Herod Agrippa Hurts the Church
12 During that same time King Herod [C Agrippa I, who lived 10 bc–ad 44; he was the grandson of Herod the Great (Luke 1:5)] ·began to mistreat [L laid hands on to harm/do evil to] some who belonged to the church. 2 He ordered James, the brother of John, to be killed by the sword [C execution by beheading]. 3 Herod saw that ·some of the people liked this [L this pleased the Jews/Jewish leaders], so he decided to arrest Peter, too. (This happened during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.)
4 After Herod ·arrested [seized] Peter, he put him in ·jail [prison] and handed him over to be guarded by ·sixteen [L four squads of four] soldiers. Herod planned to bring Peter ·before the people for trial [L to the people; C an idiom for a public trial] after the Passover Feast. 5 So Peter was kept in ·jail [prison], but the church prayed earnestly to God for him.
Peter Released by an Angel
6 The night before Herod was to bring him ·to trial [L out; C either for trial or for execution], Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Other soldiers were guarding the door of the jail. 7 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shined in the cell. The angel ·struck [tapped; poked] Peter on the side and woke him up. “Hurry! Get up!” the angel said. And the chains fell off Peter’s ·hands [wrists]. 8 Then the angel told him, “·Get dressed [or Put on your belt] and put on your sandals.” And Peter did. Then the angel said, “·Put on your coat [L Wrap your coat/cloak around you] and follow me.” 9 So Peter followed him out, but he did not know if what the angel was doing was real; he thought he might be seeing a vision. 10 They went past the first and second guards and came to the iron gate that ·separated them from [L led to] the city. The gate opened by itself for them, and they went through it. When they had walked down one street, the angel suddenly left him.
11 Then Peter ·realized what had happened [came to himself]. He thought, “Now I know that the Lord really sent his angel to me. He rescued me ·from [L from the hands of] Herod and from all the things the [L Jewish] people thought would happen.”
12 When he ·considered [realized] this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John [L who was also called] Mark [12:25; 13:5; 15:37; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24; 1 Pet. 5:13]. Many people were gathered there, praying. 13 Peter knocked on the ·outside door [or courtyard gate], and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so happy she forgot to open the ·door [gate]. Instead, she ran inside and told the group, “Peter is at the ·door [gate]!”
15 They said to her, “You are ·crazy [insane; mad]!” But she kept on ·saying [insisting] it was true, so they said, “It must be Peter’s angel.”
16 [L But; Meanwhile] Peter continued to knock, and when they opened the door, they saw him and were ·amazed [astonished]. 17 Peter ·made a sign [motioned] with his hand to tell them to be quiet. He ·explained [recounted] how the Lord led him out of the ·jail [prison], and he said, “Tell James [C not the son of Zebedee (who had been executed, 12:2), but the half-brother of Jesus, who would become the senior leader in the Jerusalem church; 15:13–21; 21:18] and the other ·believers [L brothers] what happened.” Then he left to go to another place.
18 The next ·day [or morning] ·the soldiers were very upset [L there was no small commotion among the soldiers; C soldiers who allowed a prisoner to escape would suffer the prisoner’s punishment] and wondered what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod ·looked [searched] everywhere for him but could not find him. So he questioned the guards and ordered that they be ·killed [L led away; C presumably to be executed].
The Death of Herod Agrippa
Later Herod ·moved [or took a trip] from Judea and went to the city of Caesarea, where he stayed. 20 Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon [C major cities on the Phoenician coast north of Israel], but the people of those cities all ·came in a group [or agreed together to come] to him. After convincing Blastus, the ·king’s personal servant [chamberlain; L one in charge of his bedroom], to ·be on their side [or support their position], they asked Herod for peace, because their country got its food from his country.
21 On ·a chosen [an appointed] day Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his ·throne [judgment seat; rostrum; platform], and made a speech to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not a human!” 23 Because Herod did not give the glory to God, an angel of the Lord immediately ·caused him to become sick [L struck him down], and he was ·eaten [or infected] by worms [C perhaps intestinal roundworms] and died.
24 God’s ·message [word] continued to spread and reach people.
25 After Barnabas and Saul finished their ·task in Jerusalem [mission], they returned to Antioch,[a] taking John [L also called] Mark with them.
- Acts 12:25 to Antioch Some early Greek copies read “from Jerusalem.” Others read “to Jerusalem.”