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.”
New International Version
Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison
12 It was about this time that King Herod(A) arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John,(B) put to death with the sword.(C) 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews,(D) he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.(E) 4 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.(F)
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.(G)
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains,(H) and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel(I) 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.(J)
8 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. 9 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.(K) 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself,(L) 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(M) and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me(N) 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,(O) where many people had gathered and were praying.(P) 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.(Q) 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed(R) 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.”(S)
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand(T) for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James(U) and the other brothers and sisters(V) 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.(W)
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea(X) and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon;(Y) 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.(Z)
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(AA) of the Lord struck him down,(AB) and he was eaten by worms and died.
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
- Acts 12:25 Some manuscripts to