Bible Study Notes
Acts 27:1 “…we should sail to Italy…”
Luke is once again going on the journey with Paul. I’m sure he hasn’t been in the barracks with him for the last couple of years, but was close by keeping a check on him. Now that Paul is finally being sent to Rome, Luke joins him.
2 “…a ship of Adramyttium…”
The ship was from Adramyttium, undoubtedly on a cargo run. Adramyttium was a port on the northeast coast of the Aegean sea. Commentary suggests the centurion probably hoped to catch another vessel going to Rome at one of the ports on the way to Adramyttium.
2 “…Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.”
Had another companion besides Luke. According to chapter 20, seems Aristarchus accompanied Paul to Jerusalem. So much time has passed since that voyage, wonder if he has been in Israel or has traveled back and forth.
4 “…we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary”
Sailed up and around the north side of Cyprus instead of heading directly out into the Mediterranean.
6 “…centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy…”
What he was looking for. Alexandria, Egypt. Commentary says Egypt supplied grain for Rome. Sailors will later throw the wheat overboard to lighten the ship.
7-8 “…arrived with difficulty off Cnidus…sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone…came to a place called Fair Havens…”
Cnidus is west northwest of Myra on the Asian coast. They would have sailed north of Rhodes to pass it as Luke mentions. One of the maps I’ve been checking missed this part, has them going south. Have found another which includes this part. They stayed close to the continent due to adverse winds. From off Cnidus they went southwest to Crete and sailed around the southeastern coast to Fair Havens.
9 “…sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over…”
Obviously a reference to time of year. Had to check on this. Commentary says the Fast of the Day of Atonement putting them at the end of September. Apparently an unsafe time to try to sail as it was nearing winter.
12 “…majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete…”
Paul advised staying in Fair Havens to winter there. The Centurion decided to listen to others. They were trying to get to another port on Crete which looks to be just a bit to the west. Plans were to stay close to the coast and get there to winter.
14 “…tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon”
Plans didn’t work out. Commentary says the name of this wind was literally east-northeast. This would have pushed them out away from the coast into the Mediterranean, which is what happened.
16-17 “…secured the skiff with difficulty. When they had taken it on board…”
Took some digging. Apparently was towing a small skiff or boat behind the ship. Pulled it on board to secure it. Commentary says by this time it probably had taken on some water and was heavier than normal.
17 “…the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail…”
Area off the African coast known for shoals, submerged ridge, shallower area. If they were pushed that far south, they could get caught on them, so they dropped the sail and just let the ship be pushed where it went.
21 “…you should have listened to me…”
Sounds like Paul is rubbing it in, saying I told you so. But he’s making the point that while they didn’t listen to him before, they should do so now.
23 “…an angel of the God…”
Messenger of God.
24 “…God has granted you all those who sail with you…”
They’ll lose the ship, but all persons will be saved.
27 “…fourteenth night had come…”
Been tossed about for two weeks. No wonder they were hopeless.
37 “…we were two hundred and seventy-six persons…”
Large ship. Sometimes forget the size of the ships mentioned in scripture. Have in mind the smaller fishing boats of the gospels.
42 “…plan was to kill the prisoners…”
Would not risk losing the prisoners by letting them escape. Punishment was probably death.
43 “…they all escaped safely to land”
Centurion may have thought more of Paul by this time due to what had happened, or it may have been Paul’s Roman citizenship. Either way, he appears to have believed what Paul said about all being saved, and they were.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.