[some Phe'niceJ, or, rather, PHOENIX (Φοίνιξ, a palm-tree [q.v.], which Theophrastus says was indigenous there), a town and harbor in the island of Crete, which the vessel in which the apostle Paul sailed, was attempting to reach when driven away by the euroclydon and wrecked (Ac 27:12). The harbor or "haven" (λιμήν) is described by Luke as βλέποντα κατὰ λίβα καὶ κατὰ χῶρον, which the A.V. renders " lieth towards the south-west and north-west." But Mr. Smith contends that Kara in connection with winds means "in the same direction as." Thus βλέποντα κατὰ λίβα would not mean, as is generally supposed, that the haven looked to the point from which the libs blows, but to the point towards which it blows. Consequently the haven looked towards the north-east and the south-east (Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, page 86 sq., 2d ed.). In this rendering Mr. Smith is sustained by ancient authorities, and also by some of the best modern critics (Alford, ad loc.; Conybeare and Howson, Life of St. Paul, 2:334, note; see, however, for the contrary opinion, Hacket On Acts, ad loc.). It is certain that one meaning of iara with the accusative is "opposite," or "over against," as it is correctly translated in verse 7 of this very chapter. Schweighauser, in his Lexicon Herodoteum, has pointed out some very instructive instances of this in Herod. 9:31, where κατά is used indiscriminately with ἀντίον and ἀντία In this sense, βλέποντα κατὰ Λίβα, etc., would be equivalent to Βλέποντα πρὸς Λίβα, etc.; a phrase as to the meaning of which there could be no doubt (Xenophon, Mem. 3:8, 9). Κατά with an accusative also often signifies "down." But the objection to translating it so in this passage is that it would thus, with extreme awkwardness, inferentially mean the exact contrary of what it directly means in its other acknowledged sense, as marking the local relation between two objects.
Both Ptolemy and Strabo mention a town Φοίνιξ; while Ptolemy alone mentions a haven, of a similar name, which he calls in the accusative: Φοινικοῦντα. Strabo locates it on the southern coast, at the narrowest part of the island (10:4, page 475). Hierocles identifies it with A radena, and seems to place it opposite the island of Clauda (Vet. Rom. Itin. ed. Wessel. pages 650, 651); and Stephen of Byzantium identifies Aradena and Acropolis (s.v.). On the south coast of Crete, at the narrowest part of the island, and opposite the island of Clauda, is the harbor of Lutro. It is open to the east; but, as a little island lies almost in front of it, it has two entrances, one looking to the north-east, and the other to the south-east. It is thus described by captain Spratt: "Having in 1853 examined generally the south coast of Crete, I was fully convinced that Lutro was the Phenice of St. Paul, for it is the only bay to the westward of Fair Havens in which a vessel of any size could find any shelter during the winter months. By hauling inside the island, and securing to the south shore of the bay, a vessel is nearly land-locked. South-east and east winds only could endanger her; but with the former, where the fetch is greatest, the wind would iot blow home against such a mountain as the White Mountains, so immediately over the bay, and rising to an elevation of 9000 feet" (Smith, page 89). Mr. Brown, who since visited it, adds: "It is the only secure harbor, in all winds, on the south coast of Crete" (Id. page 256). This identification is confirmed by the researches of Mr. Pashley (Travels in Crete, 2:257), who discovered, a short distance above Lutro, a village called Acropolis ("upper city"), and another near it called Aradhena. Captain Speke also (Researches in Crete, 2:249) asserts that the name Phineka is still currently applied to Lutro, and that a Latin inscription found there, dating from the emperor Nerva, shows that ships from Alexandria resorted to this harbor. Lechler, on the other hand (Die Apostelgesch. 1869, page 400), maintaining the usual interpretation of KarCi here (towards), suggests that Luke is only reporting a popular opinion as to the situation of Phcenix, which Paul's company did not reach; and that hence we are not to look for the usual accuracy of the writer. SEE SHIPWRECK (OF PAUL).