And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)We cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.—The better MSS. give the third person plural, and not the first. If we accept the Received text, the fact that the passengers as well as the crew were pressed into the service indicates the urgency of the peril; but even with the other reading, the words describe the prompt spontaneous action caused by a strong sense of danger. The Greek word for “tackling” (better, perhaps, furniture) is wider in its range than the English, and includes the beds and personal luggage and movables of all kinds. Even these the sailors were ready to sacrifice for the chance of safety.Acts 27:29 that they retained some of their anchors on board.
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.Job 14:1,2.
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.And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 27:19. ἐῤῥίψαμεν, see critical note. Ramsay prefers the first person, although not well supported, because it increases the effect; but in any case the scene is graphically described, ἔῤῥιψαν may be due to ἐποιοῦντο, but, as Wendt notes, ἐῤῥίψαμεν may have been equally due to αὐτόχειρες. Breusing rejects the first person, p. 187, from a seaman’s point of view; the sailors would have kept the passengers in their places, and not have allowed them to engage in a work in which they might perchance have done more harm than good.19. we cast out with our own hands] The oldest MSS., with R. V. read “They cast out with their &c.” which is much more likely than that the writer of the narrative, even if he were a fellow-traveller with St Paul in this voyage, was employed in such a work, which is pre-eminently that which the sailors alone would undertake.
the tackling] (Gk. furniture). The word is closely akin to that used in Acts 27:17 for “gear.” As that signified all that could be spared from aloft, so this seems to mean all that could be removed from the deck or the hull of the vessel.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).
The word means equipment, furniture. The exact meaning here is uncertain. Some suppose it to refer to the main-yard; an immense spar which would require the united efforts of passengers and crew to throw overboard. It seems improbable, however, that they would have sacrificed so large a spar, which, in case of shipwreck, would support thirty or forty men in the water. The most generally received opinion is that it refers to the furniture of the ship - beds, tables, chests, etc.
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