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6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.
Egypt was the granary of the ancient world, and this was a corn ship v38 (bullinger)
17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
Greek. hupozdnnumi. Only here. The process of passing a cable or chain round a ship to prevent her going to pieces is called "frapping". (Bullinger)
18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
We must be sure having our hope steadfast as an anchor for the soul, and not tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14).
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
At all events, whatever his fears and feelings may have been, they received a perfect quietus from an angelic visit towards the end of the disastrous voyage. The angel stood by him during the night and said...
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
This may help us to realise the potency of Spirit power. If ever there is a time when spiritual things seem unreal, it is during a storm at sea; amid the howl of the tempest; the rage of the waters; the reel and lurch of the helpless vessel; the cold and wet and confusion among those on board, who, with chattering teeth and failing heart, await with prayer and patience the subsidence of the elements. At such a time our poor, weak faith is liable to fall like a lifeless bird to the bottom of its cage. But here, an angel stands by Paul in the midst of it all; the storm no impediment to his arrival at the vessel.
A storm is but air in motion, though impressing frail mortals so much; and there is something more subtle and powerful than air. The rushing waters and flying foam are no distraction to his mind or message; the perilous position of the ship no discouragement to his clear sight and confidence. The Spirit of God underlies all elements and all phenomena, and this messenger is Spirit, and can even make the storm his chariot to bear him onward on his journey. It is but at any time a question of the will of the Almighty Father, who is Spirit, and at whose command are legions of these His angels who excel in strength
Bro Roberts Exhort - 'I Believe God That It Shall Be Even As It Was Told Me'
25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Such was Paul's confession, made under circumstances which give it great significance. Many who are prepared to rely on God's Word when things around are favourable, turn sceptical when difficulties arise. That Paul was not of this type is evident from the circumstances alluded to.
The ship in which Paul was journeying as a prisoner to Rome was overtaken by a terrific storm. The ship having become unmanageable-every expediency having proved futile-all hope of her and of the lives on board was abandoned. At this juncture an angel appeared to Paul declaring that not a soul should perish. Paul believed the angelic announcement and retained his confidence in it though all appearances of its realisation grew more and more unlikely.
No ray of hope was visible until the direst straits had been reached. The vessel was reduced to a complete wreck, and it was only by means of timber from the broken vessel that those who were unable to swim succeeded in reaching the shore. The narrative was written for our learning. Let us profit by it. Let us cultivate Paul's unqualified belief in the divine Word. Time will most certainly justify the wisdom of the step. -ATJ
The Christadelphian - June 1887
40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.
mainsail = foresail. Greek. artemon. Only here. The mainsail had been thrown overboard v19 (Bullinger)
41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.
where two seas met. Greek. dilhalassos. Only here. A sand bank formed by opposing currents. (Bullinger)