27:1-8 Paul sails from Caesarea to Fair Havens.
27:9-12 Paul’s warning about potential danger on the seas ignored.
27:13-20 Paul caught in a storm.
27:14 Before very long, a wind [from Gr. word from which we get English word typhoon] of hurricane force, called the “northeaster [a severe winter storm],” swept down from the island [the mountains (over 7,000 feet high) of Crete].
27:18 We [Luke was present with Paul] took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they [the crew] began to throw [jettison or eject] the cargo [grain as per v. 38] overboard [desperate measure to lighten the ship; cf. Jonah 1:5].
27:19 On the third day, they threw [to hurl] the ship’s tackle [presumably included the mast and spare sails] overboard with their own hands.
27:20 When neither sun nor stars [navigational aids; without these they had no way of determining where they were] appeared for many days and the storm continued [worsened] raging [to lie upon: describes the pressure of a violent tempest], we finally [after exhausting all personal efforts] gave up all hope of being saved [rescued].
Note: Can you think of a time when you gave up hope but God rescued you?
27:21 After the men had gone a long time without food [probably lost appetite because of desperate situation and/or seasickness], Paul stood up [in the midst of the storm] before them and said: “Men, you should have taken [to obey] my advice [cf. Acts 27:10] not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss [Paul shared this in order to prepare them to receive his heaven-sent encouragement (vv. 22-26)].
27:22 But now I urge [to advise, to recommend] you to keep up your courage [to cheer up; word occurs three times in this chapter (see also vv. 25, 36)], because [reason] not one of you [276 people on board as per v. 37] will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.
Note: How do you keep up your courage in times of crisis? How do you encourage others in times of crisis?
27:23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am [stresses Paul’s intimate relationship with God; Paul belonged to God] and whom I serve [stresses Paul’s dedication to God; Paul was faithful to his divine calling] stood beside me
27:24 and said, ‘Do not [command to stop an action in progress] be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar [cf. Acts 23:11 re: the Lord’s earlier disclosure that Paul would bear witness in Rome; the storm would not frustrate God’s purpose for Paul]; and God has graciously given [to grant as a present] you the lives of all who sail with you.’
27:25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith [unwavering confidence] in God that it will happen just as he [God] told me [a contrary view never entered Paul’s mind].
27:26 Nevertheless, we must [certainty] run aground on some island.”
27:27-32 In the midst of the storm at sea.
27:33 Just before dawn Paul urged [repeatedly encouraged] them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food — you haven’t eaten anything.
27:34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive [while they could not save the ship, Paul urged them to take practical measures to insure their own survival]. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head [stresses God’s providential care (cf. Matt. 10:30); cf. Paul’s reassuring words in v. 22; v. 34 was additional assurance].”
27:35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks [a normal Jewish custom before meals] to God in front of [served as a reminder of the God who had assured their safety; Paul’s example enhanced his witness] them all [many pagans]. Then he broke it and began to eat.
27:36 They were all encouraged [Paul’s confident faith lifted the spirits of those aboard the storm-tossed ship] and ate some food themselves.
27:42 The soldiers [responsible for safe delivery of prisoners; failure to carry out responsibility meant death (cf. Acts 12:19; 16:27)] planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping.
27:43 But the centurion [Julius] wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept [to hinder] them [the soldiers] from carrying out their plan. He [centurion had the authority to make this decision] ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.
27:44 The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way [swimming or holding on to planks; cf. Acts 27:43-44b] everyone [276 people as per v. 37] reached land [island of Malta] in safety [thus fulfilling Paul’s prophetic utterance in Acts 27:22].