|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:1-11 It was determined by the counsel of God, before it was determined by the counsel of Festus, that Paul should go to Rome; for God had work for him to do there. The course they steered, and the places they touched at, are here set down. And God here encourages those who suffer for him, to trust in him; for he can put it into the hearts of those to befriend them, from whom they least expect it. Sailors must make the best of the wind: and so must we all in our passage over the ocean of this world. When the winds are contrary, yet we must be getting forward as well as we can. Many who are not driven backward by cross providences, do not get forward by favourable providences. And many real Christians complain as to the concerns of their souls, that they have much ado to keep their ground. Every fair haven is not a safe haven. Many show respect to good ministers, who will not take their advice. But the event will convince sinners of the vanity of their hopes, and the folly of their conduct.
Verse 11. - But for nevertheless, A.V.; gave more heed to for believed, A.V.; to the owner for the owner, A.V.; than to for more than, A.V. The master (κυβερνήτης), in the sense of "a commander of a trading-ship" (Johnson's 'Dictionary'); i.e. the navigator and helmsman, in Latin magister naris. The owner (ναύκληρος). The owner, no doubt, of the cargo as well as of the ship itself: ὁ δεσπότης (Hesych.); οἱ ναῦς κεκτημένοι (Ammonius). The κυβερνήτης and the ναύκληρος are often mentioned together; e.g. in Plutarch, Artemidorus, quoted by Alford, Kuinoel, etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship,.... Who were either one and the same person, or if two persons, the one was the owner, whose the ship was, and the other, he that was at the helm, and steered and directed it; or the one might be the captain, and the other the pilot. The or "governor", as he is here called with the ancients, was he who sat on an eminence in the stern of the ship, at the helm, and had the direction of it; he gave the orders, which others executed: what qualified him for his post chiefly lay in three things; in the knowledge of the constellations, and winds, of the former that he might direct the course of the ship according to them, and by them foresee future tempests, and of the latter, that he might be acquainted with the several points, from whence they blew; also in the knowledge of ports, and places to put into, and of rocks and sands, that they might be escaped; likewise in the knowledge of the use of the helm, and sails (l); for one part of his business, as (m) Seneca observes, was to give orders after this manner; so and so move the helm, so and so let down the sails, &c. in every ship there was a governor, and in larger ones sometimes there were two; (n) Aelianus says, the Carthaginians had always two governors in a ship: the other word, is in the glossary rendered "navicularius", which signifies "the owner" of the ship; and so we render it; though perhaps he is the same with the "proreta", who governed the prow or head of the ship, and was the next in dignity to the governor, and a kind of a sub-governor; and his business was to observe tempests, to explore promontories, rocks and sands, and show them to the governor (o); and so Isidore (p) says, the owner of the ship is called Naucleros, because the ship is in his lot, "cleros" signifying lot: and as these best understood naval affairs, Julius gave more heed to what they said, and rather believed them,
than those things which were spoken by Paul; by a spirit of prophecy, which he had no notion of; for though he treated him civilly as a man, he had no regard to him as a Christian, or as one endued with the Spirit of God, which he knew nothing of.
(l) Scheffer. de Militia Navali Veterum, l. 4. c. 6. p. 296, 297. (m) Ephesians 95. (n) Var. Hist. l. 9. c. 40. (o) Scheffer. ib. p. 302, 303. (p) Originum, l. 19. c. 1. p. 162.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and owner … more than … Paul—He would naturally think them best able to judge, and there was much to say for their opinion, as the bay at Fair Havens, being open to nearly one-half of the compass, could not be a good winter harbor.
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