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Acts 27:7-17

Context
27:7 We sailed slowly 1  for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. 2  Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, 3  we sailed under the lee 4  of Crete off Salmone. 5  27:8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast 6  of Crete 7  and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea. 8 

Caught in a Violent Storm

27:9 Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous 9  because the fast 10  was already over, 11  Paul advised them, 12  27:10 “Men, I can see the voyage is going to end 13  in disaster 14  and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 15  27:11 But the centurion 16  was more convinced 17  by the captain 18  and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. 19  27:12 Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided 20  to put out to sea 21  from there. They hoped that 22  somehow they could reach 23  Phoenix, 24  a harbor of Crete facing 25  southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 27:13 When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought 26  they could carry out 27  their purpose, so they weighed anchor 28  and sailed close along the coast 29  of Crete. 27:14 Not long after this, a hurricane-force 30  wind called the northeaster 31  blew down from the island. 32  27:15 When the ship was caught in it 33  and could not head into 34  the wind, we gave way to it and were driven 35  along. 27:16 As we ran under the lee of 36  a small island called Cauda, 37  we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat 38  under control. 27:17 After the crew 39  had hoisted it aboard, 40  they used supports 41  to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground 42  on the Syrtis, 43  they lowered the sea anchor, 44  thus letting themselves be driven along.

1 tn The participle βραδυπλοοῦντες (braduploounte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

2 sn Cnidus was the name of a peninsula on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. This was about 130 mi (210 km) from Myra.

3 tn This genitive absolute construction with προσεῶντος (prosewnto") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle. L&N 13.139 translates the phrase μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου (mh prosewnto" Jhma" tou anemou) as “the wind would not let us go any farther.”

4 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.”

5 sn Salmone was the name of a promontory on the northeastern corner of the island of Crete. This was about 100 mi (160 km) farther along.

6 tn Grk “sailing along the coast…we came.” The participle παραλεγόμενοι (paralegomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. L&N 54.8, “παραλέγομαι: (a technical, nautical term) to sail along beside some object – ‘to sail along the coast, to sail along the shore.’ …‘they sailed along the coast of Crete’ Ac 27:13.”

7 tn Grk “it”; the referent (Crete) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 sn Lasea was a city on the southern coast of the island of Crete. This was about 60 mi (96 km) farther.

9 tn Or “unsafe” (BDAG 383 s.v. ἐπισφαλής). The term is a NT hapax legomenon.

10 sn The fast refers to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It was now into October and the dangerous winter winds would soon occur (Suetonius, Life of Claudius 18; Josephus, J. W. 1.14.2-3 [1.279-281]).

11 tn The accusative articular infinitive παρεληλυθέναι (parelhluqenai) after the preposition διά (dia) is causal. BDAG 776 s.v. παρέρχομαι 2 has “διὰ τὸ τὴν νηστείαν ἤδη παρεληλυθέναι because the fast was already over Ac 27:9.”

12 tn Grk “Paul advised, saying to them.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated. On the term translated “advised,” see BDAG 764 s.v. παραινέω, which usually refers to recommendations.

sn Paul advised them. A literary theme surfaces here: Though Paul is under arrest, he will be the one to guide them all through the dangers of the storm and shipwreck, showing clearly God’s presence and protection of him. The story is told in great detail. This literary effect of slowing down the passage of time and narrating with many details serves to add a sense of drama to the events described.

13 tn Grk “is going to be with disaster.”

14 tn Or “hardship,” “damage.” BDAG 1022 s.v. ὕβρις 3 states, “fig. hardship, disaster, damage caused by the elements…w. ζημία Ac 27:10.”

15 tn Grk “souls” (here, one’s physical life).

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

17 tn Or “persuaded.”

18 tn BDAG 456 s.v. κυβερνήτης 1 has “one who is responsible for the management of a ship, shipmaster…W. ναύκληρος, the ‘shipowner’…Ac 27:11” See further L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, 316-18.

19 tn Grk “than by what was said by Paul.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one to simplify the translation.

sn More convinced by the captain and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. The position taken by the centurion was logical, since he was following “professional” advice. But this was not a normal voyage.

20 tn BDAG 181-82 s.v. βουλή 2.a, “β. τίθεσθαι (Judg 19:30; Ps 12:3) decide 27:12 (w. inf. foll.).”

21 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “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.”

22 tn Grk “from there, if somehow” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun here in the translation and the introductory phrase “They hoped that” supplied (with the subject, “they,” repeated from the previous clause) to make a complete English sentence.

23 tn Grk “if somehow, reaching Phoenix, they could…” The participle καταντήσαντες (katanthsante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

24 sn Phoenix was a seaport on the southern coast of the island of Crete. This was about 30 mi (48 km) further west.

25 tn Or “a harbor of Crete open to the southwest and northwest.”

26 tn Grk “thinking.” The participle δόξαντες (doxante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

27 tn Or “accomplish.” L&N 68.29, for κρατέω, has “to be able to complete or finish, presumably despite difficulties – ‘to accomplish, to do successfully, to carry out.’ …‘thinking that they could carry out their purpose’ Ac 27:13.”

28 tn Or “departed.”

29 tn L&N 54.8, “παραλέγομαι: (a technical, nautical term) to sail along beside some object – ‘to sail along the coast, to sail along the shore.’…‘they sailed along the coast of Crete’ Ac 27:13.” With the addition of the adverb ἆσσον (asson) this becomes “sailed close along the coast of Crete.”

30 tn Grk “a wind like a typhoon.” That is, a very violent wind like a typhoon or hurricane (BDAG 1021 s.v. τυφωνικός).

31 sn Or called Euraquilo (the actual name of the wind, a sailor’s term which was a combination of Greek and Latin). According to Strabo (Geography 1.2.21), this was a violent northern wind.

32 tn Grk “from it”; the referent (the island) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 tn Or “was forced off course.” Grk “The ship being caught in it.” The genitive absolute construction with the participle συναρπασθέντος (sunarpasqento") has been taken temporally; it could also be translated as causal (“Because the ship was caught in it”).

34 tn BDAG 91 s.v. ἀντοφθαλμέω states, “Metaph. of a ship τοῦ πλοίου μὴ δυναμένοι ἀ. τῷ ἀνέμῳ since the ship was not able to face the wind, i.e. with its bow headed against the forces of the waves Ac 27:15.”

35 sn Caught in the violent wind, the ship was driven along. They were now out of control, at the mercy of the wind and sea.

36 tn BDAG 1042 s.v. ὑποτρέχω states, “run or sail under the lee of, nautical t.t.…Ac 27:16.” The participle ὑποδραμόντες (Jupodramonte") has been taken temporally (“as we ran under the lee of”). While this could also be translated as a participle of means (“by running…”) this might suggest the ship was still under a greater degree of control by its crew than it probably was.

37 sn Cauda. This island was located south of Crete, about 23 mi (36 km) from where they began. There are various ways to spell the island’s name (e.g., Clauda, BDAG 546 s.v. Κλαῦδα).

38 sn The ships boat was a small rowboat, normally towed behind a ship in good weather rather than stowed on board. It was used for landings, to maneuver the ship for tacking, and to lay anchors (not a lifeboat in the modern sense, although it could have served as a means of escape for some of the sailors; see v. 30). See L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, 248f.

39 tn Grk “After hoisting it up, they…”; the referent (the ship’s crew) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

40 tn The participle ἄραντες (arantes) has been taken temporally.

41 tn Possibly “ropes” or “cables”; Grk “helps” (a word of uncertain meaning; probably a nautical technical term, BDAG 180 s.v. βοήθεια 2).

42 tn BDAG 308 s.v. ἐκπίπτω 2 states, “drift off course, run aground, nautical term εἴς τι on someth….on the Syrtis 27:17.”

43 tn That is, on the sandbars and shallows of the Syrtis.

sn On the Syrtis. The Syrtis was the name of two gulfs on the North African coast (modern Libya), feared greatly by sailors because of their shifting sandbars and treacherous shallows. The Syrtis here is the so-called Great Syrtis, toward Cyrenaica. It had a horrible reputation as a sailors’ graveyard (Pliny, Natural History 5.26). Josephus (J. W. 2.16.4 [2.381]) says the name alone struck terror in those who heard it. It was near the famous Scylla and Charybdis mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.

44 tn Or perhaps “mainsail.” The meaning of this word is uncertain. BDAG 927 s.v. σκεῦος 1 has “τὸ σκεῦος Ac 27:17 seems to be the kedge or driving anchor” while C. Maurer (TDNT 7:362) notes, “The meaning in Ac. 27:17: χαλάσαντες τὸ σκεῦος, is uncertain. Prob. the ref. is not so much to taking down the sails as to throwing the draganchor overboard to lessen the speed of the ship.” In spite of this L&N 6.1 states, “In Ac 27:17, for example, the reference of σκεῦος is generally understood to be the mainsail.” A reference to the sail is highly unlikely because in a storm of the force described in Ac 27:14, the sail would have been taken down and reefed immediately, to prevent its being ripped to shreds or torn away by the gale.



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