Acts  ◦   Chapter 27

1Once it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul, along with some other prisoners, was transferred to the custody of a centurion named Julius, who was a member of the Imperial Regiment.2We boarded a ship from Adramyttium, bound for ports along the coast of Asia, and soon put to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, traveled with us.

3The next day we made port at Sidon, and Julius, showing kindness to Paul, allowed him to visit his friends so they might provide for his needs.4We sailed from there past the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us.5After sailing the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.6There, a centurion found a ship from Alexandria heading for Italy and got us on board.7It was slow going for many days, and with great difficulty we finally arrived off Cnidus. When the wind would not permit us to stay on course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.8It was a rough ride, but we slowly moved along the coast and came to a place near Lasea, called Fair Havens.

9We had lost a lot of time, and the weather had turned — as it was late in the year, and the Day of Atonement had already past — making sailing dangerous. Paul attempted to warn them:10"Men, I have been shown that if we continue on, we will meet disaster and experience great loss to the ship and cargo, and even to our lives."11But the centurion, instead of heeding Paul's warning, listened to the advice of the captain and owner of the ship.12Since the harbor wasn’t suitable for wintering in, the majority determined that it would be best to sail on hoping to reach Phoenix — a harbor in Crete that faces southwest and northwest — and winter there.

13A gentle south wind began to blow, and they thought the weather favored them, so they set sail along the shore of Crete.14But before long, a storm with hurricane-strength winds, called a northeaster, blew down from the island.15The ship couldn't maintain course in such a strong wind, so we gave way and were driven along by it.16As we passed the lee of a small island called Cauda, we almost lost the lifeboat,17but the men finally got it on board. Next they passed ropes under the ship to hold it together. Afraid of running aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they put out the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.18The battering from the storm was so severe that the next day they began tossing cargo overboard.19By the third day, they were so desperate that they even threw over some of the ship's equipment and supplies.20After many days without seeing sun or stars, and with the storm continuing to rage, we finally gave up hope of surviving.

21After everyone had gone without food for quite some days, Paul stood up before the crew and said, "Men, you would have done well to take my counsel and not sail from Crete. If you had, you would have spared yourself all this loss.22So listen to me now: Take courage, because not one of you will die; only the ship will be destroyed.23Last night, an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me24and said, 'Paul, don't be afraid. You must stand trial before Caesar, and God has protected the lives of all those who sail with you.'25So take heart, men, for I trust God. It will happen just as he told me.26But we will run aground on one of the islands."

27On the fourteenth night of the storm, we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when around midnight the sailors sensed we were approaching land.28The soundings they took found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later, the water was only ninety feet deep.29Afraid of crashing against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for dawn.30Some of the sailors were planning on escaping the ship in the lifeboat and lowered it into the sea, but were pretending to lower anchors from the bow.31Paul told the centurion and the soldiers, "If these men leave the ship, you will all die."32So the soldiers cut the ropes holding the lifeboat and let it fall away.

33Just before dawn Paul encouraged them to eat. He said, "For the last fourteen days you have been so stressed and worried that you haven't eaten a thing.34So take a moment and eat something. You will need your strength to survive. Not one of you will even get a scratch."35After saying this, he took some bread, thanked God for it in front of them all, then broke it and began to eat.36They all relaxed and ate some food.37Counting everyone, there were two hundred seventy-six of us on board.38When everyone had had enough to eat, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

39At dawn, they didn't recognize the place, but saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.40They cut the anchors loose leaving them in the sea, untied the ropes holding the rudder, hoisted the foresail to the wind, and headed for the beach.41But the ship grounded on a sandbar and wouldn't budge. The stern was breaking apart from the pounding surf.

42The soldiers formed a plan to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping,43but the centurion, wanting to protect Paul, ordered the soldiers not to do it. He commanded those who could swim to jump in first, and get to the shore.44The rest were to get there floating on planks and pieces of the ship. In this way, everyone reached the land safely.