Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and
owner of the ship
Who were either one and the same person, or if two persons, the one was the owner, whose the ship was, and the other, he that was at the helm, and steered and directed it; or the one might be the captain, and the other the pilot. The (kubernhthv) , or "governor", as he is here called with the ancients, was he who sat on an eminence in the stern of the ship, at the helm, and had the direction of it; he gave the orders, which others executed: what qualified him for his post chiefly lay in three things; in the knowledge of the constellations, and winds, of the former that he might direct the course of the ship according to them, and by them foresee future tempests, and of the latter, that he might be acquainted with the several points, from whence they blew; also in the knowledge of ports, and places to put into, and of rocks and sands, that they might be escaped; likewise in the knowledge of the use of the helm, and sails F12; for one part of his business, as F13 Seneca observes, was to give orders after this manner; so and so move the helm, so and so let down the sails in every ship there was a governor, and in larger ones sometimes there were two; F14 Aelianus says, the Carthaginians had always two governors in a ship: the other word, (nauklhrov) , is in the glossary rendered "navicularius", which signifies "the owner" of the ship; and so we render it; though perhaps he is the same with the "proreta", who governed the prow or head of the ship, and was the next in dignity to the governor, and a kind of a sub-governor; and his business was to observe tempests, to explore promontories, rocks and sands, and show them to the governor F15; and so Isidore F16 says, the owner of the ship is called Naucleros, because the ship is in his lot, "cleros" signifying lot: and as these best understood naval affairs, Julius gave more heed to what they said, and rather believed them,
than those things which were spoken by Paul;
by a spirit of prophecy, which he had no notion of; for though he treated him civilly as a man, he had no regard to him as a Christian, or as one endued with the Spirit of God, which he knew nothing of.
F12 Scheffer. de Militia Navali Veterum, l. 4. c. 6. p. 296, 297.
F13 Ep. 95.
F14 Var. Hist. l. 9. c. 40.
F15 Scheffer. ib. p. 302, 303.
F16 Originum, l. 19. c. 1. p. 162.