Acts 27:29

ESV And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.
NIV Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.
NASB Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and prayed for daybreak.
CSB Then, fearing we might run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight to come.
NLT At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight.
KJV Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

What does Acts 27:29 mean?

After two weeks of wind, waves, zero visibility, and no appetite, the crew and passengers of the Alexandrian ship are finally close to land. Paul has prophesied that the ship and cargo will be lost but everyone will survive. The crew apparently takes this to mean maybe they can save the ship and remaining cargo, but they're getting off (Acts 27:21–27).

The seabed is quickly rising (Acts 27:28). Undoubtedly, rocks and reefs are hiding in the waves and darkness. Morning is still hours away, but the sailors know which direction the land is. They drop anchors at the stern to keep the ship from moving forward. They then make their way to the bow. If they drop anchors at the bow, the tides and waves can't spin the ship around. When daylight comes, they can maneuver the ship to a safe place to run aground. At least, that's what they appear to be doing.

Normally, the lifeboat is towed behind the ship. Weeks before, when the storm first caught them, the boat was in danger of filling with water and sinking, so the crew hauled it up and secured it to the bow of the ship (Acts 27:16–17). Now, they pretend to drop the anchors at the bow but they're really lowering the lifeboat, intending to climb in and leave the passengers behind. Paul senses what they're planning, however, and warns the centurion. The centurion orders his soldiers to cut the lifeboat loose, and the sailors have no option but to stay and, when daylight comes, steer the ship to a spot where it will be destroyed, but everyone can escape (Acts 27:30–32, 39–44).
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