James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
1About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2He killed #Matt. 4:21; 20:23 James the brother of John #Heb. 11:37with the sword, 3and when he saw #[ch. 24:27; 25:9] that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during #ch. 20:6; Ex. 12:14, 15; 23:15the days of Unleavened Bread. 4And when he had seized him, he put him #See Luke 21:12 in prison, delivering him over to four #[John 19:23]squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest #2 Cor. 1:11; Eph. 6:18prayer for him was made to God by the church.
Peter Is Rescued
6Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, #ch. 21:33bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7And behold, #See ch. 8:26 an angel of the Lord #Luke 2:9; 24:4 stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. #[1 Kgs. 19:7] He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And #ch. 16:26the chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and #Mark 6:9put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but #Ps. 126:1thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. #ch. 5:19; 16:26It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11When Peter #[Luke 15:17] came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that #Ps. 34:7; 91:11; Dan. 3:28; 6:22 the Lord has sent his angel and #Ps. 33:18, 19; 2 Cor. 1:10rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
12When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of #ver. 25; ch. 13:5, 13; 15:37, 39; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24; 1 Pet. 5:13 John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and #ver. 5were praying. 13And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, #John 18:16, 17a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14Recognizing Peter’s voice, #Luke 24:41; [Gen. 45:26]in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is #Matt. 18:10; See Heb. 1:14his angel!” 16But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17But #ch. 13:16; 19:33; 21:40 motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to #ch. 15:13; 21:18; [Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12] James and to #See John 21:23the brothers.”#12:17 Or brothers and sisters Then he departed and went to another place.
18Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and #[ch. 16:27; 27:42]ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
The Death of Herod
20Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and #Matt. 28:14 (Gk.) having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain,#12:20 That is, trusted personal attendant they asked for peace, because #[1 Kgs. 5:9; Ezra 3:7; Ezek. 27:17]their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23Immediately #[2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Kgs. 19:35]; See ch. 8:26 an angel of the Lord struck him down, because #Ps. 115:1he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24But #See ch. 6:7the word of God increased and multiplied.
25 # ch. 11:29, 30 And Barnabas and Saul returned from#12:25 Some manuscripts to Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them #See ver. 12John, whose other name was Mark.