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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
Ver. 2. Adrumetum. In the Greek, Adrametum, which seems to be the best reading: the former was in Africa, the latter in Asia; and the ship was to make for the coasts of Asia and not those of Africa. — Being about to sail by the coast of Asia. Lit. beginning to sail; the sense can only be designing to sail that way, as appears also by the Greek. Wi.
Ver. 4. We sailed under Cyprus. That is, north of Cyprus, betwixt the coasts of Cilicia and Cyprus, leaving it on our left, instead of leaving it on our right hand. Wi.
Ver. 7. We sailed hard by Crete, now Candia, near by Salmone, sailing betwixt them. Wi.
Ver. 8. Called Good-havens, a port on the east part of Crete, near the city of Thalassa, in the Greek text Lasea. Wi.
Ver. 9. The fast was now past. An annual fast. Some take it for the fast of the Ember-days, which Christians keep in December: but S. Chrys. and others expound it of the Jewish fast of expiation, in their seventh month, Tisri, answering to our September or October. Wi. — Most interpreters understand this of the solemn fast of expiation, mentioned in Leviticus (xvi. 29. and xxiii. 27.) which fell about the end of September and beginning of October. At this time sailing on the Mediterranean is dangerous. Though this phrase is at present obscure to us, we must recollect that S. Luke was writing for Christians, who being for the most part converted Jews, easily understood the expression. Calmet.
Ver. 10. Ye men, I see, &c. This S. Paul foretells as a prophet. Wi.
Ver. 12. Phœnice, on the south part of Crete, a convenient haven to ride safe in, lying by south-west and north-west. Wi.
Ver. 14. Called Euroaquilo. In the Prot. translation, Euroclydon, as in many Greek copies. In others Euraculon, which Dr. Wells prefers. Wi.
Ver. 16. An island that is called Cauda. In some Greek copies Clauda, which the Prot. have followed; in others Caudos. — We had much work to come by the boat, or to hoist up the skiff belonging to the ship; which we did, lest it should be broken to pieces by the wind against the ship, or separated from it. Wi.
Ver. 17. The used helps, under-girding the ship. Perhaps bracing or binding about the vessel with ropes or chains, lest she should be torn asunder. — Into the quick-sands. Lit. into a syritis, such as are on the coasts of Africa, whither now they were almost driven. — The let down the sail-yard. This seems to be the sense of these words letting down the vessel. Some translate striking the sail; but others think they were in apprehension for the mainmast. Wi.
Ver. 18. They lightened the ship by throwing overboard part of their loading and goods. Some call it, they made the jetsam. Wi.
Ver. 19. The tacking, or furniture of the ship that they could spare; others express it, they threw out the lagam. Wi.
Ver. 21. Not . . . have saved this harm and loss, which you have brought upon you by not following my advice. Wi. — All the company being in consternation and hourly expectation of death, did not think of taking meat. For it appears they did not want provisions, and nothing else forced them to fast. Calmet. — The mildness of S. Paul's address to them on this occasion is admirable. He mixes no severe rebuke for their past want of confidence in his words, but seems only solicitous for their future belief. In telling them that none of them should perish, he does not utter a mere conjecture, but speaks with prophetic knowledge; and, if he says they were all given to him, it was not to enhance his own merit, but to engage their faith and confidence in his veracity. S. Chrys. Act. hom. lii.
Ver. 23. An Angel of God. Lit. of the God whose I am; that is, whose servant I am. Wi.
Ver. 24. God hath given thee all them; that is, the true God, maker and master of all things. It is sometimes a great happiness to be in the company of the saints, who by their prayers to God, help us. Wi. — S. Paul prayed that all in the vessel with him might be saved; and an angel was sent to assure him his prayer was heard. If such was the merit of the apostle whilst yet in this mortal body, that the Almighty, in consideration of it, granted the lives of 276 persons, what do you think, will be his interest before God, now that he is glorious in heaven? S. Jerom contra Vigilant.
Ver. 27. In the Adria. Not in what we call the Adriatic gulf, or sea of Venice, but that which lies betwixt Peloponnesus, Sicily, and Italy. Wi.
Ver. 30. The ship-men . . . having let down the boat into the sea; that is, had begun to let it down with ropes, &c. Wi.
Ver. 31. Paul said . . . unless these stay. Providence had ordered that all should escape, but by helping one another. Wi.
Ver. 33. Taking nothing. That is, without taking a full meal, but only a morsel now and then, and nothing to speak of. Wi. — Though S. Chrysostom understands these words in their full rigour, and therefore supposes them to have been supported by a miracle; yet is is not requisite to adhere to the severity of these words in the interpretation of them. Not having had time to prepare any regular meal during that time, they may justly be said to have taken nothing, though they had occasionally eaten a little now and then to support nature. Such exaggerations in discourse are common. Interpretes passim.
Ver. 40. Loosing also the rudderbands. Some ships are said heretofore to have had two rudders: and this ship perhaps had two, unless here the plural number be put for the singular, which is not uncommon in the style of the Scriptures. — And hoisting up the main-sail. The word in the text may signify any sail, either the main, or mizen-sail, which latter by the event was more than sufficient. Wi.
Ver. 41. Into a place where two seas met. It happened that there was a neck or tongue of land, which being covered with the waves, they who were strangers to the coast did not discover: this stranded the ship, the prow sticking fast, and the poop being torn from it, so that the vessel split by the violence of the winds and sea. Wi.
Ver. 44. The rest . . . they carried on planks. That is, let them be carried on planks; and all got safe to land, in the number two hundred and seventy-six souls, or persons. Wi.