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Acts 12 Living Bible (TLB)

12 About that time King Herod moved against some of the believers and killed the apostle[a] James (John’s brother). When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter during the Passover celebration and imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of sixteen soldiers. Herod’s intention was to deliver Peter to the Jews for execution after the Passover. But earnest prayer was going up to God from the church for his safety all the time he was in prison.

The night before he was to be executed, he was asleep, double-chained between two soldiers with others standing guard before the prison gate, when suddenly there was a light in the cell and an angel of the Lord stood beside Peter! The angel slapped him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists! Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your shoes.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me!” the angel ordered.

So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a dream or vision and didn’t believe it was really happening. 10 They passed the first and second cell blocks and came to the iron gate to the street, and this opened to them of its own accord! So they passed through and walked along together for a block, and then the angel left him.

11 Peter finally realized what had happened! “It’s really true!” he said to himself. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jews were hoping to do to me!”

12 After a little thought he went to the home of Mary, mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for a prayer meeting.

13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she ran back inside to tell everyone that Peter was standing outside in the street. 15 They didn’t believe her. “You’re out of your mind,” they said. When she insisted they decided, “It must be his angel. They must have killed him.”[b]

16 Meanwhile Peter continued knocking. When they finally went out and opened the door, their surprise knew no bounds. 17 He motioned for them to quiet down and told them what had happened and how the Lord had brought him out of jail. “Tell James and the others what happened,” he said—and left for safer quarters.

18 At dawn, the jail was in great commotion. What had happened to Peter? 19 When Herod sent for him and found that he wasn’t there, he had the sixteen guards arrested, court-martialed and sentenced to death. Afterwards he left to live in Caesarea for a while.

20 While he was in Caesarea, a delegation from Tyre and Sidon arrived to see him. He was highly displeased with the people of those two cities, but the delegates made friends with Blastus, the royal secretary, and asked for peace, for their cities were economically dependent upon trade with Herod’s country. 21 An appointment with Herod was granted, and when the day arrived he put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22 At its conclusion the people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!”

23 Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness so that he was filled with maggots and died—because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God.

24 God’s Good News was spreading rapidly and there were many new believers.

25 Barnabas and Paul now visited Jerusalem and as soon as they had finished their business, returned to Antioch,[c] taking John Mark with them.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:2 and killed the apostle, implied.
  2. Acts 12:15 They must have killed him, implied.
  3. Acts 12:25 returned to Antioch, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 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.

Footnotes:

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

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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