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Sailing for Rome

27 When it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they handed Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan Cohort. So we boarded a ship from Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, and we set out to sea—accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica.

The next day we set down at Sidon. Julius, treating Paul kindly, let him go to his friends to receive care. Setting out to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. When we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came down to Myra in Lysia. There the centurion found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board.

Sailing slowly for a number of days, with difficulty we made it to Cnidus. As the wind did not allow us to go further, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone. Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was already dangerous because the Fast[a] had already gone by, Paul kept warning them, 10 telling them, “Men, I can see that the voyage is about to end in disaster and great loss—not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives!”

11 But the centurion was persuaded more by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was said by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was unsuitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to set out to sea from there—if somehow they might reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete facing northeast and southeast, and spend the winter there.

Storm and Shipwreck

13 When the south wind blew gently, supposing they had obtained their purpose, they raised the anchor and started coasting along the shore by Crete. 14 But before long, a hurricane-force wind called “the Northeaster” swept down from the island. 15 When the ship was caught and could not face into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we ran under the shelter of a small island called Cauda, we were barely able to get control of the dinghy. 17 When the crew had hoisted it up, they made use of ropes to undergird the ship. Then fearing they might run aground on the Syrtis,[b] they let down the anchor and so were driven along. 18 But as we were violently battered by the storm, the next day they began throwing cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw out the ship’s gear with their own hands. 20 With neither sun nor stars appearing for many days, and no small storm pressing on us, all hope of our survival was vanishing.

21 As they had long been without food, Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not sailed from Crete, to avoid this disaster and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you—but only of the ship. 23 For this very night, there came to me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve. 24 He said, ‘Do not fear, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and indeed, God has granted you all who are sailing with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I trust God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”

27 Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to sense that they were nearing some land. 28 So they took soundings and found the water was twenty fathoms deep.[c] A bit farther along, they took another sounding and found it was fifteen fathoms deep. 29 Fearing that we might run aground on the rocks, they threw out four anchors from the stern. They were longing for day to come.

30 Now the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had lowered the dinghy into the sea, pretending they were going to put out anchors from the bow. 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men remain on the ship, you cannot be saved!”

32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the dinghy and let it drift away. 33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have kept waiting and going without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore, I urge you to take some food—for this is for your survival, since not one of you will lose a hair from his head.”

35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. 36 Then all were encouraged and took some food themselves. 37 (In all we were 276 persons on the ship.)

38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea. 39 Then when daylight came, they did not recognize the land; but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they planned to run the ship aground if they could. 40 So they cut off the anchors and left them in the sea, while loosening the ropes of the rudders at the same time. Then, hoisting the forward sail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 But they struck a sandbar between the seas and ran the ship aground. The bow stuck fast and remained immovable, and the stern began to break up by the pounding of the waves.

42 The plan of the soldiers was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those able to swim to throw themselves overboard first and get to land— 44 and the rest to get there on boards and pieces of the ship. And in this way all were brought safely to land.


  1. Acts 27:9 After Yom Kippur, when autumn winds were increasing.
  2. Acts 27:17 An area known for shallow water and shifting sandbars.
  3. Acts 27:28 20 fathoms=120 feet; 15 fathoms=90 feet.