Acts 27:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along.

King James Bible
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

American Standard Version
and when they had hoisted it up, they used helps, under-girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast upon the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Which being taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship, and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, they let down the sail yard, and so were driven.

English Revised Version
and when they had hoisted it up, they used helps, under-girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast upon the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.

Webster's Bible Translation
Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.

Weymouth New Testament
and, after hoisting it on board, they used frapping-cables to undergird the ship, and, as they were afraid of being driven on the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the gear and lay to.

Acts 27:17 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Helps (βοηθείαις)

Any apparatus on hand for the purpose: ropes, chains, etc.

Undergirding (ὑποζωννύντες)

In modern nautical language, frapping: passing cables or chains round the ship's hull in order to support her in a storm. Mr. Smith ("Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul") cites the following from the account of the voyage of Captain George Back from the arctic regions in 1837: "A length of the stream chain-cable was passed under the bottom of the ship four feet before the mizzen-mast, hove tight by the capstan, and finally immovably fixed to six ring-bolts on the quarter-deck. The effect was at once manifest by a great diminution in the working of the parts already mentioned; and, in a less agreeable way, by impeding her rate of sailing."

Quicksands (τὴν σύρτιν)

The rendering of the A. V. is too general. The word is a proper name, and has the article. There were two shoals of this name - the "Greater Syrtis" (Syrtis Major), and the "Smaller Syrtis" (Syrtis Minor). It was the former upon which they were in danger of being driven; a shallow on the African coast, between Tripoli and Barca, southwest of the island of Crete.

Strake sail (χαλάσαντες τὸ σκεῦος)

Lit., as Rev., lowered the gear. See on goods, Matthew 12:29. It is uncertain what is referred to here. To strike sail, it is urged, would be a sure way of running upon the Syrtis, which they were trying to avoid. It is probably better to understand it generally of the gear connected with the fair-weather sails. "Every ship situated as this one was, when preparing for a storm, sends down upon deck the 'top-hamper,' or gear connected with the fair-weather sails, such as the topsails. A modern ship sends down top-gallant masts and yards; a cutter strikes her topmast when preparing for a gale" (Smith, "Voyage," etc.). The storm sails were probably set.

Acts 27:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

fearing.

Acts 27:29,41 Then fearing lest we should have fallen on rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day...

Cross References
Acts 27:16
Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat.

Acts 27:26
But we must run aground on some island."

Acts 27:29
And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.

Acts 27:40
So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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