Acts 27:9-13 — Paul’s Warning About Shipwreck

9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,

10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”

11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.

12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete.

sailing was now dangerous (v.9) — It was considered dangerous to sail between September 14 and November 11. From November 11 to March 5, all sailing on the open sea stopped.

the Fast (v.9) — The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 17:29). This was fixed for the tenth day of the seventh month (Tisri), and fell either in the latter part of September or the beginning of October. In AD 59, it occurred on October 5, so that the “dangerous” season was already well advanced. — The Acts of the Apostles, by Thomas Walker, page 549.

helmsman (v.11) — the master — the officer responsible for navigation

Phoenix (v.12) — Now called Lutro, a place well to the west of Cape Matala, in that part of Crete where the island is narrowest. It has been described as “the only secure harbor in all winds on the south coast of Crete.”

opening toward the southwest and northwest (v.12) — The Greek may be rendered literally “looking down the southwest wind and the northwest wind.” The harbor faced the northeast and southeast. This exactly describes the harbor of Lutro which has an easterly aspect. In such a haven, they would be safely sheltered from northerly and westerly winds. — Walker, page 551. 

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