James is Killed and Peter Imprisoned
12:1 About that time King Herod1 laid hands on2 some from the church to harm them.3 12:2 He had James, the brother of John, executed with a sword.4 12:3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews,5 he proceeded to arrest Peter too. (This took place during the feast of Unleavened Bread.)6 12:4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, handing him over to four squads7 of soldiers to guard him. Herod8 planned9 to bring him out for public trial10 after the Passover. 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but those in the church were earnestly11 praying to God for him.12 12:6 On that very night before Herod was going to bring him out for trial,13 Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while14 guards in front of the door were keeping watch15 over the prison. 12:7 Suddenly16 an angel of the Lord17 appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. He struck18 Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off Peter’s19 wrists.20 12:8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt21 and put on your sandals.” Peter22 did so. Then the angel23 said to him, “Put on your cloak24 and follow me.” 12:9 Peter25 went out26 and followed him;27 he did not realize that what was happening through the angel was real,28 but thought he was seeing a vision. 12:10 After they had passed the first and second guards,29 they came to the iron30 gate leading into the city. It31 opened for them by itself,32 and they went outside and walked down one narrow street,33 when at once the angel left him. 12:11 When34 Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued35 me from the hand36 of Herod37 and from everything the Jewish people38 were expecting to happen.”
12:12 When Peter39 realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark,40 where many people had gathered together and were praying. 12:13 When he knocked at the door of the outer gate, a slave girl named Rhoda answered.41 12:14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she did not open the gate, but ran back in and told42 them43 that Peter was standing at the gate. 12:15 But they said to her, “You’ve lost your mind!”44 But she kept insisting that it was Peter,45 and they kept saying,46 “It is his angel!”47 12:16 Now Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door48 and saw him, they were greatly astonished.49 12:17 He motioned to them50 with his hand to be quiet and then related51 how the Lord had brought52 him out of the prison. He said, “Tell James and the brothers these things,” and then he left and went to another place.53
12:18 At daybreak54 there was great consternation55 among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 12:19 When Herod56 had searched57 for him and did not find him, he questioned58 the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution.59 Then60 Herod61 went down from Judea to Caesarea62 and stayed there.
12:20 Now Herod63 was having an angry quarrel64 with the people of Tyre65 and Sidon.66 So they joined together67 and presented themselves before him. And after convincing68 Blastus, the king’s personal assistant,69 to help them,70 they asked for peace,71 because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country. 12:21 On a day determined in advance, Herod72 put on his royal robes,73 sat down on the judgment seat,74 and made a speech75 to them. 12:22 But the crowd76 began to shout,77 “The voice of a god,78 and not of a man!” 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord79 struck80 Herod81 down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died.82 12:24 But the word of God83 kept on increasing84 and multiplying.
12:25 So Barnabas and Saul returned to85 Jerusalem86 when they had completed87 their mission,88 bringing along with them John Mark.89