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Acts 12 Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)

12 ) At that time Herod the king caught some of the church people and troubled them.

He killed James the brother of John with a long knife or sword.

He saw that this pleased the leaders of the Jews, so he caught Peter also. This happened at the Jewish feast which they had each year to remember leaving Egypt. (It was called the Passover Feast.)

After Herod had caught Peter, he put him in prison. He told four groups of soldiers to guard him. There were four soldiers in each group. He planned to bring him out for trial before the people. But he would do it after the Passover Feast.

So Peter was kept in prison. And the church people asked God to help him.

The night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. He was tied to them with two chains. Guards were at the door of the prison.

An angel from the Lord came to him and a light shone in the prison. He hit Peter's side and woke him up. `Be quick,' he said. `Get up!' His chains fell off his hands.

`Put on your belt and your shoes,' said the angel. Peter did so. `And now,' said the angel, `put on your coat and follow me.'

Peter followed him out. He did not know that what the angel had done was true. He thought he was dreaming.

10 They passed the first and the second guard. Then they came to the iron gate out to the city. It opened for them by itself. So they went all the way down a street. Then the angel left him.

11 When Peter came to himself, he said, `Now I know truly that the Lord has sent his angel. He has saved me from Herod and from all that the Jewish leaders are hoping will happen to me.'

12 And when he thought about this, he went to Mary's house. Mary was John Mark's mother. Many people were meeting there, talking to God [about Peter].

13 Peter knocked at the outside door. A young servant woman named Rhoda went to answer.

14 When she knew it was Peter's voice, she was very glad. She did not open the door. But she ran in and told the people that Peter was at the door.

15 They said, `You are crazy.' But she kept on saying that Peter was really there. Then they said, `It must be his angel.'

16 Peter kept on knocking. When they opened the door and saw him, they were very much surprised.

17 He put out his hand for them to be quiet. Then he told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, `Tell James and the brothers about this.' Then he went away to another place.

18 In the morning the soldiers tried hard to find Peter.

19 Herod had looked for him and had not found him. So he questioned the guards and ordered them to be taken away and killed. And then Peter went from Judea to Caesarea to live for a while.

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. But they got Blastus to speak to the king for them. Blastus was one of the men who worked in the king's house. They came to Herod together. They wanted to make peace with him because their country got its food from his country.

21 On a certain day Herod put on his king's robes and sat on his chair and made a speech.

22 The people shouted, `A god is talking to us. He is not a man.'

23 At once an angel from God put a bad sickness on Herod because he did not give God the praise. Worms ate him and he died.

24 The word of God spread further and further and more people believed.

25 Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had finished their work. They brought John Mark with them.

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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