A large island, now called Candia, in the Mediterranean, originally people probably by a branch of the Caphtorim. It is celebrated by Homer for its hundred cities. Being surrounded by the sea, its inhabitants were excellent sailors, and its vessels visited all coasts. They were also famous for archery, which they practiced from their infancy. The Cretans were one of the three Grecian proverb cautioned-Kappadocia, Killicia, and Krete. In common speech, the expression, "to Cretanize," signified to tell lies; which helps to account for that detestable character which the apostle has given of the Cretans, that they were "always liars," brutes, and gormandizers, and Epimenides, and Cretan poet, described them, Tit 1:12-13.
Crete is famous as the birthplace of the legislator Minos; and in the Bible, for its connection with the voyage of Paul to Rome, Ac 27. The ship first made Salmone, the eastern promontory of the island, and took shelter at Fair Havens, a roadstead on the south side, east of cape Matala. After some time, and against Paul's warning, they set sail for Phenice, a more commodious harbor on the western part of the island; but were overtaken by a fierce wind from the east-north-east, which compelled them to lie to, and drifted them to Malta. Paul is supposed to have visited Crete afterwards, in connection with one of his visits to Asia Minor, 1Ti 1:3; Phm 1:22. Here he established gospel institutions, and left Titus in the pastoral charge, Tit 1:5.
now called Candia, one of the largest islands in the Meditterranean, about 140 miles long and 35 broad. It was at one time a very prosperous and populous island, having a "hundred cities." The character of the people is described in Paul's quotation from "one of their own poets" (Epimenides) in his epistle to Titus: "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" (Tit 1:12). Jews from Crete were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:11). The island was visited by Paul on his voyage to Rome (Ac 27). Here Paul subsequently left Titus (1:5) "to ordain elders." Some have supposed that it was the original home of the Caphtorim (q.v.) or Philistines.
Crete, now Candia. 158 miles long, from cape Salmone on the E. (Ac 27:7,12) to cape Criumetopen on the W. beyond Phoenice. Its breadth is small. (On its connection with the (See CHERETHIM .) It abounded with Jews in the apostolic age; hence, "Cretans" were among the witnesses of the effusion of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Ac 2:11). Paul's ship was constrained by contrary winds off Cnidus to sail under the lee of Crete "over against Salmone"; having passed which with difficulty the ship reached FAIR HAVENS, near Lasea. Thence it made for Phoenice to winter there, but was driven by a sudden gale from the N.E., sweeping down from the region of mount Ida, to the island Clauda, from whence it drifted to Melita or Malta (Ac 27:13-16).
Paul visited Crete between his first and second imprisonment at Rome, and left Titus to "set in order the things wanting, and to ordain elders in every city" (Tit 1:5). (See TITUS.) In Tit 1:12 he quotes Epimenides a Cretan poet. Crete was without wild beasts; the poet's sarcasm was that beastly men supplied their place: "the Cretians are always (not merely at times, as all natural men are) liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." "To Cretanize" was proverbial for to lie, as "to Corinthianize" for to be dissolute. In Crete was the fabled birthplace of Jupiter, king of the gods. They themselves are called "bellies," since it is for their bellies they live (Php 3:19). Christianity won its triumphs for truth and holiness even in such an unpromising soil. In the middle ages the cathedral of Megalocastron was dedicated to Titus.
the modern Candia. This large island, which closes int he Greek Archipelago on the south, extends through a distance of 140 miles between its extreme points. Though exceedingly bold and mountainous, this island has very fruitful valleys, and in early times it was celebrated for its hundred cities. It seems likely that a very early acquaintances existed between the Cretans and the Jews. Cretans,
were among those who were at Jerusalem at the great Pentecost. In [Acts 27:7-12 we have an account of Paul's shipwreck near this island; and it is evident from
that the apostle himself was here at no long interval of time before he wrote the letter. The Cretans were proverbial liars.
CRETE, an island in the Mediterranean, now called Candia, Tit 1:5. Nature had endowed this island with all that renders man happy; the inhabitants, likewise, had formerly a constitution which was renowned and frequently compared with that of the Spartans; but at this time, and even long before, all, even laws and morals, had sunk very low. The character of this nation was mutable, prone to quarrelling, to civil disturbances and frays, to robberies and violences. Avaricious and base to a degree of sordid greediness, they considered nothing as ignoble which gratified this inclination. Thence arose their treachery, their false and deceitful disposition, which had passed into a common proverb. Even in the times of purer morals they were decidedly addicted to wine; and their propensity to incontinence was frequently censured and noticed by the ancients. Religion itself was one cause of the many excesses of this nation. Many deities were born among them; they also showed their tombs and catacombs, and celebrated the feasts and mysteries of all. They therefore had continually holydays, diversions, and idle times, and one of their native poets (Diodorus calls him ???????? gave them the testimony which Paul found to be so true, Tit 1:12. Jews also had established themselves among them, who according to all appearance could have improved here but very little in morality. The Apostle seems to have considered them a more dangerous people than the inhabitants themselves.