Phoenix (Phenice)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Phoenix (Phenice)
Bible Meaning: Palm tree
Strong's Concordance #G5405

Phenice, used in Acts 27:12, is the KJV translation spelling of the word Phoenix found in most modern Bibles. Phenice, however, as used in Acts 11:19 and 15:13, is a reference to Phoenicia located in the province of Syria near Tyre and Sidon.

The Phoenix of Acts 27 was a port city on the western part of the island of Crete.

Paul sails for Rome

The Apostle Paul, who requested his trial be heard by Caesar (Acts 25), was placed on a ship bound for Rome. This trip, known as his fourth missionary journey, had its travel to the capital interrupted by winds at Cnidus (Acts 27:7). The weather caused his vessel to sail toward Crete in the hope of using an alternate, and less windy, route to Rome.

Paul's vessel then arrives in the Cretan port of Fair Havens and stays there until after the Day of Atonement (which fell in late September). Those in control of the ship then decide to leave the port, a fateful decision that will interrupt their plans to visit Phoenix (Acts 27:9 - 11).

Location of Phoenix on the Island of Crete Map
Phoenix on the Island of Crete

Staying for an unknown time in Fair Havens, the ship leaves the harbor in an attempt to make it to the western port of Phoenix and stay there for the winter. A violent hurricane-force wind known as Euroclydon, however, drives them from their course and forces the vessel southwest toward the small island of Clauda.

Important verses

Acts 27:7 - 8, 12, 14 - 16
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; and, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens . . .

And 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 (Phoenix), and there to winter: which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda . . .

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Series Notes
Scripture quotes are taken from
the King James translation.



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