Acts 27:3
And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.
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(3) And Julius courteously entreated.—The English fairly expresses the meaning of the Greek adverb, which is literally philanthropically. We note, as in other instances, the favourable impression made by St. Paul’s conduct on official persons who came in contact with him. (Comp. Acts 18:14; Acts 19:31; Acts 19:37.) The “friends” of St. Paul at Sidon were probably Christian disciples who had seen him when he passed through Phœnicia, as in Acts 15:3, or in other journeys.

To refresh himself.—Literally, to avail himself of their care. The Greek word suggests the thought of a provision of personal comforts, clothing and the like, for the voyage. After two years’ imprisonment we may well believe that such kindly care would be both necessary and acceptable.

Acts 27:3-8. And the next day we touched at Sidon — A celebrated city on the Phenician coast, not far from Tyre. Here Julius, to whose care the prisoners had been delivered, being a man of singular humanity, allowed Paul to go ashore and refresh himself with the brethren of that city; a favour which must have been peculiarly acceptable to one that had been so long in prison. After that, loosing from Sidon, they sailed under Cyprus — Leaving it on the left hand; to Myra, a city of Lycia; and there finding a ship of Alexandria, bound for Italy, they went aboard. This ship, it is probable, was laden with wheat, for the greatest part of the corn consumed in Rome was brought from Alexandria in Egypt; and the vessels employed in that trade were exceedingly large, as this vessel certainly was; for there were on board of her no fewer than two hundred and seventy-six persons. And when we had sailed slowly many days — By Rhodes and several other small islands, which lay near the Carian shore; and scarce were come over against Cnidus — A cape and city of Caria; the wind not suffering us

To make greater despatch, steering to the south; we sailed under Crete — A well-known island in the Mediterranean sea; over against Salmone — A promontory on the eastern coast of that island. And hardly passing it — That is, passing the cape with difficulty; we came to a place called The Fair Havens — The most considerable port in that part of Crete, which still retains the same name: but the city Lasea, mentioned next, is now utterly lost, together with many more of the hundred cities for which Crete was once so renowned.

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.We touched at Sidon - See the notes on Matthew 11:21. Sidon was about 67 miles north of Caesarea, and the passage could be easily accomplished, under favorable circumstances, in 24 hours. It is probable that the vessel, being a "coaster," put in there for purposes of trade. Sidon is the last city on the Phoenician coast in which the presence of the apostle can be traced.

And Julius courteously entreated Paul - Treated him kindly or humanely.

And gave him liberty ... - The same thing had been done by Felix, Acts 24:23.

Unto his friends - In Sidon. Paul had frequently traveled in that direction in going to and returning from Jerusalem, and it is not improbable, therefore, that he had friends in all the principal cities.

To refresh himself - To enjoy the benefit of their care; to make his present situation and his voyage as comfortable as possible. It is probable that they would furnish him with many supplies which were needful for his long and perilous voyage.

3. next day we touched at Sidon—To reach this ancient and celebrated Mediterranean port, about seventy miles north from Cæsarea, in one day, they must have had a fair wind.

Julius courteously—(See on [2124]Ac 27:1).

gave him liberty to go to his friends—no doubt disciples, gained, it would seem, by degrees, all along the Phœnician coast since the first preaching there (see on [2125]Ac 11:19 and [2126]Ac 21:4).

to refresh himself—which after his long confinement would not be unnecessary. Such small personal details are in this case extremely interesting.

Sidon; a city in Phenicia, bordering upon Palestine, mentioned Matthew 11:21, and Acts 12:20.

Julius courteously entreated Paul; as Felix had commanded that centurion to whom he committed him, Acts 24:23.

And gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself; though Paul went with a soldier to guard him, as their manner was, yet it was a great favour that he might converse with his friends, and receive from them such refreshments towards his journey as he stood in need of. Now Paul indeed experienced the truth of God’s word, Acts 18:10, that he was with him: and it is wonderful to consider the presence of God with Paul all along: which things are our examples, that we also may put our trust in God, who hath said he will not leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5,6.

And the next day we touched at Sidon,.... This was a famous city in Phoenicia, upon the northern border of the land of Israel; it was a maritime place, and noted for trade and navigation; Mela (q) calls it rich Sidon, and the chief of the maritime cities; Jerom (r) calls it the ancient city Sidon; and Curtius says (s) it was renowned for the antiquity and fame of its founders; it is thought to be built by Sidon, the firstborn of Canaan, Genesis 10:15 from whom it took its name; so Josephus (t) affirms, that Sidonius, as he calls him, built a city in Phoenicia after his own name, and it is called by the Greeks Sidon; some say it was built by Sidus the son of Aegyptus, and named after him: according to R. Benjamin (u) it was a day's journey from hence to Tyre; and with others (w), it was not more than two hundred furlongs, about twelve or thirteen miles, which was another city of Phoenicia, as this was: Jerom's (x) account of Sidon is this,

"Sidon, a famous city of Phoenicia, formerly the border of the Canaanites, to the north, situated at the foot of Mount Libanus, and the artificer of glass:''

and so Pliny (y) calls it, it being famous for the making of glass; and Herodotus (z) speaks of it as a city of Phoenicia: Justin the historian says (a) it was built by the Tyrians, who called it by this name from the plenty of fish in it; for the Phoenicians call a fish "Sidon": and indeed Sidon or Tzidon seems to be derived from "Tzud", which signifies "to fish"; and the place is to this day called Said or Salt; and so R. Benjamin calls it Tzaida (b): to this city they came from Caesarea, the day following that they set out on, and here they stopped awhile:

and Julius courteously treated Paul; the centurion into whose hands the apostle was delivered, used him with great humanity and civility; he found grace in his sight, as Joseph did in the sight of Potiphar, and as he himself had done before with Lysias, Felix, Festus and Agrippa:

and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself; for as there were disciples at Tyre, Acts 21:3 so it seems there were at Sidon, both which cities were in Phoenicia, and are often mentioned together; and the apostle was allowed to go ashore, and visit his friends, and be refreshed by them, both in body and spirit, and be provided for by them with things convenient for his voyage. It is highly probable that there was here a Gospel church, but by whom planted cannot be said; our Lord himself was at the borders of this place, Matthew 15:21 and the ministers of the word scattered at the death of Stephen, went as far as Phoenicia preaching the Gospel, Acts 11:19 and that there were brethren there, appears from note on: See Gill on Acts 15:3, in which country Sidon was: in the "third" century there was a church in this place, and Zenobius was presbyter of it, who suffered martyrdom under Dioclesian (c); in the "fourth" century there was a bishop of the church here, at the synod held at Nice; in the "fifth" century the bishop of the Sidonians, in the council of Chalcedon, declared his opinion with others against Dioscorus, whose name was Damianus; in the "sixth" century, mention is made of a bishop of Sidon, in the acts of the council held at Rome and Constantinople, and in the same century a synod met at Sidon, in the 20th year of Anastasius the emperor (d): the account of the bishops of Sidon, as given by Reland (e), is as follows; Theodorus bishop of Sidon subscribed in the first Nicene council, in the year 325; Paulus subscribed in the first council at Constantinople, in the year 381; Damianus was in the council held at Chalcedon, in the year 451; Megas is mentioned in the acts and epistles subjoined to the Chalcedon council; Andreas, bishop of this place, is taken notice of in a letter of John of Jerusalem.

(q) De orbis Situ, l. 1. c. 12. (r) Epitaph. Paulae, Tom. I. fol. 58. (s) Hist. l. 4. c. 1.((t) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.((u) Itinerar. p. 85. (w) Reland. Palestina Illustrata, l. 2. p. 433, 510. (x) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. I.((y) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. & l. 36. c. 26. (z) Euterpe, c. 116. & Thalia, c. 136. (a) Hist. ex Trogo, l. 18. c. 3.((b) Itinerar. p. 34. (c) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 8. c. 13. (d) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 2. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 2. c. 10. p. 551. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 3. c. 3. p. 17. c. 9. p. 243. (e) Palestina Illustrata, l. 3. p. 1014.

And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.
Acts 27:3. Εἰς Σιδῶνα] unto Sidon, into the seaport. Comp. Acts 21:3, Acts 26:12.

χρῆσθαι τινί] to have intercourse, fellowship, with any one. See Wetstein, and Ruhnk. ad Tim. p. 101. The fact that the centurion treated Paul so kindly may be sufficiently explained from the peculiar interest, which a character so lofty and pure could not but awaken in humane and unprejudiced minds. It may be also that the procurator had specially enjoined a gentle treatment.

πορευθέντα is to be analysed as accusative with infinitive. See on Acts 26:20, and Lobeck, ad Soph. Aj. 1006.

πρὸς τ. φίλους] Without doubt Paul had told the centurion that he had friends (namely, Christian brethren, Acts 9:19) in Sidon. Still the centurion would not leave him without military escort, as indeed his duty required this. Comp. Grotius, “cum milite.”

Acts 27:3. τῇ δὲ ἑτέρᾳ: an easy journey to Sidon—distance 69 sea miles (Breusing).—κατήχ.: technical nautical term, opposite of ἀνάγειν in Acts 27:2, see above.—φιλανθ. τε ὁ Ἰούλιοςχρης.: “and Julius treated Paul kindly,” R.V., cf. Acts 28:2. Bengel says “videtur audisse Paulum,” 25:32. Hobart, so also Zahn, sees in φιλανθ., which is peculiar to Luke in N.T., the word a medical man might be likely to use. See also on φιλανθρωπία, Acts 28:2, below, but in Dem., 411, 10, we have the phrase φιλανθ. τινὶ χρῆσθαι, so in Plutarch, and the adverb occurs in 2Ma 9:27, 3Ma 3:20. χρης. only in Luke and Paul, cf. 2 Corinthians 13:10, in LXX Genesis 26:29.—πρὸς τοὺς φίλους παρευθέντα: probably with the soldier to whom he was chained, but see also [408] text, critical note.—ἐπιμελείας τυχεῖν: “to receive attention,” R.V. margin, cf. Isocr., 113 D. The noun is found in Proverbs 3:8, 1Ma 16:14, 2Ma 11:23, 3Ma 5:1, and also in classical Greek; it was also frequently employed in medical language for the care bestowed upon the sick, and it may be so here; so Hobart, Zahn, Felten, Vogel, Luckock. St. Luke alone uses the word in the N.T., and he alone uses the verb ἐπιμελεῖσθαι in the sense of caring for the needs of the body, Luke 10:24; Luke 10:35, another word frequently employed with this meaning by medical writers (Zahn). A delay would be made at Sidon, no doubt, for merchandise to be shipped or unladen. There is no occasion to regard the verse, with Overbeck, as an interpolation; see Wendt’s note in favour of its retention, p. 543 (1888)).

[408] R(omana), in Blass, a first rough copy of St. Luke.

3. Sidon] The well-known seaport on the coast of Phœnicia.

courteously entreated Paul] “To entreat” is in modern English only used as “to beseech” “to supplicate.” In the older language it had the same sense as “to treat,” “use” has now. Cp. Shaks. Hen. VI. (pt. 2) ii. 4. 81 “Entreat her not the worse, in that I pray you use her well.” The R. V. has “treated Paul kindly.”

to refresh himself] The Greek is literally “to receive attention.” The Apostle no doubt knew some of the residents in Sidon, and at his request the centurion allowed him, while the vessel stayed there, to enjoy their company and kind offices.

Acts 27:3. Φιλανθρώπως, courteously) A suitable word, applied to offices of kindness on the part of comparative strangers, ch. Acts 28:2; Titus 3:4, ἡ φιλανθρωπία.—Ἰούλιος, Julius) He seems to have heard Paul (when speaking before Agrippa, who is said to have been accompanied by the chief captains and principal men of the city), ch. Acts 25:23.—φίλους, friends) who were at Sidon, [equally as (as also) at Tyre.—V. g.]

Verse 3. - Treated Paul kindly for courteously entreated Paul, A.V.; leave for liberty, A.V.; and refresh for to refresh, A.V. We touched; κατήχθημεν (as Luke 5:11; Acts 21:3; Acts 28:12) of coming from the sea to land, contrasted with ἀνήχθημεν in vers. 2 and 4 (ἀναχθέντες) of going out to sea (as Luke 8:22; Acts 13:13; Acts 16:11; Acts 18:21; Acts 21:1, 2; and frequently in this chapter). At Sidon; where doubtless there were disciples, as well as at Tyre (Acts 21:4), though there is no special mention of such. Paul was glad to have an opportunity of visiting them while the ship was stopping there to unload, and set down and take up passengers; and Julius, perhaps by the orders of Festus and Agrippa, and also from the influence Paul's character and conduct had on him (comp. Daniel 1:9), courteously gave him leave to land, probably accompanied by a soldier. And refresh himself; literally, to meet with care. Ἐπιμελεία occurs only here in the New Testament, but is found in 1 Macc. 16:14 2Macc. 11:23, and is frequent in Xenophon and other classical writers, by whom it is used with τυχεῖν, as here. Luke also uses the verb ἐπιμελέομαι (Luke 10:34, 35); and ἐπιμελῶς (Luke 15:8). It is in very common use among medical writers for the care and attention required by the sick. It is very probable that St. Paul was suffering from his long confinement at Caesarea, and that the ἐπιμελία here mentioned has reference to his invalid state. Acts 27:3Touched (κατήχθημεν)

From κατά, down, and ἄγω, to lead or bring. To bring the ship down from deep water to the land. Opposed to ἀνήχθημεν, put to sea (Acts 27:2); which is to bring the vessel up (ἀνά) from the land to deep water. See on Luke 8:22. Touched is an inferential rendering. Landed would be quite as good. From Caesarea to Sidon, the distance was about seventy miles.

Courteously (φιλανθρώπως)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., in a man-loving way; humanely; kindly. Rev., kindly, better than courteously. Courteous, from court, expresses rather polish of manners than real kindness.

To refresh himself (ἐπιμελείας τυχεῖν)

Lit., to receive care or attention.

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