Acts 27:5

5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.

Acts 27:5 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 27:5

And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and
For these two seas joined, as Pliny says F6, "mare Pamphylium Cilicio jungitur", the Pamphylian sea is joined to the Cilician; and in another place F7 he observes, that in the Pamphylian sea were islands of no note, and in the Cilician sea of the five chiefest was Cyprus (an island mentioned in the preceding verse), and a little after, the sea of Cilicia is distant from Anemurius fifty miles:

we came to Myra a city of Lycia;
not Limyra in Lycia, though that lay by the sea side; for according both to Pliny F8 and Ptolomy {i}, Limyra and Myra were two distinct places in Lycia; which was a country, according to the latter, which had on the west and north Asia; (according to others, Caria on the west, and part of Lydia on the north;) on the east part of Pamphylia, and on the south the Lycian sea, or, as others, the Rhodian sea: much less was this the city of Smyrna, as some have said, which lay another way in Ionia, over against the Aegean sea; and still less Lystra, as the Alexandrian copy and Vulgate Latin version read, which was in Lycaonia, and in the continent many miles from the sea: Lycia was a country of the lesser Asia, and lay between Caria and Pamphylia, and so it is mentioned with Caria and Pamphylia, in:

``And to all the countries and to Sampsames, and the Lacedemonians, and to Delus, and Myndus, and Sicyon, and Caria, and Samos, and Pamphylia, and Lycia, and Halicarnassus, and Rhodus, and Aradus, and Cos, and Side, and Aradus, and Gortyna, and Cnidus, and Cyprus, and Cyrene.'' (1 Maccabees 15:23)

and the Carians, Pamphylians, and Lycians, are frequently put together in history; and the Lycians are said F11 to be originally of Crete, and to have their name from Lycus the son of Pandion; though some think that Lycia took its name "a luce", from light, and of this country Myra was the metropolis: Ptolomy calls it Myrra, as if it had the signification of "myrrhe"; and so Jerom or Origen F12 reads it here, and interprets it "bitter"; but Pliny and others call it Myra, as here, and it signifies "ointment"; and here the apostle staying some time, though it cannot be said how long, no doubt opened the box of the precious ointment of the Gospel, and diffused the savour of it in this place; for in the beginning of the "fourth" century, in Constantine's time, we read of one Nicolaus, a famous man, bishop of Myra in Lycia, who was present at the council of Nice, and there showed the scars and marks upon him, because of his constant confession of Christ under Maximinus; in the "fifth" century there was a bishop of this place, whose name was Romanus, and was in two synods, in the infamous one at Ephesus, where he favoured Eutyches, and in that at Chalcedon; in the "sixth" century mention is made of a bishop of this church in the acts of the synod at Rome and Constantinople; in the "seventh" century, Polyeuctus, bishop of Myra, was in the sixth synod at Constantinople, and in this century Myra was the metropolitan church of Lycia; in the "eighth" century, Theodorus, bishop of it, was in the Nicene synod; and in the ninth century this place was taken by the Saracens F13.


F6 Hist. l. 5. c. 27.
F7 Ib. c. 31.
F8 Ib. c. 27.
F9 Geograph. l. 5. c. 3.
F11 Herodotus, l. 1. c. 173. & l. 7. c. 92. Pausanias, l. 1. p. 33. & l. 7. p. 401.
F12 De Hebraicis Nominibus, fol. 106. A.
F13 Magdeburg. Eccl. Hist. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 552. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 588. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 7. p. 112. c. 10. p. 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 9. c. 3. p. 13.

Acts 27:5 In-Context

3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.
4 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.
7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;