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An Angel Frees Peter from Prison

12 About that time King Herod devoted his attention to mistreating certain members of the church. He had James, the brother of John, executed. When he saw how this pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter too. This happened during the days of Unleavened Bread. After capturing Peter, Herod had him thrown into prison with sixteen soldiers in squads of four to guard him. Herod wanted to bring Peter to trial in front of the people after Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was praying very hard to God for him.

The night before Herod was going to bring Peter to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. His hands were bound with two chains, and guards were in front of the door. They were watching the prison.

Suddenly, an angel from the Lord stood near Peter, and his cell was filled with light. The angel nudged Peter’s side, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At that moment the chains fell from Peter’s hands.

The angel told him, “Put your shoes on, and get ready to go!” Peter did this. Then the angel told him, “Put your coat on, and follow me.”

Peter followed the angel out of the cell. He didn’t realize that what the angel was doing was actually happening. He thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guardposts and came to the iron gate that led into the city. This gate opened by itself for them, so they went outside and up the street. The angel suddenly left Peter.

11 When Peter came to his senses, he said, “Now I’m sure that the Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod and from everything the Jewish people are expecting to happen to me.”

12 When Peter realized what had happened, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark. Many people had gathered at her home and were praying. 13 Peter knocked on the door of the entryway, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so happy that instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and reported, “Peter is standing at the door!”

15 The people told her, “You’re crazy!” But she insisted that Peter was at the door. They said, “It has to be his angel.”

16 But Peter kept knocking. When they opened the door, they were shocked to see him. 17 Peter motioned with his hand to quiet them down and told them how the Lord had taken him out of prison. He added, “Tell James and the other believers about this.” Then he left and went somewhere else.

18 In the morning the soldiers were in an uproar over what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod searched for Peter but couldn’t find him. So he questioned the guards and gave orders to have them executed.

Herod’s Death

Then Herod left Judea and went to Caesarea, where he stayed for a while.

20 Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They were going to meet with Herod. They had agreed on what they wanted to do: They enlisted the help of Blastus to ask Herod for terms of peace. This was because their cities depended on Herod for their food supply. (Blastus was in charge of the king’s living quarters.)

21 The appointed day came. Herod, wearing his royal clothes, sat on his throne and began making a speech to them. 22 The people started shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”

23 Immediately, an angel from the Lord killed Herod for not giving glory to God. Herod was eaten by maggots, and he died.

24 But God’s word continued to spread and win many followers.

Barnabas and Saul Travel to Cyprus

25 After Barnabas and Saul delivered the contribution to the leaders in Jerusalem, they returned to Antioch from Jerusalem. They brought John Mark with them.

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)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 12:25 Some manuscripts to

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