Acts 27:14

ESV But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land.
NIV Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.
NASB But before very long a violent wind, called Euraquilo, rushed down from the land;
CSB But before long, a fierce wind called the "northeaster" rushed down from the island.
NLT But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a 'northeaster') burst across the island and blew us out to sea.
KJV But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
NKJV But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.

What does Acts 27:14 mean?

It's hard to imagine what's going through the mind of the Alexandrian ship's owner. He had been in Myra on the southwest coast of Turkey likely with wheat destined for Rome. A centurion appeared with several soldiers and prisoners asking for passage. It was a good deal: he'd get a bonus for the passengers plus soldiers to protect his cargo. The winds were strong out of the northwest, but they made it to the south side of Crete and moored at Fair Havens (Acts 27:6–8).

Before long, they all realized it was too late in the year to go any farther because of the winter storms. But they couldn't stay in Fair Havens because their harbor wasn't suited for the rough weather. The owner, the shipmaster, and the centurion all agreed to try to go on to Phoenix which had two suitable harbors in the wind shadow of a tall mountain range (Acts 27:11–12).

Especially irritating to the ship owner must have been that Paul, one of the prisoners, kept harassing him. The man insisted if the ship owner left Fair Havens he was going to lose everything—possibly even all the lives on the ship (Acts 27:10). This prisoner had traveled extensively, but he wasn't a sailor. Why was he so adamant?

About three miles west of Fair Havens, the ship rounds the point and starts northwest for Phoenix. They catch a gentle south wind that should take them in easily (Acts 27:13). Then they reach the one part of the southern coast that isn't protected by mountains right as the winds shift and start coming in from the northeast. The winds catch the flat northern coast, funnel through the valley between the two central mountain ranges, and roar across the central plains right into the ship. The pilot tries to turn the ship to face the winds head-on, but it's too late. They can't let the winds hit from the side or risk capsizing. They turn to put the wind at their backs and let it drive them on—right toward the giant underwater sandbar off the Libyan coast.

"Tempestuous" is the Greek word typhōnikos. It is a derivative of the same root word that is the source of the English "typhoon."
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: