Acts 27:36-40
Acts 27:36 (KJB)
Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.
Paulís example had the desired effect. Everyone was very happy to partake of the food and especially after being starved for fourteen days, it was welcomed because it probably started to revive the people. Paulís prayer no doubt also had a good impact upon the people on board.
Acts 27:37 (KJB)
And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
The Scripture draws attention to the fact that there were 276 ďsoulsĒ on board. This means living persons. It was not the largest audience Paul ever had but it was definitely the only crowd where they unanimously did what he said.
Acts 27:38 (KJB)
And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.
Now that everyone had eaten, they regained their strength back and still had to lighten the ship. Up to this point they had thrown everything overboard which weighed down the ship and held on to the wheat because it was a big cash crop. However, the time had come to toss everything overboard including the wheat, so they could lighten the ship enough to ride higher in the water, so they could continue heading toward the shore and finally be on land.
Acts 27:39 (KJB)
And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.
When daylight finally arrived, they did not recognize the land where they were. In looking over the land, they had noticed a creek or bay which had a shore that they could possibly anchor the ship safely. They were taking a great chance, since they did not know where they were and that meant they did not know the depth of that bay or if it had any jagged rocks underneath which could tear the ship apart. They were on the Island of Malta which was not a regular stopping point for the wheat ships. By bringing the boat into the bay, it looked like it would be safe to bring everyone ashore. The bay where they went into is called today St. Paulís Bay.
Acts 27:40 (KJB)
And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.
Since the sailors had a visual sight of the bay, immediately they went to work. They took up the four anchors which were in the water and hoisted the mainsail hoping the breeze would bring them into the bay safely. They then released the rudder bands which was the steering paddle. The storm was still raging where they were but they thought they could make it to land since they were not to far from the shoreline. The sailors were now doing the best they could as they began to head toward the shore. If they had not previously tried to abandon ship, they would still have the little boat with them which they could have used to scout out the conditions in the bay.