Northeast, Southeast

NORTHEAST, SOUTHEAST (Χω̂ρος; Λίψ). These words are the problematic compass points appearing in the trs. of Acts 27:12 in the ASV and the RSV. Χω̂ρος and Λίψ actually mean “northwest” and “southwest” respectively; however, the harbor of southern Crete usually identified with Phoenix is Loutro, a harbor facing E, not W. One solution has been to assume another harbor, while another takes the literal Gr., “looking down the winds,” to mean looking in the directions they are blowing. Hence, looking down the NW wind would be looking SE and down the SW wind, NE.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

These words occur in Ac 27:12, "if by any means they could reach Phoenix, and winter there; which is a haven of Crete, looking north-east and south-east." the Revised Version margin has, "Greek, down the south-west wind and down the north-west wind," which is a literal translation of the Greek: eis Phoinika .... limena tes Kretes bleponta (looking) kata liba (the southwest wind) kai kata choron (the northwest wind). Choros does not appear to occur except here, but the corresponding Latin caurus or corus is found in Caesar, Vergil, and other classical authors. the King James Version has "lieth toward the south west and north west." kata, with a wind or stream, means, "down the wind or stream," i.e. in the direction that it is blowing or flowing, and this interpretation would indicate a harbor open to the East. If lips, and choros, are used here as names of directions rather than of winds, we should expect a harbor open to the West. There is good reason for identifying Phoenix (the King James Version "Phenice") with Loutro on the south shore of Crete (EB, under the word "Phenice"), whose harbor is open to the East. See Phoenix.