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Acts 27:1-5

Paul and Company Sail for Rome

27:1 When it was decided we 1  would sail to Italy, 2  they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion 3  of the Augustan Cohort 4  named Julius. 27:2 We went on board 5  a ship from Adramyttium 6  that was about to sail to various ports 7  along the coast of the province of Asia 8  and put out to sea, 9  accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian 10  from Thessalonica. 11  27:3 The next day we put in 12  at Sidon, 13  and Julius, treating Paul kindly, 14  allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed. 15  27:4 From there we put out to sea 16  and sailed under the lee 17  of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 27:5 After we had sailed across the open sea 18  off Cilicia and Pamphylia, 19  we put in 20  at Myra 21  in Lycia. 22 

1 sn The last “we” section in Acts begins here and extends to 28:16 (the previous one ended at 21:18).

2 sn Sail to Italy. This voyage with its difficulty serves to show how God protected Paul on his long journey to Rome. From the perspective of someone in Palestine, this may well picture “the end of the earth” quite literally (cf. Acts 1:8).

3 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

4 tn According to BDAG 917 s.v. σεβαστός, “In σπεῖρα Σεβαστή 27:1 (cp. OGI 421) Σεβαστή is likew. an exact transl. of Lat. Augusta, an honorary title freq. given to auxiliary troops (Ptolem. renders it Σεβαστή in connection w. three legions that bore it: 2, 3, 30; 2, 9, 18; 4, 3, 30) imperial cohort.” According to W. Foerster (TDNT 7:175), “In Ac. 27:1 the σπεῖρα Σεβαστή is an expression also found elsewhere for ‘auxiliary troops.’” In no case would this refer to a special imperial bodyguard, and to translate “imperial regiment” or “imperial cohort” might give this impression. There is some archaeological evidence for a Cohors Augusta I stationed in Syria during the time of Augustus, but whether this is the same unit is very debatable.

sn The Augustan Cohort. A cohort was a Roman military unit of about 600 soldiers, one-tenth of a legion. There is considerable debate over the identification of this particular cohort and the meaning of the title Augustan mentioned here. These may well have been auxiliary (provincial) troops given the honorary title.

5 tn Grk “Going on board.” The participle ἐπιβάντες (epibante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

6 sn Adramyttium was a seaport in Mysia on the western coast of Asia Minor.

7 tn Grk “places.”

8 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.

9 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4 states, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”

sn Although not explicitly stated, the ship put out to sea from the port of Caesarea (where the previous events had taken place (cf. 25:13) and then sailed along the Asiatic coast (the first stop was Sidon, v. 3).

10 sn A Macedonian. The city of Thessalonica (modern Salonica) was in the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece.

11 map For location see JP1 C1; JP2 C1; JP3 C1; JP4 C1.

12 tn BDAG 516 s.v. κατάγω states, “Hence the pass., in act. sense, of ships and seafarers put in εἴς τι at a harborεἰς Σιδῶνα Ac 27:3.”

13 sn Sidon is another seaport 75 mi (120 km) north of Caesarea.

map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

14 tn BDAG 1056 s.v. φιλανθρώπως states, “benevolently, kindly φιλανθρώπως χρῆσθαί (τινι) treat someone in kindly fashionAc 27:3.”

sn Treating Paul kindly. Paul’s treatment followed the pattern of the earlier imprisonment (cf. Acts 24:23).

15 tn Grk “to go to his friends to be cared for.” The scene is an indication of Christian hospitality.

16 tn Grk “putting out to sea.” The participle ἀναχθέντες (anacqente") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4 states, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”

17 tn BDAG 1040 s.v. ὑποπλέω states, “sail under the lee of an island, i.e. in such a way that the island protects the ship fr. the wind Ac 27:4, 7.” Thus they were east and north of the island.

18 tn Grk “the depths,” the deep area of a sea far enough from land that it is not protected by the coast (L&N 1.73).

19 sn Pamphylia was a province in the southern part of Asia Minor; it was west of Cilicia (see BDAG 753 s.v. Παμφυλία).

20 tn BDAG 531 s.v. κατέρχομαι 2 states, “Of ships and those who sail in them, who ‘come down’ fr. the ‘high seas’: arrive, put in…ἔις τι at someth. a harbor 18:22; 21:3; 27:5.”

21 sn Myra was a city on the southern coast of Lycia in Asia Minor. This journey from Sidon (v. 3) was 440 mi (700 km) and took about 15 days.

22 sn Lycia was the name of a peninsula on the southern coast of Asia Minor between Caria and Pamphylia.

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