|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 19. - They for we, A.V. and T.R.; their for our, A.V. The third day after leaving Clanda. The leak doubtless con-tinned, and there was more water in the ship. With their (or, our) own hands; αὐτόχειρες, only here in the Bible, but frequent in classical Greek. The word seems to mark that the sacrifice was very great, implying a very pressing danger. The tackling (τὴν σκευήν). There is great difference of opinion as to what the σκευή means here. Smith thinks the main spar is meant, "the huge mainyard," and Farrar adopts his view, which he thinks is strengthened by the use of the aorist ἐρρίψαμεν (for he adopts the T.R.), implying one single act, and showing, by the use of the first person, that it was the act of the whole crew united. Alford thinks that it means all the furniture, beds, and movables of all kinds, and so Wordsworth and Meyer. Wetstein explains it of the passengers' baggage. Howson thinks it unlikely they would have thrown away a great spar which would have supported twenty or thirty men in the water in the event of the ship foundering. Schleusner renders it "apparatus quo navis erat instructa." Σκευή is not used elsewhere in the New Testament, and it is difficult to speak decisively. But the addition of τοῦ πλοίου, and the general use of σκευή in classical Greek favors the interpretation "the ship's furniture" ("meubles et ustensiles," Renan).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the third day,.... From the time this storm began, and this tempestuous weather held:
we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship; by which seems to be meant their naval stores and instruments, as sails, ropes, cables, anchors, &c. and yet we afterwards read of their anchors and main sail: it may be rendered, "the furniture of the ship"; and yet it cannot design the ship's provisions, at least all were not cast away; for afterwards mention is made of casting out the wheat into the sea: many versions render it, "the armament of the ship"; and the Ethiopic version adds, "and arms"; the soldiers' arms, and others which belonged to the ship, which were brought with them to defend themselves against an enemy: these, the historian says, "we cast out"; the Apostle Paul's company, Luke and others; but not without the leave and order of the centurion and governor of the ship: the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin version read, "they cast out": which seems most probable.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19, 20. cast out with our own hands—passengers and crew together.
the tackling of the ship—whatever they could do without that carried weight. This further effort to lighten the ship seems to show that it was now in a leaking condition, as will presently appear more evident.
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