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During This Time, King Herod Kills The Apostle James And Imprisons Peter

12 And about that time, Herod[a] the king put hands on some of the ones from the church to mistreat them. And he killed James[b], the brother of John, with a sword. And having seen that it was pleasing to the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also (now the days of the Feast of Unleavened-Bread were taking place)— whom indeed having seized, he put into prison, having handed him over to four squads[c] of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him up to the people after the Passover [Feast]. So indeed Peter was being kept in the prison. And prayer was fervently being made by the church to God for him.

An Angel Releases Peter

And when Herod was about to bring him forth, on that night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, having been bound with two chains. And guards in front of the door were keeping-watch-over the prison. And behold— an angel of the Lord stood near, and light[d] shined in the cell. And having struck the side of Peter, he woke him, saying, “Arise quickly”. And his chains fell off of his hands. And the angel said to him, “Gird-yourself [e] and tie-on your sandals”. And he did so. And he says to him, “Put-on your cloak and be following me”. And having gone forth, he was following. And he did not know that the thing taking place by-means-of the angel was real, but he was thinking that he was seeing a vision. 10 And having gone through a first guard-post[f] and a second, they came to the iron gate leading into the city, which by-itself was opened for them. And having gone out, they went ahead one lane[g], and immediately the angel departed from him.

Peter Goes To The House of The Mother of John Mark, Where They Were Praying

11 And Peter, having become within[h] himself, said, “Now I know truly that the Lord sent-out His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews”. 12 And having become-aware[i], he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John (the one being called Mark), where there were many assembled-together and praying. 13 And he having knocked-on the door of the gate, a servant-girl went to it to answer— Rhoda by name. 14 And having recognized the voice of Peter, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but having run in, she reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15 But the ones said to her, “You are mad[j]”. But the one was insisting that it was holding so. But the ones were saying, “It is his angel”. 16 But Peter was continuing-on knocking. And having opened, they saw him and were astonished. 17 And having motioned to them with his hand to be silent, he related to them how the Lord led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James[k] and the brothers”. And having gone out, he proceeded to another place.

When Peter Can’t Be Found, The Guards Are Executed. Herod Dies In Caesarea

18 Now having become day, there was no small disturbance[l] among the soldiers as to what then became of Peter. 19 And Herod, having searched-for him and not having found him, having examined the guards, ordered that they be led[m] away. And having gone down from Judea to Caesarea, he was spending-time there. 20 Now he was being very-angry with the Tyrians and Sidonians. And they were coming to him with-one-accord. And having won-over[n] Blastus, the one over the bedroom[o] of the king, they were asking-for peace, because of their country being provided-for[p] from the royal land. 21 And on an appointed day, Herod— having put on the royal clothing, and having sat on the judgment-seat— was giving-a-public-address to them. 22 And the public-assembly was calling-out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God. And having become eaten-by-worms, he expired[q].

Barnabas And Saul Return To Antioch From Judea, With John Mark

24 But the word of God was growing and being multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned, having fulfilled the ministry to Jerusalem, having taken along John[r] with them (the one having been called Mark).


  1. Acts 12:1 That is, Herod Agrippa I, the last king of Israel. His death, mentioned in verse 23, occurred in a.d. 44.
  2. Acts 12:2 That is, the apostle James.
  3. Acts 12:4 Or, quaternians. That is, four four-man squads working three-hour watches overnight, two men inside chained to the prisoner and two outside at the door. This was the Roman custom.
  4. Acts 12:7 Or, a light.
  5. Acts 12:8 That is, put on your belt, which was worn over the tunic (undergarment) and under the cloak.
  6. Acts 12:10 Or, prison-ward.
  7. Acts 12:10 Or, alley.
  8. Acts 12:11 That is, having collected himself and seen that it was real.
  9. Acts 12:12 That is, of where he was.
  10. Acts 12:15 Or, out-of-your-mind.
  11. Acts 12:17 That is, the brother of the Lord, and leader of the Jerusalem church.
  12. Acts 12:18 Or, commotion.
  13. Acts 12:19 That is, to execution, the Roman custom.
  14. Acts 12:20 Or, persuaded, convinced.
  15. Acts 12:20 That is, the chamberlain, a trusted attendant.
  16. Acts 12:20 Or, providing-for itself. In either case, the port cities of Tyre and Sidon, which were not part of Herod’s kingdom, were economically dependent on his land, and so sought peace with him.
  17. Acts 12:23 Josephus, who also speaks of this, adds that Herod died five days later.
  18. Acts 12:25 John-Mark is the cousin of Barnabas, Col 4:10.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

12 It was about this time that King Herod(A) arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John,(B) put to death with the sword.(C) When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews,(D) he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.(E) After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.(F)

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.(G)

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains,(H) and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel(I) of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.(J)

Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.(K) 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself,(L) and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself(M) and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me(N) from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark,(O) where many people had gathered and were praying.(P) 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.(Q) 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed(R) she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”(S)

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand(T) for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James(U) and the other brothers and sisters(V) about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.(W)

Herod’s Death

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea(X) and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon;(Y) they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.(Z)

21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel(AA) of the Lord struck him down,(AB) and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God(AC) continued to spread and flourish.(AD)

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

25 When Barnabas(AE) and Saul had finished their mission,(AF) they returned from[a] Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.(AG)


  1. Acts 12:25 Some manuscripts to