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The Word “Euroclydon”
What does it Really mean?
The small island Clauda is located at
E24° N35° and Malta is located at
E14°30’ N36°. Accordingly,
Nonetheless, below are found some considerations re the words in the New Testament translated Euroclydon (and Syrtis,) a conclusion, a few pertinent references, and common definitions pertaining to the word Euroclydon as used in:
Act 27:14 KJV But1161 not3756 long4183 after3326 there arose906 against2596 it846 a tempestuous5189 wind,417 called2564 Euroclydon.2148
Textus Receptus, the most reliable New Testament manuscripts, is using the Greek words translated “Euroclydon” and “Syrtis” (or “quicksands” (KJV,)) only once.
It appears as though Strong’s G4950, in defining this Greek word as Syrtis Major, is basing its definition upon a belief that Euroclydon is a northeasterly wind rather than an easterly or east south easterly wind, but is this a correct definition?
Strong’s G4950: ”σύρτις, surtis,
soor'-tis. From G4951; a shoal (from the sand drawn
thither by the waves), that is, the Syrtis Major or great bay on the
North coast of
Webster’s Third International Dictionary is taking a more uncommitted stand stating merely:
“euroclydon… fr. eur- (fr. euros east wind) + (assumed) Gk akylon north wind, fr. L aquilon-, aquilo…”
Possibly there could be a translation problem here based upon an original Hebrew manuscript? Could it be that the ending -oclydon is somehow derived out of the Hebrew word for “east wind,” קדים, (pronounced ‘kaw-deem'”) perhaps in combination with the Hebrew word for “complete” כּלל (pronounced kaw-lal') as in perfectly east?
From H6923; the fore or front part; hence (by orientation) the East (often adverbially eastward, for brevity the East wind)
A primitive root; to complete
Additionally the ending -oclydon is reminiscent of the word “cyclon.”According to Pliny the Elder, the name of the east south easterly wind is called Eurus and the winters are characterized by winds out of east north east. The time of the events recorded in Acts 27 is clearly the first part of winter. Therefore, and considering also the fact that the wind referenced in Acts 27:14 was driving the ship, with its sail taken down, in a direction between west and west north west it would make sense if the word Euroclydon were to be derived out a combination of a word meaning “east” or “true east” and a word meaning “gale” or “storm,” i.e. eur- + ocyklone, would it not?
Based solely on the facts as recorded in Acts 27-28:1, I conclude that, in the case of the events recorded in Acts 27-28:1, the word translated “Euroclydon” represents an almost true easterly storm wind, and the word translated “Syrtis” or “the quicksands” references Syrtis Minor. Cf. below!
References and Definitions:
Quotes out of Pliny the Elder, The Natural History:
(eds. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A.)
CHAP. 46. (47.)--THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF WINDS1
“The spring opens the seas for the navigators. In the beginning of this season the west winds soften, as it were, the winter sky, the sun having now gained the 25th degree of Aquarius; this is on the sixth day before the Ides of February2 …
“After these the south winds become more frequent, until the appearance of Arcturus12 , which rises eleven days before the autumnal equinox. At this time Corus sets in; Corus is an autumnal wind, and is in the opposite direction to Vulturnus. After this, and generally for forty-four days after the equinox, at the setting of the Vergiliæ, the winter commences, which usually happens on the third of the Ides of November13 . This is the period of the winter north wind, which is very unlike the summer north wind, and which is in the opposite direction to Africus. For seven days before the winter solstice, and for the same length of time after it, the sea becomes calm, in order that the king-fishers may rear their young; from this circumstance they have obtained the name of the halcyon days14 ; the rest of the season is winterly15 .”
We are informed by Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 330, that there is an ancient dial plate in the Vatican, consisting of twelve sides, in which the names of the twelve winds are given both in Greek and in Latin. They differ somewhat from those given above, both absolutely and relatively; they are as follows:-
15 The author, as it appears, portions out the whole of the year into fourteen periods, during most of which certain winds are said to blow, or, at least, to be decidedly prevalent. Although the winds of Italy are less irregular than those of England, Pliny has considerably exaggerated the real fact.
“…The winds that bring snow are Aquilo and Septemtrio; Septemtrio brings hail, and so does Corus…”
Quotes re ”Euroclydon” from various Dictionaries:
n. 1. A tempestuous northeast wind
which blows in the
A tempestuous wind called Euroclydon.
- Acts xxvii. 14.
Euroclydon - south-east billow, the name of the
wind which blew in the
EUROCLYDON (Gr. eupos, east wind; KM)bwv, wave)
Euroclydon , in the
New Testament, east or northeast storm wind
that caused Paul's shipwreck on
Meaning: southeast billow
the name of the wind which blew in
It is called a "tempestuous wind," i.e., as literally rendered, a "typhonic wind," or a typhoon. It is the modern Gregalia or Levanter. (Compare Jonah 1:4.)
(yûr´´kl´dn) (KEY) , in the New
Testament, east or northeast storm wind
that caused Paul’s shipwreck on
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