ACTS 27


2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.


Adramyttium was an ancient city and bishopric in Aeolis, in modern-day Turkey. It was originally located at the head of the Gulf of Adramyttium, at Ören in the Plain of Thebe, 4 kilometres west of the modern town of Burhaniye, but later moved 13 kilometres northeast to its current location and became known as Edremit

Wikipedia


Adramyttium — Sig. The Mansion of Death. Evidently the area of the Adramyttene Gulf in the northwestern area of the Roman province of Asia, opposite the island of Lesbos, was known to be treacherous.

The ship was therefore on its homeward journey. During the period of the Roman Empire the city was one of considerable political and intellectual importance,having been founded by travellers from Lydia.

The Christadelphian Expositor



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)



14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

On the voyage of life, winds will blow from all directions, sometimes softly, sometimes tempestuously, and often coming from fearful and unexpected quarters. Winds that blow pleasantly will be received gladly and contentedly. But at times they will be contrary,

bringing danger, and perhaps resulting in hardship and suffering.

On the voyage to the Kingdom adversity is to be expected. Winds of change are ever in evidence. Sometimes it is a struggle to make progress against them.The variable winds which blow throughout life must be used to the best advantage, and withstood where necessary.

The greatest necessity of all is to remain firm in knowledge and understanding and commitment, refusing to be

"tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine..." - Eph. 4:14.

To do otherwise is to be directed and guided by mere wind; to be blown off course, as it were, and sail in a direction far removed from the course that leads to the Kingdom.

Bro John Ullman - TCE, Acts



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 are exhorted to keep our hope steadfast as an anchor for the soul, not tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14).



20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

We may suppose that Paul himself shared in this hopelessness. He had no certain knowledge of the mode in which his apostolic labours would end. So far as he was concerned, a watery grave would have been as acceptable and appropriate, as the executioners block; and to this he may have supposed he had now come, unless he inferred from the Lords intimation to him at Jerusalem that he must testify at Rome (Acts 23:11), that he must survive the voyage.

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,

"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.

Our lot falling in an age when God's open work is momentarily suspended (as declared beforehand), leaves us a prey to the impressions and fears of feeble sense. But let understanding have the sway.

God can take care of us in the darkness and the storm without appearing to do so. And His purpose will come gloriously forth to a triumphant issue at last, whatever darknesses and inefficiencies and aberrations may afflict human experiences in this age of sin.

Seasons 2.2.



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



27 But when the 14th night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;


Is the Observance of the Sabbath Binding on Believers?

Certainly there is no evidence of their labouring on the Sabbath; nor is there any evidence of their abstaining from work on that day. Consequently no precedent can be drawn from their personal conduct in the matter. Doubtless it would have been dangerous for them to follow their occupations while sojourning in Jewish cities, but no such danger would exist among Pagan communities.

As a matter of prudence, however, they would most likely abstain, in order not to offend the prejudices of the Jews scattered up and down the Roman empire. This was one of the cases to which it would be proper to apply Paul's principle, when he said,

"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient."

In the matter of taking a journey, the facts are somewhat different. Paul could not have gone by sea to some of the places he visited without travelling on the Sabbath. That he did go such a journey on the seventh day, is evident from the narrative of his voyage to Rome, which speaks of his being on the sea for the "fourteenth night."-(Acts 27:27, 33.)

Bro J. J. Andrew.

The Christadelphian, July 1872



35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.


It would not be wise to omit singing at Sunday evening lectures. It would debar the brethren and sisters from their privileges without a good reason. The presence of the alien is certainly not a reason. 

And as for making the alien sit in one part of the hall, and the brethren and sisters in another, it would be carrying the distinctions created by the truth further than the word enjoins, and add needlessly to the prejudice created by these distinctions.

 At the breaking of bread, such a division has been found necessary on account of the difficulty of distinguishing the brethren from the strangers in the act of passing round the bread.

TC 02/1887



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)