Acts 27 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Paul Is Taken to Rome
27 When it was time for us to sail to Rome, Captain Julius from the Emperor’s special troops was put in charge of Paul and the other prisoners. 2 We went aboard a ship from Adramyttium that was about to sail to some ports along the coast of Asia. Aristarchus from Thessalonica in Macedonia sailed on the ship with us.
3 The next day we came to shore at Sidon. Captain Julius was very kind to Paul. He even let him visit his friends, so they could give him whatever he needed. 4 When we left Sidon, the winds were blowing against us, and we sailed close to the island of Cyprus to be safe from the wind. 5 Then we sailed south of Cilicia and Pamphylia until we came to the port of Myra in Lycia. 6 There the army captain found a ship from Alexandria that was going to Italy. So he ordered us to board that ship.
7 We sailed along slowly for several days and had a hard time reaching Cnidus. The wind would not let us go any farther in that direction, so we sailed past Cape Salmone, where the island of Crete would protect us from the wind. 8 We went slowly along the coast and finally reached a place called Fair Havens, not far from the town of Lasea.
9 By now we had already lost a lot of time, and sailing was no longer safe. In fact, even the Great Day of Forgiveness[a] was past. 10 Then Paul spoke to the crew of the ship, “Men, listen to me! If we sail now, our ship and its cargo will be badly damaged, and many lives will be lost.” 11 But Julius listened to the captain of the ship and its owner, rather than to Paul.
12 The harbor at Fair Havens wasn’t a good place to spend the winter. Because of this, almost everyone agreed that we should at least try to sail along the coast of Crete as far as Phoenix. It had a harbor that opened toward the southwest and northwest,[b] and we could spend the winter there.
The Storm at Sea
13 When a gentle wind from the south started blowing, the men thought it was a good time to do what they had planned. So they pulled up the anchor, and we sailed along the coast of Crete. 14 But soon a strong wind called “The Northeaster” blew against us from the island. 15 The wind struck the ship, and we could not sail against it. So we let the wind carry the ship.
16 We went along the island of Cauda on the side that was protected from the wind. We had a hard time holding the lifeboat in place, 17 but finally we got it where it belonged. Then the sailors wrapped ropes around the ship to hold it together. They lowered the sail and let the ship drift along, because they were afraid it might hit the sandbanks in the gulf of Syrtis.
18 The storm was so fierce that the next day they threw some of the ship’s cargo overboard. 19 Then on the third day, with their bare hands they threw overboard some of the ship’s gear. 20 For several days we could not see either the sun or the stars. A strong wind kept blowing, and we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
21 Since none of us had eaten anything for a long time, Paul stood up and told the men:
You should have listened to me! If you had stayed on in Crete, you would not have had this damage and loss. 22 But now I beg you to cheer up, because you will be safe. Only the ship will be lost.
23 I belong to God, and I worship him. Last night he sent an angel 24 to tell me, “Paul, don’t be afraid! You will stand trial before the Emperor. And because of you, God will save the lives of everyone on the ship.” 25 Cheer up! I am sure that God will do exactly what he promised. 26 But we will first be shipwrecked on some island.
27 For fourteen days and nights we had been blown around over the Mediterranean Sea. But about midnight the sailors realized that we were getting near land. 28 They measured and found that the water was about one hundred twenty feet deep. A little later they measured again and found it was only about ninety feet. 29 The sailors were afraid that we might hit some rocks, and they let down four anchors from the back of the ship. Then they prayed for daylight.
30 The sailors wanted to escape from the ship. So they lowered the lifeboat into the water, pretending that they were letting down an anchor from the front of the ship. 31 But Paul said to Captain Julius and the soldiers, “If the sailors don’t stay on the ship, you won’t have any chance to save your lives.” 32 The soldiers then cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall into the sea.
33 Just before daylight Paul begged the people to eat something. He told them, “For fourteen days you have been so worried that you haven’t eaten a thing. 34 I beg you to eat something. Your lives depend on it. Do this and not one of you will be hurt.”
35 After Paul had said this, he took a piece of bread and gave thanks to God. Then in front of everyone, he broke the bread and ate some. 36 They all felt encouraged, and each of them ate something. 37 There were 276 people on the ship, 38 and after everyone had eaten, they threw the cargo of wheat into the sea to make the ship lighter.
39 Morning came, and the ship’s crew saw a coast that they did not recognize. But they did see a cove with a beach. So they decided to try to run the ship aground on the beach. 40 They cut the anchors loose and let them sink into the sea. At the same time they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Next, they raised the sail at the front of the ship and let the wind carry the ship toward the beach. 41 But it ran aground on a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck firmly in the sand, and the rear was being smashed by the force of the waves.
42 The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners to keep them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But Captain Julius wanted to save Paul’s life, and he did not let the soldiers do what they had planned. Instead, he ordered everyone who could swim to dive into the water and head for shore. 44 Then he told the others to hold on to planks of wood or parts of the ship. At last, everyone safely reached shore.
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