27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land.28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.[a] A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.[b]29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow,31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing.34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,[c] for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.37 (We were in all 276[d]persons in the ship.)38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore.40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.41 But striking a reef,[e]they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf.42 The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape.43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land,44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
Paul on Malta
28 After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta.2 The native people[f] showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice[g] has not allowed him to live.”5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
Acts 27:28About 120 feet; a fathom (Greek orguia) was about 6 feet or 2 meters
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