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Acts 12 New Matthew Bible (NMB)

Herod persecutes the Christians, kills James the brother of John, and puts Peter in prison, whom the Lord delivers by an angel. The shameful death of Herod.

12 In that time Herod the king stretched forth his hand to persecute some of the congregation. And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further and took Peter also. This was during the days of sweet bread. And when he had caught Peter, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people.

Then Peter was kept in prison. But prayer for him was made to God without ceasing by the congregation. And when Herod was about to bring him out to the people, that night Peter slept between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the guards before the door kept the prison.

And behold, the angel of the Lord was there present, and a light shone in the jail. And he struck Peter on the side and awoke him, saying, Rise up quickly! And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him, Gird yourself, and bind on your sandals. And so he did. And the angel said to him, Cast your mantle around you, and follow me.

And Peter came out and followed him, and did not know that it was really being done by the angel, but thought he had seen a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them by its own accord. And they went out and passed down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter came to himself, he said, Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel, and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the Jews were waiting for. 12 And as he considered the matter, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of one John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together in prayer.

13 As Peter knocked at the entry door, a maidservant named Rhoda came forth to listen. 14 And when she recognized Peter’s voice, she did not open the entry door for gladness, but ran in and said that Peter was standing before the entry. 15 And they said to her, You are mad. But she insisted that it was really so. Then they said, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 And he motioned to them with his hand to hold their peace, and told them by what means the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go and tell these things to James and to the brethren.

And he departed, and went to another place.

18 As soon as it was day, there was no little ado among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had called for him, but not found him, he examined the guards, and commanded them to depart. And he descended from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.

20 Now Herod had been displeased with the people of Tyre and Sidon. And they came all at once and made intercession to Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, and requested peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s land. 21 And upon a day appointed, Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat in his seat and made a speech to them. 22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the honour. And he was eaten by worms and gave up the spirit.

24 And the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 As for Barnabas and Paul, they went again to Jerusalem and delivered the relief, and took with them John, who was also called Mark.

New Matthew Bible (NMB)

Copyright © 2016 by Ruth Magnusson (Davis). All rights reserved.

Acts 12 New International Version (NIV)

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 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.

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

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel 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.

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. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, 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 and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me 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, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed 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.”

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters 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.

Herod’s Death

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; 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.

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 of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

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


  1. Acts 12:25 Some manuscripts to
New International Version (NIV)

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