Acts 27:44
And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.
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(44) And the rest, some on boards . . .—These were probably planks from the decks. The words “broken pieces are not in the Greek, but fairly express its force. Literally, on some of the things from the ship. These might, it is obvious, have been pieces of timber from the bulwarks, loose spars, tables, stools, and the like.

27:39-44 The ship that had weathered the storm in the open sea, where it had room, is dashed to pieces when it sticks fast. Thus, if the heart fixes in the world in affection, and cleaving to it, it is lost. Satan's temptations beat against it, and it is gone; but as long as it keeps above the world, though tossed with cares and tumults, there is hope for it. They had the shore in view, yet suffered shipwreck in the harbour; thus we are taught never to be secure. Though there is great difficulty in the way of the promised salvation, it shall, without fail, be brought to pass. It will come to pass that whatever the trials and dangers may be, in due time all believers will get safely to heaven. Lord Jesus, thou hast assured us that none of thine shall perish. Thou wilt bring them all safe to the heavenly shore. And what a pleasing landing will that be! Thou wilt present them to thy Father, and give thy Holy Spirit full possession of them for ever.And the rest - Those who could not swim.

They escaped all safe to land - According to the promise which was made to Paul, Acts 27:22. This was done by the special providence of God. It was a remarkable instance of divine interposition to save so many through so long-continued dangers; and it shows that God can defend in any perils, and can accomplish all his purposes. On the ocean or the land we are safe in his keeping, and he can devise ways that shall fulfill all his purposes, and that can protect his people from danger.

43. the centurion, &c.—Great must have been the influence of Paul over the centurion's mind to produce such an effect. All followed the swimmers in committing themselves to the deep, and according to the divine pledge and Paul's confident assurance given them, every soul got safe to land—yet without miracle. (While the graphic minuteness of this narrative of the shipwreck puts it beyond doubt that the narrator was himself on board, the great number of nautical phrases, which all critics have noted, along with the unprofessional air which the whole narrative wears, agrees singularly with all we know and have reason to believe of "the beloved physician"; see on [2136]Ac 16:40). Some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship; still using means, though it was of God only that they had them, and that they were effectual to them. In this history is lively verified that of the psalmist, Psalm 107:18-20, Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. And what follows but, Acts 27:21, Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! God hath a tribute of praise which is due unto him from the readers of this story, that they would acknowledge that there is none else who can deliver after this manner, Daniel 3:29; and then to be sure they will desire that this God might be their God for ever and ever, Psalm 48:14.

And the rest, some on boards,.... Doors, tables, planks, or any such like things:

and some on broken pieces of the ship; or what came from it, as masts, beams, &c.

and so it came to pass that they escaped all safe to land; not one was lost, as Paul had foretold. And so it will be with the saints after their afflicted state in this life, who are safe by being in Christ, and by abiding in him and in the use of means; and though by reason of the many difficulties in the way, through the corruptions of their own hearts, the temptations of Satan, the hidings of God's face, various afflictions, and sometimes violent persecutions, they are scarcely saved, yet at last they are certainly saved: so it comes to pass that they get safe on the shores of eternal bliss and happiness; because they are ordained unto it, are the care of Christ, and the purchase of his blood; and are partakers of the blessings of grace, and have the Spirit, as an earnest of the heavenly inheritance; and when landed they are safe; sin will be no more; Satan will be under their feet; there will be no more afflictions of any kind; and they will be with the Lord, and for ever with him. This voyage of the apostle, and the saints with him, was an emblem of the passage of the people of God in this world to heaven: their number was but few; who besides Luke, and Aristarchus the Macedonian, were with him, is not known, Acts 27:2. And so the number of the children of God, in anyone period of time, is but small in comparison of the rest of the world: the apostle and his companions had but very indifferent company, as other prisoners, a band of soldiers, and the sailors; Christ's church is as a rose in a field, a lily among thorns, vexed with the conversation of the wicked, being in a world which lies in wickedness; and which may very fitly be compared to the sea, for the waves of afflictions in it, and the restless and uneasy spirits of the men of it. Sailing at this time was dangerous, Acts 27:9 as the saints' passage through this world always is, and especially now in these last and perilous days; partly through the aboundings of immorality on the one hand, and partly through the spread of error and heresy on the other. A great storm arose, Acts 27:14 and there are many the Christian meets with in his voyage to heaven; and well it is for him that Christ is an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, and that he is built on such a foundation, which the most violent storms cannot move him from. There was no sight of sun or stars for many days, Acts 27:20 and so it is sometimes with the people of God; the sun of righteousness is not seen by them, clouds interpose between him and them; and the stars, the ministers of the Gospel, are removed from them, and their eyes cannot behold their teachers, which make it a distressed time with them: yea, all hope of salvation was gone, Acts 27:20 and such at times is the case of truly gracious souls; their hope, and their strength, they are ready to say, are perished from the Lord, and they are cut off from before his eyes: there was also a long abstinence from food, Acts 27:21 which is sometimes the case in a spiritual sense, and is owing either to want of food, the word of the Lord being precious, there being a famine of hearing the word; or for want of appetite to it: and last of all, there was a design formed by the soldiers to kill Paul, and the prisoners, but were prevented by the centurion, Acts 27:42. The sincere followers of Christ are accounted as sheep for the slaughter, and are killed all the day long in the intention of wicked men; who have always a good will to it, were they not restrained through the goodness of a civil government, and especially by the power and providence of God: however, at last, they get safe to their port and haven, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.

{14} And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

(14) The goodness of God overcomes man's malice.

Acts 27:44. τοὺς λ., sc. ἐξιέναι ἐπὶ τῆν γῆν.—οὓς μὲνοὓς δὲ, Luke 23:33, and in classical Greek.—ἐπὶ σανίσιν: “some on planks and some on pieces from the ship,” Ramsay; the planks which were in use in the ship as distinguished from actual parts or fragments of the ship in the next clause; in LXX, Ezekiel 27:5, the word is used of planks for the deck of a ship (Song of Solomon 8:9, 2 Kings 12:9 (?)). Breusing, pp. 45, 203 (so Blass), takes it of the boards or planks which were used for keeping the cargo firmly in its place. The furniture of the vessel had already been thrown overboard, so that we can only think of the pieces broken away as the ship stranded, or perhaps broken off by the escaping crew, ἐπί: here used promiscuously with dative and genitive in the same sense.—ἐγένετο: with infinitive following, characteristic of St. Luke, Friedrich, p. 13.—διασωθῆναι: on its use by St. Luke here and in Acts 28:1; Acts 28:4 (Luke 7:3), see Hobart, pp. 9, 10, 284. For the remarkable correspondence between the details of the scene of the shipwreck and the topography of St. Paul’s Bay see not only J. Smith and Ramsay, but Goerne, p. 374, Breusing, p. 204, and Vars, p. 257. Breusing and Vars both admit that it is not safe to trust too much to tradition, but in this case, as they both point out, it was only likely that St. Paul would have won loyal adherents in the island who would have handed down every detail of his visit to their children, and the local tradition is in striking accordance with the description of the sacred narrative; see further Introd., p. 8.

44. and the rest] The nominative is here left pendent, both in the original and the translation. We supply readily in thought the needful words “should get to the land.”

some on boards [R. V. planks] and some on broken pieces of [R. V. other things from] the ship] The R. V. is the closest rendering of the Greek, but the A. V. gives the sense. The things on which they were saved were pieces which on the stranding of the vessel would be broken away from the main timbers. Everything that was needless to be kept on board they had already thrown over, and so we cannot think here of loose furniture of the vessel, but only of the framework itself.

escaped all safe] [R. V. all escaped safe]. The transposition of R.V. makes the emphasis clear. “All safe” might be read as if it meant “quite safe,” and “all” were merely an adverb qualifying the adjective.

Acts 27:44. Ἀπὸ, from) from the wooden parts of the ship.

Verse 44. - Planks for boards, A.V.; other things from for broken pieces of, A.V.; all escaped (διασωθῆναι) for escaped all, A.V.; the land for land, A.V. Planks; σωνίσιν, only here and in the LXX. of 2 Kings 12:9 (for the "lid" of the box) and Song of Solomon 8:9 (for "boards"); very common in Homer and other Greek writers, for "boards" and "planks" of all kinds. They all escaped. In exact fulfillment of Paul's prediction in ver. 22. And thus ended the eventful voyage of about four hundred and eighty miles (as laid down in the charts) from Clauda to the Point of Koura on the north coast of Malta. It is one of the striking proofs of the identity of Melita with Malta, that the rate at which it is calculated that a large ship laying to in a gale would drift in twenty-four hours, viz. thirty-six miles, multiplied by thirteen and a half (the number of days occupied by the voyage), gives four hundred and eighty-six miles as the whole distance. (36X13.5 = 486) Smith thinks that the coincidence between "the actual bearing of St. Paul's Bay from Clauda, and the direction in which the ship must have driven," with the wind blowing in the quarter we know it did," is, if possible, still more striking" (pp. 127, 128).

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