Acts 27:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.

New Living Translation
Then the sailors bound ropes around the hull of the ship to strengthen it. They were afraid of being driven across to the sandbars of Syrtis off the African coast, so they lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship and were driven before the wind.

English Standard Version
After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along.

New American Standard Bible
After they had hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After hoisting it up, they used ropes and tackle and girded the ship. Then, fearing they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the drift-anchor, and in this way they were driven along.

International Standard Version
The ship's crew pulled it up on deck and used ropes to brace the ship. Fearing that they would hit the large sandbank near Libya, they lowered the sail and drifted along.

NET Bible
After the crew had hoisted it aboard, they used supports to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor, thus letting themselves be driven along.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when we took it up, we girded it and retained it to the ship, because we were afraid lest it fall in a declivity of the sea, and we took down the sail, and so we moved on.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The men pulled it up on deck. Then they passed ropes under the ship to reinforce it. Fearing that they would hit the large sandbank off the shores of Libya, they lowered the sail and were carried along by the wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into Syrtis, {or the sandbanks}, struck sail and so were driven.

King James 2000 Bible
Which when they had hoisted it, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksand, struck sail, and so were driven.

American King James Version
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, under girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.

American Standard Version
and when they had hoisted it up, they used helps, under-girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast upon the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Which being taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship, and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, they let down the sail yard, and so were driven.

Darby Bible Translation
which having hoisted up, they used helps, frapping the ship; and fearing lest they should run into Syrtis and run aground, and having lowered the gear they were so driven.

English Revised Version
and when they had hoisted it up, they used helps, under-girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast upon the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.

Webster's Bible Translation
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.

Weymouth New Testament
and, after hoisting it on board, they used frapping-cables to undergird the ship, and, as they were afraid of being driven on the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the gear and lay to.

World English Bible
After they had hoisted it up, they used cables to help reinforce the ship. Fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis sand bars, they lowered the sea anchor, and so were driven along.

Young's Literal Translation
which having taken up, they were using helps, undergirding the ship, and fearing lest they may fall on the quicksand, having let down the mast -- so were borne on.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - And when they had hoisted it up for which when they had taken up, A.V.; be cast upon the Syrtis for fall into the quick-sands, A.V.; they lowered the gear for strake sail, A.V. Helps; βοηθείαις, in the New Testament only here and Hebrews 4:16; but frequent in medical language, for "bandages, "ligaments," "muscles," and all kinds of supports both artificial and natural, and generally to medical aid. Undergirding the ship; ὑποζωννύντες, only here in the Bible; but found, as well as its derivative ὑπόζωμα, in classical Greek, in the same sense as it has here. In medical language it is used of certain membranes which "under gird" and so strengthen and hold together certain parts of the human body, and specially was applied to the πλευρά. As regards the nautical sense in which St. Luke here uses the word, Dean Howson, in his excellent chapter (23.) on the 'Navigation and Ships of the Ancients,' writes as follows: - "In consequence of the extreme danger to which the ships of the ancients were exposed from leaking, it was customary to take to sea, as part of their ordinary gear, ὑποζώματα, undergirders, which were simply ropes for passing round the hull of the ship, and thus preventing the planks from starting;" and he adds in a note that "within the last twenty years (in 1837) marble tables had been dug up in the Piraeus, containing a list of Athenian ships and an inventory of their tackle, and that they all carried, as part of their "hanging gear," ὑποζώματα. Another great ship described by Athenaeus carried twelve such. The operation of undergirding is still occasionally performed, and is called by seamen "frap- ping." The German word is umgurten (Howson). Among ether recent examples (Howson, p. 33) the Albion was frapped with iron chains after the battle of Navarino. Cast upon the Syrtis. The wind was driving them straight toward the Syrtis Major, "the Goodwin Sands of the Mediterranean" (Farrar), and another twenty-four hours of such a gale might bring them there. The Syrtis Major was a wide gulf off the northern coast of Africa, now the Gulf of Sidra, lying between Tunis and Tripoli, considered very dangerous from its rocks and shoals. Be east upon (ἐκπέσωσι). The verb ἐκπίπτειν is the classical word (Homer, Herodotus, Euripides) for being driven or thrown ashore, and is used in this sense in vers. 26, 29 of this chapter, and in a slightly different sense in ver. 32. They lowered the gear (χαλάσαντες). Σκεῦος is a very common word, variously rendered "goods," "stuff," "vessel," according to the material to which it is applied (Matthew 12:29; Luke 8:16; Luke 17:31, etc.). In the LXX. it is used of agricultural implements (1 Samuel 13:20, 21), of weapons of hunting (Genesis 27:3), of household furniture (Genesis 31:37), weapons of war (Deuteronomy 1:41), instruments of music (2 Chronicles 5:13). This is the only passage in the Bible where it is used in its technical sense as a nautical term. In classical Greek, when applied generally to ships, it means the whole tackling, sails, ropes, yards, stores, engines, etc. The meaning, of course, is narrowed when applied to some particular part of the ship. Here, on the whole, it seems to mean the "great yard," or, if that had been already lowered, the heavy "head-gear," ropes, pulleys, and the like, which, under the circumstances, would contribute to make the ship roll and be unsteady. The word rendered "lowered" is χάλασαι. It is rendered "let down" in Mark 2:4; Luke 5:4, 5; Acts 9:25; 2 Corinthians 11:33; and ver. 30 of this chapter (A.V.). In the R.V. it is sometimes rendered "let down" and sometimes "lowered." In the LXX. it is used in the sense of "spreading" a sail (Isaiah 33:23), which would be equivalent to "let down," if the sails were reefed at the top of the mast; and of "letting down" (Jeremiah 38:6). The R.V., therefore, is correct. The object of what they did was to enable the ship to go as near the wind as possible, and with as little straining and rolling as possible. The operation is called by sailors "lying to." Were driven (see ver. 15).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Which when they had taken up,.... When they had got the boat into the ship:

they used helps; the mariners made use of other persons, called in the assistance of the soldiers, and passengers, and prisoners; or for the help of the ship, they made use of cords, chains, and such like things:

undergirding the ship: with cords and ropes, which they drew under the keel of the ship, and so bound both sides of the ship, that it might not split and fall to pieces; which may be what is now called "frapping", and is done by putting large ropes under the keel, and over the gunwale; and is used when a ship by labouring hard in the sea breaks the bolts in her sides, and this keeps her from parting. Horace (z) refers to this use of ropes in tempests, when he says, "Nonne vides ut--sine funibus vix durare carinae possint imperiosius Aequor?" do not you see that without ropes the keels can scarcely endure the more imperious sea? Isidorus (a) makes mention of several sorts of ropes made use of in storms; "spirae", he says, are ropes that are used in tempests, which the mariners after their manner call "curcubae; tormentum" is a long rope in ships, according to the same writer, which reaches from head to stern, by which they are bound faster together:

and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands: which were on the African coast, here called "Syrtes"; either from the conflux of sand and slime, and such like things, which made them very dangerous for shipping, and being covered with water, could not be seen and guarded against, and especially in a storm; or from their drawing of vessels into them, which they retain, suck in, and swallow up; and such the mariners might know were not far off: there were two very remarkable ones on the coast of Africa, the one is called the greater "Syrtes", the other the lesser (b); the greater was more to the south than the lesser, and also more to the east, and the lesser was to the west: of these "Syrtes", Jerom (c) says, they are sandy places in the great sea very terrible, and to be feared, because they use to draw all into them; they are near the Egyptian sea; the Lybian sea, which washes the African shore, is by Seneca called from them the "Syrtic sea" (d): wherefore,

they strake sail; let down their sails; so read some manuscripts in New College, Oxford; in the Greek text it is, "they let down the vessel"; not the boat they had taken in, of which we read after; nor an anchor, or anchors, which would have been improper in a storm; nor the mast, it can hardly be thought that should be the first thing they should cut down, when they did not cast out the tackling till the third day; the storm was vehement on the first, more vehement on the second, when they lightened the ship, and most vehement on the third, when they cast out the tackling; and as Scheffer (e) observes, the mast is never cut down before the loss of other things; wherefore this is to be understood of letting down the sail yard, and contracting the sails; the Syriac version renders it, "we let down the main sail"; or, "the sail", using the Greek word "Armenon", which signifies "a sail":

and so were driven; about in the sea, wheresoever the winds and waves carried them; or very likely the ship was driven before the wind under her bare poles.

(z) Carmin. l. 1. ode 14. (a) Originum, l. 19. c. 4. p. 163. (b) Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 4. Sallust. in Jugurtha Melam. l. 1. c. 7. (c) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. I.((d) De Militia Naval Veterum, l. 1. c. 4. p. 35. (e) Scheffer, ib. p. 297-300.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. undergirding the ship—that is, passing four or five turns of a cable-laid rope round the hull or frame of the ship, to enable her to resist the violence of the seas, an operation rarely resorted to in modern seamanship.

fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands—"be cast ashore" or "stranded upon the Syrtis," the Syrtis Major, a gulf on the African coast, southwest of Crete, the dread of mariners, owing to its dangerous shoals.

they strake—"struck"

sail—This cannot be the meaning, for to strike sail would have driven them directly towards the Syrtis. The meaning must be, "lowered the gear" (appurtenances of every kind); here, perhaps, referring to the lowering of the heavy mainyard with the sail attached to it [Smith].

Acts 27:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Storm at Sea
16Running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, we were scarcely able to get the ship's boat under control. 17After they had hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along. 18The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed, they began to jettison the cargo;…
Cross References
Acts 27:16
As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure,

Acts 27:26
Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."

Acts 27:29
Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.

Acts 27:40
Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach.
Treasury of Scripture

Which when they had taken up, they used helps, under girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.

fearing.

Acts 27:29,41 Then fearing lest we should have fallen on rocks, they cast four …

Jump to Previous
Aboard Afraid Aground Anchor Bars Board Driven Fall Fearing Gear Help Helps Hoisted Hoisting Hold Itself Lay Lowered Passed Ropes Run Sand Sea Ship Used Way
Jump to Next
Aboard Afraid Aground Anchor Bars Board Driven Fall Fearing Gear Help Helps Hoisted Hoisting Hold Itself Lay Lowered Passed Ropes Run Sand Sea Ship Used Way
Links
Acts 27:17 NIV
Acts 27:17 NLT
Acts 27:17 ESV
Acts 27:17 NASB
Acts 27:17 KJV

Acts 27:17 Bible Apps
Acts 27:17 Bible Suite
Acts 27:17 Biblia Paralela
Acts 27:17 Chinese Bible
Acts 27:17 French Bible
Acts 27:17 German Bible

Alphabetical: aboard After aground along anchor and be cables down driven Fearing had hoisted hold in it itself let lowered men might of on passed ropes run sandbars sea shallows ship supporting Syrtis that the themselves they this to together under undergirding up used way When would

NT Apostles: Acts 27:17 After they had hoisted it up they (Acts of the Apostles Ac) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Acts 27:16
Top of Page
Top of Page