|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:12-20 Those who launch forth on the ocean of this world, with a fair gale, know not what storms they may meet with; and therefore must not easily take it for granted that they have obtained their purpose. Let us never expect to be quite safe till we enter heaven. They saw neither sun nor stars for many days. Thus melancholy sometimes is the condition of the people of God as to their spiritual matters; they walk in darkness, and have no light. See what the wealth of this world is: though coveted as a blessing, the time may come when it will be a burden; not only too heavy to be carried safely, but heavy enough to sink him that has it. The children of this world can be prodigal of their goods for the saving their lives, yet are sparing of them in works of piety and charity, and in suffering for Christ. Any man will rather make shipwreck of his goods than of his life; but many rather make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, than of their goods. The means the sailors used did not succeed; but when sinners give up all hope of saving themselves, they are prepared to understand God's word, and to trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ.
Verse 16. - Under the lee of for under, A.V.; small for certain, A.V. (νήσιον); called Cauda for which is called Clauda, A.V. and T.R; were able, with difficulty, to secure for had much work to come by, A.V. Running under the lee of; ὑποδραμόντες, only here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek for "running under" or "between." (For the use of ὑπό in compound in the sense of "under the lee of," see ver. 7.) Cauda, or Caudos, as it is called by Pomp. Mela (2. 7)and Pliny ('Nat. Hist.,' 4. 12. 20), the modern Gozzo. Ptolemy (3:7) calls it Claudus. The manuscripts greatly vary. Clauda, or Cauda, was about twenty-three miles south-west of Crete. With difficulty (μόλις, as in vers. 7, 8). To secure the boat. The boat was doubtless being towed astern. But in the violence of the storm, there was a danger every moment of her being parted from the ship by the snapping of the hawser, or by being broken by the waves, and it was impossible to take her up. Under the lee of the little island, however, the sea was somewhat quieter; and so after greater efforts they secured the boat, and, as it is said in the next verse, "hoisted it up" on to the deck.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And running under a certain island,.... Or below a certain island and hard by, it or under the sea shore of it, where the sea might be smoother, the wind not being there so strong:
which is called Clauda: by Ptolomy (x) it is called Claudus, and was near the island of Crete, and now called Gozo. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, and some copies, read "Cauda"; and there was an island near to Crete, which was called Gaudos (y), and is thought to be the place here meant:
we had much work to come by the boat; which they had with them to go ashore in, or to betake themselves to in case of shipwreck; and which in this storm was in danger of being dashed to pieces against the ship, or lost; and it was with some difficulty that they came at it, and took it up into the ship.
(x) Geograph. l. 3. c. 17. (y) Mela, l. 2. c. 7. Plin. l. 4. c. 12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16, 17. under—the lee of.
island … Clauda—southwest of Crete, now called Gonzo; about twenty-three miles to leeward.
we had much work to come by—that is, to hoist up and secure.
the boat—now become necessary. But why was this difficult? Independently of the gale, raging at the time, the boat had been towed between twenty and thirty miles after the gale sprang up, and could scarcely fail to be filled with water [Smith].
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