They wanted to go to Phoenix (Acts 27:12)

“As the harbor

Was not suitable

For spending the winter,

The majority was in favor

Of putting to sea

From there,

On the chance that somehow

They could reach Phoenix,

Where they could spend

The winter.

It was a harbor of Crete,

Facing southwest

And northwest.”

ἀνευθέτου δὲ τοῦ λιμένος ὑπάρχοντος πρὸς παραχειμασίαν οἱ πλείονες ἔθεντο βουλὴν ἀναχθῆναι ἐκεῖθεν, εἴ πως δύναιντο καταντήσαντες εἰς Φοίνικα παραχειμάσαι, λιμένα τῆς Κρήτης βλέποντα κατὰ λίβα καὶ κατὰ χῶρον.

The author of Acts indicated that this harbor at Fair Havens (δὲ τοῦ λιμένος) was not suitable (ἀνευθέτου) for spending (ὑπάρχοντος) the winter (πρὸς παραχειμασίαν).  The majority (οἱ πλείονες) on the boat made a decision (ἔθεντο βουλὴν) to set sail from there (ἀναχθῆναι ἐκεῖθεν).  They hoped to be able to reach (εἴ πως δύναιντο καταντήσαντες) Phoenix (εἰς Φοίνικα), where they could spend the winter (παραχειμάσαι) in this harbor of Crete (λιμένα τῆς Κρήτης), facing (βλέποντα) southwest (κατὰ λίβα) and northwest (κατὰ χῶρον) on the tip of western Crete.  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words ἀνευθέτου, that means not well placed, unsuitable, or inconvenient, the word παραχειμασίαν twice, that means wintering or spending the winter, and the word λιμένος twice, that means a harbor, a haven, or a port, as well as the word λίβα, that means the southwest wind or the place where it comes from, and finally χῶρον, that means the northwest wind and the sky from which it comes.  The harbor at Fair Havens was not suitable for a winter stay.  Phoenix was on the southern coast of the island of Crete, on the isthmus that joins the western third with the rest of Crete.  It must have had a good harbor because most of them all agreed to go there for the winter stay and it was only about 50-60 miles away from the Fair Havens port, about a little over a day’s sailing, two days at most.  Thus, they were on the way to Phoenix, not Arizona, but Phoenix, Crete.  Do you know anything about winter harbors for boats?

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