They sailed by Crete (Acts 27:7)

“We sailed slowly

For a number of days.

We arrived with difficulty

Off Cnidus.

The wind was against us.

We sailed

Under the shelter

Of Crete

Off Cape Salmone.”

ἐν ἱκαναῖς δὲ ἡμέραις βραδυπλοοῦντες καὶ μόλις γενόμενοι κατὰ τὴν Κνίδον, μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου, ὑπεπλεύσαμεν τὴν Κρήτην κατὰ Σαλμώνην,

The author of Acts indicated that they sailed slowly (βραδυπλοοῦντες) and with difficulty (καὶ μόλις) for a number of days (ἐν ἱκαναῖς δὲ ἡμέραις).  They arrived off Cnidus (γενόμενοι κατὰ τὴν Κνίδον).  The wind was against them or would not permit them to go further (μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου).  They sailed under the lee or shelter (ὑπεπλεύσαμεν) of the island of Crete (τὴν Κρήτην) off Cape Salmone (κατὰ Σαλμώνην).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words, βραδυπλοοῦντες, that means to sail slowly, προσεῶντος, that means to permit further or to approach, and ὑπεπλεύσαμεν, that means to sail under or under the lee.  Cnidus or Knidos was a Greek city in southwestern Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, on a peninsula, near the island of Cos.  Cape Salmone or Cape Sideros or Cape Sidero was a cape at the eastern end of the island of Crete.  They thought that they could pursue their voyage under the shelter of this island.  Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica.  Crete is a mountainous island about 100 miles south of the Greek mainland, as the southern border of the Aegean Sea.  Humans have inhabited this island over 130,000 years ago.  Crete was the center of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC, who were overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece.  Later, Crete fell under Roman rule.  Once again, the author of Acts had joined Paul in his voyage to Rome, as he said, “The wind was against us (μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου)” and “we sailed under the shelter of Cape Salmone near Crete (ὑπεπλεύσαμεν τὴν Κρήτην κατὰ Σαλμώνην).”  Have you ever been on a boat with sails?

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