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And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
And when we had sailed slowly ° many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised ° to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by ° the boat:
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.
And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
But after long abstinence ° Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have ° hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for ° the day.
And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,
Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.
And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.
And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.
And falling into a place where two seas met, 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.
And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.
But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:
And the rest, some ° on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

27:2 we launched. Luke’s description of the sea voyage, storm and shipwreck in this chapter is very realistic, obviously written by an eyewitness. All of its geographical and other references have been determined by authorities to be accurate in description, location and time setting. It has been called perhaps the best record of nautical practice from ancient times.

27:2 Aristarchus. Aristarchus (Acts 19:29), as well as Luke, traveled with Paul on this long voyage from Caesarea to Rome. Possibly they were acting as Paul’s servants, as this would help assure more considerate treatment of Paul. As a Roman citizen, as well as a highly educated religious leader, it was appropriate, in the eyes of the centurion and ship officers, that Paul have attendants, and this may well account in part for the courtesies he was shown.

27:8 The fair havens. “Fair havens,” a harbor on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean, is still identified by that name in the modern Greek language.

27:9 the fast. The “fast” mentioned here is probably that associated with the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) in October. Sailing after that date on the Mediterranean was hazardous at best, and Paul’s advice was wise.

27:10 I perceive. In addition to his natural wisdom and traveling experience, Paul had, by God’s grace, the gift of prophecy, and they should have heeded him.

27:12 if by any means. This seemingly insignificant phrase (Greek ei pos) actually is used to express the urgency of an object sought, and the means for its attainment. Its only four occurrences seem to follow a significant order. Note:

(1)     Search for physical comfort (Acts 27:12)

(2)     Search for spiritual ministry (Romans 1:10-11)

(3)     Search for conversion of others (Romans 11:13-14)

(4)     Search for Christ-centered life (Philippians 3:10-11).

27:14 tempestuous wind. The “tempestuous” (literally, “typhonic”) wind was not unusual for that time of year. It was characterized by fierce whirling of the clouds and ocean, its name meaning literally “north wind-east wind.” They had been trying to sail along the coast of Crete to reach the harbor of Phenice (i.e., Phoenix), but the sudden storm drove them out into the open sea.

27:16 the boat. The “boat” was a dinghy, normally pulled along behind the ship. As the latter was for a short while on the leeward side of the small island of Clauda, they were able to haul the dinghy up on board.

27:17 helps. These “helps” were probably cables for bracing the hull.

27:17 quicksands. The “quicksands” were off the African coast, west of Cyrene.

27:24 before Caesar. Once before, Paul had received this direct assurance from God that he would bear witness at Rome (Acts 23:11). Furthermore, the angelic messenger assured him that all on board would also be saved from death. It is often that God will spare the ungodly because of godly men in their midst (note Genesis 18:23-32; II Thessalonians 2:6-8.

27:25 I believe God. It is important to “believe God,” not just to “believe in God” (notes James 2:19). To “believe God,” of course, means to believe God’s Word.

27:32 let her fall off. This time the centurions insisted that Paul’s advice be followed. The sailors, ostensibly to help orient the casting of the anchors, were apparently preparing to use the dinghy to get to shore, leaving all the rest to fend for themselves, whereas the skills of these sailors would be needed to get the ship closer to shore the next day.

27:39 a certain creek. The small bay on the island of Malta where the ship finally grounded, behind a small island where “two seas met” (Acts 27:41), has been called St. Paul’s Bay since that time.

27:44 all safe to land. Thus, all 276 men (Acts 27:37) on the ship were saved, just as God had promised through Paul (Acts 27:24,34), but the ship and its cargo were lost, just as Paul had warned (Acts 27:10). God keeps His Word!

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