Old Testament

Acts 27
Paul Sails for Rome
271When it was decided that we[] would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, of the Imperial Regiment. 2After boarding a ship from Adramyttium, which was going to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.
3The next day, we put in at Sidon, and Julius treated Paul kindly and allowed him to go to his friends to receive their care. 4From there we put out to sea and sailed on the sheltered side of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5We crossed the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia and landed at Myra in Lycia. 6There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy, and he put us on board. 7We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. Since the wind did not permit us to go further, we sailed on the sheltered side of Crete, off Salmone. 8With difficulty we sailed along its coast and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
9Since so much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous because the Fast[] was already over, Paul advised them, 10“Men, it looks to me as if the voyage is going to end with disaster and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also of our lives.” 11But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and the owner of the ship than to what Paul was saying. 12Since that harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, hoping somehow to reach Phoenix and winter there. (Phoenix is a harbor on Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.) 13When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they could carry out their plan. They raised the anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete.
The Storm
14But before long, a hurricane-like wind, called the “northeaster,” rushed down from the island. 15Since the ship was caught in it and could not head into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16As we sailed on the sheltered side of a small island called Cauda, we were barely able to secure the skiff.[] 17After hoisting it on board, the men tied ropes around the ship to reinforce it. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and in this way were driven along. 18Because we were tossed around so violently by the storm, the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19On the third day, they threw the ship's gear overboard with their own hands. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the violent storm kept pressing down on us, finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing.
21After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have followed my advice and not set sail from Crete and avoided this damage and loss. 22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because there will be no loss of life among you. Only the ship will be lost. 23In fact, last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And surely God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.’ 25So keep up your courage, men, because I believe God that it will be exactly the way I have been told. 26However, we must run aground on some island.”
The Shipwreck
27When the fourteenth night came, while we were being driven back and forth in the Adriatic Sea,[] about midnight the sailors suspected that they were approaching some land. 28They took soundings and found it to be one hundred twenty feet deep.[] After sailing a little farther, they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep.[] 29Fearing that we would run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daybreak.
30The sailors tried to escape from the ship and had let down the skiff into the sea, pretending they were going to put out anchors from the bow. 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “If these men do not stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the skiff and let it fall away.
33Just before daybreak, Paul urged them all to eat some food. He said, “This is the fourteenth day you have waited in suspense and have gone without food. You have eaten nothing. 34Therefore I urge you to take some food because this is important for your rescue. In fact, not a hair from any of your heads will be lost.” 35After he said these things and had taken some bread, he gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36They were all encouraged and took some food themselves. 37In all there were 276 of us on the ship. 38When they had eaten all they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain overboard into the sea.
39At daybreak, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they planned to run the ship aground if they could. 40They cut off the anchors, leaving them in the sea, and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then, after hoisting the foresail to the wind, they headed for the beach. 41But they struck a sandbar and ran the ship aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, while the stern began to break up from the pounding of the waves.
42The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners so that no one would swim away and escape. 43But the centurion wanted to save Paul and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make their way to land. 44The rest were to follow, some on planks, and some on other pieces from the ship. In this way, all of them were brought safely onto land.


  • 27:1 Luke is included.
  • 27:9 The Fast refers to the Jewish Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16) in the fall, just before the winter months, when sea travel was treacherous.
  • 27:16 A small service boat (also mentioned in verses 30 and 32)
  • 27:27 At that time, the Adriatic Sea included the present-day Adriatic plus a large section of the Mediterranean Sea south of it.
  • 27:28 Or twenty fathoms (a fathom is about six feet)
  • 27:28 Or fifteen fathoms