Scripture: Acts 27

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 Paul Sails For Rome

Acts 27:1-12 (KJV) And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.  And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.  And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.  And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.  And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.  And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.  And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The Fair Havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.  Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.  11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.  12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

Questions and Answers:

1. Why did the ship Paul was in sail near Crete, over against Salmone (Acts 27:7)? Because the winds did not allow them to hold their course.

2. Why did Paul admonish (warn) those manning the ship (Acts 27:9)? Because much time had been lost and sailing had become dangerous.

3. What did Paul say (Acts 27:10)? Paul told the men he could see that their voyage was going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to their own lives as well.

4. What did the centurion decide to do (Acts 27:11-12)? The centurion didn’t listen to Paul.  He followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship.  The majority decided that they should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. 

The Storm

Acts 27:13-26 (KJV) 13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.  14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.  15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.  16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17 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.  18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.  20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.  21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.  22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, “Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”  25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.  26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

Questions and Answers:

1. What soon happened (Acts 27:14)? There arose a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon.

2. What was happening to the ship (Acts 27:15-17)? Because the ship was caught by the storm and could not be steered into the wind, the ship was allowed to sail freely.  Fearing they would run aground they lowered the anchor and let the ship be driven along.

3. What was done the next day (Acts 27:18)? Being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the ship’s load was lightened.

4. What was done on the third day (Acts 27:19)? On the third day they threw overboard the tackling of the ship.

5. When was their hope lost (Acts 27:20)? When neither the sun nor the stars appeared in many days and the storm continued, all hope that they would be saved was gone.

6. After the men had gone a long time without food, what did Paul do and say (Acts 27:21-22)? Paul stood up before those onboard and said they should have taken his advice not to sail to Crete, for then they would have spared themselves the damage and loss.  Then he urged them to keep up their courage because he said not one of them would be lost, only the ship would be destroyed.

7. How did Paul know what he said was true (Acts 27:23-24)? Then Paul told them that an angel of the God whose he was and whom he served stood beside him and told him, “Do not be afraid, Paul.  You must stand trial before Caesar, and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.”

8. Then what did Paul say to those aboard (Acts 27:25-26)? Paul told those aboard to keep up their courage for he (Paul) had faith in God that it would happen just as God told him.  Paul said nevertheless they must run aground on some island.  

The Shipwreck

Acts 27:27-44 (KJV) 27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.  29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.  30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.  32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.  33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.  34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.  35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.  36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.  37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.  38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.  39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.  40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.  41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.  42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.  43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

Questions and Answers:

1. At fifteen fathoms what did the shipmen do (Acts 27:28-29)? The shipmen cast four anchors out of the stern and waited for daylight.

2. What did the shipmen attempt to do (Acts 27:30)? The shipmen attempted to flee the ship in a lifeboat.

3. What did Paul say (Acts 27:31)? Paul said they would be saved only if the shipmen stayed in the ship.

4. So what did they do (Acts 27:32)? They cut off the ropes from the boat and let it fall.

5. What did Paul encourage those aboard to do as it neared morning (Acts 27:33-37)? Paul encouraged those aboard to eat something.

6. What did they do after they ate (Acts 27:38)? They lightened the ship and cast out the wheat into the sea.

7. What did they do when it was day (Acts 27:39-40)? When it was day they discovered a certain creek with a shore where they considered steering their ship.  So they took up the anchors, loosed the rudder bands, hoised the mainsail and made toward shore.

8. What happened to the ship (Acts 27:41)? The ship struck a sandbar, ran aground, the bow stuck fast and wouldn’t move.  The stern was broken to pieces by the violence of the waves. 

9. What did the soldiers want to do (Acts 27:42)? The soldiers aboard wanted to kill the prisoners.

10. What did the centurion command (Acts 27:43-44a)? The centurion kept the soldiers from harming the prisoners.  They were instructed to either swim ashore or float ashore on a piece of the ship.

11. What happened to those who had been on the ship (Acts 27:44b)? They all arrived safely to land.


Read Acts 27:1-8. 


Find a map online or in your Bible of Paul’s trip to Rome.  Follow the route and see how many of the cities/towns you can locate.  Using the mile scale measure how many miles from Paul’s starting point to his arrival at Rome, Italy.  It looks to me like a long trip, both distance and time.


Though Paul spoke the verses below, I believe they are great reminders of God’s faithfulness to us.

Acts 27:22 But I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.

Acts 27:25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He (God) told me.


I believe every Word from the Bible is God breathed and therefore I purpose to love and live all of it.


And I purpose to share it with those who come across my path.


Lord, I pray we will trust You to save us (Acts 27:20). Lord, I pray we will keep up our courage no matter the situation in which we find ourselves (Acts 27:22).  Lord, I pray we will have faith in You to cause all things to happen as Your Word says (Acts 27:25).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.


“May you and I trust God.” <>< Dona