Acts 27:18
And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) The next day they lightened the ship.—St. Luke uses the technical term for throwing the bulk of the cargo overboard. They effected, in this way, the relief of the ship from the imminent danger of sinking. The act shows that, in spite of the undergirding, leakage was still going on. The cargo, as coming from Alexandria, probably consisted largely of corn; but see Note on Acts 27:38.

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.They lightened the ship - By throwing out a part of the cargo. 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].

Casting out the merchandise or lading which was in it, that the ship, being so much lighter, might not so readily strike upon a rock, or be swallowed up of the quicksands, it drawing so much the less water. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest,.... Sometimes being lifted up as it were to the heavens, and then presently sinking down, as if they were going into the bottom of the sea; such a condition at sea is described to the life by the Psalmist, in Psalm 107:25.

the next day they lightened the ship; of its burden, its lading, the goods and merchandise that were in it; as the mariners did in the ship in which Jonah was, Jonah 1:5 the Ethiopic version renders it, "they cast the goods into the sea"; the Arabic version, the "merchandise".

{4} And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;

(4) The result proves that none provide worse for themselves than those who commit themselves to be governed only by their own wisdom.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 27:18-19. Ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο] they made a casting out, i.e. they threw overboard the cargo.[173] Dem. 926. 17; Aesch. Sept. 769; Arist. Eth. iii. 1; Pollux, i. 99; LXX. Jonah 1:5. For the lightening of the vessel in distress, in order to make it go less deep and to keep it from grounding, they got rid in the first instance of what could, in the circumstances, be most fitly dispensed with, namely, the cargo; but on the day after they laid hands even on the σκευὴ τοῦ πλοίου (Diod. Sic. xiv. 79), i.e. the ship’s apparatus,—the utensils belonging to the ship, as furniture, beds, cooking vessels, and the like. The same collective idea, but expressed in the plural, occurs in Jonah 1:5. Others (Wetstein, Kypke, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel) understand the baggage of the passengers, but this is at variance with τοῦ πλοίου; instead of it we should expect ἡμῶν, especially as αὐτόχειρες precedes. Following the Vulgate, Erasmus, Grotius, and many others, including Olshausen and Ewald, understand the arma navis, that is, ropes, beams, and the like belonging to the equipment of the ship. But the tackling is elsewhere called τὰ ὅπλα, or τὰ σκεύη (from σκεῦος), and just amidst the danger this was most indispensable of all.

αὐτόχειρες] with our own hands (Hermann, ad Soph. Ant. 1160), gives to the description a sad vividness, and does not present a contrast to the conduct of Jonah (who lay asleep, Jonah 1:5), as Baumgarten in his morbid quest of types imagines.

[173] Had the ship been loaded with ballast, and this been thrown out (Laurent), we should have expected a more precise designation (ἕρμα). The σκευή, too, would not have been included in the category of things thrown out at once on the following day, but after the ballast would have come, in the first instance, the cargo. The ship was without doubt a merchant-vessel, and doubtless had no ballast at all. Otherwise they certainly would have commenced with throwing the latter out, but would not thereupon have at once passed to the σκευή.Acts 27:18. σφοδρῶς δὴ χειμαζ. ἡμῶν: “and as we laboured exceedingly with the storm,” R.V., Ramsay, Rendall, a regular nautical and classical term; cf. Thuc., ii., 25; iii., 69; viii., 99; Plato, Ion, 540 B. In Attic Greek usually σφόδρα, but cf. LXX, Joshua 3:16, Sir 13:13, 4Ma 6:11; only here in N.T. Weiss thinks that it is used to express how severely they were distressed by the storm.—τῇ ἑξῆςκαὶ τῇ τρίτῃ, cf. Luke 13:32, connected with the words which follow in R.V. and by Ramsay. For τῇ ἑξ. cf. Luke 7:11 (but see W.H[417]), Acts 9:37, and above on Acts 21:1, Acts 25:17; nowhere else in N.T.—ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο: “they began to throw the freight overboard,” R.V., Ramsay, Felten, a technical term, so in classical Greek, for throwing out cargo to lighten a ship; Latin jactura, LXX, Jonah 1:5, with τῶν σκευῶν, and Julius Pollux, i., 99, who also has the phrase κουφίσαι τὴν ναῦν, cf. Acts 27:38 below. The imperfect marks that they began by throwing away the cargo, probably what was on deck, so that the vessel would ship less water; and in Acts 27:19 they cast out (ἔῤῥιψαν, aorist) the furniture of the ship, its fittings and equipment, anything movable lying on the deck upon which the passengers could lay their hands (αὐτόχειρες only here in N.T. representing the haste, Weiss). Others include under the word the actual baggage of the passengers, but we should have expected ἡμῶν instead of τοῦ πλοίου, whilst others explain of beds and crockery, tables, etc., furniture in this sense (Zöckler and Felten, exclusive of beds which were not in use). Breusing rejects this interpretation as “too silly,” and he thinks that the expression really means that by thus throwing overboard the poles and tackling, room was found for the crowd of passengers on the deck, as the hatchways could not be kept open, since the heavy sea would have swamped the ship, p. 186. J. Smith takes σκεύη to mean the mainyard, but the word is here apparently used in a more general sense, as above, R.V., margin, “furniture of the ship”.

[417] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.18. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest] Better, with R. V. “and as we laboured exceedingly with the storm.” The storm waxed in violence.

the next day they lightened the ship] This is not as precise as the original. Read “they set about throwing the cargo overboard.” The verb is an imperfect, and the noun is used in classical Greek for “a cargo cast forth.” The ship was probably carrying corn from Alexandria to Italy, and if so the load would be a heavy one and its removal a great relief to the struggling vessel. On the African supply of corn to Italy cp. Juv. Sat. v. 118 seqq.Acts 27:18. Ἐκβολὴν) a casting out of the merchandise.Verse 18. - As we labored exceedingly for being exceedingly tossed, A.V.; the storm for a tempest, A.V.; began to throw the freight overboard for lightened the ship, A.V. Labored; χειμαζουμένων, only here in the New Testament; but used by Plato, Thucydides, Diodorus Siculus, Josephus, and others, and especially by medical writers. It is the passive voice, and this is best expressed by the A.V. "tossed." They began to throw, etc. The phrase ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο is one of the technical phrases for taking a cargo out of a ship, given by Julius Pollux; ἐκβολὴν ποιήσασθαι τῶν φορτίων (Alford, from Smith). It is also the phrase of the LXX. in Jonah 1:5, Ἐκβολὴν ἐποιήσαντο τῶν σκευῶν τῶν ἐν τῶ πλοίω. They began to expresses the imperfect. It is inferred from this, and the subsequent statement (ver. 19) as to throwing overboard the tackling of the ship, that, in spite of the undergirding, the ship was leaking, and therefore heavy with water, and in danger of going down (romp. Jonah 1:5). The freight here mentioned may have been heavy packages of merchandise other than the main cargo of wheat (see ver. 6, note). Lightened (ἐκβολὴν ἐποιοῦντο)

Lit., made a casting out. Rev., began to throw the freight overboard. Note the imperfect, began to throw. The whole cargo was not cast overboard: the wheat was reserved to the last extremity (Acts 27:38).

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