Description of weather in Mediterranean: Xd 119:376.
JULIUS: This centurion, mentioned half a dozen times in
Acts 27, and once in Acts 28:16 (according to some mss but not in others), was
the man put in charge of Paul the prisoner when he was sent to Rome after his
appeal to Caesar. Julius was presumably his family name. There is no certainty
that he was a Roman citizen. Soldiers in Palestine were not members of the
legionary forces but rather auxiliary troops recruited from the provincial
subjects. Julius treated Paul kindly (Acts 27:3) and spared his life when his
soldiers counseled killing him prior to the shipwreck (Acts 27:42,43). There is
some possibility that this man (and some of the others) became believers (Phi
THE IMPERIAL REGIMENT: The emperor's bodyguard, or a
ADRAMYTTIUM: A seaport in Mysia of the Roman province
A SHIP: With 276 passengers, one of the largest ships
afloat at this time (Xd 119:376).
ARISTARCHUS: A Macedonian from Thessalonica (Acts
19:29; 27:2), probably of Jewish ancestry (Col 4:10,11), who accompanied Paul on
his third missionary journey. He is with Paul when he writes to the ecclesia at
Colosse and to Philemon, who was also at Colosse.
Paul seems to have developed a relationship of trust with
Julius, all in one day.
THE WINDS WERE AGAINST US: In summer the winds blow
regularly and strong from the north and the west (HistGeo 44).
MYRA: A city in Lycia on the south coast of Asia Minor,
where Paul transferred to a grain ship from Alexandria on his voyage to Rome
(Acts 27:5). Myra was located two miles from the sea on a navigable
LYCIA: This Roman province occupied the sw tip of Asia
Minor. A rather mountainous region, its chief importance lay in its harbors, of
which two are mentioned in the NT. Paul touched at Patara in the course of his
last journey to Jerusalem, where he changed ships, presumably to make faster
time (Acts 21:1,2). Later, on his journey to Rome as a prisoner, his ship
touched at Myra and there he was transferred to a grain ship bound for Italy
(Acts 27:5.6). Lycia became Roman territory in 188 BC, but was not organized
into a Roman province until Claudius ordered it in AD 43.
// Psa 107:23-30: "their desired haven".
FAST: Or "Day of Atonement". In October the regular
northern and western winds became erratic, and travel was not as predictable
PAUL WARNED THEM: The Day of Atonement was a time of
warning, and soul-searching and repentance!
Paul was a man of prudence, not tempting providence: "We
should not test the Lord" (1Co 10:9).
THE HARBOR WAS UNSUITABLE TO WINTER IN: The "fair
havens" (v 8) of Christ are not pleasant to the flesh; and many seek to leave
"NORTHEASTER": AV has "Euroclydon" (Acts 27:14): From
"euros" (east wind) and "kludon" (to billow or dash over, as a wave of the sea).
It was a violent wind which frequently arose in the Cretan waters, swooping down
from the mountains in strong gusts, or squalls. It is still common that
tempestuous winds from the east, south, and ne agitate the
SYRTIS: "The quicksands" of the AV is transliterated
"the Syrtis" in other versions: a tempest from the Gulf of Sidra, on the coast
of Africa southwest of Crete.
THE SHIP'S TACKLE: Sail-cloth tied by ropes, prob
thrown overboard to act as a brake.
YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN MY ADVICE: Not an unkind 'I told
you so!', but a renewed encouragement to them to listen to Paul's
KEEP UP YOUR COURAGE: Paul's face stood firm in the
face of a seemingly hopeless situation (2Th 1:4; Heb 11:6; 13:7). He saw the
providence of God in events which might otherwise seem mere chance (Phi 1:12;
NOT ONE OF YOU WILL BE LOST: V 44.
Vv 23,24: An angel strengthened Paul as the shipwreck was
approaching. An angel strengthened Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, just
before his death (Luk 22:43).
Paul, a man of prayer: 1Th 5:7; 1Ti 2:8.
Power of faith and intercession of others: Mat 8:13; 9:32;
15:28; 17:14-18; Luk 8:50; Joh 4:49; Jos 6:17; Gen 7:1; 18:25-33; 19:12; Act
SENSED THEY WERE APPROACHING LAND: "The long talk of
the Lord's coming will end in the event itself, and that end is close upon us,
though how close we cannot exactly say. The great prophetic periods are nearly
all elapsed; and the tokens are visible on every hand to the eyes able to see,
but the exact place in the latter-day programme at which the Lord appears to His
house is unknown. We are like a ship at the end of a long voyage. We have
travelled the great ocean for many months, letting the months stand for
centuries that have passed since Christ's departure. We know by the general
reckonings that we are not far from land; and our conclusion on this head is
confirmed by the altered appearance of the sea, the shallowness of the
soundings, the landmists on the horizon, and certain other tokens in the shape
of birds, seaweed, etc. but exactly how many miles we are from port, we do not
know. We know we are sufficiently near that the pilots may come in sight at any
The sailors attempt to abandon the passengers -- including the
Whereas the centurion who was travelling with and guarding
Paul starts the trip trusting the captain more than Paul (Acts 27:9-11), he ends
up having great respect for Paul (Acts 27:31-32,42-43; 28:16). Cp this with the
centurion who guarded Christ on the cross and ended up having great respect for
him (Mat 27:54), although initially the soldiers were very disrespectful of him
Paul was vigilant, recognizing that prayer is efficacious only
if men also use the means they have at hand to make it so: "Be on your guard;
stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong" (1Co 16:13). "So then,
let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and
self-controlled" (1Th 5:6).
Vv 33-36: On the fourteenth night Paul "took bread, and gave
thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it he began to
eat... and they also took some meat." Jesus on the fourteenth night, which was
the passover, "took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave it to them"
Paul was practical: 'You need to eat something.' Cp 1Ti 4:4-8;
NOT ONE OF YOU WILL LOSE A SINGLE HAIR FROM HIS HEAD: A
phrase descriptive of long life: Luk 12:7; 21:18; Mat 10:30; Acts 27:34; 1Sa
14:45; 2Sa 14:11.
THEY LIGHTENED THE SHIP...: They heed Paul's prophecy
(v 22), realizing the ship itself is doomed.
Practical lesson: is there something we need to throw
WHEN DAYLIGHT CAME: "The night is nearly over; the day
is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor
of light" (Rom 13:12).
THEY DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE LAND: "Principles are like
stars, constant and comprehensive, but not local or particular. The pilot with
only local knowledge may guide the ship through the well-known channel and into
the old port, but a knowledge of the stars is necessary when sailing in unknown
seas. If a pilot should mistake a foreign port for the one he knows and attempt
to guide the vessel according to the old rules he will bring it to disaster.
Ships of various kinds have been wrecked through such mistaken confidence.
Oftentimes men have ignored principles and have applied the lessons learned in
former years to circumstances that are totally different. They have even quoted
the words of former leaders in a manner that would horrify such leaders could
they rise from their graves and witness the application" (PrPr 1).
Every NT ref shows centurions in a good light: Luk 7:1-10;
23:47; Act 10:1,2; 22:25,26; 23:17,18; 27:43.
"You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted
the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had
better and lasting possessions" (Heb 10:34).