Acts 27:7 MEANING

Acts 27:7
(7) When we had sailed slowly many days.--The Etesian gales from the north-west, which prevail in the Archipelago during the latter part of July and the whole of August, were still blowing strongly, and during the "many days" (probably a fortnight or three weeks) the ship had not been able to traverse more than the 120 miles that lay between Myra and Cnidus. To reach the latter place they had probably coasted along Lycia, and gone through the straits between Rhodes and the mainland.

And scarce were come over against Cnidus.--Better, with difficulty. Cnidus was situated on a neck of land with a harbour on either side, and was apparently a naval station for the ships that were engaged in the corn-trade between Egypt and Greece (Thucyd. viii. 35). Here, as the coast trends away to the north, and they had no longer the shelter of the land, they were exposed to the full force of the Etesian winds. It was useless to attempt to make head against these, and their only alternative was to steer southward, so as to get, if possible, under the lee of the coast of Crete, the modern Candia. They succeeded in getting as far as Cape Salmone, the eastern point of the island, and finding here some shelter, went on their way westward under the lee of the coast. The name of Salmone appears in Strabo (x. 4) as Samonion, in Pliny (iv. 12) as Samnonium. In modern Greek it takes the form of Capo Salomon.

Verse 7. - Were come with difficulty for scarce were come, A.V.; further suffering for suffering, A.V.; under the lee of for under, A.V. Had sailed slowly (βραδυπλοοῦντες, only here). They were evidently sailing near the wind, and would have to tack frequently. They made in many days no more progress (some hundred and thirty miles) than they would have made in twenty-four hours with a favorable wind. With difficulty (μόλις) they could only just manage to do it, the wind not suffering them (μὴ προσεῶντος, here only). When they had with great difficulty got as far as over against Cnidus, on the coast of Carla, the north wind which caught them made it impossible to go further north. Accordingly they struck nearly due south, and bore down upon Crete, and passing Cape Salmone, its eastern extremity, they came along the southern side of the island.

27:1-11 It was determined by the counsel of God, before it was determined by the counsel of Festus, that Paul should go to Rome; for God had work for him to do there. The course they steered, and the places they touched at, are here set down. And God here encourages those who suffer for him, to trust in him; for he can put it into the hearts of those to befriend them, from whom they least expect it. Sailors must make the best of the wind: and so must we all in our passage over the ocean of this world. When the winds are contrary, yet we must be getting forward as well as we can. Many who are not driven backward by cross providences, do not get forward by favourable providences. And many real Christians complain as to the concerns of their souls, that they have much ado to keep their ground. Every fair haven is not a safe haven. Many show respect to good ministers, who will not take their advice. But the event will convince sinners of the vanity of their hopes, and the folly of their conduct.And when we had sailed slowly many days,.... Because of contrary winds, as in Acts 27:4 or else for want of wind, as some think; the Syriac version renders it, "and because it sailed heavily"; that is, the ship being loaden with goods:

and scarce were come over against Cnidus; or "Gnidus", as it is sometimes called; it was a city and promontory in Doris, in the Chersonese or peninsula of Caria, famous for the marble statue of Venus made by Praxiteles (r); it was over against the island of Crete, and is now called Capo Chio; it was the birthplace of Eudoxus, a famous philosopher, astrologer, geometrician, physician and lawgiver (s); it is made mention of in:

"And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene.'' (1 Maccabees 15:23)

Jerom (t) says, it was a famous island over against Asia, joining to the province of Caria; some think it has its name from the fish "Gnidus", which is taken about this place, and which is of such an extraordinary nature, that when taken in the hand, it stings like a nettle; others (u) derive it from "hanad", or "gnad", which, in the Phoenician language signifies "to join"; because, as both Pausanias (w) and Strabo (x) say, it was joined by a bridge or causeway to the continent: it had two ports in it, as the last mentioned writer says, but into neither of them did the ship put, in which the apostle was; nor do we read of the Gospel being preached here, or of a church in it until the "sixth" century, when mention is made of a bishop of Gnidus in the acts of the synod at Rome and Constantinople (y):

the wind not suffering us; to go right forward, as the Syriac version adds:

we sailed under Crete; or below it, as in Acts 27:4 This is now called Candy; See Gill on Acts 2:11, over against Salmone; now called Capo Salamone: this, by Pliny (z), Ptolomy (a), and Mela (b), is called Samonium or Sammonium, and by them said to be a promontory in the island of Crete, on the east side of it, over against the island of Rhodes; Strabo calls it Salmonion, an eastern promontory of Crete; and Jerom a maritime city of the island of Crete.

(r) Plin. l. 5. c. 28. Ptolom. l. 5. c. 2. Mela, l. 1. c. 16. Pausanias, l. 1. p. 2.((s) Laert. de Vit. Philosoph. l. 8. p. 622. (t) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 96. A. (u) Hiller. Onomasticum, p. 790. (w) Eliac. 1. sive, l. 5. p. 335. (x) Geograph. l. 14. (y) Magdeburg. Hist. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. (z) Hist. l. 4. c. 12. (a) Geograph. l. 3. c. 17. (b) De orbis Situ, l. 2. c. 7.

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