12-13. (Starke).—It often occurs that when men are not satisfied with their condition, and attempt to improve it, they expose themselves by their course to still greater evils and misfortunes. (id.).
Acts 27:13. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose.—The sailors no doubt triumphantly exclaimed: ‘Seest thou how well it goes with us? What knowledge of navigation do these teachers of religion possess? They ought not to interfere in such matters.’ (Starke).
Acts 27:14. But not long after there arose a tempestuous wind.—“Boast not thyself of to-morrow;” think not that, because the wind is now favorable, it will continue to prevail; “for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth;” the gentle south wind may be followed by a tempest. Proverbs 27:1. (Starke).
Acts 27:15. And when the ship was caught [carried along], and could not bear up into [against] the wind.—Alas! How often the believing soul, like this ship, is unable to bear up against the winds and storms of temptation. It would sink, if Jesus were not a covert from the tempest. Isaiah 32:2. (Starke).—During this memorable voyage, Paul became a seaman to the seamen [1 Corinthians 9:20], in accordance with that love which, at all times, and in all things, accommodates itself to the circumstances. The centurion Julius was now able to report to Festus that Paul’s “much learning” [ch. Acts 26:24] had not made him mad. (Besser).
Acts 27:18-19. We … lightened the ship … cast out … the tackling of the ship.—When our lives are in danger, we are often compelled to sacrifice objects which we highly value, and would gladly retain. But who would listen to us, if we should propose such a course for the sake of securing everlasting life? (Rieger).
Acts 27:20. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared.—As here in the natural world, so in men’s spiritual affairs, temptations sometimes prevent them for many days from seeing the light of grace; then they experience all that Luther describes in one of his hymns: “When reason seeks our faith to shake, etc.” (Starke).—And yet one star continued to shine for Paul, the light of which no storm could obscure—it was the promise of the Lord: “Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” Acts 23:11. (Besser).
Acts 27:21. Sirs, ye should have hearkened, etc.—When the advice of wise and devout men has been rejected, and evil results have thence followed, they do not lose time by exhibiting undue sensitiveness and by uttering reproaches, but proceed to give advice, if advice does not come too late, and offer their assistance, if it is still of avail.
Acts 27:22. And now I exhort you … ship.—The servants of God do not enjoy the privilege of being exempted from the evils with which the world is, in the providence of God, often visited; they are compelled to suffer in company with others. But they do enjoy the privilege of being effectually protected amid all the evils of the world, and they are never put to shame. Even when the waves are madly raging, and when they threaten to ingulf lofty mountains—when all others begin to despair, and believe that they are lost, the servants of God are able to lift up their heads with joy: for they know that there is an almighty and faithful Lord on high, who will never forsake them. (Ap. Past.).—Although Paul was an apostle, and was endowed with miraculous powers, we do not find that he availed himself of the gift of prophecy, until he had received a direct command of God to do so. He had perceived the dangers which threatened the vessel, and had, in company with the seamen, resorted to all the ordinary means of safety; he was, at the same time, unobtrusive, and may, like others, have entertained serious fears, Acts 27:24. He made no unusual pretensions, but waited for the help of the Lord. But after the Lord had appeared to him and promised that he and all who were on board, should escape with their lives, he spoke prophetically, on the authority of God, and the result confirmed the truth of his words. The servant of Jesus will follow this example, and refrain from uttering any predictions which proceed from his own will or an excited imagination. Our guide is the Gospel, and our duty requires us to exhort and beseech in Christ’s stead. If God should at any time direct us to make a communication to others, he will know how to accredit us. (Ap. Past.).
Acts 27:23. The angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.—Happy is he who can, with sincerity and joy of heart, repeat Paul’s confession of faith: “God, whose I am, and whom I serve,” and who, amid all the scenes which may be presented on the troubled ocean of this world, can continue to pray: “O God, I am thine; I serve thee; be thou my Preserver.” (Rieger).
Acts 27:24. Fear not,—thou must be brought before Cesar.—It hence appears that Paul entertained anxiety not for his life itself, but for the great object of his life. It is indeed the chief concern of faithful servants of God, that His holy purposes should not be frustrated in their case.—God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.—Thus it appears that Paul had prayed that the lives of all who were on board, might be spared. For the sake of righteous men, benefits are conferred even on the ungodly. For Lot’s sake, Sodom was spared as long as he remained in it. Understand this great truth, ye ungodly and arrogant children of the world! Ye owe it to such obscure lights—to simple Christians whom ye behold with scorn—to the despised prisoner Paul—that ye can supply your tables with food, breathe the air, and see the light of the sun. (Starke).—We are, as it were, also in a ship on the stormy and dangerous ocean of this world, in company with the souls intrusted to our care. Let us, then, earnestly strive, with continued prayer and personal efforts, to carry them with us, as a precious gift of God, so that neither we nor they may make shipwreck concerning faith [1 Timothy 1:19], and finally perish; then, even if the ship of life is broken in pieces, we can, with them, enter the secure haven of eternal life. (Ap. Past.)
Acts 27:26. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.—Lord, reveal thou to us those islands of safety in the troubled ocean of this world, where we may temporarily repose, until we complete our last voyage, and, while we gaze at eternity, which is rapidly approaching, are able to exclaim: Land! Land! “Wherever we lie at thy feet, we are in a safe haven; the route by which we reach it, we submit to thy wisdom; if we can at last enter thy eternal kingdom, we have no other care.” (Williger).
Acts 27:27. But when the fourteenth night was come.—O how many nights of anxiety like this, have been passed, not only by those who are at sea, but also by others who cry unto the Lord from the depths of affliction, and wait for his help, from one morning watch to another! (Rieger).—As we were driven up and down in Adria.—It was on the same stormy Adriatic Sea that the great Cæsar cried to the trembling pilot: “Steer boldly; thou carriest Cæsar and his fortune.” [“Mr. Humphry compares and contrasts the speech of Cæesar to the pilot under similar circumstances: τόλμα καί δέδιθι μηθὲν, ἀλλὰ ἐπιδίδου τῇ τύχῃ τὰ ἱστία καὶ δέχον τὸ πνεῦμα, τῷ πνέοντι πιστεύων, ὄτι Καίσαρα φέρεις καὶ τὴν Καίσαρος τύχην . Plut. de Fortun. Rom., p. 518.” (Alford).—Tr.]. Paul could have, in loftier terms, said to the pilot: “Fear not; thou carriest Christ and his salvation!”
Acts 27:29. They cast four anchors out … and wished for the day.—The spiritual anchor of Christians—faith, combined with a living hope—is sent upwards, not downwards, Hebrews 6:19. (Starke).—At night we wish for the day, whereas we may have already undervalued many of our past days; Ecclesiastes 11:7. (id.).
Acts 27:30. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship.—Behold the fidelity of the world in the time of need! Those preachers, moreover, may be compared to the timid and fugitive shipmen before us, who fall away in the time of need, and desert the ship of the Church that had been committed to them, John 9:13. (Starke).
Acts 27:31. Paul said—Except these abide, etc.—Paul had a heart that was full of faith and of love to man, and by these main-springs all his actions were regulated. He had imbibed the power of the divine promises; he was, consequently, undaunted and full of courage, and could comfort and sustain his companions. God had given him all them that were sailing with him; hence his zeal was watchful, so that not one should perish; he impressively warned them not to leave the ship; afterwards, he encouraged them to partake of food, and then urged them to save themselves by swimming. In short, he provided in every respect for the preservation of their lives. Thence we learn in what manner a teacher may, by his faith, experience and genuine love, become a blessing to others, particularly in seasons of distress and danger. (Ap. Past.)
Acts 27:32. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes, etc.—It was a strong faith which performed that act; for thus the last bridge was broken down that connected the land with the ship, which none now hoped to save. When the centurion directed that the boat should be cut loose and abandoned to the waves, he entered in the life-boat of Paul’s word, which was firmly held by the faithfulness of the almighty God. Let it be also thy work to cut off the ropes of every boat in which thou puttest thy trust besides God; then will-thy dark night pass away before the morning light, and thou shalt behold the glorious help of God. (Besser).
Acts 27:34. There shall not a hair fall from the head, etc.—Such are the wonders which God performs! A prisoner in chains may be a prophet, and a saviour of those who had bound him, Genesis 41:12-14. (Starke).—When we are exposed to great danger, let us remember the omnipresence and gracious Providence of God, and consider that all the hairs of our head are numbered, Luke 12:7; Luke 21:18. (id.).
Acts 27:35. He took bread, and gave thanks to God.—When Paul thus prayed before the meal, he was the salt of good savour [Matthew 5:13] for the whole company. (Rieger).—This early meal in the tempest-tost ship, after Paul had given thanks, is the true counterpart to the peaceful slumber of the Lord Jesus on a pillow in the hinder part of the ship into which the waves were beating, Mark 4:37-38. (Besser).—The whole of Psalms 66:0 may be applied to the present case; it was truly a meal of which heroes partook. (Lindhammer).
Acts 27:36. Then were they all of good cheer.—The word of God inspires men with true courage, and “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures [Germ. vers. Schalen, i. e., dishes] of silver.” Proverbs 25:11. Therefore, “let your light so shine, etc.” Matthew 5:16. (Starke).
Acts 27:38. Cast out the wheat into the sea.—Behold, o Christian, how these men cast away this food for the body, in order to preserve the remnant of their bodily life. Wilt thou not sacrifice temporal things, in order to obtain eternal life?—‘What shall it profit a man, etc.?’ Mark 8:36. (Starke).
Acts 27:39. And when it was day.—After the darkness, light re-appears; the night passes away, and the sun rises; our troubles will at length come to an end. God is nearest to us in our greatest distress. (Starke).They knew not the land.—A striking counterpart to the present situation may be found in the church hymn for mariners, written by Chytræus [one of Melanchthon’s students, and subsequently an eminent divine; died in 1600.—Tr.]:—“The land is near, Well known to all, Towards which we steer the ship, etc.” (Besser).
Acts 27:42. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners.—The soldiers were accountable, in case any prisoner should escape, and hence their apprehensions suggested this cruel thought. Thus men may be led by an undue zeal to entertain false views of their official duty, and may entirely forget that they are, besides, bound by duties which they owe to others. (Rieger).
Acts 27:43. But the centurion, willing to save Paul.—At this late period, when Paul had escaped so many dangers, he would have lost his life, if God had not touched the heart of this pagan centurion, and inclined him to show kindness and gratitude to the man whom he had learned to revere and love. (Besser).
ON THE WHOLE .—The good counsel of a man of God should not be despised, even in temporal affairs: I. Paul’s counsel, Acts 27:10; II. The objections to it, Acts 27:11; III. The consequences of rejecting it, Acts 27:13 ff. (From Lisco.).
The dangerous voyage of Paul to Rome, an image of many a voyage of the bark of Christ: I. The conflict of the vessel with the winds and the waves, Acts 27:14-15; II. The exertions of the shipmen; they undergird the ship and lighten it, Acts 27:16-19; III. Their apparently hopeless condition, Acts 27:20; IV. The wonderful rescue—the exhortation of Paul, and the help of God, Acts 27:33 ff. (From Lisco.).
Paul’s example of Christian self possession in the midst of danger: I. He frustrates the dangerous projects of the timid, Acts 27:27-32; II. He encourages those who despond, Acts 27:33-38. (Lisco.).
The voyage of life. (id.).
Paul in the storm, a noble example: I. Of manly calmness; his wise counsel, Acts 27:10; his presence of mind, Acts 27:31. II. Of Christian peace of mind; his kind admonition, Acts 27:21; his unshaken trust in God, Acts 27:25; III. Of the apostolic unction of the Spirit; his prophetic statement, Acts 27:24; his priestly love-feast, Acts 27:35.
Paul in Adria (Acts 27:27), and Christ on the lake of Gennesaret (Mark 4:36 ff.), or, The eminent servant of the Lord of all: I. The suspicious calm which preceded the storm; Christ asleep; Paul a prisoner; II. The majesty revealed during the storm; Christ reproves the disciples, who had little faith; Paul cheers the desponding people on board; III. The wonderful escape from the danger of death; Christ rebukes the winds and the waves; Paul brings his shipwrecked companions safely to land.
Paul, the apostle, on the stormy sea, or, A greater than Jonas is here [Matthew 12:41]: I. Jonas flees from the Lord—Paul journeys, in the service of his Master, to the great city of the pagans; II. Jonas brings the wrath of God upon his fellow-voyagers—Paul comforts and saves his travelling companions: III. Jonas is rescued from the jaws of death—Paul brings 276 persons safely to land; IV. Jonas proceeds to Nineveh, and preaches repentance—Paul proceeds to Rome, and proclaims the Gospel with the sacrifice of his life.
Paul on his journey to Rome, a glorious illustration of the truth that the strength of the Lord is made perfect in the weakness of his servants [2 Corinthians 12:9]: I. He departs as a prisoner, and, nevertheless, is a free man in Christ, free from fear, and alive in the Spirit, while those who sail with him, paralyzed by fear, look forward with terror to the danger which is at hand; II. As one ignorant of the sea, among experienced seamen, and yet he gives them the wisest counsel in external matters; III. As a man worthy of no regard, he is over-looked by the worldly-minded, but in the hour of trial he cheers and sustains all who surround him; IV. As a shipwrecked man, he is cast ashore; nevertheless he carries with him the Gospel, to which Rome and the whole world were to be made subject.
Paul in the storm, or, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” [Romans 8:31]: I. Not the winds and the waves, with all their violence, for they are controlled by the Almighty; II. Not men, with all their plans and devices, for the Lord says: ‘Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought’ [Isaiah 8:10]; III. Not our own heart, with all its doubts and fears, for the comforting words are heard from above: “Fear not”, Acts 27:24.
The Christian’s comfort and means of safety during the stormy voyage of life: I. Prudence and foresight, as all temporal things are uncertain, Acts 27:9-10; II. Fraternal union and fidelity in the hour of danger, Acts 27:21; Acts 27:24; Acts 27:30; III. Firmness and resolution in sacrificing temporal things, Acts 27:18-19; Acts 27:38; IV. Confidence and trust in God, amid the storms of temptation, Acts 27:22-25; V. Grateful use of the means of grace, Acts 27:34-36; VI. Hopeful contemplation of the heavenly land of rest, Acts 27:44.
The ship of the Church of Christ, on the stormy ocean of the world: I. Its dangers; (a) contrary winds, Acts 27:4; Acts 27:14; (b) unwise pilots, Acts 27:11-12; (c) superfluous goods, Acts 27:18-19; (d) contending parties, Acts 27:30; Acts 27:42; (e) hidden rocks, Acts 27:29; Acts 27:41. II. Its means of safety; (a) the testimony of devout teachers, Acts 27:9; Acts 27:21; (b) the instructions of the divine word, Acts 27:23 ff.; (c) the consolations of the holy Sacraments, Acts 27:35; (d) the blessing of believing prayers, Acts 27:35 : (e) the saving hand of the almighty God, Acts 27:24; Acts 27:34; Acts 27:44.
“Though the floods compass us about [Jonah 2:3; Psalms 42:7], thou, O Lord, abidest with thy people”, Acts 27:39-44 : I. Amid the billows of outward life; II. In the storms of inward temptations; III. In the conflicts of the Christian Church.
The consoling words addressed by the Lord to his servant, when his life is in danger, Acts 27:23-25 : I. He attests the faithful obedience of his servants: “there stood by me, etc.” Acts 27:23; II. He renews the promise of divine guidance: “Fear not, Paul: thou must stand, etc.” Acts 27:24; III. He bestows on Paul all those on whom that apostle looks with love: “God hath given thee, etc.” Acts 27:24.
The thoughts and intents of the heart, disclosed amid storms, or when death is near: then may be perceived, I. The utter helplessness of the man of the world
his want of counsel, courage, love, Acts 27:22; Acts 27:30; Acts 27:33; Acts 27:42. II. The true greatness of the Christian—his trust in God, his presence of mind, his love, Acts 27:21-25; Acts 27:31-35. III. The glory of the Lord—his awful majesty, his righteous judgments, his compassionate grace, Acts 27:20; Acts 27:24-25; Acts 27:35; Acts 27:44.
The sea, always an exalted scene of the holy acts of God: I. Of his creative power, since the days of creation; “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” [Genesis 1:2.]; II. Of his impartial justice, since the days of the deluge; III. Of his saving grace, since the time of Noah’s deliverance, and of Israel’s passage through the Red Sea.
[The shipwreck of St. Paul, described Acts, Acts 27:0. I. The facts connected with it; (a) the purposes of the voyage; (b) the unfavorable circumstances under which the ship sailed; (c) the catastrophe. II. The conduct of Paul, after the commencement of the voyage; (a) his prudence; (b) love; (c) faith. (See the foregoing sketches). III. The lessons which it teaches; (a) as to the mysterious ways of Divine Providence; (b) as to the trials of the servants of God; (c) as to the sovereignty of God.—Tr.]
Acts 27:2; Acts 27:2. The dative singular μέλλοντι, which is found in the Alex. [A.] and Vat. [B.] manuscripts, [and also in Cod. Sin.], as well as in twenty minuscules and several versions, should be preferred to the nominative plural μέλλοντες [of text. rec.], which is found in the two latest uncial manuscripts [G. H.]; the latter was introduced [by copyists] to suit ἐπιβάντες. [This is also Meyer’s opinion. The Vulgate, as usually printed, has incipientes, but some manuscripts read incipientem, agreeing with navem, thus sustaining μέλλοντι.—Knapp, Lach., Tisch., Born., and Alf. (Winer: Gr. N. T., § 32.1 ult.) adopt the sing. De Wette prefers the nom. plur., as it is apparently the more difficult reading.—Tr.]
Acts 27:3; Acts 27:3. [πορευθέντα, of text. rec. with G. H., and retained by Alf., is changed into πορευθέντι by Lach. and Tisch., in accordance with A. B, and also Cod. Sin.—De Wette here, too, regards the dative as a later correction; Meyer, who agrees with him, thinks that it was made to suit ἐπέτρεψε.—Tr.]
Acts 27:5; Acts 27:5. [The text. rec. exhibits the form Μύρα (acc. pl.), with G. and Cod. Sin., most minuscules, and some church fathers.—A. reads Αύστρα; B. Μύῤῥαν, which Lach. and Tisch. adopt; H. Μοιρων; Vulg. Lystram. Alford, who retains the form Μύρα, remarks: “The various readings merely show that the copyists were unacquainted with the place.” See the Exeg. note below.—Tr.]
Acts 27:7; Acts 27:7. [The margin of the Engl. Bible offers the form Candy, i. e., Candia, the modern name. (Wicl., Rheims: Crete; Tynd, Cranm. and Geneva: Candy).—Tr.]
Acts 27:8; Acts 27:8. [The form in text. rec. is Λασαία, found in G. H., which Alf. retains; A. reads ̓́Αλασσα, which Lach. adopts; B. Λασἐα, which Tisch. prefers: Cod. Sin. read originally: εγγυς πολις ην Λασσεια, which C altered to Λαισσα; Vulg. Thalassa. There are other variations,—Tr.]
Acts 27:10; Acts 27:10. a. [For “hurt” (Tynd., Cranm., Geneva, Rheims), the margin of the Engl. Bible proposes the word “injury.”—“̓́Υβρις—2. Meton. injury, harm, danger, in person or property as arising from the insolence or violence of any one, and trop. from the violence of the sea, tempests, Acts 27:10; Acts 27:21.” Robinson: Lex., p. 736; for authorities, see Wahl and Rob.—Tr.]
Acts 27:10; Acts 27:10. b. [The text. rec. reads φόρτου with some minuscules; (φόρτου, found in A. B. G. H. and Cod. Sin. is adopted by editors generally. The two forms convey the same sense, although the second is a diminutive.—Tr.]
Acts 27:12; Acts 27:12. It is true that κᾀκεῖθεν [of text. rec. and retained by Alf.] is attested by only one uncial manuscript [H.], whereas three [A. B. G. with Syr. Vulg., and, as it now appears, also Cod. Sin.] exhibit ἐκεῖθεν; it is probable, however, that καί of the compound was dropped [by copyists], as its purpose was not understood [i.e., “thence also, as from their former stopping places” (Alford, who adopts Meyer’s view). But Lach., Tisch. and Scholz read simply ἐκεῖθεν.—Tr.]
Acts 27:13; Acts 27:13. [In the text. rec., ̓́Ασσον appears as a proper name, and so too in the Vulgate (Asson), as in Acts 20:13. But the English translators render the word as an adverb, ἄσσον, “close.” See the Exeg. note, below. Recent editors, (with Robinson, Wahl, de Wette, etc.) generally, adopt the latter view.—Tr.]
Acts 27:14; Acts 27:14. a. [For “arose” (Cranmer, Geneva), the margin offers “beat.” See the Exeg. note.—Tr.]
Acts 27:14; Acts 27:14. b. [The text. rec. reads Εὐροκλύδων, with G. H.; Alf. retains this form. A. B (original) and Cod. Sin. exhibit Εὐρακὺλων, which Lach. and Tisch. adopt. B (corrected): Εὐρυκλύδων. Vulgate: Euroaquilo. There are other variations. See the Exeg. note.—Tr.]
Acts 27:16; Acts 27:16. [The text. rec. exhibits the form Κλαύδην, with G. H., which Alf. retains. B. exhibits Καῦδα, which Lach. and Tisch. adopt. Cod. Sin. exhibits in the text: Κλαυδα; Tischendorf remarks here: “λ erasum” so that, after the correction, it conforms to B.—Vulg. Cauda, “which form most commonly occurred.” (Alf.)—Tr.]
Acts 27:19; Acts 27:19. The text. rec. reads ἐῤῤίψαμεν, on the authority of two manuscripts [G. H.], and Tischendorf has very properly adopted this reading rather than the one preferred by Lach. [Born. and Alf.], namely ἕῤῥιψαν, which is found in three uncial manuscripts [A. B (corrected); B (original) ἐρείψαν. C. is the third; the Vulg. concurs: projecerunt]; the former, the first person plural, is sustained by αὐτόχειρες. [Cod. Sin. reads: ἐρίψαν, that is, the third person. Meyer concludes that, as the verb could have been made by copyists to suit either αὐτόχειρες (first person), or ἐποιοῦντο, Acts 27:18 (third person), the authorities alone can determine the point, namely, the manuscripts, versions, etc., and that these decidedly attest the reading ἔῤῥιψαν. He was not acquainted with the fact that Cod. Sin. confirms his view.—Tr.]
Acts 27:27; Acts 27:27. [For ἐγένετο of text. rec. with B (e sil) C. G. H. and Cod. Sin. and retained by Alf., ἐπεγένετο is substituted by Lach. and Tisch., in accordance with A. Vulg. (supervenit), “and very correctly, as the compound verb is very unusual, being found besides only in Acts 28:13.” (Meyer).—Tr.]
Acts 27:29; Acts 27:29. [The text. rec. reads ἐκπέσωσιν with some minuscules; ἐκπέσωμεν is adopted generally by recent editors, in accordance with A. B. C. G. H. most minuscules, Vulg. (incideremus), etc.—Cod. Sin., which reads ἐμπέσωμεν, sustains the first person plural,—Tr.].
Acts 27:34; Acts 27:34. a. μεταλαβεῖν [found in A. B. C. Cod. Sin., and adopted by Lach., Tisch. and Alf.], is better attested than προςλαβεῖν [of text. rec. with G. H.; “the latter (πρ.) was taken from Acts 27:33.” (Meyer).—Tr.]
Acts 27:34; Acts 27:34. b. ὁ. ὑμετέρας [of text. rec.] is better sustained by external authorities [by B (e sil). C. H. Cod. Sin., Vulg. (vestra)] than ἡμετέρας [found in A. G.]; the latter was substituted by those [copyists] who supposed that, as the preservation of all was meant, Paul must have expressed himself communicative. [Lach. Tisch. and Alf. adopt the second person.—Tr.]
Acts 27:34; Acts 27:34. c. ἀπολεῖται is sustained by the three oldest manuscripts [A. B. C., and also by Cod. Sin.], whereas πεσεῖται [of text. rec.] occurs only in the two latest [G. H. Most editors adopt the former. De Wette says: “Transcribers were more familiar with the latter, 1Sa 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52. Sept.”—Meyer, on the other hand, while he admits that ἀπολ. is attested by important authorities, says that this word is liable to suspicion, as it may have been taken from Luke 21:18.—Tr.]
Acts 27:35; Acts 27:35. [The text. rec. exhibits εἰπὼν, with G. H., while A. B. C. and Cod. Sin. read εἵπας, which Lach., Tisch. and Alf. adopt—Tr.]
Acts 27:37; Acts 27:37. [The text. rec. reads ἦμεν, with C. G. H., while the less usual form ἦμεθα occurs in A. B. and also in Cod. Sin.; the latter is adopted by Lach., Tisch. and Alf. On this form see Winer: Gram. N. T., § 14. 2.—Tr.]
Acts 27:39; Acts 27:39. [The text. rec. exhibits ἐβουλεύσαντο, which is found in G. H., and is retained by Alf.—Lach., Tisch. and Born. read ἐβουλεύοντο, with B. C. and also Cod. Sin.—A. exhibits ἐβούλοντο.—Tr.]
Acts 27:40; Acts 27:40. a [For “taken up the anchors” (Wicl., Tynd., Cranm., Geneva, Rheims), the English version proposes in the margin: “cut the anchors, they left them in the sea.” See the Exeg. note, below.—Tr.]
Acts 27:40; Acts 27:40. b. [The text. rec. exhibits the form ἀρτέμονα, with G., but A. B. C. H., and also Cod. Sin. read ἀρτέμωνα, which Lach., Tisch. and Alf. adopt.—Winer: Gr., § 9.1, d.—See the Exeg. note, below.—Tr.]
Acts 27:41; Acts 27:41. The words τῶν κυμάτων are wanting in the Alex. [A.] and Vat. [B.] manuscripts, and seem to have been added [by a later hand] as an explanation of τῆς βίας. [“They seem to be a gloss.” (de Wette).—Cod. Sin. originally omitted them, but C inserted them. They are dropped by Lach and Tisch. The Vulg. exhibits: a vi maris. Alf. retains them, in accordance with C. G. H., minuscules, etc., and, with Meyer, says: “The transcriber’s eye passed from τῶν (before κυμάτων) to τῶν (before δὲ στρατ. Acts 27:42). The sentence could hardly have been written without some genitive after τῆς βίας.”—Tr.]
Acts 27:42; Acts 27:42. [Instead of διαφύγοι, of text. rec., recent editors generally read διαφύγῃ, with A. B. C. G. Cod. Sin.—H. exhibits διαφυγει. De Wette remarks: “The subjunctive is probably a correction, as the optative with μή, which was commonly employed by the Greeks after a preterite, is unusual in the New Testament.” See Winer: Gr. N. T., on the passage, § 56. 2.—Tr.]
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Acts 27". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
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