Ships

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Ships of Scripture dependent on oars and sails for propulsion
Hebrews not sailors. The ships of Acts 21:1-6; 27:6-44; 28:11-131And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 3Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 4And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 6And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. (Acts 21:1‑6)
6And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. 7And 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; 8And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. 9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 12And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. 13And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 14But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. 16And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. 21But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 23For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. 27But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. 29Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. 30And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. 33And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 37And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. 39And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. 40And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. 41And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. (Acts 27:6‑44)
11And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. 13And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: (Acts 28:11‑13)
, were capable of carrying many people and much freight. Primitive ships were generally coasters. They were mounted with figure-heads and had figures painted on the sides of the bow. These composed the ship’s “sign” (Acts 28:1111And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. (Acts 28:11)). Among their furnishings were under-girders, anchors shaped like those of modern times, but without flukes, sounding-lines, rudder-bands (Acts 27:4040And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. (Acts 27:40)). Ancient ships, being wholly or in part propelled by oars, were properly called galleys.

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The Israelites were not a maritime people. Solomon had a “navy of ships” at Ezion Geber, the eastern branch of the Red Sea; but Hiram sent his shipmen “that had knowledge of the sea” with the servants of Solomon. Ships of Tharshish are also mentioned both in connection with Solomon and Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 9:26-2726And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. 27And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. (1 Kings 9:26‑27); 1 Kings 10:11,2211And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. (1 Kings 10:11)
22For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22)
; 1 Kings 22:48-4948Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not. (1 Kings 22:48‑49); 2 Chron. 20:36-3736And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Ezion-geber. 37Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish. (2 Chronicles 20:36‑37); Psa. 48:77Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. (Psalm 48:7)). The ships so often mentioned on the Sea of Galilee in the Gospels were what are now called fishing boats, and were used as such. The ships in which Paul sailed on the Mediterranean were of course larger; those in which he was taken to Rome are well described by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles: the ship wrecked at Malta was evidently an Alexandrian wheat-ship. The nautical terms employed by Luke show that he was well acquainted with maritime subjects (Acts 27). The word for GALLEY in Isaiah 33:2121But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. (Isaiah 33:21) is the same as that translated “navy” in the Kings.

“496. Papyrus Boats” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

The papyrus was used on the Nile for making boats. Sometimes bundles of the plant were rudely bound together in the form of a raft or boat; at other times the leaves were plaited, basket-fashion, and coated with bitumen and tar. See note on Exodus 2:33And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. (Exodus 2:3) (#103). Similar boats are used on the Euphrates and Tigris. They are circular in shape, and are sometimes covered with leather instead of bitumen.
Another style of vessel is also used on the Nile. The leaves of the papyrus or the palm are placed as a floor upon rafts made of earthen jars which are tied together by the handles. These jars are made in Upper Egypt, and are thus floated down stream by the potters, who sell their ware and walk back to their homes.
On the Euphrates and Tigris the floats are made of inflated skins covered with a flooring of leaves and branches made into wicker work, and having a raised bulwark of the same. These singular vessels are called kelleks, and are of various sizes, from the little family boat resting on three or four skins, to the great raft, forty feet or more in length, and of proportionate width. The latter sort float on several hundred skins, and bear an assorted cargo of merchandise besides passengers. When the cargo has reached its destination the woodwork is sold for fuel, and the skins are taken back by land to be reformed into another vessel. Boats of this description have been used from early historic times, and are referred to by Herodotus and other ancient authors.

“859. Ships Named” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Ancient ships had the name on each side of the bow, as with us, and represented by a sculptured figure. The vessel in which Paul now sailed was the “Castor and Pollux,” named after twin deities who were regarded as the special patrons of sailors.