Paul's shipwreck in the Mediterranean points numerically at Jonah's storm at sea.

Acts 27:13-44

9We remained there for a long time, even until the day the fast of the Jews was over. Since it had now become dangerous for anyone to sail Paul gave them advice 10saying, Men I see that this voyage will be beset with hardship and with great loss, not only of the cargo of our boat, but also of our lives. 11The centurion listened to the master and owner of the boat more than to the words of Paul. Acts 27:9-1112Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering many of us desired to sail from there and if possible to reach and winter in one harbor at Crete which is called, Phoenix, which lies towards the south. 13When the south wind blew softly they thought they could reach their destination as they had desired and we sailed around Crete. 14A short while after there arose against us a hurricane called, Typhonic Euroclydon. 15The boat was caught and could not bear against the wind and we let her drive. 16When we passed under the lee of an island which is called Cauda we could hardly man the lifeboat. 17When we had launched it we began undergirding and repairing the boat. Because we were afraid of grounding we lowered the sail and thus we drifted. 18As the violent storm raged against us the next day we threw our belongings into the sea. 19On the 3rd day with our own hands we cast overboard the tackling of the boat. Acts 27:12-1920As the winter was so severe that for many days neither sun nor stars could be seen all hope of surviving was given up. 21Then as no man among them had eaten anything Paul stood up in the middle of them and said, Men, if you had listened to me we would not have sailed from Crete and we would have been spared this loss and suffering. 22Now let me counsel you not to be depressed for not 1 life among you will be lost, but only the boat. 23For there has appeared to me this night a king of god K Genesis 5:29 to whom I belong and whom I serve. 24He said to me, Do not fear Paul. You must stand before caesar and god has granted you all of those who sail with you. 25Therefore men, be of good cheer, for I have confidence in god that it will be just as it was told me. 26However, we will be cast on 1 island. Acts 27:20-2627After 14 days of being lost and weary in the Adriatic sea, about midnight the sailors thought they were drawing near to land. 28They cast the sounding lead and found 20 fathoms and again they sailed a little farther and took soundings and found 15 fathoms. 29Then, fearing lest we find ourselves caught between the rocks, they cast 4 anchors from the stern of the boat and prayed for the dawning of day. Acts 27:27-2930The sailors sought to desert the boat and they lowered the lifeboat into the sea under pretense that they were going in it to make fast the boat to the land. 31When Paul found it out he said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Unless these men remain on the boat you cannot live. 32Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the lifeboat from the boat and let her drift. Acts 27:30-3233Paul, until the early morning, kept begging them all to eat, saying to them, Today is the 14th day since you have tasted anything because of fear. 34Therefore, I ask, take some food for the sustenance of your life, for not a hair will be lost from the head of 1 of you. 35When he had thus spoken, he took bread and gave thanks to god in the presence of them all, and when he had broken it, they began to eat. 36They were all cheerful and received nourishment. 37We were on the boat 276 persons. 38When they had eaten enough they lightened the boat by taking the wheat and throwing it into the sea. Acts 27:33-3839When it was day the sailors did not know what land it was, but they saw an inlet close to the shore and thought, if it were possible, they would land the boat there. 40They cut off the anchors from the boat and threw them into the sea and loosed the rudder ropes and then they hoisted the topsail to the wind and sailed toward shore. 41The boat struck on a shoal between 2 deep places in the sea and went aground and the forward part rested on the bottom and could not be moved, but the stern broke by the violence of the waves. Acts 27:39-4142The soldiers sought to kill the prisoners lest some of them should swim away and so escape, 43but the centurion stopped them from doing this because he was willing to save Paul, so he commanded those who could swim to cast themselves 1st into the sea and get to land. 44The others he made pass on boards and on broken pieces of the boat and in this way all of them escaped to land. Acts 27:42-44 (Acts 27:9-44 BRB)


3+1+1+14+20+15+4+14+1+276+2 = 351 = Jonah


The story of Jonah's near shipwreck at sea parallels Paul's experience in many ways. Most significantly no lives were lost in either case despite the sailors fearing for their lives in both stories.

FE 1The word of the Master came to Jonah the son of Matai saying, 2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it; for their wickedness has come up before me. Jonah 1:1-23But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish, from the presence of the Master, and went down to Joppa; and he found a boat going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare and went into it to go with them to Tarshish to flee from the presence of the Master. Jonah 1:34But the Master sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the boat was in danger of being broken. 5The mariners were afraid and cried every man to his god, and they threw the wares that were in the boat into the sea to lighten it. Jonah 1:4-5But Jonah had gone down into the inner hold of the boat; and he lay and was fast asleep. 6The captain came to him and said to him, Why are you sleeping? Arise, call on your god, perhaps god will deliver us, that we do not perish. Jonah 1:5-67Each said to his fellow, Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil has come on us, so they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Jonah 1:78They said to him, Tell us for what cause this evil has come on us. What is your occupation? From what place do you come? What is your country? Of what people are you? Jonah 1:89Jonah said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I worship the Master the god of the skies, who made the sea and the dry land. Jonah 1:910The men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, What have you done? For the men knew that he had fled from the presence of the Master. Jonah 1:1011When he had told them everything, then they said to him, What will we do to you, that the sea may be calm for us? For the sea continues to be more tempestuous against us. Jonah 1:1112Jonah said to them, Take me up and cast me into the sea, so that the sea may be calm to you; for I know that for my sake, this great tempest is on you. Jonah 1:1213The men rowed hard to bring the boat back to the land, but they could not, for the sea became more tempestuous against them. 14Therefore they cried to the Master and said, We beg you, Master, do not let us perish for the life of this man and do not lay on us innocent blood, for you are the Master and have done as it pleased you. 15They took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea and the sea ceased from its raging. Jonah 1:13-16 (Jonah 1:1-15 BRB)

Similar details in both stories include:

  • A storm in the Mediterranean
  • Sailors afraid for their lives
  • Prayer by the sailors
  • Food stuffs thrown overboard
  • Men thrown overboard
  • No lives lost