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must have felt that their only resource was to run the vessel ashore. But the state of the weather rendered it impossible for them to distinguish in what direction the shore lay; and thus they were unable to make the only further effort for their preservation, which was left to them. In judging of the dangers which menaced them, we must take into account the state of the vessel, as well as the violence of the storm.
In their despair the Apostle cheers them with the hope of deliverance. Vs. 21-26.
V. 21. nollys άoirías, much abstinence as to time and degree, i. e. both long continued and severe, but not entire; see on v. 33. This was not owing to their want of provisions, see v. 36, but was the effect in part at least, of their fears and dejection of mind, see vs. 22, 36; and in part also, of the difficulty of preparing food under such circumstances; and of the constant requisition made upon them for labor. — Edε μèv, etc. The apostle recalls to mind their former mistake in disregarding his advice, in order to show his claim to their confidence with reference to the present communication. The 8 which ev required, does not follow.-zegdñoaí —— Equíar, and to have escaped, ζημίαν, lit. gained this injury and loss. Lucrari was used in the same manThe phrase involves a just conception: an imminent danger avoided is so much gained.
V. 22. nhǹv rov пhoíov, except of the ship. This limitation qualifies not the entire clause which precedes, but only ἀποβολὴ οὐδεμία ἔσται, which we are to repeat before the words here. μόνον would have marked the connection more precisely. See Win. § 65. 7.
V. 23. Whether the angel appeared to the apostle in a vision, or a dream, the mode of statement does not enable us to decide. νυκτὶ Taury, this night just passed, or that which was passing. Most think it probable that he did not communicate the revelation to them until the return of day. ov xiμí, whose I am, to whom I belong as his property; in other words, whose servant he is. ᾧ καὶ λατρεύω, whom also I worship, to whom I offer religious service and homage. This verb, in the New Testament, refers to external acts of worship, not, except by implication, to a religious life in general.
V. 24. Καίσαρι --παραστῆναι. See 23:11. apostle of this still unfulfilled purpose of God, was the assure him that he would escape the present danger. -oov, God has given to thee all those who sail with thee. They should be preserved for his sake. No one supposes the declaration here to affirm less than this. Many think that it implies also that Paul had
Το remind the
same thing as to κεχάρισταί
prayed for the safety of those in the ship with him; and that he re..ceives now the assurance that his prayer in their behalf had prevailed. .. Such is the view of Calvin, Bengel, Olshausen, De Wette, and others. Bengel remarks here: Facilius multi mali cum paucis piis servantur, ..quam unus pius cum multis reis perit. Navi huic similis mundus.
V. 25. norεów jag, etc. It is evident from v. 32 that the apostle had acquired a strong ascendancy over the minds of the passengers in the ship, if not of the others. He could very properly, therefore, urge his own confidence in God as a reason why they should dismiss their fears, so far at least as concerned the preservation of their lives.
V. 26. eis vñoov ̧dè riva, upon some island. More than this was not revealed to him; see v. 39. — ¿xлɛɛir, be cast away. See the remark on v. 17.
The discovery of land; and the frustrated attempt of the mariners to desert the ship. Vs. 27-32.
V. 27. reooageoxaidɛxárη vùž, the fourteenth night since their departure from Fair Havens. — diaqεqouéror-Adoia, as we were διαφερομένων-Αδρίᾳ, borne through sc. the waters (see v. 5) in the Hadriatic. It has been
said that the modern Malta lies too far south to be embraced in the sea so designated. But the statement is erroneous. In its restricted sense, the Hadriatic was the sea between Italy and Greece; but in a wider sense it comprehended also the Ionian Sea around Sicily, near which was Melite. The later writers gave the name to the entire sea as far south as Africa.? — únevóovv — — zoqar, the mariners suspected that some land was approaching them. "Luke uses here the graphic language of seamen to whom the ship is the principal object, whilst the land rises and sinks, nears and recedes." He does not state on what ground they suspected their vicinity to the land. It was no doubt the noise of the breakers. This is usually the first notice of their danger which mariners have in coming upon a coast in a dark night. This ⚫ circumstance furnishes reason for believing that the traditionary scene of the shipwreck, is the actual one. It is impossible to enter St. Paul's Bay from the east without passing near the point of Koura; and while the land there, as navigators inform us, is too low to be seen in a stormy night, the breakers can be heard at a considerable distance, and in a north-easterly gale are so violent as to form on charts the distinctive feature of that head-land.
See Forbiger, Handb. B. 2. s. 19. Note 36. Win Realw. B. 1. s. 23. 2 See Biscoe's History of the Acts, confirmed from other Authors, etc. p. 251. ed. 1840.
V. 28. Boari de diaoroarres, etc." There was but a short distance, it will be observed, between the two soundings; and the rate of decrease in the depth of the water is such as would not be found to exist on every coast. It is said that a vessel approaching Malta from the same direction, finds the same soundings, at the present day.― dozviά, fathom, (from ὀρέγω, to stretch,) σημαίνει τὴν ἔκτασιν τῶν χειρῶν σὺν τῷ πλάtu zov otýdovs. Etym. Magn.
V. 29. εis roaxɛis τónovs, upon rough (rocky) places. Their apprehension arose not from what they saw but from what they had rea
son to fear in a dark night, on an unknown coast. ἐκ πρύμνης Tissagas. The ancient vessels did not carry, in general, so large anτέσσαρας. chors as those which we employ; and hence they had often a greater number. Athanaeus mentions a ship which had eight iron anchors. Paul's ship, as we see from the next verse, had other anchors, besides those which were dropped from the stern. The object of anchoring in that way was to arrest the progress of the ship more speedily. No time was to be lost, as they knew not that they might not founder the next moment upon the shoals where the breakers were dashing. The ancient ships were so constructed that they could anchor by the prow or the stern, as circumstances might require. Another advantage of the course here taken, was that the head of the vessel was turned towards the land, which was their best position for running her ashore. That purpose they had no doubt already formed. -- ηὔχοντο - γενέσθαι, they desired that it might be day. In the darkness of the night they could not tell the full extent of the dangers which surrounded them. They must have longed for returning day on that account. In the mean time it must have been difficult to preserve a vessel which had been so long tempest-tossed from sinking. Their only chance of escape was to strand the ship, as soon as the light enabled them to select a place which admitted of it. It is evident that every moment's delay must have been one of fearful suspense as well as peril to them. The remark is full of significance.
V. 30. τῶν δὲ ναυτῶν θάλασσαν. This ungenerous attempt of the seamen to escape, confirms the remark before made that the ship was probably in so shattered a state, as to render it uncertain whether they could outride the storm until morning. They may have had another motive for the act. The shore might prove to be one on which they could not drive the vessel with any hope of safety; and they may have deemed it more prudent to trust themselves to the boat, than to remain and await the issue of that uncertainty. ayxúqas iztríveiv, to carry out anchors, not cast them out, as in the English version. Favored by the darkness and under color of the pretext assumed, they
would have accomplished apparently their object, had not Paul's watchful eye penetrated the design.
V. 31. εἶπεν -- -- στρατιώταις. He addresses himself to the centurion and the soldiers, because the officers of the ship were themselves implicated in the plot, or, in consequence of the general desertion, had no longer any power to enforce their orders. — ovro vuris. The soldiers were destitute of the skill which the management of the ship required. It could not be brought successfully to land without the help of the mariners. This remark of Paul proves that the plan to abandon the vessel was not confined to a portion of the crew, but was a general one.
V. 32. ixneoɛir to fall off, i. e. from the side of the ship, to which it had been made fast, v. 16.
Paul renews his assurance that their lives would be saved. They partake of their first regular meal since the commencement of the storm, and again lighten the ship. Vs. 33-38.
V. 33. azgi-rívesai, now until it should be day, i. e. in the interval between the midnight mentioned v. 27 and the subsequent morning. προσδοκῶντες, waiting for the cessation of the storm. άσιτοι duurekɛire, ye continue fasting, where the adjective supplies the place of a participle. Win. § 46. under nooohaßóμɛvoi, having taken nothing, adequate to their proper nourishment, no regular food, during all this time; see v. 21. "Appian speaks of an army which, for twenty days together, had neither food nor sleep; by which he must mean that they neither made full meals nor slept whole nights together. The same interpretation must be given to this phrase."-Doddridge.
V. 34. 7оvτо vлázet, for this (viz. that they should partake of food) is important for your preservation. On noos with this sense, see Win. $51. 4. f. They would have to submit to much fatigue and labor before they reached the shore, and needed, therefore, to recruit their strength. οὐδενὸς — 7ɛσɛīτα. This was a proverbial expression, employed to convey an assurance of entire safety. See 1 Kings 1: 52. Luke 21: 18.
V. 35. agrov, bread. This word, by a Hebraistic usage, often signifies food in the New Testament; but xλάous, which follows, appears to exclude that sense here. Yet the present meal had no doubt its other accompaniments; the bread only being mentioned because that, according to the Hebrew custom, was broken and distributed among the guests after the giving of thanks. The apostle performed, on this occa
sion, the usual office of the head of a Hebrew family. Olshausen expresses the fanciful opinion, as it seems to me, that the Christians among them regarded this act as commemorative of the Lord's Supper, though the others did not understand Paul's design. The language employed here, it is true, more frequently describes that ordinance, but it is used also of an ordinary meal; see Luke 24: 35.
V. 36. xai auroi, also themselves as well as he. They followed his example.
V. 37. ai nãoα vyaí, all the souls together. an adverbial use of πᾶς τὸ πᾶν, τὰ πάντα. the words have the same order. It is usual to put the adjective with this force after the noun. See Vig. ed. Herm. p.135. Kühn. Ausf. Gr. § 489. διακόσιαι The ship must have been one of the larger size to have contained so many persons. See the remarks on v. 6. V. 38. Exovqisov rò aloiov. Luke states the fact merely, but gives no explanation. The object may have been to diminish the depth of water which the ship drew, so as to enable them to approach nearer to the shore before striking. It has been conjectured also that the vessel may have been leaking so fast, that the measure was necessary in order to keep her from sinking. - Tov oitov, the wheat or grain, corn, since the term has frequently that wider sense. If we adopt the view which was suggested on v. 18, we are to understand here that they threw into the sea the grain which constituted the cargo (Win. § 17. 1. c), or the bulk of the cargo which the ship carried. The fact that the ship belonged to Alexandria is presumptive proof, that she was loaded with grain, since that was the principal commodity exported from Egypt to Italy. The explicit notice here that they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea, harmonizes with that presumption and tends to confirm it. Some have thought that citov may denote the ship's provisions; but these would have consisted of various different articles, and would not naturally be described by so specific a term as this. The connection, which has been said to favor the opinion last stated, agrees equally well with the other. Having their hopes revived by the spectacle of Paul's undisturbed serenity, and by his animating address, and being re-invigorated after so long a fast by the food of which they had partaken, they were now in a condition both of mind and body to address themselves to the labors which their safety required. This view, therefore, places their lightening of the ship in a perfectly natural connection with the circumstances related just before. In addition to this, as Hemsen urges, their remaining stock of provisions, after so protracted a voyage, must have been already so reduced that it could have
Der Apostel Paulus, Sein Leben, Wirken und Schriften, s. 583.
This has been termed