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14. But not long after there 'arose against it a tem-1. But after no long time there 14
beat down from it a tempestupestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
ous wind, which is called Eura15. And when the ship was caught, and could not quilo. And when the ship was 15
caught, and could not face bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
the wind, we gave way to it, 16. And running under a certain island which is and were driven. And running 16
under the lee of a small island called Clauda, we had much work to come by the called Cauda, we were able,
with difficulty, to secure the boat :
received the other appellation merely as a commendatory one, because by such devotion to him he had thus made Paul's captivity, as it were, his own. This is the general opinion of critics. – Hackett. Aristarchus and Luke must either have paid their own expenses, or have been provided with money for that purpose by Christians, who knew how necessary was some attendance for one so stricken with personal infirmities as their illustrious apostle. Farrar.
II. The Voyage. — Vers. 3–13. The voyage may be traced on the map in connection with the Journal of Paul's Voyage, given in the Introduction. As they sail along the southern coast of Asia Minor, on the right Paul can see familiar mountains of his native Cilicia; on the left, the island where he first went as a missionary (13:4). - Stock. At Myra they left the ship of Adramyttium, and took passage in a grain ship of Egypt, bound for Rome. It was late in the season when they reached Fairhavens, in Crete, being hindered and driven out of their course by strong head winds. Against Paul's advice they started again on their voyage, in hopes of reaching a better harbor for the winter, — that of Phenice, or Phenix, 40 miles to the north-west, on the same island. The wind was favorable, and the weather pleasant, but soon after starting they encountered the terrible storm described in the remainder of this lesson.
III. The Storm. – Vers. 14-20. 14. Not long after. How suddenly violent changes may take place when we least expect them, and when we have thought that already we have “ gained our purpose"! Every part of the narrative before us, and this part very particularly, admits of being turned into an admirable sermon. — Schaf. Arose against it. Rather, beat down from it (i.e., from Crete). It is a common expression in lake and coasting navigation that “a gust came down the valleys." — Alford. A tempestuous wind. Literally, " typhonic" (i.e., “whirlwind-ish"). Called Euroclydon. Better, Euraquilo. From Euros (Greek) = east wind; Áquilo (Latin) = north-east wind; Euraquilo (compounding the two) = east north-east wind. To the objection (in favor of “ Euroclydon") that Greek and Latin are thus compounded, it is to be replied that no one would be likelier than sailors (passing from country to country) to make such a compound; and no one likelier than Luke (whose nautical phraseology is scrupulously accurate) to put the wind on record as so "called” (just as a similar wind in the Mediterranean' is now known to our seamen by the name of the Levanter).- Gloag. When they had doubled, or perhaps were now doubling, Cape Matala (about four miles west of Fairhavens), the wind suddenly changed. At first, as long as they were sheltered, [it blew] only by fits down the gullies, but as soon as they were in the open bay past the cape, with its full violence.Alford
15. When the ship was caught. A very strong expression implying that the wind seised hold of the ship, as it were, and whirled her out of her course. Could not bear up into the wind. Literally, “could not look the wind in the eye.” The figure is a sufficiently natural one in all languages; but it perhaps received additional vividness from the fact that a large eye was commonly painted on the prow of Greek vessels. The practice is still not unusual in Mediterranean boats. — Plumptre. We let her drive. Literally, we gave up, and were driven. — Alford. Two ideas are here expressed, --- first, "we gave way," i.e., let the ship go, or “ gave up,” i.e., the attempt to sail on the purposed course; second, the result of this giving way, “and were driven," i.l'., scudded before the wind, running to the south-west with this typhoon from the north-east. -- Riddle.
16. Running under (i.6., " in the lee of”) a certain island (the Greek is diminutive, “small island”) which is called Clauda (the better reading is Cauda). The suddenness and fury of the blow left the sailors not one moment to furl the mainsail, or to do anything but leave the ship to be driven madly forward before the gale until after a fearful run of twenty-three miles they neared the little island of Clauda, and ran in under its lee. Farrar. It was about twenty-five miles nearly due south from the port of Phenice, which
17. Which when they had taken up, they used boat: and when they had hoist- 17 helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they deren in
. and fearing lest they ed it up, they used helps, unshould fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were ing lest they should be cast
upon the Syrtis, they lowered driven.
the gear, and so were driven. 18. And we being exceedingly tossed with a temlingly tossed with a tem. And as we laboured exceeding-18
ly with the storm, the next day pest, the next day they lightened the ship;
they began to throw the
the sailors had desired to reach. It is now called by the Greeks Gaudo or Gaudonesi, and by the Italians Gozzo, and is inhabited by about seventy families, scattered over three or four hamlets. — Gloag. We had much work to come by the boat. Literally, “we were able, with difficulty, to become masters of the boat.” Here they ... availed themselves of the temporary shelter to prepare the ship more thoroughly than had been possible before to encounter the fury of the storm. The first step was to get on board the ship the boat, which hitherto apparently had been towed through the waves (left there at first because the weather was fair and the anticipated journey short. — Abbott). — Plumptre. The boat could scarcely fail to be filled with water. - James Smith,
17. They used helps, undergirding the ship. Cables passed under the keel, round the hull, and made fast on the deck. The process is called frapping a ship. Lord Anson had recourse to it in 1743, and Sir G. Back, on his return from his Arctic voyage in 1837; and the Albion frigate was frapped after a hurricane in coming home from India in 1846.... Under-girdles were among the regular sea stores of the Athenian galleys. -- Speaker's Com.
The ships of the ancients had one mainmast and one mainsail; any other masts or rigging were comparatively small and insignificant. Hence the strain upon the vessel from the lev. erage of the mast was terrific, and it was impossible that the Alexandrian ship, however stoutly built, should have scudded with her huge sail set in the grasp of a typhoon, without her timbers starting. It is evident that she had already sprung a serious leak. - Farrar. In the accounts of ancient shipwrecks, the loss of the ship must, in a great number of instances, be ascribed to this cause (2 Cor. 11: 25). Besides other modern improvements in naval architecture, the strain is spread over three masts, with small sails, which can be quickly taken in. - James Smith. And fearing lest they should fall into, etc. Rather, “lest they should be stranded upon the Syrtis." The verb literally means to fall out, i.e., from the sea or deep water upon the land or rocks (comp. vers. 26, 29). Syrtis Major is here meant, which was on the coast of Africa, south-west from Crete. This gulf was an object of great dread to mariners, on account of its dangerous shoals. Here Virgil placed the shipwreck of Æneas. The other Syrtis (Minor, toward Carthage) was too far to the west to have been the one to which they would feel exposed in their present situation. - Hackett. Strake sail. The large, ordinary sail. Had they struck sail altogether, the ship would simply have drifted in the very direction which they were anxious to avoid. - Plumptre. The word rendered sail is indefinite, and may be applied to almost any of the ship's appurtenances, as sails, masts, anchors, and the like. – Hackett. What was undoubtedly done was this: Under the lee of the island she was brought round with her head to the gale, facing the north or a little east of north, so as to take the storm on her starboard or right quarter. The fair weather sails and spars were taken down, a storm sail was set, and she was then suffered to drist before the storm. — Abbott. This is a method familiar to all sailors, when their design is not to make progress, but to ride out a storm. — Schafj. And so were driven. That is, (1) undergirt; (2) made snug (the boat aboard, -- this as a means of ultimate safety, -- and the gear lowered); (3) laid to (she had storm sails set, and was on the starboard tack). This,
- except (4) the lightening of the ship (vers. 18, 19) —- represents substantially the seamanship of a fortnight (till ver. 27).- B. The captain ... seems to have shown the best seamanship which was possible in his age. — Farrar. In this position navigators calculate that she would drist in a direction west by north, at the rate of thirty-six miles in twenty-four hours. Thirteen days and a fraction of drifting in this direction, and at this rate, would bring her to the island of Malta (comp. ver. 27; chap. 28:1). — Abbott.
18. The next day. The night brought to them no relief. The return of day disclosed to them new dangers. The precaution of undergirding had accomplished less than they hoped. It was evident that the ship must be lightened. — Hackett. They lightened the ship. Literally, “they were making (or began to make) a throwing out.” The expression is, however, technical, for unloading a ship, so that the Rev. Ver. adds the freight. - B. We are not told what it was that they sacrificed at this time; it may have been their supernumerary spars and rigging, and some of the heavier and more accessible articles of merchandise with which the ship was laden. – Hackett. The ship was doubtless laden with 19. And the third day I we cast out with our own freight overboard; and the 19
third day they cast out with hands the tackling of the ship.
their own hands the tackling
of the ship. And when neither 20 20. And when neither sun nor stars in many days
sun nor stars shone upon us appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope for many days, and no small
tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
that we should be saved was 21. But after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in now taken away. And when 21
they had been long without the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have food, then Paul stood forth in
the midst of them, and said, hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, the midst
Sirs, ye should have hearkened and to have gained this harm and loss.
unto me, and not have set sail
from Crete, and have gotten 22. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer : this injury and loss. And now 22
Jonah 1: 5. wheat (ver. 38), and also other articles of merchandise. These latter they could more easily get at, and would throw overboard first. — P.
19. And the third day. Even this (lightening the ship) was insufficient. The next night brought no relief; the vessel still leaked and leaked, and all labor at the pumps was in vain. - Farrar. We cast out with our own hands. The Greek for all this is two words “ with-own-hands” and “ cast-out." The person whether first or third) depends on the reading of the verb. The oldest manuscripts have the endings for the third person ("* they cast out”), as in Rev. Ver. —B. Tackling of the ship. Not the ropes and equipments of the ship which would be needed, but the ship's apparatus, – the utensils belonging to the ship, as furniture, beds, cooking vessels, and the like. With their own hands is used with they cast out as showing the urgency of the danger, (It gives to the description a sad vividness. — Meyer.) when the seamen would, with their own hands, cast away what otherwise was needful to the ship and themselves. — Alford.
20. When neither sun nor stars . . . appeared. We have to remember that before the invention of the compass the sun and stars were the only guides of sailors who were out of sight of land. Now (" for many days ") the sky was overcast (a circumstance not unusual during a Levanter), and this guidance failed. The ship was driving, but whither they knew not. - Plumptre. No one who has never been in a leaking ship in a long-continued gale can know what is suffered under such circumstances. The strain both of mind and body, the incessant demand for the labor of all the crew, the terror of the passengers, the hopeless working at the pumps, the laboring of the ship's frame and cordage, the driving of the storm, the benumbing effect of the cold and wet, make up a scene of no ordinary confusion, anxiety, and fatigue. --C. and H. All hope . . . was ... taken away. The fate which most commonly befell ancient vessels - that of foundering at sea -- was obviously imminent. -Farrar,
IV. God present in the Storm.- Vers. 21-26. 21. But after long abstinence. Long-continued and severe, but not entire. This abstinence was not owing to their want of provisions (see ver. 33), but was the effect, in part, at least, of their fears and dejection of mind (see vers. 22, 36). - Hackett. Besides, there were no means of cooking; no fire could be lighted; the caboose and utensils must long ago have been washed overboard; the provisions had probably been spoiled and sodden by the waves that broke over the ship; indeed, with death staring them in the face, no one cared to eat. -- Farrar. Paul stood forth in the midst of them. He chose some place on the deck, whence he could most easily address the sailors, soldiers, and passengers, now willingly crowding round him. Rei'. Com. It was in this extremity that Paul's faith in God shone forth. — Riddle. As early as the second day of the voyage (ver. 3), Julius distinguished Paul from the other prisoners, and accorded him as much liberty as was consistent with his safe custody; induced to this kindness, no doubt, by learning that Agrippa had in open court pronounced him an innocent man. -- Irnot. That St. Paul was allowed to give advice (at Fairhavens, vers. 9, 10) at all, implies that he was already held in a consideration very unusual for a prisoner. Conybeare and Howson. Ye should have hearkened unto me. Paul recalls to mind their former mistake in disregarding his advice (vers. 9-11), not to reproach them, but in order to show his claim to their confidence with reference to the present communication. — Hackett. Harm and loss. The harm was to their persons, the loss to their property. -Conybeare and Howson.
22. I exhort you to be of good cheer. Look and tone, we may well believe, helped the words. It was something in that scene of misery and dejection to see one man stand forward with a brave, calm confidence. — Plumptre. For there shall be no loss of ... life.
for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, 1 exhort you to be of good
cheer: for there shall be no but of the ship.
loss of life among you, but 23. For there stood by me this night the angel of only of the ship: For there az
stood by me this night an God, whose I am, and ? whom I serve,
angel of the God whose I am, 24. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought/whom also I serve, saying, 24
Fear not, Paul; thou must before Cesar : and, lo, God hath given thee all them stand before Cæsar: and lo,
God hath granted thee all that sail with thee.
them that sail with thee. 25. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer : 3 for I be- Wherefore, sirs, be of good 25
cheer: for I believe God, that lieve God, that it shall be even a., it was told me. it shall be even so as it hath 26. Howbeit 4 we must be cast upon a certain been spoken unto me. How- 26
beit we must be cast upon a island.
tain island. 1 Chap. 23: 11. ; Dan. 6: 16. Rom. 1:9. 2 Tim. 1: 3. 3 Luke 1:45. Rom. 4:20, 21. 2 Tim. 1: 12.
• Chap. 28 :1. Mere exhortation to cheer up is of little avail in such cases. Paul gives a good reason why they should be encouraged. -- Riddle. In warning them not to sail from the Fairhavens (ver. 10), Paul had said that the voyage would be with hardship and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of their lives; but here, as the messenger of God, he asserts that no life would be lost. Then he spoke from a calm consideration of the state of matters (led by the Spirit of God); but now he speaks from revelation. - Gloag. The loss of life was the natural and certain result of their sailing from Fairhavens, had not God in his provi. dence interfered.
23. There stood by me this night. The night just ending. The narrative implies that while others had burst into the wailing cries of despair, calling, we may believe, like the sailors in Jonah (1:5), “every man unto his god,” the apostle had passed his hours of darkness in silent communing with God, and now came forward with the assurance that his prayers were heard. -- Plumptre. It does not follow that Paul was speaking in the night: it is far more likely that he told of the revelation the next morning. - Riddle. The angel of God. Rather, “ an angel of the God” Paul's hearers including worshippers of heathen divinities. – B. We have occasion to observe, more than once, that the ministry of angels is made conspicuous in this book (see chaps. I: 10; 10: 3; 12:7; 16:9). — Schaff. The appearance was not a vision in a dream. The testimony and the consciousness of the apostle, who was scarce likely to have slumbered and dreamed on that night, are decisive against this view. — Meyer. Whose I am, etc. At such a time the servants of God are highly esteemed. - Alford. It is a blessed thing to have so served God that we know we are his, and that he will care for us as his beloved children.
24. Thou must be brought, etc. The words obviously came as an answer to the prayer, prompted by the fear, not of death or danger in itself, but lest the cherished purpose of his heart should be frustrated when it seemed on the very verge of attainment. — Plumptre. He knew that God had promised that he should preach in Rome, and therefore that he should be preserved. But his faith could not now see how it would be accomplished, and needed strengthening by prayer. – P. God hath given thee. This seems to show that he had been engaged not only in prayer, but in intercessory prayer (comp. the language in Philem. 22). - Schaff. Doubtless Paul prayed earnestly for the safety of those who were in the ship with him; and their lives were granted in answer to his prayers. — Gloag. The good man is never selfish even in his prayers. He ever thinks of others. — P.
25. Wherefore ... be of good cheer: for I believe God. In time of disaster good cheer is in the proportion of a living faith in God. -- Abbott. It is evident from ver. 32 that the apostle had acquired a strong ascendancy over the minds of the passengers in the ship, if not of the others. He could very properly, therefore, urge his own confidence in God as a reason why they should dismiss their fears, so far, at least, as the preservation of their lives was concerned. - Hackett.
26. Howbeit opposes what they must suffer to what they would escape. - Hackett. We must. In this connection it is implied that this was God's purpose rather than Paul's judgment. — Riddle. A certain island. Paul was as ignorant of the name of the place where they were wrecked as the rest of them (see ver. 39). -- Hackett. Prophetic prescience does not imply that everything is clear (see chap. 20:22, 23). — Schaff.
LIBRARY REFERENCES. James Smith's Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, with dissertations on the ships and navigation of the ancients, is the best monograph on this subject; The Life of Paul, by Conybeare and Howson; by Farrar; by Lewin; by Taylor; Lewin's Fasti Sacri; Commentaries by Abbott, Schaff, Ellicott, Cook, Meyer, Gloag, Lange, Barnes; Handy Vol. Com.; Cambridge Bible. etc. Leonard Swain's “ God's Ownership of the Sea," in Bib. Sacra for July, 1861.
1. God's plans are carried out in long and strange ways, but they never fail.
2. Note the comforts and helps God gave Paul even though he allowed him to be a prisoner.
3. Note also that his every discomfort and trial, his imprisonment, his hardships, his dangers by sea, his wreck, all were made instruments for making known Paul's character and religion, and for the furtherance of his work and of the Gospel he preached.
4. God's power is specially manifested in the sea.
5. Vers. 21-26. Mark the great influence of a truly godly man, because he is God's child and is taught of God.
6. Ver. 21. Godliness tends to give wisdom to the judgment. God's spirit of wisdom dwells in and guides his true children.
7. Observe how one godly man saves many ungodly men (Gen. 18: 22–33). This is a singular pledge of God's love toward us, that he maketh certain drops of his goodness distil from us unto others. — Calvin.
8. In every life there are storms, but God is in the storm.
9. The source of comfort in the storm is faith in God as a loving, wise, powerful Father.
10. The Christian prays not for himself alone, but for others.
11. The ministry of angels. Paul knows not where he is himself; yet God's angel knows where to find him out. — Henry.
12. God promises; we should believe; and the faith of one encourages the many.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
Much preparation will be needed for this lesson. The teacher should thoroughly “get up” all the nautical details of the voyage, - which, if worthy to be recorded in an inspired book, must certainly be worthy of being studied by readers of that book. -- Eugene Stock.
1. THE VOYAGE (vers. 1-13). Trace this out on the map, with the aid of the Journal given in the Introduction.
II. THE TEMPEST (vers. 14-20), with its dangers and discomforts; the power and teachings of the sea; the vain efforts to resist its force.
III. GOD IN THE STORM, REVEALED THROUGH HIS SERVANT (vers 21-26).
PAUL PRAYING. All the more because he had God's promise to sustain him. We here naturally think of the beautiful stanza of the Greek hymn of Anatolius (d. 458), containing the word Euroclydon :
Ridge of the mountain wave, lower thy crest!
Where saith the Light of light, Peace! it is I!
Good CHEER FROM GOD, through faith in his word.
Illustration. A good man said that he rested on three pillows: God's love, God's wisdom, and God's power.
Illustration. A late sermon says that there are three ways of thinking about God: (1) he has been considered as a lofty and glorious King; (2) as a supreme Governor, holy and just, but without heart; (3) the true way is to interpret God by his fatherhood. Now, as a matter of fact, we need all these ways of thinking about God. The glory of his fatherhood is that he is such a Father; that the King of glory, the One who governs all things, He is our Father, and loves us and cares for us. - P.
IV. APPLICATIONS. (1) To the storm of trouble; (2) to the storm of sin. We cannot save ourselves. With all our efforts, the tempest is too strong for us. Only God can help; only God can save. He sends his word and his ministers to us, with his promises, and looking to him there is good cheer.