Acts 27:34
Why I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) This is for your health.—Better, safety, or preservation. The Greek word is not that commonly translated “health,” and the translators seem to have used it in the wider sense which it had in older English. So, for example, in Wiclif’s version, “the knowledge of salvation” in Luke 1:77 appears as “the science of health.” Wiclif has “health” here also, and is followed by all the chief English versions, except the Geneva, which has “safe-guard.” What St. Paul means is that the preservation of his fellow-passengers depended on their keeping up their strength. The gracious assurance that followed was, as before, not independent of their co-operation.

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.Not a hair fall from the head ... - A proverbial expression, denoting "that they would be preserved safe; that none of them would be lost, and that "in their persons they should not experience the least damage," 1 Kings 1:52; 1 Samuel 14:45. 34. I pray you to take some meat, for this is for your health, for there shall not a hair fall from … any of you—On this beautiful union of confidence in the divine pledge and care for the whole ship's health and safety see on [2133]Ac 27:31. This is for your health; that they might be stronger to endure that pain and perform that labour which was necessary towards their escape; for God would have them to use all means for their deliverance.

For there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you; a proverbial speech used by the Jews, as 1 Kings 1:52, signifying that they should not suffer the least detriment in their bodies, much less the loss of their lives. Thus God numbereth our hairs, and his providence extendeth over every one of them, as Matthew 10:30 Luke 21:18. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat,.... To sit down composedly, and eat meat cheerfully and freely:

for this is for your health; the Alexandrian copy reads, "for our health"; it was for the health of them all, that they might be better able to bear the shock and fatigue of the shipwreck, and be in better spirits, and in a better capacity to help themselves, and one another:

for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you; a proverbial phrase, expressing the utmost safety of their lives, and therefore might cheerfully eat their food, and rest themselves, and be satisfied. To dream of shaving the hair, portended shipwreck to sailors; nor was it lawful for any to pare his nails, or cut off his hair, but in a storm; to which custom, some think, the apostle here alludes (w); see 1 Samuel 14:45.

(w) Kirchman. de funer. Rom. l. 2. c. 14. p. 212, 213.

Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an {g} hair fall from the head of any of you.

(g) This is a proverb which the Hebrews use, by which is meant that they will be safe, and that not one of them will perish.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 27:34. ΙΙρὸς τῆς ὑμετ. σωτ.] on the side of your deliverance, e salute vestra, i.e. corresponding, conducing to your deliverance. Comp. Thuc. iii. 59. 1, v. 105. 3; Plat. Gorg. p. 459 C; Arr. An. vii. 16. 9. See on this use of πρός with the genitive (only found here in the N.T.), Bernhardy, p. 264; Winer, p. 350 [E. T. 467 f.]. Observe the emphatic ὑμετέρας; your benefit I have in view.

οὐδενὸς γὰρ κ.τ.λ.] assigns the reason for the previous πρὸς τ. ὑμετέρ. σωτηρίας. For your deliverance, I say, for, etc. In this case their own exertions and the bodily strengthening necessary for this purpose are conceived as conditioning the issue.

On the proverbial expression itself, which denotes their being kept utterly exempt from harm, comp. Luke 21:18; 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52.Acts 27:34. διὸ: so that they might be ready for the work which would be necessary.—προσλαβεῖν, see critical note.—πρὸς: here only with genitive in N.T., cf. Blass, Gram., p. 136; i.e., stands, so to speak, on the side of our deliverance, Latin a parte, cf. Thuc., ii. 86; iii. 59; Plat., p. 459 C; Winer-Moulton, xlviii. f.—ὑμετ., emphatic.—σωτ.: “safety,” R.V., only used here and in Hebrews 11:7 of the preservation of physical life, safety, so in classical Greek and in Greek medical writers, see on Acts 16:17; “health,” A.V., not limited formerly as now to the condition of body and mind, cf. Luke 1:77, “science of health” Wycliffe = “knowledge of salvation,” and cf. also Psalm 67:2, “thy saving health,” literally “thy salvation” (Humphry). Effort on their part was necessary, and yet no hair of their heads should perish; what a significant union of faith in God and self-help! (Bethge.)—οὐδενὸς γὰρπεσεῖται, see Acts 27:22, cf. Luke 21:18, nowhere else in N.T., but the proverbial phrase, as it apparently was, is found in 1 Samuel 14:45, 2 Samuel 14:11, 1 Kings 1:52 (cf. Matthew 10:29), see critical note, and cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, Acts 1 Scene 2.34. to take some meat] “Meat” in the older English was used for any kind of food, which is what the Greek signifies, “nourishment.” Therefore in these verses the R. V. has everywhere “food.”

this is for your health] [R. V. safety.] The R. V. is the better rendering of the Greek, and agrees with what has been said on Acts 27:32. The men when they had eaten would be able to do more towards their own preservation.

there shall not a hair fall, &c.] The best MSS. have “perish” instead of “fall,” and so R. V. The phrase is a proverbial one to express complete deliverance. Cp. 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52; Luke 21:18.Acts 27:34. Σωτηρίας, for your safety) that ye may be the stronger (the better able) for swimming to land.Verse 34. - Beseech for pray, A.V.; food for meat, A.V.; safety for health, A.V.; a hair for an hair, A.V.; perish for fall, A.V. and T.R. Take; here in the R.T. μεταλαβεῖν instead of προσλαβεῖν of the T.R. Your safety; or, health; i.e. for the preservation of your lives in the impending struggle. Not a hair perish; or, according to the T.R., fall. It is uncertain whether ἀπολεῖται (R.T.) or πεσεῖται (T.R.) is the right reading. The Hebrew proverb, as contained in 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52, is, "fall to the earth' or "ground:" Αἰ πεσεῖται τριχός (or, ἀπὸ τῆς τριχός or τῶν τριχῶν) τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν (LXX.). In Luke 21:18, it is Θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται (comp. Luke 12:7). Absolute and complete safety is meant. He still speaks as a prophet.
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