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Acts 12:16-18 New English Translation (NET Bible)

16 Now Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door[a] and saw him, they were greatly astonished.[b] 17 He motioned to them[c] with his hand to be quiet and then related[d] how the Lord had brought[e] him out of the prison. He said, “Tell James and the brothers these things,” and then he left and went to another place.[f]

18 At daybreak[g] there was great consternation[h] among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.


  1. Acts 12:16 tn The words “the door” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (see Acts 12:13).
  2. Acts 12:16 sn That they were greatly astonished is a common response in Luke-Acts to God’s work (Luke 8:56; Acts 2:7, 12; 8:13; 9:21; 10:45).
  3. Acts 12:17 tn Or “He gave them a signal.” Grk “Giving them a signal…he related to them.” The participle κατασείσας (kataseisas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  4. Acts 12:17 tc ‡ Most mss, including some of the most important ones (B D E Ψ M sy), read αὐτοῖς (autois, “to them”) here, while some excellent and early witnesses (P45vid,74vid א A 33 81 945 1739) lack the pronoun. Although it is possible that the pronoun was deleted because it was seen as superfluous, it is also possible that it was added as a natural expansion on the text, strengthening the connection between Peter and his listeners. Although a decision is difficult, the shorter reading is slightly preferred. NA28 puts the pronoun in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.
  5. Acts 12:17 tn Or “led.”
  6. Acts 12:17 sn He…went to another place. This is Peter’s last appearance in Acts with the exception of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15.
  7. Acts 12:18 tn BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a has “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (hēmera ginetai) in this verse.
  8. Acts 12:18 tn Grk “no little consternation.” The translation given for τάραχος (tarachos) in this verse by BDAG 991 s.v. τάραχος 1 is “mental agitation.” The situation indicated by the Greek word is described in L&N 25.243 as “a state of acute distress and great anxiety, with the additional possible implications of dismay and confusion—‘great distress, extreme anxiety.’” The English word “consternation” is preferred here because it conveys precisely such a situation of anxiety mixed with fear. The reason for this anxiety is explained in the following verse.
New English Translation (NET)

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