Acts 27:37
And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
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(37) And we were in all in the ship . . .—The number is given here, either as a fact that had been omitted before, and was not without its interest, or probably because then for the first time, when they were all gathered at their meal, the writer had taken the pains to count them. A man does not commonly count the number of passengers on board a ship until there is some special occasion, and here it comes naturally as explaining the “all” of the previous verse. It was, we may well imagine, a striking spectacle to see the two hundred and seventy-six all under the influence of one brave and faithful spirit.

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.And gave thanks ... - This was the usual custom among the Hebrews. See the notes on Matthew 14:19. Paul was among those who were not Christians; but he was not ashamed of the proper acknowledgment of God, and was not afraid to avow his dependence on him, and to express his gratitude for his mercy. 36. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat—"took food"; the first full meal since the commencement of the gale. Such courage in desperate circumstances as Paul here showed is wonderfully infectious. That is, so many persons; as Acts 2:41 7:14 Romans 13:1; the soul being the noblest part, and the body following its condition, whatsoever it be: if the soul be holy, the body shall be glorious. But it is not so on the other side: the soul is not hereafter as the body is here; for Dives’s body fared well, was fed and arrayed sumptuously, and yet his soul was miserably tormented, Luke 16:19,24.

And we were in all in the ship,.... Reckoning the master and owner of the ship, and the centurion and the soldiers, and the apostle and his company, with whatsoever passengers there might be:

two hundred and threescore and sixteen souls; the Alexandrian copy reads, "two hundred seventy and five"; and the Ethiopic version, "two hundred and six". This account of the number is given to show, that the historian, who was one of them, had an exact knowledge of all in the ship; and this being recorded before the account of the shipwreck, may serve to make the truth of the relation the more to be believed that none of them perished, since their number was so precisely known; and makes it the more marvellous, that such a number of men should be saved, and in a shipwreck; and shows, that there must be a wonderful interposition of divine power to bring them all safe to land.

And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
Acts 27:37. And what a large meal was thus brought about!

The number 276 may surprise us on account of its largeness (see Bornemann in loc.); but, apart from the fact that we have no knowledge of the size and manning of the Alexandrian ship, Acts 27:6, it must, considering the exactness of the entire narrative, be assumed as correct; and for the omission of διακόσιαι the single evidence of B (which has ὡς) is too weak.

Acts 27:37. The number was large, but nothing is told us of the size and manning of the Alexandrian ship, and Josephus, Vita, 3, mentions that there were about 600 in the ship which took him to Italy. On the large size of the ships engaged in a traffic similar to that of the corn ship in this chapter see Breusing, p. 157; Vars, p. 191; Hackett and Blass, in loco, and Acts 27:6; Lucian, Πλοῖον ἢ Εὐχαί., 5. The number may be mentioned at this point that they might know afterwards that all had been saved. But Breusing thinks that it would have come perhaps more naturally at the end of the narrative, and that it is given here because the rations were distributed to each on board at this juncture. For the phrase cf. Acts 19:7.

37. two hundred threescore and sixteen] As we do not know the number of prisoners and soldiers, it is impossible to form any conclusion about the manning of such a ship as this. The number here mentioned is very large, and we cannot suppose that a merchantman from Alexandria to Rome would carry a very large crew. But to accept the reading (supported by very little authority) which makes the whole company “about threescore and sixteen” has equal difficulty on the other side, and the way in which it arose can be easily explained from the use of letters for numerals among the Greeks. A vessel which could have four anchors cast from the stern, and still have more to spare for the foreship, must have been of large size and have needed many hands. The occasion of the numbering was probably the near expectation of coming ashore, and so it was needful to have all told, for the captain, in respect of the crew, and for the centurion, that of his prisoners and soldiers none might be allowed to escape or be missing. The mention of the number at this point of the history is one of the many very natural features of the narrative.

[37. Αἱ πᾶσαι, all) of whom we may, not without good reason, suppose that no few were won to the Gospel.—V. g.]

Verse 37. - We were in all, etc. From the number of persons, two hundred and seventy- six, on board the ship it is calculated that she was of more than five hundred ions burden. The ship in which Josephus was wrecked on his way to Rome, under the procuratorship of Felix (κατὰ μέσον τὸν Ἀδρίαν), carried six hundred souls ('Life,' sect. 3). The ship of Alexandria described by Lucian is calculated to have been of above a thousand tons. The mention of the number brings before us a striking picture of so many persons at St. Paul's bidding, in the midst of so great a danger, taking a cheerful and leisurely meal together, in dependence upon a speedy deliverance promised to them in God s Name. It also adds another vivid touch to the picture of the eye-witness of what he relates. Dean Plumptre well suggests that St. Luke very likely counted the crew on the. occasion of their being all assembled together for the first time. Acts 27:37
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