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1: As soon as it was determined to sail - As being a
shorter and less expensive passage to Rome.
2: Adramyttium - was a sea port of Mysia. Aristarchus and Luke
went with Paul by choice, not being ashamed of his bonds.
3: Julius treating Paul courteously - Perhaps he had heard him
make his defence.
4: We sailed under Cyprus - Leaving it on the left hand.
7: Cnidus - was a cape and city of Caria.
8: The Fair Havens still retain the name. But the city of Lasea
is now utterly lost, together with many more of the hundred
cities for which Crete was once so renowned.
9: The fast, or day of atonement, was kept on the tenth of Tisri,
that is, the 25th of September. This was to them an ill time
of sailing; not only because winter was approaching, but also
because of the sudden storms, which are still common in the
Mediterranean at that time of the year. Paul exhorted them - Not
to leave Crete. Even in external things, faith exerts itself
with the greatest presence of mind, and readiness of advice.
10: Saying to them - To the centurion and other officers.
11: The centurion regarded the master - And indeed it is a general
rule, believe an artificer in his own art. Yet when there is the
greatest need, a real Christian will often advise even better
12: Which is a haven - Having a double opening, one to the
southwest, the other to the northwest.
14: There arose against it - The south wind; a tempestuous wind,
called in those parts Euroclydon. This was a kind of hurricane,
not carrying them any one way, but tossing them backward and
forward. These furious winds are now called levanters, and blow
in all directions from the northeast to the southeast.
16: We were hardly able to get masters of the boat - To prevent
its being staved.
18: They lightened the ship - Casting the heavy goods into the sea.
19: We cast out the tackling of the ship - Cutting away even those
masts that were not absolutely necessary.
20: Neither sun nor stars appeared for many days - Which they could
the less spare, before the compass was found out.
21: This loss - Which is before your eyes.
23: The God whose I am, and whom I serve - How short a compendium
of religion! Yet how full! Comprehending both faith, hope, and
24: God hath given - Paul had prayed for them. And God gave him
their lives; perhaps their souls also. And the centurion,
subserving the providence of God, gave to Paul the lives of the
prisoners. How wonderfully does his providence reign in the most
contingent things! And rather will many bad men be preserved
with a few good, (so it frequently happens,) than one good man
perish with many bad. So it was in this ship: so it is in the
world. Thee - At such a time as this, there was not the same
danger, which might otherwise have been, of St. Paul's seeming
to speak out of vanity, what he really spoke out of necessity.
All the souls - Not only all the prisoners, as Julius afterward
did, (Ac 27:43); ask for souls, they shall be given thee:
yea, more than thou hopest for, that sail with thee - So that
Paul, in the sight of God, was the master and pilot of the ship.
27: The fourteenth night - Since they left Crete,(Ac 27:18,19).
In the Adriatic sea - So the ancients called all that part of the
Mediterranean, which lay south of Italy.
30: The sailors were attempting to flee out of the ship - Supposing
the boat would go more safely over the shallows.
31: Unless these mariners abide in the ship - Without them ye know
not how to manage her, ye cannot be saved - He does not say we.
That they would not have regarded. The soldiers were not careful
for the lives of the prisoners: nor was Paul careful for his own.
We may learn hence, to use the most proper means for security
and success, even while we depend on Divine Providence, and wait
for the accomplishment of God's own promise. He never designed
any promise should encourage rational creatures to act in an
irrational manner; or to remain inactive, when he has given them
natural capacities of doing something, at least, for their own
benefit. To expect the accomplishment of any promise, without
exerting these, is at best vain and dangerous presumption, if all
pretence of relying upon it be not profane hypocrisy.
33: Ye continue fasting, having taken nothing - No regular meal,
through a deep sense of their extreme danger. Let us not wonder
then, if men who have a deep sense of their extreme danger of
everlasting death, for a time forget even to eat their bread,
or to attend to their worldly affairs. Much less let us censure
that as madness, which may be the beginning of true wisdom.
34: This is for your preservation - That ye may be the better able
to swim to shore.
36: Then they were all encouraged - By his example, as well as words.
38: Casting out the wheat - So firmly did they now depend on what
St. Paul had said.
39: They did not know the land - Which they saw near them: having
a level shore.
40: Loosing the rudder bands - Their ships had frequently two
rudders, one on each side. were fastened while they let the
ship drive; but were now loosened, when they had need of them
to steer her into the creek.
41: A place where two seas met - Probably by reason of a sand
bank running parallel with the shore.
42: The counsel - Cruel, unjust, ungrateful.
44: They all escaped safe to land - And some of them doubtless
received the apostle as a teacher sent from God. These would
find their deliverance from the fury of the sea, but an earnest
of an infinitely greater deliverance, and are long ere this
lodged with him in a more peaceful harbour than Malta, or than
the earth could afford.