Acts 27 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Acts 27)
27:1 And 1 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.

(1) Paul, with many other prisoners and through the midst of many deaths, is brought to Rome, but yet by God's own hand as it were, and set forth and commended to the world with many singular testimonies.

27:7 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 a Salmone;

(a) Which was a high hill of Crete.

27:9 2 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the b fast was now already past, Paul admonished [them],

(2) God's providence does not take away the causes which God uses as means, but rather orders and disposes their right use, even when he reveals an extraordinary issue.
(b) This refers to the Jews fast which they kept in the feast of expiation, as we read in (Leviticus 23:17), which fell in the seventh month which we call October, and is not good for navigating or sailing.

27:11 3 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

(3) Men cast themselves willingly into an infinite amount of dangers, when they choose to follow their own wisdom, rather than God, when he speaks by the mouth of his servants.

27:14 But not long after there arose against c it a tempestuous wind, called d Euroclydon.

(c) By Crete, from whose shore our ship was driven by that means.
(d) Northeast wind.

27:18 4 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next [day] they lightened the ship;

(4) The result proves that none provide worse for themselves than those who commit themselves to be governed only by their own wisdom.

27:21 5 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.

(5) God spares the wicked for a time, for the sake of his elect and chosen.

27:25 6 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

(6) The promise is made effectual through faith.

27:27 7 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in e Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed f that they drew near to some country;

(7) We attain and come to the promised and sure salvation through the midst of tempests and death itself.
(e) For Ptolemy writes that the Adriatic Sea beats upon the east shore of Cecilia.
(f) Or, some country drew near to them.

27:30 8 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,

(8) No matter how foul the act, distrust and an evil conscience can always compel men to commit it.

27:31 9 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

(9) Although the performing of God's promises does not depend upon secondary causes, yet they make themselves unworthy of God's bountifulness who do not embrace those means which God offers them, either upon rashness or distrust.

27:33 10 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.

(10) When the world trembles, the faithful alone are not only at peace, but strengthen and encourage others by their example.

27:34 Wherefore I pray you to take [some] meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an g hair fall from the head of any of you.

(g) This is a proverb which the Hebrews use, by which is meant that they will be safe, and that not one of them will perish.

27:39 11 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain h creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

(11) Then are tempests most of all to be feared and looked for, when the port or haven is nearest.
(h) A creek is a sea within land, as the Adriatic Sea, and the Persian Sea.

27:41 And falling into a place where i 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.

(i) So is an isthmus called, because the Sea touches it on both sides.

27:42 12 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

(12) There is nowhere more unfaithfulness and unthankfulness in unbelievers.

27:43 13 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:

(13) God finds even amongst his enemies those whose help he uses to preserve his own.

27:44 14 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.

(14) The goodness of God overcomes man's malice.