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Fair Havens

FAIR HAVENS (Gr. Kaloi Limenes). A small bay on the south coast of Crete, about five miles (eight km.) east of Cape Matala. Paul stayed there for a time on his way to Rome (Acts.27.8-Acts.27.12). The harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, so the captain decided to sail from there, with the hope of reaching Phoenix, a more secure harbor, also on the south coast of Crete.

FAIR HAVENS (καλοὶ λιμένες, fair harbors). A bay near Lasea on the S coast of Crete about five m. E of Cape Matala.

Paul in the custody of a centurion sailed W from Cnidus on an Alexandrian grain ship. The weather forced them to sail on the S side of Crete. They passed Cape Salome, the eastern tip of the island and took refuge at Fair Havens. Since Fair Havens was only an open bay, the centurion, the captain and the owner of the ship decided to attempt to reach Phoenix, a harbor further to the W. They failed, and drifted in the open sea for fourteen days until the shipwreck at Malta (Acts 27:8).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

ha’-v’-nz (Kaloi Limenes): A roadstead on the South coast of Crete, about 5 miles East of Cape Matala, the most southerly point of the island. The harbor is formed by a bay, open to the East, and sheltered on the Southwest by two small islands. Here Paul waited for a considerable time (Ac 27:9); but while it afforded good anchorage and a shelter from North and Northwest winds, "the haven was not commodious to winter in" (Ac 27:8,12).

See Crete.