27
Paul Sails for Rome
1It was decided that we would sail for Italy. An officer named Julius, who served in the emperor’s army, guarded Paul and some other prisoners. 2We got on a ship that was from the city of Adramyttium and was about to sail to different ports in Asia. Aristarchus, a man from the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia, went with us. 3The next day we came to Sidon. Julius was very good to Paul and gave him freedom to go visit his friends, who took care of his needs. 4We left Sidon and sailed close to the island of Cyprus, because the wind was blowing against us. 5We went across the sea by Cilicia and Pamphylia and landed at the city of Myra, in Lycia. 6There the officer found a ship from Alexandria that was going to Italy, so he put us on it.
7We sailed slowly for many days. We had a hard time reaching Cnidus because the wind was blowing against us, and we could not go any farther. So we sailed by the south side of the island of Crete near Salmone. 8Sailing past it was hard. Then we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
9We had lost much time, and it was now dangerous to sail, because it was already after the Day of Cleansing. So Paul warned them, 10“Men, I can see there will be a lot of trouble on this trip. The ship, the cargo, and even our lives may be lost.” 11But the captain and the owner of the ship did not agree with Paul, and the officer believed what the captain and owner of the ship said. 12Since that harbor was not a good place for the ship to stay for the winter, most of the men decided that the ship should leave. They hoped we could go to Phoenix and stay there for the winter. Phoenix, a city on the island of Crete, had a harbor which faced southwest and northwest.
The Storm
13When a good wind began to blow from the south, the men on the ship thought, “This is the wind we wanted, and now we have it.” So they pulled up the anchor, and we sailed very close to the island of Crete. 14But then a very strong wind named the “northeaster” came from the island. 15The ship was caught in it and could not sail against it. So we stopped trying and let the wind carry us. 16When we went below a small island named Cauda, we were barely able to bring in the lifeboat. 17After the men took the lifeboat in, they tied ropes around the ship to hold it together. The men were afraid that the ship would hit the sandbanks of Syrtis, so they lowered the sail and let the wind carry the ship. 18The next day the storm was blowing us so hard that the men threw out some of the cargo. 19A day later with their own hands they threw out the ship’s equipment. 20When we could not see the sun or the stars for many days, and the storm was very bad, we lost all hope of being saved.
21After the men had gone without food for a long time, Paul stood up before them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me. You should not have sailed from Crete. Then you would not have all this trouble and loss. 22But now I tell you to cheer up because none of you will die. Only the ship will be lost. 23Last night an angel came to me from the God I belong to and worship. 24The angel said, ‘Paul, do not be afraid. You must stand before Caesar. And God has promised you that he will save the lives of everyone sailing with you.’ 25So men, have courage. I trust in God that everything will happen as his angel told me. 26But we will crash on an island.”
27On the fourteenth night we were still being carried around in the Adriatic Sea. About midnight the sailors thought we were close to land, 28so they lowered a rope with a weight on the end of it into the water. They found that the water was one hundred twenty feet deep. They went a little farther and lowered the rope again. It was ninety feet deep. 29The sailors were afraid that we would hit the rocks, so they threw four anchors into the water and prayed for daylight to come. 30Some of the sailors wanted to leave the ship, and they lowered the lifeboat, pretending they were throwing more anchors from the front of the ship. 31But Paul told the officer and the other soldiers, “If these men do not stay in the ship, your lives cannot be saved.” 32So the soldiers cut the ropes and let the lifeboat fall into the water.
33Just before dawn Paul began persuading all the people to eat something. He said, “For the past fourteen days you have been waiting and watching and not eating. 34Now I beg you to eat something. You need it to stay alive. None of you will lose even one hair off your heads.” 35After he said this, Paul took some bread and thanked God for it before all of them. He broke off a piece and began eating. 36They all felt better and started eating, too. 37There were two hundred seventy-six people on the ship. 38When they had eaten all they wanted, they began making the ship lighter by throwing the grain into the sea.
The Ship Is Destroyed
39When daylight came, the sailors saw land. They did not know what land it was, but they saw a bay with a beach and wanted to sail the ship to the beach if they could. 40So they cut the ropes to the anchors and left the anchors in the sea. At the same time, they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Then they raised the front sail into the wind and sailed toward the beach. 41But the ship hit a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck there and could not move, but the back of the ship began to break up from the big waves.
42The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so none of them could swim away and escape. 43But Julius, the officer, wanted to let Paul live and did not allow the soldiers to kill the prisoners. Instead he ordered everyone who could swim to jump into the water first and swim to land. 44The rest were to follow using wooden boards or pieces of the ship. And this is how all the people made it safely to land.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.