Acts 27Augustus' band; a body of the Roman army,—this name being a title of distinction.
Adramyttium; probably in Africa.—Asia; Asia Minor.—Aristarchus; a companion of Paul, who had come to Jerusalem with him. (19:29, 20:4.) He is alluded to afterwards, (Phil. 24,) as Paul's fellow-laborer at Rome; and also, on another occasion, (Col. 4:10,) as his fellow-prisoner.
Under Cyprus; near its shore, so as to be under its shelter.
Alexandria; in Egypt. There was an extensive commercial intercourse, in those days, between Egypt and Rome, as a great deal of grain from the valley of the Nile, was consumed in Rome. (See v. 38.)
Much time was spent; their progress having been impeded by the contrary winds before alluded to.
I perceive; I am convinced.—Of our lives; that is, that it will endanger our lives.
Toward the south-west and north-west. This expression is obscure. The words south-west and north-west are, in the original, names of winds not noted for violence. The general meaning of the phrase must be, that the opening of the harbor was towards those quarters of the heavens from which violent storms were not to be apprehended.
In modern times, the position of greatest safety for a ship in a storm of moderate violence, is for it to lie nearly head to the gale, presenting, so to speak, its shoulder to the winds and waves. By a peculiar action of the wind upon a sail placed in a particular position, the ship is retained in this posture by the very force of the storm which it is resisting. When, however, the fury of the tempest passes beyond a certain point, this position of comparative safety must be abandoned. The mariner then allows the ship to be carried round by the wind, and she flies away before the tempest, entirely at its mercy. The language here used seems exactly adapted to describe these effects.
Clauda; a small island south of Crete. Euroclydon was an easterly wind, so that they were driven westward.
Undergirding; some measure adopted, in those days, to strengthen the ship, in order to enable her better to resist the straining produced by the sea.
They lightened the ship,—by throwing overboard a part of the cargo.
Hath given thee, &c. that is, for his sake all the others were to be saved.
Adria; the Adriatic Sea.—Deemed that they drew near, &c.; by certain signs, familiar to seamen, such as the appearing of birds, or of floating plants, or a change in the color of the water.
Meat; food.—Having taken nothing; almost nothing,—nothing at all adequate to the demands of nature.
They knew not the land. They ascertained afterwards that it was the island now called Malta.
And commanded. It appears, from this and several former expressions, that Julius, and not the master of the ship, was the commanding officer during the voyage.
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