Acts 27:5

ESV And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia.
NIV When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia.
NASB When we had sailed through the sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia.
CSB After sailing through the open sea off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.
NLT Keeping to the open sea, we passed along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, landing at Myra, in the province of Lycia.
KJV And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.

What does Acts 27:5 mean?

Luke seems to loves geography, especially from the deck of a ship. The ship on which he, Paul, and Aristarchus are sailing has left Sidon on the coast of Phoenicia. They are now swinging around the land which juts out from the northeast coast of Cyprus (Acts 27:1–4).

Cilicia is the district on the southeast coast of modern-day Asia Minor. Paul's hometown of Tarsus is a major city in Cilicia, known for its philosophers and intellectuals. It's hard to say what Paul is thinking as he passes by it, a prisoner on his way to house-arrest in Rome.

Pamphylia is the district west of Cilicia. On Paul and Barnabas's first missionary journey, they sailed from Syrian Antioch to Cyprus, made their way west across the island, then sailed to Perga. In Perga, John Mark, Barnabas's cousin, abandoned them (Acts 13:4–13). Paul and Barnabas eventually split up because of Paul's resentment toward Mark (Acts 15:36–41), but by the end of Paul's incarceration in Rome they will have reconciled (Colossians 4:10).

Lycia is west of Pamphylia. The last time Paul sailed past it he was with a group of men from the churches around the Aegean Sea—including Aristarchus—who were bringing financial support from their churches to the church in Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). If Paul hadn't gone with them, he wouldn't be in custody now (Acts 21:17–36).

Myra is an important port for the Roman Empire because it sits due north of Alexandria, the port that provides most of the grain for the 1.2 million residents of Rome. Myra's port is Andriakj and sits 3.5 miles southwest of Myra proper. Centuries later, it will be the home of a Bishop, Nicholas, who will become the "Saint Nicholas" who inspired modern legends such as Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus.

The centurion who is guarding the prisoners on the ship, including Paul and Aristarchus, will find a ship from Alexandria in Myra setting sail for Rome (Acts 27:6). The ship will meet with a violent storm and break up on a reef at Malta, but everyone on board will survive.
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