AM June 20th Acts 27

June 20th           Acts 27             (The Long Journey to Rome)      Paul sails for Italy

1: And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. 2: And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3: And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. 4: And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5: And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6: And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. 7: And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 8: And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. 9: Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10: And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11: Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 12: And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

The storm

13: And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 14: But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15: And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. 16: And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18: And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19: And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20: And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. 21: But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22: And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 23: For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24: Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25: Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26: Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. 27: But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28: And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. 29: Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. 30: And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31: Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32: Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. 33: And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34: Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35: And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36: Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 37: And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38: And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.


39: And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. 40: And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. 41: And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42: And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43: But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

Paul sets off guarded by soldiers of the Roman Empire for Rome itself. Julius was his guard, a centurion of an important division of the Roman army. Paul was treated with great respect by his guards and they gave Paul liberty to have fellowship with his christian companions at Sidon. Then they set off again sailing south of Cyprus because the winds were against them. They changed ship at Myra to board an Alexandrian grain ship bound for Italy. They made little progress for a while then eventually they sailed to the south of Crete and docked at a harbour called ‘Fair Havens’. Paul who by now was an experienced traveller in the Mediterranean said that as the sailing was becoming dangerous they should wait out the bad storms ahead. However the Captain and officers of the ship was impatient to get going and the Centurion believed them. Because Fair Havens was not a good place to winter they set off. Because they had a gentle wind they thought they would set sail, however very soon a dangerous wind called Euroclydon caught the ship and because the ship was uncontrollable they let the storm drive the ship. They passed south of Clauda. Then they passed ropes around the ship to try to hold it all together. They took down the sails hoping to miss sandbanks. The ship was tossed about like a cork. So they decided to lighten the ship by throwing the cargo overboard. On the third day of the storm they even threw all the ropes and tackle to lighten the ship. When after many more days they had seen no sun or stars and clearly didn’t know where they were they lost all hope of being saved. After a period of fasting and prayer Paul stood in the middle of them and said you should have listened to me and not sailed from Crete, however be of good cheer there will be no loss of life but we will loose the ship. Because an angel of the Lord stood by me tonight telling me not to fear because God will give to me all the souls on the ship, but we will be thrown up onto an Island. On the fourteenth night of the storm the sailors knew that they were nearing land. They took sounding and knew that the ship was approaching land. They thought that they might be dashed onto rocks so they threw four anchors out of the ship. Some of the sailors wanted to get into a small dingy but Paul said no we must stay together. The dingy ropes were cut and the dingy fell away into the sea. Paul encouraged them to eat some food to give them strength. There were 276 on board. They all felt much cheered and they threw the grain overboard. When day dawned they found a small bay and they decided to run the ship straight for the bay. They took up the anchors and they cut the ropes holding the rudder enabling them to steer again and the hoisted the mainsail and made for the shore. They found a place between two islands they ran the ship aground and the bow of the ship stuck fast on the rocks but the stern was being broken by the crashing waves. The soldiers wanted to kill all the prisoners in case they escaped. But the centurion wanting to save Paul stopped them and commanded that everyone should jump ship and swim as best they could for land. Everyone was saved floating on bits of plank and parts of the ship. They all escaped from the storm safe to land.

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