Acts 27:32
Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(32) Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat.—The act had to be the work of an instant. The boat was already lowered, the sailors were on the point of leaping into it. We can picture their mortification on finding their selfish plat at once detected and frustrated. Even in this, however, there was a new element of danger. Men, under such circumstances, were likely to be sullen and unwilling workers.

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.Cut off the ropes ... - It is evident that the mariners had not yet got on board the boat. They had let it down into the sea Acts 27:30, and were about to go on board. By thus cutting the ropes which fastened the boat to the ship, and letting it go, all possibility of their fleeing from the ship was taken away, and they were compelled to remain on board. 32. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat—already lowered.

and let her fall off—let the boat drift away.

The centurion and soldiers, agreeing to what Paul had said, did this to take away all thoughts of escaping from the mariners, and leaving all upon what Paul had promised to them in the name of his God. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat,.... With which it had been fastened to the sides of the ship, and by which the mariners were letting it down, in order to get into it, and go off:

and let her fall off; from the sides of the ship into the sea, and so prevented the shipmen quitting the ship; for now they gave more credit to Paul than to them.

Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 27:32. τότε οἱ στρ. ἀπέκ.: Lewin, Saint Paul, ii., 202, sees in this the absolute ascendency which St. Paul had gained; he had said that their lives should be spared, and although, humanly speaking, the boat offered the best prospect of reaching land, yet at a word from St. Paul the soldiers deprived themselves even of this last resource.—σχοινία: only elsewhere in N.T. in John 2:15; in classical Greek, and also frequently in LXX. For the terrible scene which would doubtless have ensued if the soldiers had not thus acted, Breusing and Vars (so Wetstein, in loco) strikingly compare the description of a shipwreck in Achilles Tatius, iii. 3; the whole passage is cited by Breusing, p. 194.32. cut off [R. V. away] the ropes of the boat] i.e. cut asunder the ropes which attached the boat to the ship.Acts 27:32. Τότε, then) Paul left it to the soldiers to consider what they ought to do.Verse 32. - Cut away for cut off, A.V. Fall off (ἐκπεσεῖν, vers. 17, note, 26, and 29). The action of the soldiers in cutting the rope and letting the boat loose was very prompt, but rather rash, as the boat might have been useful in landing those on board. But it showed their implicit confidence in Paul's word.
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