And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria
Alexandria was the chief city in Egypt, built by Alexander the great, from whom it took its name; it was situated near the sea, and had a famous haven or port, which R. Benjamin F14 calls (hayrdnokla lv lmnh) , "the port of Alexandria"; from hence ships were sent into several parts for trade and commerce, and one of these Julius found at Myra: the top sail was a distinguishing sign of a ship of Alexandria, for none might spread their top sails but ships of Alexandria F15; these were not obliged to strike sail when they came into a port: the Jewish writers make frequent mention of (tyrdnokla hnypo) , "a ship of Alexandria" F16; by which they intend a ship of a large bulk, which had a cistern in it for fresh water for a long voyage; and by this they distinguish ships of bulk from those small ones, that were used about their coasts; a ship of Alexandria with them was a ship that went from the land of Israel to Alexandria; whereas here it seems to design one that belonged to Alexandria, and went from thence to other parts: and this ship was
sailing into Italy;
and it was usual for ships to go from Alexandria to Puteoli in Italy, and from thence to Alexandria upon trade and business F17
and he put us therein;
the centurion removed Paul and his companions, and the rest of the prisoners, with whatsoever soldiers were under his care, out of the ship of Adramyttium, into the ship of Alexandria; that is, he ordered them to remove out of one into the other.
F14 Itinerar. p. 121.
F15 Senec. Ep. 77. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 4. c. 2.
F16 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 35. 1. & Erubin, fol. 14. 2. & Gloss. in ib. Misn. Ohalot, c. 8. sect. 1. & Celim, c. 15. sect. 1. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F17 Senec. Ep. 77. Philo in Flaccum, p. 968, 969.