|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:30-38 God, who appointed the end, that they should be saved, appointed the means, that they should be saved by the help of these shipmen. Duty is ours, events are God's; we do not trust God, but tempt him, when we say we put ourselves under his protection, if we do not use proper means, such as are within our power, for our safety. But how selfish are men in general, often even ready to seek their own safety by the destruction of others! Happy those who have such a one as Paul in their company, who not only had intercourse with Heaven, but was of an enlivening spirit to those about him. The sorrow of the world works death, while joy in God is life and peace in the greatest distresses and dangers. The comfort of God's promises can only be ours by believing dependence on him, to fulfil his word to us; and the salvation he reveals must be waited for in use of the means he appoints. If God has chosen us to salvation, he has also appointed that we shall obtain it by repentance, faith, prayer, and persevering obedience; it is fatal presumption to expect it in any other way. It is an encouragement to people to commit themselves to Christ as their Saviour, when those who invite them, clearly show that they do so themselves.
Verse 38. - Throwing out for and cast out, A.V. They lightened the ship; ἐκούφισαν, only here in the New Testament; but it is the technical word for lightening a ship so as to keep her afloat. So in Polybius, 1:39, Ἐκρίψαντες ἐκ τῶν πλοίων πάντα τὰ βάρη μόλις ἐκούφισαν τὰς ναῦς: and Jonah 1:5, "They cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them (τοῦ κουφισθῆναι ἀπ αὐτῶν (see ver. 18, note). Κουφίσαι τὴν ναῦν is one of the technical expressions for taking cargo out of a ship, given by Julius Pollux (Smith), The wheat (τὸν σῖτον). There is a difference of opinion as to what St. Luke here means by τὸν σῖτον. Meyer and others think it was merely "the ship's provision," and that, considering the number of persons in the ship, and the little consumption during the last fortnight, the weight of what was left would be considerable. They add that the cargo had been already thrown overboard in ver. 18. Others, as Howson, following Smith and Penroso, Farrar, Lewin, and many older commentators, with more reason, understand "the wheat" to mean the ship's cargo from Alexandria to Rome; they think it had been impossible to get at it while the ship was drifting; and that, even had it been possible, it was the last thing they would have recourse to. But now, when it was impossible to save the ship, and the only chance of saving their lives was to run her on the beach, it was an absolute necessity to lighten the ship as much as possible. They therefore cast her freight of Alexandrian corn into the sea, and waited for daylight (see note to ver. 18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when they had eaten enough,.... Were satisfied, having eaten a full meal:
they lightened the ship; of its burden, that it might the better carry them to the shore, and that by the following method:
and cast out the wheat into the sea; which seems to have been part of the ship's provision; or one part of their lading, which they brought from Egypt, and were carrying to Italy: they had cast out some of the goods of the ship before, and also the tackling of the ship, and now, last of all, the wheat; for what was eatable they reserved till last, not knowing to what extremity they might be reduced.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38-40. when they had eaten enough, &c.—With fresh strength after the meal, they make a third and last effort to lighten the ship, not only by pumping, as before, but by throwing the whole cargo of wheat into the sea (see on Ac 27:6).
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