Take some food! (Acts 27:33)

“Just before daybreak,

Paul urged

All of them

To take some food.

He said.

‘Today is the fourteenth day

That you have been

In suspense

And remaining

Without food,

Having eaten nothing.’”

Ἄχρι δὲ οὗ ἡμέρα ἤμελλεν γίνεσθαι, παρεκάλει ὁ Παῦλος ἅπαντας μεταλαβεῖν τροφῆς λέγων Τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην σήμερον ἡμέραν προσδοκῶντες ἄσιτοι διατελεῖτε, μηθὲν προσλαβόμενοι.

The author of Acts indicated that just before daybreak or before the beginning of the day (Ἄχρι δὲ οὗ ἡμέρα ἤμελλεν γίνεσθαι), Paul (ὁ Παῦλος) urged (παρεκάλει) all of them (ἅπαντας) to take some food (μεταλαβεῖν τροφῆς).  He said (λέγων) that this was the fourteenth day (Τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην σήμερον ἡμέραν) that they have been waiting anxiously (προσδοκῶντες) and continued to remain (διατελεῖτε) without food (ἄσιτοι), having eaten nothing (μηθὲν προσλαβόμενοι).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words ἄσιτοι, that means without eating or fasting, and the word διατελεῖτε, that means to accomplish thoroughly, to persist, continue, persevere, or finish.  Just before daybreak, Paul told everyone that they should have something to eat, since they had not eaten in fourteen days.  Was this because they were anxious or that they had no food?  They must have had some food.  Thus, they had been fourteen days or two weeks without eating anything, either deliberately or being forced to do so.  This whole trip had been very anxious with the great storm that they were in.  How long have you ever fasted without eating any food?

The soldiers cut the ropes of the lifeboat (Acts 27:32)

“Then the soldiers

Cut away the ropes

Of the lifeboat.

This set it adrift.”.

τότε ἀπέκοψαν οἱ στρατιῶται τὰ σχοινία τῆς σκάφης καὶ εἴασαν αὐτὴν ἐκπεσεῖν.

The author of Acts indicated that then the soldiers (οἱ στρατιῶται) cut away (τότε ἀπέκοψαν) the ropes (τὰ σχοινία) of the boat (τῆς σκάφης), so that it drifted away (καὶ εἴασαν αὐτὴν ἐκπεσεῖν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word σκάφην, that means scooped out, a light boat, or a lifeboat.  The soldiers onboard reacted immediately.  They cut the ropes of the lifeboat, so that it drifted away.  Nobody would be able to use the lifeboat.  I am not sure if that was such a good idea.  Would you like to be on a ship without any lifeboats?

Keep the sailors on board! (Acts 27:31)

“Paul said to the centurion

And the soldiers.

‘Unless these men

Stayed in the ship,

You cannot be saved.’”

εἶπεν ὁ Παῦλος τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ καὶ τοῖς στρατιώταις Ἐὰν μὴ οὗτοι μείνωσιν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ, ὑμεῖς σωθῆναι οὐ δύνασθε.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said (εἶπεν ὁ Παῦλος) to the centurion (τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ) and the soldiers (καὶ τοῖς στρατιώταις) that unless these men stayed (Ἐὰν μὴ οὗτοι μείνωσιν) in the ship (ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ), they could not be saved (ὑμεῖς σωθῆναι οὐ δύνασθε).  Paul immediately reacted to these sailors.  He told the centurion and his soldiers that these sailors had to stay on the ship, otherwise they would not be saved.  I am not sure about the reasoning in this.  These men must have been very valuable sailors.  Are certain people better at their jobs than other people?

The sailors lowered the lifeboat (Acts 27:30)

“Some sailors tried

To escape

From the ship.

They lowered

The lifeboat

Into the sea,

On the pretext

Of dropping

The anchors

From the prow.”

Τῶν δὲ ναυτῶν ζητούντων φυγεῖν ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου καὶ χαλασάντων τὴν σκάφην εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν προφάσει ὡς ἐκ πρῴρης ἀγκύρας μελλόντων ἐκτείνειν,

The author of Acts indicated that some sailors (Τῶν δὲ ναυτῶν) tried to escape (ζητούντων φυγεῖν) from the ship (ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου).  They lowered (καὶ χαλασάντων) the lifeboat (τὴν σκάφην) into the sea (εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν), on the pretext (προφάσει) of dropping out (μελλόντων ἐκτείνειν) the anchors (ἀγκύρας) from the prow (ὡς ἐκ πρῴρης).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words σκάφην, that means scooped out, a light boat, or a lifeboat, and the word πρῴρης, that means the prow of a ship, the front end.  Some sailors tried to escape from the ship at night.  They lowered the lifeboat into the sea, pretending that they were lowering the anchors from the front of the ship.  They were close enough to land to make a run for it in a lifeboat.  Would you ever use a lifeboat?

They anchored the ship (Acts 27:29)

“Fearing that we might run

On the rocks,

They let down

Four anchors

From the stern.

They prayed

For day to come.”

φοβούμενοί τε μή που κατὰ τραχεῖς τόπους ἐκπέσωμεν, ἐκ πρύμνης ῥίψαντες ἀγκύρας τέσσαρας ηὔχοντο ἡμέραν γενέσθαι.

The author of Acts indicated that fearing (φοβούμενοί τε) that we might run or fall (ἐκπέσωμεν) into the rocks or a rocky place (μή που κατὰ τραχεῖς τόπους), they let down the four anchors (ῥίψαντες ἀγκύρας τέσσαρας) from the stern (ἐκ πρύμνης).  They prayed for the day to come (ηὔχοντο ἡμέραν γενέσθαι).  They were afraid that they would run into some rocky places near the shore, so they let down four anchors from the stern of the ship and prayed for daylight.  The ship had finally stopped drifting.  Have you put down your anchor in some place where you now live?

They were in shallow water (Acts 27:28)

“They took soundings.

They found twenty fathoms.

A little farther on,

They took soundings again.

They found fifteen fathoms.”

καὶ βολίσαντες εὗρον ὀργυιὰς εἴκοσι, βραχὺ δὲ διαστήσαντες καὶ πάλιν βολίσαντες εὗρον ὀργυιὰς δεκαπέντε·

The author of Acts indicated that they took soundings (καὶ βολίσαντες).  They found twenty fathoms (εὗρον ὀργυιὰς εἴκοσι).  A little farther on (βραχὺ δὲ διαστήσαντες), they took soundings again (καὶ πάλιν βολίσαντες). This time, they found fifteen fathoms (εὗρον ὀργυιὰς δεκαπέντε).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words βολίσαντες, that means to heave the lead, to cast the line, or take a sounding, and the word ὀργυιὰς, that means a fathom, the length of the outstretched arms, or about five or six feet.  These midnight sailors decided to see how close they were to land.  They took soundings or tested the depth of the water with a line.  The first time that they dropped the line, the water was about 20 fathoms deep.  As a fathom is about 5 feet that would be about 100 feet deep.  A little while later, they tested the waters again and it was only 15 fathoms deep or 75 feet deep.  They were getting closer to something.  Have you ever tested the depth of sea water?

They were getting close to land (Acts 27:27)

“When the fourteenth night

Had come,

We were drifting

Across the Adriatic Sea.

About midnight,

The sailors suspected

That they were nearing land.”

Ὡς δὲ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτη νὺξ ἐγένετο διαφερομένων ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ Ἀδρίᾳ, κατὰ μέσον τῆς νυκτὸς ὑπενόουν οἱ ναῦται προσάγειν τινὰ αὐτοῖς χώραν.

The author of Acts indicated that when the fourteenth night had come (Ὡς δὲ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτη νὺξ ἐγένετο), they were drifting across the Adriatic Sea (διαφερομένων ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ Ἀδρίᾳ).  About midnight (κατὰ μέσον τῆς νυκτὸς), the sailors (οἱ ναῦται) suspected (ὑπενόουν) that they were nearing land (προσάγειν τινὰ αὐτοῖς χώραν).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ὑπενόουν, that means to suspect, conjecture, or suppose.  This ship had drifted on the Adriatic Sea for fourteen days with that storm gale continuing the whole time.  Today, the Adriatic Sea is a body of water between Italy and the Balkans, an extension of the Mediterranean Sea.  But in antiquity, the term denoted a more extensive area, including the area south of Sicily around Crete.  Around midnight, a few sailors suspected that they were getting near some land.  Once again, the author of Acts had indicated that he was with Paul in his voyage to Rome, as he said “we were drifting (διαφερομένων ἡμῶν)” in the Adriatic Sea.  Have you ever drifted in your life?

We will run aground on some island (Acts 27:26)

“But we will have to

Run aground

On some island.”

εἰς νῆσον δέ τινα δεῖ ἡμᾶς ἐκπεσεῖν.

The author of Acts indicated that that Paul said that they would have to (δεῖ ἡμᾶς) run aground (ἐκπεσεῖν) on some island (εἰς νῆσον δέ τινα).  Paul told them there was one little thing, they would run aground on some island.  They already had their fill of island problems.  Do you have a favorite island?

Stay courageous! (Acts 27:25)

“Keep up your courage!


I have faith in God

That it will be exactly

As I have been told.”

διὸ εὐθυμεῖτε, ἄνδρες· πιστεύω γὰρ τῷ Θεῷ ὅτι οὕτως ἔσται καθ’ ὃν τρόπον λελάληταί μοι.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said that they (ἄνδρες) should keep up their courage (διὸ εὐθυμεῖτε).  Paul had faith in God (πιστεύω γὰρ τῷ Θεῷ) that it would be (ὅτι οὕτως ἔσται) exactly or the way (καθ’ ὃν τρόπον) as he had been told (λελάληταί μοι).  Paul then told his fellow travelers to have courage.  He had faith in God that things would happen just like he had been told by this angel of God.  Do you have faith in God?

You will all be safe (Acts 27:24)

“The angel said.

‘Do not be afraid!


You must stand

Before Caesar!


God has granted safety

To all those

Who are sailing with you.’”

λέγων Μὴ φοβοῦ, Παῦλε· Καίσαρί σε δεῖ παραστῆναι, καὶ ἰδοὺ κεχάρισταί σοι ὁ Θεὸς πάντας τοὺς πλέοντας μετὰ σοῦ.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said (λέγων) that this angel said to him (Παῦλε) to not be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ).  He was going to stand before Caesar (Καίσαρί σε δεῖ παραστῆναι).  Indeed (καὶ ἰδοὺ), God (ὁ Θεὸς) had granted (κεχάρισταί σοι) safety to all those who were sailing with him (πάντας τοὺς πλέοντας μετὰ σοῦ).  Paul told the men on the ship what the angel of God had told him.  They should not be afraid because Paul was going to make it to Rome to stand before the imperial majesty for judgment.  On top of that, this angel said that all those who were sailing with Paul would be saved.  They had nothing to worry about.  Would you be reassured if an angel told someone else that you were going to be okay?