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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 27)

27:1 {That we should sail} (\tou apoplein hēmas\). This genitive
articular infinitive with \ekrithē\ like the LXX construction
translating the Hebrew infinitive construct is awkward in Greek.
Several similar examples in Lu 17:1; Ac 10:25; 20:3 (Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 1068)
. Luke alone uses this old verb in N.T. He
uses nine compounds of \pleō\, to sail. Note the reappearance of
"we" in the narrative. It is possible, of course, that Luke was
not with Paul during the series of trials at Caesarea, or at
least, not all the time. But it is natural for Luke to use "we"
again because he and Aristarchus are travelling with Paul. In
Caesarea Paul was the centre of the action all the time whether
Luke was present or not. The great detail and minute accuracy of
Luke's account of this voyage and shipwreck throw more light upon
ancient seafaring than everything else put together. Smith's
_Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul_ is still a classic on the
subject. Though so accurate in his use of sea terms, yet Luke
writes like a landsman, not like a sailor. Besides, the character
of Paul is here revealed in a remarkable fashion. {They
(\paredidoun\). Imperfect active \ōmega\ form rather
than the old \-mi\ form \paredidosan\ as in 4:33, from
\paradidōmi\. Perhaps the imperfect notes the continuance of the
handing over. {Certain other prisoners} (\tinas heterous
. Bound (\desmōtas\) like Paul, but not necessarily
appellants to Caesar, perhaps some of them condemned criminals to
amuse the Roman populace in the gladiatorial shows, most likely
pagans though \heterous\ does not have to mean different kind of
prisoners from Paul. {Of the Augustan band} (\speirēs Sebastēs\).
Note Ionic genitive \speirēs\, not \speiras\. See on ¯Mt 27:1; Ac
10:1. \Cohortis Augustae\. We do not really know why this cohort
is called "Augustan." It may be that it is part of the imperial
commissariat (_frumentarii_) since Julius assumes chief authority
in the grain ship (verse 11). These legionary centurions when
in Rome were called _peregrini_ (foreigners) because their work
was chiefly in the provinces. This man Julius may have been one
of them.

27:2 {In a ship of Adramyttium} (\ploiōi Hadramuntēnōi\). A boat
belonging to Adramyttium, a city in Mysia in the province of
Asia. Probably a small coasting vessel on its way home for the
winter stopping at various places (\topous\). Julius would take
his chances to catch another ship for Rome. The usual way to go
to Rome was to go to Alexandria and so to Rome, but no large ship
for Alexandria was at hand. {We put to sea} (\anēchthēmen\).
First aorist passive of \anagō\, usual word in Luke.
{Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us}
(\ontos sun hēmin Aristarchou Makedonos Thessalonikeōs\).
Genitive absolute. Ramsay suggests that Luke and Aristarchus
accompanied Paul as his slaves since they would not be allowed to
go as his friends. But Luke was Paul's physician and may have
gained permission on that score.

27:3 {The next day} (\tēi heterāi\). Locative case with \hēmerāi\
understood. {We touched} (\katēchthēmen\). First aorist passive
of \katagō\, the usual term for "coming down" from the seas as
\anagō\ above (and verse 4) is for "going up" to sea. So it
_looks_ to sailors. Sidon was 67 miles from Caesarea, the rival
of Tyre, with a splendid harbour. The ship stopped here for
trade. {Treated Paul kindly} (\philanthrōpōs tōi Paulōi
. "Using (\chrēsamenos\, first aorist middle
participle of \chraomai\, to use)
Paul (instrumental case used
with this verb)
kindly" (\philanthrōpōs\, "philanthropically,"
adverb from \phil-anthrōpos\, love of mankind)
. He was kindly to
Paul throughout the voyage (verse 43; 28:16), taking a personal
interest in his welfare. {Refresh himself} (\epimeleias
. Second aorist active infinitive of \tugchanō\ (to
with the genitive \epimeleias\, old word from \epimelēs\,
careful, only here in the N.T. Whether it was mere hospitality we
do not know. It may have been medical attention required because
of Paul's long confinement. This is Paul's first visit to Sidon,
but Christians were already in Phoenicia (11:19) and so Paul
had "friends" here.

27:4 {We sailed under the lee of Cyprus} (\hupepleusamen tēn
. First aorist active indicative of \hupopleō\, to sail
under. Cyprus was thus on the left between the ship and the wind
from the northwest, under the protection of Cyprus. {Because the
winds were contrary}
(\dia to tous anemous einai enantious\). The
articular infinitive after \dia\ and the accusative of general
reference (\anemous\) with predicate accusative (\enantious\,
facing them, in their very teeth if they went that way)
. The
Etesian winds were blowing from the northwest so that they could
not cut straight across from Sidon to Patara with Cyprus on the
right. They must run behind Cyprus and hug the shore of Cilicia
and Pamphylia.

27:5 {When we had sailed across} (\diapleusantes\). First aorist
active participle of \diapleō\ (another compound of \pleō\). {The
sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia}
(\to pelagos to kata tēn
Kilikian kai Pamphulian\)
. \Pelagos\ is properly the high sea as
here. In Mt 18:6 (which see) Jesus uses it of "the depth of the
sea." Only these examples in the N.T. The current runs westward
along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia and the land would
protect from the wind. {We came to Myra of Lycia} (\katēlthamen
eis Murra tēs Lukias\)
. Literally, "We came down." This town was
two and a half miles from the coast of Lycia. The port Andriace
had a fine harbour and did a large grain business. No disciples
are mentioned here nor at Lasea, Melita, Syracuse, Rhegium.

27:6 {Sailing for Italy} (\pleon eis tēn Italian\). This was the
opportunity for which Lysias had been looking. So he put
(\enebibasen\, first aorist active of \embibazō\, to cause to
enter. Cf. \epibantes\ in verse 2)
prisoners and soldiers on
board. This was a ship of Alexandria bound for Rome, a grain ship
(38) out of its course because of the wind. Such grain ships
usually carried passengers.

27:7 {When we had sailed slowly} (\braduploountes\). Present
active participle of \braduploeō\ (\bradus\, slow, \plous\,
. Literally, "sailing slowly," not "having or had sailed
slowly." Only here and in Artemidorus (sec. cent. A.D.). It may
mean "tacking" before the wind. Polybius uses \tachuploeō\, to
sail swiftly. {Many days} (\en hikanais hēmerais\). See on ¯Lu
7:6 for \hikanos\. Literally, "in considerable days." {With
(\molis\). Used in old Greek, like \mogis\ (Lu
from \molos\, toil (see Ac 14:18). {Over against Cnidus}
(\kata tēn Knidon\). "Down along Cnidus." A hundred and thirty
miles from Myra, the southwest point of Asia Minor and the
western coast. Here the protection of the land from the northwest
wind ceased. {The wind not further suffering us} (\mē proseōntos
hēmās tou anemou\)
. Genitive absolute with present active
participle of \proseaō\, one of the few words still "not found
elsewhere" (Thayer). Regular negative \mē\ with participles. They
could not go on west as they had been doing since leaving Myra.
{We sailed under the lee of Crete} (\hupepleusamen tēn Krētēn\).
See under verse ¯4. Instead of going to the right of Crete as
the straight course would have been they sailed southwest with
Crete to their right and got some protection against the wind
there. {Over against Salmone} (\kata Salmōnēn\). Off Cape
Salmone, a promontory on the east of the island.

27:8 {Coasting along} (\paralegomenoi\). Present middle
participle of \paralegō\, to lay beside, not from \legō\, to
collect or \legō\, to say. Diodorus Siculus uses \paralegomai\ in
precisely this sense of coasting along, like Latin _legere oram_.
In N.T. only here and verse 13. {Fair Havens} (\Kalous
. This harbour is named Kalus Limeonas, a small bay two
miles east of Cape Matala. It opens to the East and Southeast,
but is not fit to winter in. This harbour would protect them for
a time from the winds. {The city of Lasea} (\polis Lasea\).
Neither Lasea nor Fair Havens is mentioned by any ancient writer,
two of the hundred cities of Crete.

27:9 {Where much time was spent} (\Hikanou chronou
. Genitive absolute again with second aorist middle
participle of \diaginomai\, to come in between (\dia\).
"Considerable time intervening," since they became weatherbound
in this harbour, though some take it since they left Caesarea.
{And the voyage was now dangerous} (\kai ontos ēdē episphalous\).
Genitive absolute, "and the voyage being already (\ēdē\=Latin
dangerous" (old word from \epi\ and \sphallō\, to trip, to
fall, and so prone to fall, here only in N.T.)
. {Because the Fast
was now already gone by}
(\dia to kai tēn nēsteian ēdē
. Accusative (after \dia\) of the articular
infinitive perfect active of \parerchomai\, to pass by, with the
accusative of general reference (\nēsteian\, the great day of
atonement of the Jews, Le 16:29ff.)
occurring about the end of
September. The ancients considered navigation on the
Mediterranean unsafe from early October till the middle of March.
In A.D. 59 the Fast occurred on Oct. 5. There is nothing strange
in Luke using this Jewish note of time as in 20:6 though a
Gentile Christian. Paul did it also (1Co 16:8). It is no proof
that Luke was a Jewish proselyte. We do not know precisely when
the party left Caesarea (possibly in August), but in ample time
to arrive in Rome before October if conditions had been more
favourable. But the contrary winds had made the voyage very slow
and difficult all the way (verse 7) besides the long delay here
in this harbour of Fair Havens. {Paul admonished them} (\parēinēi
ho Paulos\)
. Imperfect active of \paraineō\, old word to exhort
from \para\ and \aineō\, to praise (3:8), only here and verse
22 in N.T. It is remarkable that a prisoner like Paul should
venture to give advice at all and to keep on doing it (imperfect
tense inchoative, began to admonish and kept on at it)
. Paul had
clearly won the respect of the centurion and officers and also
felt it to be his duty to give this unasked for warning. {I
(\theōrō\). Old word from \theōros\, a spectator. See
Lu 10:18. Paul does not here claim prophecy, but he had plenty
of experience with three shipwrecks already (2Co 11:25) to
justify his apprehension. {Will be} (\mellein esesthai\).
Infinitive in indirect assertion followed by future infinitive
after \mellein\ in spite of \hoti\ which would naturally call for
present indicative \mellei\, an anacoluthon due to the long
sentence (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 478). {With injury} (\meta
. An old word from \huper\ (above, upper, like our
and so pride, insult, personal injury, the legal
word for personal assault (Page). Josephus (_Ant_. III. 6, 4)
uses it of the injury of the elements. {Loss} (\zēmian\). Old
word, opposite of \kerdos\, gain or profit (Php 3:7f.). Nowhere
else in N.T. {Lading} (\phortiou\). Diminutive of \phortos\ (from
\pherō\, to bear)
only in form. Common word, but in N.T. only
here in literal sense, as metaphor in Mt 11:30; 23:4; Lu 11:46;
Ga 6:5. {But also of our lives} (\alla kai tōn psuchōn\). Common
use of \psuchē\ for life, originally "breath of life" (Ac
, and also "soul" (14:2). Fortunately no lives were
lost, though all else was. But this outcome was due to the
special mercy of God for the sake of Paul (verse 24), not to
the wisdom of the officers in rejecting Paul's advice. Paul
begins now to occupy the leading role in this marvellous voyage.

27:11 {Gave more heed} (\māllon epeitheto\). Imperfect middle of
\peithō\, to yield to (with the dative case). The "Frumentarian"
centurion ranked above the captain and owner. As a military
officer the centurion was responsible for the soldiers, the
prisoners, and the cargo of wheat. It was a government ship.
Though the season was not advanced, the centurion probably feared
to risk criticism in Rome for timidity when the wheat was so much
needed in Rome (Knowling). {To the master} (\tōi kubernētēi\).
Old word from \kubernaō\, to steer, and so steersman, pilot,
sailing-master. Common in this sense in the papyri. In N.T. only
here and Re 18:17. {And to the owner of the ship} (\kai tōi
. Old word compounded of \naus\ and \klēros\ and used
for owner of the ship who acted as his own skipper or captain.
The papyri examples (Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_) all
have the meaning "captain" rather than "owner."

27:12 {Because the haven was not commodious to winter in}
(\aneuthetou tou limenos huparchontos pros paracheimasian\).
Genitive absolute again present tense of \huparchō\: "The harbour
being unfit (\aneuthetou\, this compound not yet found elsewhere,
simplex in Lu 9:62; 14:35; Heb 6:7)
for wintering"
(\paracheimasia\, only here in N.T., but in Polybius and
Diodorus, in an inscription A.D. 48, from \paracheimazō\)
. {The
more part advised}
(\hoi pleiones ethento boulēn\). Second aorist
middle indicative of \tithēmi\, ancient idiom with \boulēn\, to
take counsel, give counsel. Lysias held a council of the officers
of the ship on the issue raised by Paul. {If by any means they
could reach Phoenix and winter there}
(\ei pōs dunainto
katantēsantes eis Phoinika paracheimasai\)
. The optative
\dunainto\ (present middle of \dunamai\) here with \ei\ is a
condition of the fourth class with the notion of purpose implied
and indirect discourse (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1021). "We vote
for going on the chance that we may be able" (Page). Phoenix is
the town of palms (Joh 12:13), the modern Lutro, the only town
in Crete on the southern coast with a harbour fit for wintering,
though Wordsworth and Page argue for Phineka which suits Luke's
description better. The verb \paracheimazō\, to winter, is from
\para\ and \cheimōn\ (see also 28:11). Used in several _Koinē_
writers. {Looking northeast and southeast} (\bleponta kata liba
kai kata chōron\)
. There are two ways of interpreting this
language. \Lips\ means the southwest wind and \chōros\ the
northwest wind. But what is the effect of \kata\ with these
words? Does it mean "facing" the wind? If so, we must read
"looking southwest and northwest." But \kata\ can mean down the
line of the wind (the way the wind is blowing). If so, then it is
proper to translate "looking northeast and southeast." This
translation suits Lutro, the other suits Phoenike. Ramsay takes
it to be Lutro, and suggests that sailors describe the harbour by
the way it looks as they go into it (the subjectivity of the
and that Luke so speaks and means Lutro which faces
northeast and southeast. On the whole Lutro has the best of the

27:13 {When the south wind blew softly} (\hupopneusantos notou\).
Genitive absolute with aorist active participle of \hupopneō\,
old verb to blow under, then to blow gently, here only in N.T. "A
south wind having blown gently," in marked contrast to the
violent northwest wind that they had faced so long. They were so
sure of the wisdom of their decision that they did not even draw
up the small boat attached by a rope to the vessel's stern (verse
. It was only some forty miles to Lutro. {Their purpose}
(\tēs protheseōs\, set before them, from \protithēmi\), genitive
after \krateō\ (\kekratēkenai\, perfect active infinitive in
indirect discourse)
. {They weighed anchor} (\ārantes\). First
aorist active participle of \airō\, old verb used in technical
sense with \tas agkuras\ (anchors) understood as in Thucydides I.
52; II. 23, "having lifted the anchors." Page takes it simply as
"moving." {Sailed along Crete} (\parelegonto tēn Krētēn\).
Imperfect middle. See verse 8, "were coasting along Crete."
{Close in shore} (\āsson\). Comparative adverb of \agki\, near,
and so "nearer" to shore. Only here in N.T.

27:14 {After no long time} (\met' ou polu\). Litotes again. {Beat
down from it}
(\ebalen kat' autēs\). Second aorist active
indicative of \ballō\, to throw. Here "dashed" (intransitive).
\Autēs\ is in the ablative, not genitive case, beat "down from
it" (Crete), not "against it or on it." (Robertson, _Grammar_, p.
. \Autēs\ cannot refer to \ploion\ (boat) which is neuter. So
the ablative case with \kata\ as in Mr 5:13, Homer also. The
Cretan mountains are over 7,000 feet high. {A tempestuous wind
which is called Euraquilo}
(\anemos tuphōnikos ho kaloumenos
. \Tuphōn=Tuphōs\ was used for the typhoon, a violent
whirlwind (\turbo\) or squall. This word gives the character of
the wind. The \Eurakulōn\ (reading of Aleph A B against the
Textus Receptus \Eurokludōn\)
has not been found elsewhere. Blass
calls it a hybrid word compounded of the Greek \euros\ (east
and the Latin \aquilo\ (northeast). It is made like
\euronotos\ (southeast). The Vulgate has _euroaquilo_. It is thus
the east north east wind. Page considers Euroclydon to be a
corruption of Euraquilo. Here the name gives the direction of the

27:15 {When the ship was caught} (\sunarpasthentos tou ploiou\).
Genitive absolute again with first aorist passive of \sunarpazō\,
old word, in N.T. only Lu 8:29; Ac 6:12; 19:29, and here.
Graphic picture as if the ship was seized by a great monster.
{Face the wind} (\antophthalmein tōi anemōi\). Dative case with
the vivid infinitive of \antophthalmeō\ from \antophthalmos\,
looking in the eye, or eye to eye (\anti\, facing and
\opthalmos\, eye)
. Eyes were painted on the prows of vessels. The
ship could not face the wind enough to get to Phoenix. Modern
sailors talk of sailing into the eye of the wind. We were not
able to look the wind in the eye. _Koinē_ verb used by Polybius.
Some MSS. have it in Ac 6:11, but only here in N.T. In Wisdom
of Sol. 12:14 it is used of a prince who cannot look God in the
face. Clement of Rome 34 uses it of an idle workman not able to
look his employer in the face (Milligan and Moulton's
. {We gave way} (\epidontes\). Second aorist active
participle of \epididōmi\, giving way to the wind. {Were driven}
(\epherometha\). Imperfect passive of \pherō\, "we were being
borne along." We "scudded before the gale" (Page). "The
suddenness of the hurricane gave no time to furl the great
mainsail" (Furneaux).

27:16 {Running under the lee of} (\hupodramontes\). Second aorist
active participle of \hupotrechō\. Same use of \hupo\ as in
\hupepleusamen\ (verses 4,8) for "under the lee", under the
protection of. \Nēsion\ is diminutive of \nēsos\, a small island.
The MSS. vary between Cauda (B) and Clauda (Aleph). {To secure
the boat}
(\perikrateis genesthai tēs skaphēs\). "To become
masters (\perikrateis\ from \peri\ and \kratos\, power over,
found in Susannah and ecclesiastical writers, and here only in
of the boat ("dug out," like Indian boats, literally, from
\skaptō\, to dig, old word, here only in N.T. and verses
. The smooth water behind the little island enabled them
to do this. {When they had hoisted it up} (\hēn ārantes\). "Which
(the little boat) having hoisted up (\arantes\, verse 13)."
Even so it was "with difficulty" (\molis\). Perhaps the little
boat was waterlogged. {Used helps} (\boētheiais echrōnto\).
Imperfect middle of \chraomai\ with instrumental case. The
"helps" were ropes or chains, no doubt. {Under-girding the ship}
(\hupozōnnuntes to ploion\). Present active participle of
\hupozōnnumi\. Old verb, here only in N.T. Probably cables
(\hupozōmata\) or ropes were used under the hull of the ship
laterally or even longitudinally, tightly secured on deck. This
"frapping" was more necessary for ancient vessels because of the
heavy mast. The little island made it possible to do this also.
{Lest we be cast upon the Syrtis} (\mē eis tēn Surtin
. Final clause after verb of fearing (\phoboumenoi\)
with \mē\ and the second aorist active subjunctive of \ekpiptō\,
old verb to fall out or off, to be cast away. So here and verses
26,29, a classical use of the verb for a ship driven out of its
course on to shoals or rocks (Page who cites Xenophon, _Anab_.
VII. 5, 12)
. The Syrtis was the name for two quicksands between
Carthage and Cyrenaica, this clearly being the Syrtis Major most
dangerous because of the sandbanks (\surtis\, from \surō\). The
wind would drive the ship right into this peril if something were
not done. {They lowered the gear} (\chalasantes to skeuos\).
First aorist active participle of \chalaō\ (cf. Lu 5:4 for
lowering the nets)
. \Skeuos\ means vessel or gear. They slackened
or reduced sail, especially the mainsail, but leaving enough to
keep the ship's head as close to the wind as was practicable. {So
were driven}
(\houtōs epheronto\). Imperfect passive indicative
again as in verse 15 with the addition of \houtōs\ (thus). The
ship was now fixed as near to the wind (E N E) as possible (seven
. That would enable the ship to go actually W by N and so
avoid the quicksands. J. Smith has shown that, a day being lost
around Cauda, the ship going 36 miles in 24 hours in 13 days
would make 468 miles. The Island of Malta (Melita) is precisely
in that direction (W by N) from Cauda and is 480 miles. Page sees
a difficulty about this explanation of the steady drift of the
ship in the word \diapheromenon\ in verse 27, but that was at
the end of the drifting and the varied winds could have come then
and not before. The whole narrative as explained carefully in
Smith's _Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul_ is a masterpiece of
precise and accurate scholarship. A resume of his results appears
in my _Luke the Historian in the Light of Research_.

27:18 {As we laboured exceedingly with the storm} (\sphodrōs
cheimazomenōn hēmōn\)
. Genitive absolute with present passive
participle of \cheimazō\, old verb to afflict with a tempest
(\cheima\, stormy weather), to toss upon the waves, here alone in
N.T. {They began to throw overboard} (\ekbalēn epoiounto\).
Literally, "They began to make (inchoative imperfect middle of
a casting out" (\ekbolēn\ from \ekballō\, to cast out,
old word, only here in N.T.)
. Cf. Latin _jacturam facere_. This
to lighten the ship by throwing overboard the cargo. The grain in
the ship would shift and make it list and so added to the danger.
{They cast out} (\eripsan\). Third person plural aorist active of
\riptō\, not \eripsamen\ as Textus Receptus. {With their own
(\autocheires\). Old word (\autos, cheir\) but here alone
in N.T. Vivid and graphic touch by Luke who, of course, watched
every movement day by day. {The tackling} (\tēn skeuēn\). The
furniture of the ship that could be spared. It was becoming

27:20 {When neither sun nor stars shone upon us} (\mēte hēliou
mēte astrōn epiphainontōn\)
. Genitive absolute again. {For many
(\epi pleionas hēmeras\). For more days than a few. {No
small tempest}
(\cheimonos ouk oligou\). Litotes again. {All hope
that we should be saved was now taken away}
(\loipon periēireito
elpis pāsa tou sōzesthai hēmas\)
. "For the rest (or future) there
began to be taken from around us (\periēireito\ inchoative
imperfect and see use of the verb in 2Co 13:16 of the veil)
hope of the being saved so far as we were concerned." Despair was
beginning to settle like a fog on all their hopes. Had Paul lost

27:21 {When they had been long without food} (\pollēs te asitias
. Genitive absolute, the old word \asitia\ from
\asitos\ (verse 33) \a\ privative and \sitos\, food, here alone
in N.T. Literally, "There being much abstinence from food." They
had plenty of grain on board, but no appetite to eat
(sea-sickness) and no fires to cook it (Page). "Little heart
being left for food" (Randall). Galen and other medical writers
use \asitia\ and \asitos\ for want of appetite. {Stood forth}
(\statheis\). As in 1:15; 2:14; 17:22. Pictorial word (Page)
that sets forth the vividness and solemnity of the scene
(Knowling). {Ye should have hearkened unto me} (\edei men
peitharchēsantas moi\)
. Literally, "It was necessary for you
hearkening unto me not to set sail (\mē anagesthai\)." It was not
the "I told you so" of a small nature, "but a reference to the
wisdom of his former counsel in order to induce acceptance of his
present advice" (Furneaux). The first aorist active participle is
in the accusative of general reference with the present
infinitive \anagesthai\. {And have gotten this injury and loss}
(\kerdēsai te tēn hubrin tautēn kai tēn zēmian\). This Ionic form
\kerdēsai\ (from \kerdaō\) rather than \kerdēnai\ or \kerdānai\
is common in late Greek (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 349). The
Revised Version thus carries over the negative \mē\ to this first
aorist active infinitive \kerdēsai\ from \kerdaō\ (cf. on ¯Mt
. But Page follows Thayer in urging that this is not
exact, that Paul means that by taking his advice they ought to
have escaped this injury and loss. "A person is said in Greek 'to
gain a loss' when, being in danger of incurring it, he by his
conduct saves himself from doing so." This is probably Paul's
idea here.

27:22 {And now} (\kai ta nun\). Accusative plural neuter article
of general reference in contrast with \men\ in verse 21. Paul
shows modesty (Bengel) in the mild contrast. {No loss of life}
(\apobolē psuchēs oudemia\). Old word from \apoballō\, to throw
away, only twice in N.T. Ro 11:15 (rejection) and here. He had
foretold such loss of life as likely (verse 10), but he now
gives his reason for his changed view.

27:23 {For there stood by me} (\parestē gar moi\). Second aorist
active (intransitive) indicative of \paristēmi\ with the locative
case (beside me). The very form used by Paul of his trial (2Ti
when "the Lord stood by me" (\ho de kurios moi parestē\)
when others deserted him. This angel of the God whom Paul serves
(in distinction from the heathen gods) is the reason for Paul's
present confidence.

27:24 {Thou must stand before Caesar} (\Kaisari se dei
. Note the same \dei\ (must) as in 23:11 when Jesus
appeared to Paul in Jerusalem and the same verb \parastēnai\
(second aorist active infinitive) used in verse 23. {Hath
granted thee}
(\kecharistai soi\). Perfect middle indicative of
\charizomai\ and that from \charis\, a gift or grace. The lives
of those that sailed with Paul God had spared as a gift
(\charis\) to Paul.

27:25 {Wherefore be of good cheer} (\dio euthumeite\). God had
spoken. That was enough. This old verb from \euthumos\ in the
N.T. only here, verse 25; Jas 5:13. See the adjective 27:36.
{For I believe God} (\pisteuō gar tōi theōi\). This is Paul's
reason for his own good cheer and for his exhortation to
confidence in spite of circumstances so untoward. Paul had
doubtless prayed for his own life and for the lives of all. He
was sure that he was to bear his witness in Rome.

27:26 {We must be cast} (\dei hēmās ekpesein\). It is necessary
for us to fall out (\ekpesein\, second aorist active infinitive
of \ekpiptō\)
. It was not revealed to Paul what island it would

27:27 {As we were driven to and fro} (\diapheromenōn hēmōn\).
Genitive absolute with present passive participle of \diapherō\,
old verb to bear different ways (\dia=duo\, two), this way and
that. Continued to be tossed to and fro in the rough seas. It
would seem so to those on board. It does not necessarily mean
that the wind had changed. The fourteenth night is reckoned from
the time they left Fair Havens. {In the sea of Adria} (\en tōi
. Not the Adriatic Sea as we now call the sea between
Italy and the mainland of Illyricum, but all the lower
Mediterranean between Italy and Greece. Luke's usage is like that
of Strabo. {Surmised} (\hupenooun\). Imperfect active indicative
of \huponoeō\, inchoative, began to suspect. {That they were
drawing near to some country}
(\prosagein tina autois chōran\).
Infinitive with accusative of general reference in indirect
assertion. \Prosagō\ is here used intransitively and Luke writes
from the sailor's standpoint that a certain land was drawing near
to them (\autois\, dative). The sailors heard the sound of
breakers and grew uneasy.

27:28 {They sounded} (\bolisantes\). First aorist active
participle of \bolizō\ rare verb only here and in Eustathius who
says it was familiar in ancient Greek. Apparently from \bolis\, a
missile or dart, and so to throw down the lead into the sea, to
heave the lead, to take soundings. The inscriptions give
\bolimos\ for "leaden." {Twenty fathoms} (\orguias eikosi\). This
old word, from \oregō\, to stretch, means the distance from one
outstretched middle finger tip to the other likewise
out-stretched. {After a little space} (\brachu diastēsantes\).
Literally, "standing apart a little" (second aorist active
participle of \diistēmi\)
, that is, the ship going a short
distance further on. A ship today approaching St. Paul's Bay by
the rocky point of Koura would pass first twenty, then fifteen
fathoms (Furneaux).

27:29 {Lest haply we should be cast ashore on rocky ground} (\mē
pou kata tracheis topous ekpesōmen\)
. The usual construction
after a verb of fearing (\mē\ and the aorist subjunctive
. Literally, "Lest somewhere (\pou\) we should fall
out down against (\kata\) rocky places." The change in the
soundings made it a very real fear. \Tracheis\ (rough) is old
adjective, but in the N.T. only here and Lu 3:5 (from Isa
. {Four anchors} (\agkuras tessaras\). Old word from
\agkē\. In N.T. only in this chapter, with \rhiptō\ here, with
\ekteinō\ in verse 30, with \periaireō\ in verse 40; and Heb
6:19 (figuratively of hope). {From the stern} (\ek prumnēs\).
Old word, but in N.T. only in Mr 4:38; here and 41 in
contrast with \prōira\ (prow). The usual practice was and is to
anchor by the bows. "With a view to running the ship ashore
anchoring from the stern would, it is said, be best" (Page).
Nelson is quoted as saying that he had been reading Ac 27 the
morning of the Battle of Copenhagen (April, 1801) where he
anchored his ships from the stern. {Wished for the day}
(\ēuchonto\). Imperfect middle, kept on praying for "day to come"
(\hēmeran genesthai\) before the anchors broke under the strain
of the storm or began to drag. If the ship had been anchored from
the prow, it would have swung round and snapped the anchors or
the stern would have faced the beach.

27:30 {The sailors} (\tōn nautōn\). Old word from \naus\ (ship),
in N.T. only here, verse 30; Re 18:17. {Were seeking}
(\zētountōn\). Genitive absolute again with present active
participle of \zēteō\ to seek. {Had lowered} (\chalasantōn\).
Aorist active participle of \chalazō\. {Under colour}
(\prophasei\). Possibly the same word as "prophecy" (from
\pro-phēmi\, to speak forth)
, but here pretence, pretext,
although it may come from \prophainō\, to show forth. The use
here is an old one and appears also in Mr 12:40; Lu 20:47; 1Th
2:5; Php 1:18. {As though} (\hōs\). The alleged reason, a common
Greek idiom with \hōs\ and the participle (Robertson, _Grammar_,
p. 966)
. Here with \mellontōn\. {From the foreship} (\ek
. Old word for prow of the ship. In the N.T. only here
and verse 41. Note here \ekteinein\ (lay out, stretch out)
rather than \rhipsantes\ (casting) in verse 29, for they
pretended to need the small boat to stretch out or lay out the
anchors in front.

27:31 {Except these abide in the ship} (\Ean mē houtoi meinōsin
en tōi ploiōi\)
. Condition of the third class (undetermined, but
with hope, etc.)
. Paul has no hesitancy in saying this in spite
of his strong language in verse 24 about God's promise. He has
no notion of lying supinely down and leaving God to do it all.
Without the sailors the ship could not be properly beached.

27:32 {The ropes} (\ta schoinia\). Diminutive of \schoinos\, old
word, but in N.T. only here and Joh 2:15. Paul is now saviour
of the ship and the soldiers quickly cut loose the skiff and "let
her fall off" (\eiasan autēn ekpesein\) rather than be the means
of the escape of the sailors who were needed. This dastardly
scheme of the sailors would have brought frightful loss of life.

27:33 {While the day was coming on} (\achri hou hēmera ēmellen
. More likely here \achri hou\ (for \achri toutou
with the imperfect \ēmellen\, has its usual meaning, "until
which time day was about to come on (\ginesthai\, present middle
infinitive, linear action)
." That is Paul kept on exhorting or
beseeching (\parekalei\, imperfect active) them until dawn began
to come on (cf. verse 39 when day came). In Heb 3:13 \achri
hou\ with the present indicative has to mean "so long as" or
while, but that is not true here (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 975).
See on ¯Ac 2:46 for the same phrase for partaking food
(\metalambanō trophēs\, genitive case) as also in 27:34. Paul
wanted them to be ready for action when day really came.
"Fourteenth day" repeated (verse 27), only here in the
accusative of duration of time (\hēmeran\). It is not clear
whether the "waiting" (\prosdokōntes\, present active participle
predicate nominative complementary participle after \diateleite\,
Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1121)
means fourteen days of continuous
fasting or only fourteen successive nights of eager watching
without food. Galen and Dionysius of Halicarnassus employ the
very idiom used here by Luke (\asitos diateleō\). {Having taken
(\mēthen proslabomenoi\). Second aorist middle
participle of \proslambanō\ with the accusative \mēthen\ rather
than the more usual \mēden\. Probably Paul means that they had
taken no regular meals, only bits of food now and then.

27:34 {For this is for your safety} (\touto gar pros tēs
humeteras sōtērias huparchei\)
. Note \sōtēria\ in sense of
"safety," literal meaning, not spiritual salvation. This is the
only instance in the N.T. of the use of \pros\ with the ablative
meaning "from the side of" your safety, though a classic idiom
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 623), an example of Luke's literary
style. {Perish} (\apoleitai\). Future middle (intransitive) of
\apollumi (-uō)\, to destroy. So the oldest MSS. rather than
\peseitai\ from \piptō\, to fall. This proverbial expression
occurs also in Lu 21:18 which see and in 1Sa 14:45; 2Sa 14:11;
1Ki 1:52.

27:35 {Gave thanks to God} (\eucharistēsen tōi theōi\). First
aorist active indicative of \eucharisteō\ from which our word
"Eucharist" comes. It was saying grace like the head of a Hebrew
family and the example of Paul would encourage the others to eat.
Probably Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus had memories of the Lord's
supper (Ac 2:42) while to others it was only an ordinary meal
(Lu 24:30).

27:36 {Then were they all of good cheer} (\euthumoi de
. More exactly, "Then all becoming cheerful," because
of Paul's words and conduct. {Took food} (\proselabonto
. Partitive genitive here (some food), not accusative as
verse 33. Paul's courage was contagious.

27:37 {Two hundred three-score and sixteen souls} (\diakosiai
hebdomēkonta hex\)
. The Vatican Manuscript (B) has \hōs\ in place
of \diakosiai\ (two hundred) which Westcott and Hort put in the
margin. But Alford is probably correct in suggesting that the
scribe of B wrote \hōs\ by repeating the omega in \ploiōi\ with
\s\ = 200 (Greek numeral). If the number 276 seems large, it is
to be remembered that we do not know the size of the ship.
Josephus (_Life_, 3) says that there were 600 on the ship that
took him to Italy. The grain ships were of considerable size. The
number included sailors, soldiers, and prisoners. A muster or
roll call may have been made.

27:38 {When they had eaten enough} (\koresthentes trophēs\).
First aorist passive of \korennumi\, old verb to satisfy, to
satiate, with the genitive. Literally, "Having been satisfied
with food." Here only in the N.T. {They lightened}
(\ekouphizon\). Inchoative imperfect active, began to lighten.
Old verb from \kouphos\ and originally to be light, but
transitive to lighten, as here, from Hippocrates on. {Throwing
out the wheat}
(\ekballomenoi ton siton\). The cargo of wheat.
The second \ekbolē\ (verse 18) or casting out and overboard
which was only partially done at first.

27:39 {They knew not} (\ouk epeginōskon\). Imperfect active of
\epiginōskō\, to recognize. Probably conative, tried to recognize
and could not (Conybeare and Howson). The island was well-known
(28:1, \epegnōmen\), but St. Paul's Bay where the wreck took
place was some distance from the main harbour (Valetta) of Melita
(Malta). {They perceived} (\katenooun\). Imperfect active of
\katanoeō\, gradually perceived after some effort as in 11:16.
This beach seemed their only hope. {They took counsel}
(\ebouleuonto\). Imperfect middle showing the process of
deliberation and doubt. The bay "having a beach" (\echonta
is a phrase found in Xenophon's _Anabasis_ VI. 4, 4.
{Whether they could drive} (\ei dunainto eksōsai\). This use of
the optative with \ei\ in questions of this sort (implied
is a neat Greek idiom (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1021).
B C Bohairic read \eksōsai\ (first aorist active infinitive of
, to save out (so Westcott and Hort), instead of
\exōsai\ (from \exōtheō\, to push out, as Textus Receptus).

27:40 {Casting off} (\perielontes\). Second aorist active of
\periaireō\. Literally, "Having taken away from around," that is
all four anchors from around the stern. Cf. the other verbs with
\agkuras\ in verse 29,30. {They left them in the sea} (\eiōn
eis tēn thalassan\)
. Imperfect active of \eaō\, either
descriptive or inchoative. They let the anchors go and the ropes
fell down into the sea. {At the same time loosing the bands of
the rudders}
(\hama anentes tas zeuktērias tōn pēdaliōn\). On the
use of \hama\ with the participle, old Greek idiom see Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 1139. The second aorist active participle of
\aniēmi\, to relax, loosen up. Old verb, in N.T. Ac 16:26;
27:40; Eph 6:9; Heb 13:5. Thayer notes that \zeuktērias\ (bands)
occurs nowhere else, but several papyri use it of yokes and
waterwheels (Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_). The word for
rudders (\pēdalion\) is an old one (from \pēdon\, the blade of an
, but in the N.T. only here and Jas 3:4. Page notes that
the ancient ships had a pair of paddle rudders like those of the
early northmen, one on each quarter. The paddle rudders had been
fastened while the ship was anchored. {Hoisting up the foresail
to the wind}
(\eparantes ton artemōna tēi pneousēi\). Supply
\aurāi\ (breeze) after \pneousēi\ (blowing). It is not clear what
"sail" is meant by "\artemōna\." No other example in Greek is
known, though the scholiast to Juvenal XII. 68 explains \velo
prora suo\ by _artemone solo_. Hence "foresail" is probably
correct. {They made for the beach} (\kateichon eis ton
. Imperfect active of \katechō\, to hold down, perhaps
inchoative. "They began to hold the ship steadily for the beach."

27:41 {But lighting upon} (\peripesontes de\). Second aorist
active participle of \peripiptō\, old verb to fall into and so be
encompassed by as in Lu 10:30; Jas 1:2. There is a current on
one side of St. Paul's Bay between a little island (Salmonetta)
and Malta which makes a sand bank between the two currents.
Unexpectedly the ship stuck in this sandbar. {Where two seas met}
(\dithalasson\). Used in Strabo and Dio Chrysostom for divided
seas (\dis, thalassa\). {They ran the vessel aground} (\epekeilan
tēn naun\)
. First aorist active indicative of old verb
\epikellō\, to run a ship ashore. Only here in N.T. Here also we
have the only N.T. use of \naus\ for ship (from \naō, neō\, to
so common in ancient Greek. Our word navy is from this word
through the Latin. {Struck} (\ereisasa\). First aorist active
participle of \ereidō\, old verb to fix firmly. Only here in N.T.
{Unmoveable} (\asaleutos\). From \a\ privative and \saleuō\ to
shake. Old word. In N.T. only here and Heb 12:28. {Began to
break up}
(\elueto\). Inchoative imperfect passive of the old
verb \luō\, to loosen. The prow was stuck in the sand-bar, and
the stern was breaking to pieces by the opposing waves lashing on
both sides. It was a critical moment.

27:42 {Counsel was to kill} (\boulē egeneto hina--apokteinōsin\).
The soldiers did not relish the idea of the escape of the
prisoners. Hence there came this "counsel" (\boulē\). Regular
Greek idiom for purpose (\hina\ and aorist active subjunctive of
\apokteinō\, to kill)
. Soldiers were responsible for the lives of
prisoners (Ac 12:19). {Swim out} (\ekkolumbēsas\). First aorist
active participle of \ekkolumbaō\, old verb to swim out and so
away. {Escape} (\diaphugēi\). Second aorist (effective) active
subjunctive of \diapheugō\, to make a clean (\dia\) escape.

27:43 {To save Paul} (\diasōsai ton Paulon\). Effective first
aorist active infinitive of \diasōzō\. And no wonder for the
centurion knew now how much they all owed to Paul. {Stayed them
from their purpose}
(\ekōleusen autous tou boulēmatos\.) Ablative
case of \boulēma\ after \ekōleusen\ (from \kōleuō\, to hinder,
common verb)
. {And get first to land} (\prōtous eis tēn gēn
. This classic verb \exeimi\ occurs four times in Acts
(13:42; 17:15; 20:7; 27:32) and nowhere else in the N.T. It was
a wise command.

27:44 {Some on planks} (\hous men epi sanisin\). Common Greek
idiom (\hous men--hous de\) for "some--some." The only N.T.
instance of the old Greek word \sanis\ for board or plank. The
breaking of the ship gave scraps of timber which some used. {They
all escaped safe}
(\pantas diasōthēnai\). First aorist passive
infinitive of \diasōzō\ (the very word used for the desire of the
centurion about Paul)
with accusative of general reference, the
clause being subject of \egeneto\. So Luke in this marvellous
narrative, worthy of any historian in any age, shows how Paul's
promise was fulfilled (verse 24). Paul the prisoner is the hero
of the voyage and shipwreck, a wonderful example of God's
providential care.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 27)