Acts 27:11
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
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(11) Nevertheless the centurion believed the master.—Better, the pilot. The word is the same as that translated “ship-master,” in Revelation 18:17. The advice was, we may believe, determined by the fact that there was a better harbour but a few miles further on the coast. Could they not press on thither and be safe for the winter? It was natural that the centurion should trust to them as experts rather than to the enthusiastic Rabbi whom he had in charge as prisoner.

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.The master - The person who is here meant was the helmsman, who occupied in ancient ships a conspicuous place on the stern, and steered the ship, and gave directions to the crew.

The owner of the ship - Probably a different person from "the master." He had the general command of the ship as his own property, but had employed "the master," or the pilot, to direct and manage it. His counsel in regard to the propriety of continuing the voyage would be likely to be followed.

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. The centurion believed those whom he thought best skilled in those things (as every one in his own art); and if he had not heard of Paul’s condition and extraordinary qualification, he was doubtless the more to be excused.

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.

{3} Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

(3) Men cast themselves willingly into an infinite amount of dangers, when they choose to follow their own wisdom, rather than God, when he speaks by the mouth of his servants.

Acts 27:11. ὁ δὲ ἑκατόν.: the centurion evidently presides at the Council as the superior officer, see Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 324, 325, but, as Wendt notes (and so Blass), the majority decide, not the centurion alone.—τῷ κυβερ. καὶ τῷ ναυκλ.: “to the master and to the owner of the ship,” A. and R.V., better “to the pilot and the captain”; ναύκληρος was not the owner, although the word might denote ownership as well as command of the ship, for the ship if it was a corn ship would belong to the imperial service, and would form a vessel of the Alexandrian fleet. In Breusing’s view, p. 160, ναύκληρος is owner of the ship, but κυβερνήτης is better rendered, he thinks, “captain” than “pilot,” cf. Plut., Mor., 807 [410] (Wetstein and Blass).—ἐπείθετο μᾶλλον τοῖς λεγ.: “locutio Lucana,” cf. Acts 28:24, the centurion’s conduct was natural enough; what would be said of him in Rome, where provision ships for the winter were so eagerly expected, if out of timidity he, though a soldier, had hindered the captain from continuing his voyage? Breusing, pp. 161, 162, and quotations from Suet., Claudius, 18, as to the compensation offered by the emperor to merchants for losses in winter and storm. Goerne points out that it may have been also to their interest to proceed on the voyage, rather than to incur the responsibility of providing for the keep of the large crew during a long stay at Fair Havens.

[410] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

11. the centurion believed (R. V. gave more heed to)] As the centurion was in charge of prisoners for the Imperial tribunal, his wish would be much regarded by both owner and sailing-master. And it was natural when they recommended the attempt to proceed that he should not listen to Paul’s advice and remain where they were.

the master] i.e. the sailing-master. The original means “pilot,” which term must here be understood of that officer who had charge of the navigation.

the owner of the ship] Who was probably owner of the cargo too, and if, as is most likely, this was corn, he would be sailing with it, that he might dispose of it to the best advantage when they reached Italy.

Acts 27:11. Κυβρενήτῃ, the master) who was in command of the ship.—ναυκλήρῳ, the owner of the ship) to whom the ship belonged. He too was under the control of the centurion.—ἐπείθετο μᾶλλον, had more regard to) The artificer is not always to be trusted in his own art. Often the believing Christian, at the time when there is the greatest need, speaks more seasonable advice; but he is less regarded: Ecclesiastes 9:15. Perhaps Julius was afraid of the indignation of his superiors.

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. Acts 27:11Master (κυβερνήτῃ)

Only here and Revelation 18:17. Lit., the steersman.

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