Acts 27 Commentary

Acts chapter 27 commentary Bible study

Acts Chapter 27 Commentary Bible Study


Acts 27:7-13 Cnidus
Acts 27:14-21 Euroclydon
Acts 27:22-26 Does God change His mind?
Acts 27:27-32 Adriatic Sea
Acts 27:33-44 Take Food
Acts 27 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
ACTS 27:1  1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.

Why were they to "sail to Italy" (Acts 27:1)?
Paul had requested a trial before Caesar, so he was being transported from Caesarea to Rome by ship.

Who were about to "sail" (Acts 27:1) with Paul?
"We" (Acts 27:1) included Luke, who wrote Acts, and "Aristarchus" (Acts 27:2). Also sailing were "some other prisoners" (Acts 27:1) to be tried before Caesar and/or already tried, found guilty and sentenced to fight (to their death) in the coliseum of Rome.

ACTS 27:2  2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.

Where is "Adramyttium" (Acts 27:2)?
Adramyttium was a port on the northwest corner of what is Turkey today.

Who is "Aristarchus" (Acts 27:2)?
Aristarchus was a "Macedonian of Thessalonica" (Acts 27:2) and one of "Paul's travel companions" (Acts 19:29, see Ephesus Theater) who accompanied him to Greece, Ephesus and Jerusalem (see Acts 20). Two years later, Aristarchus, who may have tended to Paul in Caesarea (see Felix), went "with" (Acts 27:2) him on the journey from Caesarea to Rome, where he, a Jew, remained with Paul during his imprisonment: "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me" (Colossians 4:10-11).

ACTS 27:3  3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.

Where is "Sidon" (Acts 27:3)?
Sidon was a port in what is Lebanon today. The ship sailed from Caesarea and arrived the next day at Sidon, which is 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the north.

Who was "Julius" (Acts 27:1) and why did he treat "Paul kindly" (Acts 27:3)?
"A centurion of the Augustan Regiment" (Acts 27:1) stationed at Caesarea (six regiments (or cohorts) comprised a Roman legion), Julius bore the responsibility of delivering all of the prisoners to Rome without loss. If any prisoner escaped, he would be tried for a crime punishable by death. Yet he gave Paul the "liberty to go to his friends and receive care" (Acts 27:3) in Sidon, possibly because Paul wasn't well physically and/or he trusted Paul.

Why would a Roman centurion trust Paul?
Julius most likely knew about his character either from knowing or hearing about Paul, who had been at the Roman Praetorium in Caesarea for two years. Julius also may have heard Paul's testimony before Festus and King Agrippa.

ACTS 27:4-6  4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.

What did the "contrary" (Acts 27:4) winds require the ship to do?
Instead of sailing west and passing south of "Cyprus" (Acts 27:4), the ship continued north along the Syrian coast and then west along the southern coastal provinces of "Cilicia ... Pamphylia ... Lycia" (Acts 27:5) of what is Turkey today, passing north of Cyprus, which provided "shelter" (Acts 27:4) against the headwind. It docked at the port of "Myra, a city of Lycia" (Acts 27:5), where "the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board" (Acts 27:6).