Acts 27:1
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.
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27:1-11 It was determined by the counsel of God, before it was determined by the counsel of Festus, that Paul should go to Rome; for God had work for him to do there. The course they steered, and the places they touched at, are here set down. And God here encourages those who suffer for him, to trust in him; for he can put it into the hearts of those to befriend them, from whom they least expect it. Sailors must make the best of the wind: and so must we all in our passage over the ocean of this world. When the winds are contrary, yet we must be getting forward as well as we can. Many who are not driven backward by cross providences, do not get forward by favourable providences. And many real Christians complain as to the concerns of their souls, that they have much ado to keep their ground. Every fair haven is not a safe haven. Many show respect to good ministers, who will not take their advice. But the event will convince sinners of the vanity of their hopes, and the folly of their conduct.And when it was determined - By Festus Acts 25:12, and when the time was come when it was convenient to send him.

That we should sail - The use of the term "we" here shows that the author of this book, Luke, was with Paul. He had been his traveling companion, and though he had not been accused, yet it was resolved that he should still accompany him. Whether he went at his own expense, or whether he was sent at the expense of the Roman government, does not appear. There is a difference of reading here in the ancient versions. The Syriac reads it, "And thus Festus determined that he (Paul) should be sent to Caesar in Italy," etc. The Latin Vulgate and the Arabic also read "he" instead of "we." But the Greek manuscripts are uniform, and the correct reading is doubtless what is in our version.

Into Italy - The country still bearing the same name, of which Rome was the capital.

And certain other prisoners - Who were probably also sent to Rome for a trial before the emperor. Dr. Lardner has proved that it was common to send prisoners from Judea and other provinces to Rome (Credibility, part i. chapter 10, section 10, pp. 248, 249).

A centurion - A commander of 100 men.

Of Augustus' band - For the meaning of the word "band," see the Matthew 27:27 note; Acts 10:1 note. It was a division in the Roman army consisting of from 400 to 600 men. This was called "Augustus' band" in honor of the Roman emperor Augustus (see the notes on Acts 25:21), and was probably distinguished in some way for the care in enlisting or selecting them. The Augustine cohort or band is mentioned by Suetonius in his Life of Nero, 20.

Margin centurion

Commander of 100 soldiers.

And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy,.... The chief city of which was Rome, the metropolis of the empire, where Caesar had his palace, to whom the apostle had appealed; and his voyage thither was determined by Festus, with the advice of Agrippa and his council, pursuant to the apostle's appeal, and which was founded on the will of God; all which concurred in this affair: it was the decree and will of God that the apostle should go to Rome, which was made known to him; and it was his resolution upon that, to go thither, wherefore he appealed to Caesar; and it was the determination of the Roman governor, not only as to his going there, but as to the time of it, which was now fixed: the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read "he", instead of "we"; and the Ethiopic version reads expressly "Paul"; but the Greek copies read we: by whom are meant the apostle, and his companions; as Luke the writer of this history, and Aristarchus the Macedonian mentioned in the next verse, and Trophimus the Ephesian, who was afterwards left at Miletus sick, 2 Timothy 4:20 and who else cannot be said; these were to sail with him to Italy, not as prisoners, but as companions: this resolution being taken,

they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners; who very likely had also appealed to Caesar, or at least the governor thought fit to send them to Rome, to have their cases heard and determined there; and these by the order of Festus were delivered by the centurions, or jailers, in whose custody they had been,

unto one called Julius; in the Alexandrian copy of the third verse, he is called Julianus; he was either one of the Julian family, or rather was one that had been made free by some of that family, and so took the name:

a centurion of Augustus' band; of a Roman band of soldiers, which belonged to that legion which was called "Augusta"; for it seems there was a legion that bore that name, as Lipsius observes, and it may be from Augustus Caesar.

And {1} when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.

(1) Paul, with many other prisoners and through the midst of many deaths, is brought to Rome, but yet by God's own hand as it were, and set forth and commended to the world with many singular testimonies.

Sail (ἀποπλεῖν)

Lit., sail away.

Band

See on Mark 15:16.

CHAPTER 27

Ac 27:1-44. The Voyage to Italy—The Shipwreck and Safe Landing at Malta.

1. we should sail, &c.—The "we" here reintroduces the historian as one of the company. Not that he had left the apostle from the time when he last included himself (Ac 21:18), but the apostle was parted from him by his arrest and imprisonment, until now, when they met in the ship.

delivered Paul and certain other prisoners—State prisoners going to be tried at Rome; of which several instances are on record.

Julius—who treats the apostle throughout with such marked courtesy (Ac 27:3, 43; Ac 28:16), that it has been thought [Bengel] he was present when Paul made his defense before Agrippa (see Ac 25:23), and was impressed with his lofty bearing.

a centurion of Augustus' band—the Augustan cohort, an honorary title given to more than one legion of the Roman army, implying, perhaps, that they acted as a bodyguard to the emperor or procurator, as occasion required.

And when it was determined, etc. - That is, when the governor had given orders to carry Paul to Rome, according to his appeal; together with other prisoners who were bound for the same place.

We should sail - By this it is evident that St. Luke was with Paul; and it is on this account that he was enabled to give such a circumstantial account of the voyage.

Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band - Lipsius has found the name of this cohort on an ancient marble; see Lips. in Tacit. Hist. lib. ii. The same cohort is mentioned by Suetonius, in his life of Nero, 20.

27:1 As soon as it was determined to sail - As being a shorter and less expensive passage to Rome. 27:1 The Sea Voyage to Rome

SUMMARY OF ACTS 27:

The Centurion in Charge of Paul Embarks with Him for Rome. At Myra Take an Alexandrian Corn Ship. The Weather Tempestuous. Paul Advises the Centurion to Go into Harbor for the Winter. Caught by the Euroclydon and Driven. After Fourteen Days of Drifting, Paul Assures Them That All Will. Escape. The Ship Runs Ashore on the Island of Malta and Is Destroyed. The Men All Saved.

When it was determined. When all was settled that Paul should go to Italy, and the time appointed had come.

Delivered Paul and certain other prisoners. No information is given concerning these companions in bonds.

Julius, a centurion. All we learn of this Roman officer is favorable. It is remarkable how uniformly Paul commanded the respect of the Roman officials with whom he came in contact. Sergius Paulus (Ac 13:7-12), Gallio (Ac 18:12-17), Felix (Ac 24:22,23), Festus (Ac 25:12-14), and Julius are examples of this.

Of Augustus' band. Rather, cohort. Josephus says that this period one of the cohorts stationed at Caesarea took the name of Augustus ( Wars, 2:12,7 and 2:12,5).

Acts 26:32
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