Acts 27:37

ESV (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)
NIV Altogether there were 276 of us on board.
NASB We were 276 people on the ship in all.
CSB In all there were 276 of us on the ship.
NLT all 276 of us who were on board.
KJV And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
NKJV And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship.

What does Acts 27:37 mean?

Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus are on an Alexandrian ship that is about to wreck off the coast of the island of Malta, south of Sicily (Acts 27:1; 28:1). Paul and Aristarchus are prisoners in the custody of Julius, a centurion, and Julius's soldiers. Right after the ship runs aground on a reef, the soldiers will try to kill all the prisoners, but Julius will stop them (Acts 27:42–44). Also on board are the sailors who, hours before, tried to escape in the lifeboat and leave the passengers to their own fate. Julius also stopped them (Acts 27:30–32). Filling out the remaining castaways are Luke and the rest of the passengers.

They have been on the ship, in a storm, for fourteen days (Acts 27:33). The clouds have covered the sun and stars, so they're not sure where they are (Acts 27:20). The winds have been too strong, so they lowered the sails (Acts 27:17). The waves are so intense they lashed the rudder. Despite Paul's assurances that his God has promised to save every life (Acts 27:22–25) it seems no one really believes him. They lost hope days ago (Acts 27:20).

Surrounded by sailors who don't care if the passengers die and soldiers who don't mind killing the prisoners, faced with a cold and dangerous swim to shore, Paul does something otherwise absurd: he invites everyone to breakfast. No one has eaten in two weeks. They'll need their strength to survive. So, Paul bakes or finds some bread, gives thanks to God, and starts eating. At first, the people just stare at him. Then they take the bread he offers (Acts 27:33–36). For now, it's enough.

The Codex Vaticanus is a copy of the Bible found in the Vatican library. It gives the number as "about seventy-six" people, but it's unclear if the crew and/or soldiers are included. The ship that took Josephus to Italy carried 600 people. A large grain ship, like this ship most likely was, was about 180 feet long, or 55 meters: about the size of a modern sea-faring tugboat.
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