Navigation The situation of Palestine on the Mediterranean, and the navigable inland sea of Tiberias, accounts for the frequent allusions in Scripture to ships and navigation. In the Old Testament only the Mediterranean commerce is spoken of, especially that of Palestine and the neighboring coasts; for Joppa in Philistia (Jon 1:3; 2Ch 2:16; comp. 2 Macc. 12:3) and Tyre in Phoenicia (Isa 33:1; Eze 27; comp. Ac 21:7) were in ancient times famous ports for the ships of distant nations (סוֹחֵר אַנַיּוֹת, Pr 31:14), and afterwards became the chief marts of Phoenician commerce. The Israelites soon became acquainted with the Phoenicians by coasting voyages (2Ch 2:16), and the tribes of Zebulon (Ge 49:13), Dan, and Asher (Jg 5:17) seem to have been especially active in trade. After the Edomitish ports Elath and Eziongeber were conquered and annexed to his kingdom, Solomon established a commerce there, which Jehoshaphat afterwards endeavored in vain to revive. In the days of the Maccabees, Joppa was a Jewish seaport (1 Macc. 14:5); but Herod the Great: opened Caesarea, a larger and better harbor (Josephus, War, 3:9, 3). Yet even then the Jews had no commerce of their own. The merchant fleets of Babylon are mentioned (Isa 43:14), the ships of Tarshish (Isa 23:1), and the reed-boats of the Nile (Isa 18:2). Many of the scenes of the Gospels are on the shore of the Sea of Genesareth, where afterwards the Jews had 230 ships, with four men in each (Josephus, War, 2:21, 8). Jesus stood in one of the fishing-boats, and preached to the people on the shore (Mt 13:2; Lu 5:3). He crossed the lake repeatedly (Mt 8:23; Mt 9:1; Mt 14:13 sq.; Joh 6:17). Some of his first, disciples were owners of such boats (Mt 4:21; Joh 21:3; Lu 5:3). The vessels of the Egyptians (Diod. Sic. 1:57) and Phoenicians were adorned with brass, purple streamers, etc. The ships of Tyre were the most stately, and the most highly ornamented (Ezekiel 27; comp. Camenz, De nave Tyria, Viteb. 1714). The deck was of cypress wood; the masts were pine (or cedar) trees (σκεῦος, Ac 27:17, according to Kuinil, ad loc.); the sails were of the Egyptian byssus, colored variously (comp. Eze 27:7, and Havernick, ad loc.). The oars were of oak (verse 6). Tackling and rudder are not expressly mentioned, though some (as Umbreit) find the latter in הַבֵּל (Pr 23:34). Others understand it of the mast (see Gesen. Thes. 1:440). But in the New Testament the rudder or helm (πηδάλιον) is mentioned (Jas 3:4; Ac 27:40; in which latter passage it must be remarked that the larger ships had two rudders, one at each end; AElian, V.T. 9:40; Hygin. Astron. 3:36; comp. Fab. 14; Heliod. AEth. 5:22; comp. Deyling, Observat. 1:295 sq.). Some had even four, two on each side (see Tacitus, Annal. 2:6). The 27th and 28th chapters of Acts inform us in several particulars of the equipment of the larger merchant vessels in the Roman period. It was a "ship of burden" in which Paul was taken to Rome. But the ships of burden were built rounder and deeper than the ships of war (Caesar, Bell. Gall. 4:22, 25), and sometimes extraordinarily large (Cicero, Fam.); therefore used only on the sea and large streams (Pliny, 6:36), and were driven more by sails than by oars, whereas the ships of war always had from two to five rows (banks) of oars, or even more; hence called biremes, triremes, etc. (τριήρεις, 2 Macc. 4:20). On the pointed projecting front was the prow, carrying the figure- head (παράσημον, Ac 28:11), from which the ship was named (see Tacit. Ann. 6:34; Ovid, Trist. 1:10, 1 sq.). But th3 image of the guardian deity stood on the stern (puppis, Virgil, AEn. 10:156 sq.; Silv. Italicus, 14:410; Eurip. Iphig. Aul. 240 sq.). Sometimes the figurehead (παράσημον) may have been the statue of the god (comp. Herod. 3:37 sq.; Ovid, .Metanz. 3:617). Each ship had a life-boat (σκάφη, Ac 27:16,30,32; comp. Cicero, Invent. 2:51), several anchors (עוגין Mishna, Baba-Bathra, 5:1) fastened with ropes (Arrian, Alex. 2:4, 8; Ac 27:29,40; comp. Caesar, Bell. Civ. 1:25; Josephus, Life, 33), and the sounding-line (βολίς, comp. Ac 27:28) to measure the depth in places where they wished to cast anchor. Among the sails, one in particular was called ἀρτέμων (Ac 27:40; Auth. Vers. "mainsail"), which was spread when a moderate force of wind was desired (comp. Schol. ad Juv. 12:68), but its exact position cannot be determined. Modern writers understand it to be the "topsail." The girding the ship with strong cables, to prevent her from dashing to pieces on thee rocks (Ac 27:17), is often mentioned by ancient writers (Polyb. 27:3, 3; Horace, Od. 1:14, 6 sq.; see Scheffer, Milit. Nav. 2:5). The various expedients of mariners, when danger threatened the ship, are vividly described in Acts 27. First, they lightened the ship (verse 19), then tried to reach the shore in the boats; then threw the freight into the sea (verse 38; comp. Jon 1:5), and the crew and passengers floated to the shore on boards and fragments of the wreck (Ac 27:44). The master of a transport was called ναύκληρος (verse 11), and was generally a different person from the pilot, κυβερνήτης (see Cicero, Inv. 2:51). The former is called רֵב הִחֹבֵל (Jon 1:6), which some would render gubernator, "pilot." The crew are called in Hebrew מִלָּחַים (Eze 27:9,26,29; Jon 1:5), from whom the steersmen (חֹבלַים. Eze 27:27,29) are distinguished. The Sept. renders the former by κωπηλάται, rowers, the latter by κυβερνῆται, pilots; perhaps correctly. The ancients, by keeping close to the shore, and following all its sinuosities, in early times made their voyages very long (comp. 1Ki 10:22). The same custom is said still to prevail on the Red Sea (Niebuhr, Trav. 1:258; Irwin, Trav. pages 100, 126 sq.). When they ventured out on the high seas, they were guided, having no compasses, by certain well-known stars, as the Pleiades, the Great and the Lesser Bear, Orion, etc. (Odys. 5:272; Polyb. 9:14-17; Virgil, AEn. 3:201 sq.; Ovid, Met. 3:594 sq.; Arrian, Alex. 6:26, 9). But the Greek and Roman mariners used to call upon the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, for deliverance from peril, these being universally considered the tutelary deities of navigation. Through dread of winter storms, ancient navigation was confined to the summer months (Ac 27:9; Philo, Opp. 2:548). The Romans considered the sea open from March to the time of the equinox (Veget. Mil. 5:9; Propert. 1:8, 9; Caesar, Gal. 4:36; 5:23), and ships which were under way at harvest-time sought a safe harbor for winter-quarters (Ac 27:12). See also Schlozer, Vers. einer allge. Gesch. d. landels u. der Schiahrt in den Aeltesten Zeiten (Rostock, 1760); Le Roy, La Marine des anciens peuples (Paris, 1777); Berghaus, Gesch. d. Schiffahrtskunde bei d. vorn. Volk. d. A1terth. (Leips. 1792); Benedict, Vers. d. Gesch. d. Schiff. u.d. Hand. bei d. Alten (Leips. 1809); Baumstark, s.v. Navigatio u. navis, in Pauly's Real-Encyklop. 5:428 sq. SEE SHIP.

Bible concordance for NAVIGATION.

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