P N1 27:1-44. Caesarea to Melita. N2 28:1-16. Melita to Rome.
N1 O 1-3. Julius treats Paul kindly. P 4-41. Voyage and tempest. O 42,43. Julius saves Paul. P 44. All escape to land.
1 And as it was decided that we should sail into Italy, they were delivering Paul and certain other prisoners to a centurion of an Augustan cohort (more than one legion is said to have born that name), by name Julius.
2 And having embarked upon a ship of Adramyttium (a city in Mysia, in the province of Asia, at the head of the gulf of that name), we launched, being about to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus (see 19:29; 20:4. He and Luke could only have been allowed on board as Paul's servants), a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.
3 And the next day we landed at Sidon (the great port of Phoenicia about 70 miles north of Caesarea. The wind therefore must have been favorable, south-south-west). And Julius kindly using Paul, and gave him liberty to go to his friends to obtain their care.
P p1 4-8. Sidon to Fair Havens. q1 9,10. Paulo. Admonition. p2 11-20. To Claudia. Tempest-driven. q2 21-26. Paul. Encouragement. p3 27-29. Drawing near to land. q3 30,31. Paul. Warning. p4 32. The boat abandoned. q4 33-38. Paul. Encouragement. p5 39-41. The ship aground.
4 And when we had launched from there, we sailed under (i.e. under the lee of) Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5 And when we had sailed across the sea which is along Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra, a city of Lycia.
6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy (Egypt was the granary of the ancient world, and this was a corn ship, bound for Italy); and he caused us to embark therein.
7 And sailing slowly in many days (after leaving the lee of Cyprus, the wind, hereto astern, would now be on their port bow, and as an ancient ships had not the same facility in tacking as modern ones, they could not sail as "near to the wind", not nearer than seven points, it is believed. But illustrations on coins, &c., show that the ancients understood quite well to arrange their sails so as to "beat to windward"), and were come with difficulty over against Cnidus (an important city, situated at the extreme south-west of Asia Minor. Referred to in 1 Macc. 15:23), the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete (know also as Candia. Salmone was its eastern cape), over against Salmone;
8 And, hardly passing it (they has difficulty in weathering the point), came to a place which is called Fair Havens (it bears the same name still today); near to where was the city of Lasea.
9 Now when much time was passed, and when sailing was already dangerous, because the fast (i.e. the 10th of the seventh month, the day of Atonement, about Oct. 1st) was already past, Paul admonished them,
10 And said to them, "Sirs, I perceive that this voyage is about to be with hurt and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but of our lives also."
11 But the centurion (he was in authority, being on imperial service) believed the steersman and the shipowner, more than those things which were said by Paul.
12 And because the haven was not well situated for wintering, the more part gave their decision to depart from there also, if at least they might attain to Phenice (at the western end of the island), and there to winter; which is a haven of Crete, looking toward the south-west wind and north-west wind. (The meaning is that the harbor looked in the same direction as that in which these winds blew, i.e. north-est and south-east, as in the R.V.)
13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, weighing anchor there, they sailed close by Crete.
14 But not long after there beat down from it (i.e. Crete) a typhoon wind, called Euroclydon. (means north-north-east wind. But if so, it would hardly have been introduced by the words "which is called". It was evidently a hurricane, not uncommon in those waters, and called Euroclydon" locally and by the sailors.)
15 And when the ship was caught, and could not face (lit. look in the eye of) the wind, we let her drive. (Lit. giving her up we were driven [born along])
16 And having run under the lee of a certain small island which is called Clauda was due south of Phenice, we had much work (lit. with difficulty were we strong) to become masters of the skiff:
17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship (the process of passing a cable or chain round a ship to prevent her going to pieces is called "frapping"); and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands (there are 2 gulfs on the north coast of Africa, full of shoals and sandbanks, called Syrtis Major and Syrtis Minor. It may be the former of these, now Sidra, into which they were afraid of being driven), struck sail (lit. having lowered the gear), and so were driven.
18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; (They began to jettison the cargo)
19 And the third day we (everyone, prisoners and all) cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. (the yard, sail, and all the ship's furnishings)
20 And when neither sun nor stars for many days shone, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
21 But after long abstinence (after much fasting had taken place) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, "Sirs, you ought to have hearkened to me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gotten this harm and loss. (If you would have listened to me this would have never happened.)
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no casting away of a life out of you, except of the ship.
23 For there stood by me this night an angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, (He worshiped Him)
24 Saying, 'Fear not, Paul; you must stand before Caesar (it is necessary, it will happen): and, lo, God has granted you all them that sail with you.'
25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be thus according to the manner in which it was spoken me.
26 But we must be cast upon a certain island." (See Rom. 8:26-31.)
27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven here and there in the Adria (in Paul's day this term included the part of the Mediterranean lying south of Italy, east of Sicily, and west of Greece.), about midnight the seamen were supposing that some country was drawing near to them;
28 And having sounded, and they found it twenty fathoms: and having proceeded, they having sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.
29 Then fearing lest perchance we should have fallen upon rough places, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and were praying that the day would come.
30 And as the seamen were seeking to flee out of the ship, and had let down the boat into the sea, by pretense as being about to cast anchors out of the bows,
31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, "Except these abide in the ship, you are not able to be saved."
32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
33 And while the day was coming on, Paul was entreating them all to take food (or nourishment), saying, "Tarrying today, the fourteenth day that you have continued fasting, having taken nothing.
34 Wherefore I pray you to take some food (dry goods, you don't heat up a stove in a storm): for this is for your salvation: for there shall not a hair fall from the head of any of you."
35 And having said these things (be of good cheer), and taking bread, he gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. (Spiritually symbolic of giving thanks and recognizing the commandments of God, and in obeying, their soul was saved. We have many things to be thankful for. Count your blessings.)
36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some food.
37 And we (Luke is the writer) were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, casting out the wheat into the sea. (Lighten the load when things get bad to make a drive forward)
39 And when it was day, they recognized not the land: but they perceived a certain creek with a beach, into which they took counsel, if they might be able, to thrust in the ship. (To beach it.)
40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed the anchors to the sea, and loosed the lashings of the rudder (there were 2 great paddles, one on either side, used for steering), and hoisted up the foresail (the mainsail had been thrown overboard [v.19]) to the wind, and were holing on for shore.
41 But falling into a place where two seas met (a sandbank formed by opposing currents), they ran the ship aground (Paul's By is still there today documenting this word is true); and the forepart indeed having stuck fast remained unmovable, but the stern began breaking up with the violence of the waves.
42 And the soldiers' counsel was in order that they should kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and make good his escape. (The Romans were responsible at the cost of their own lives)
43 But the centurion (notice the hand of God. This was one of Augustus' guard. Centurion magistrate, powerful. Why would this Roman be so attached to taking care of Paul? The Holy Spirit gave this man unction and he knew they were alive because of Paul. He owed Paul for good advice.), purposing to save Paul, hindered them from their purpose; and commanded that they which were able to swim having first cast themselves overboard into the sea, and get upon land:
44 And the rest, some indeed on planks, and some indeed on broken pieces from the ship. And so it came to pass, that they all escaped safe to land.