Add parallel Print Page Options

Paul Sails for Rome

27 When it was decided that we should sail into Italy, they handed Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion of the Augustan Regiment, named Julius. Boarding a ship from Adramyttium, we put out to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.

The next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be given care. From there we put out to sea and sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. Sailing across the sea off of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing to Italy, and he put us on board. We sailed slowly for many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to proceed, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. Sailing past it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

As much time had been lost and as the voyage was now dangerous, because the Day of Atonement was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion was persuaded more by the captain and the owner of the ship than by what Paul said. 12 Since the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority decided to sail on from there, if somehow we might reach Phoenix, a harbor in Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and winter there.

The Storm at Sea

13 When a south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained the necessary conditions, they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 But soon afterward a tempestuous wind swept through, called the Euroclydon.[a] 15 When the ship was overpowered and could not head into the wind, we let her drift. 16 Drifting under the lee of an island called Cauda, we could scarcely secure the rowboat. 17 When they had hoisted it aboard, they used ropes to undergird the ship. And fearing that they might run aground on the sand of Syrtis, they let down the mast, and so were driven. 18 We were violently tossed by the storm. The next day they threw cargo overboard. 19 On the third day we threw the tackle of the ship overboard with our own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was upon us, all hope that we should be saved was lost.

21 After they had long abstained from food, Paul stood in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete, incurring this injury and loss. 22 But now I advise you to take courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And, look! God has given you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore, men, take courage, for I believe God that it will be exactly as it was told to me. 26 Nevertheless, we must be shipwrecked on a certain island.”

27 When the fourteenth night came, while we were drifting in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors supposed that they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found the water to be one hundred and twenty feet deep.[b] When they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be ninety feet deep.[c] 29 Fearing that we might run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 When the sailors strove to abandon ship and lowered the rowboat into the sea, under the pretext of lowering anchors out of the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these sailors remain in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the rowboat and let her fall off.

33 As day was about to dawn, Paul asked them all to eat, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have waited and continued without food, having eaten nothing. 34 So I urge you to eat. This is for your preservation, for not a hair shall fall from your head.” 35 When he had said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all. And when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and they also ate food themselves. 37 In all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. 38 When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw the wheat into the sea.

The Shipwreck

39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land. But they noticed a bay with a shore, into which they were determined to run the ship if possible. 40 Casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while loosening the ropes that secured the rudders. Then they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a sandbar where two seas met, they ran the ship aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was broken up by the violent surf.

42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, prevented them from their intent and ordered those who could swim to abandon ship first and get to land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And in this way they all escaped safely to land.


  1. Acts 27:14 Or Northeaster.
  2. Acts 27:28 Gk. 20 orguias, about 37 meters.
  3. Acts 27:28 Gk. 15 orguias, about 27 meters.