1sn King Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great). His mediocre career is summarized in Josephus, Ant. 18-19. This event took place in a.d. 42 or 43.

2tn Or “King Herod had some from the church arrested.”

3tn Or “to cause them injury.”

4sn The expression executed with a sword probably refers to a beheading. James was the first known apostolic martyr (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1-3). On James, not the Lord’s brother, see Luke 5:10; 6:14. This death ended a short period of peace noted in Acts 9:31 after the persecution mentioned in 8:1-3.

5tn This could be a reference to the Jewish people (so CEV) or to the Jewish leaders (so NLT). The statement in v. 4 that Herod intended to bring Peter “out to the people” (i.e., for a public trial) may suggest the former is somewhat more likely.

6sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

7sn Four squads of soldiers. Each squad was a detachment of four soldiers.

8tn Grk “guard him, planning to bring him out.” The Greek construction continues with a participle (βουλόμενος, boulomeno") and an infinitive (ἀναγαγεῖν, anagagein), but this creates an awkward and lengthy sentence in English. Thus a reference to Herod was introduced as subject and the participle translated as a finite verb (“Herod planned”).

9tn Or “intended”; Grk “wanted.”

10tn Grk “to bring him out to the people,” but in this context a public trial (with certain condemnation as the result) is doubtless what Herod planned. L&N 15.176 translates this phrase “planning to bring him up for a public trial after the Passover.”

11tn Or “constantly.” This term also appears in Luke 22:14 and Acts 26:7.

12tn Grk “but earnest prayer was being made by the church to God for him.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to follow English style, and the somewhat awkward passive “prayer was being made” has been changed to the simpler active verb “were praying.” Luke portrays what follows as an answer to prayer.

13tn Grk “was going to bring him out,” but the upcoming trial is implied. See Acts 12:4.

14tn Grk “two chains, and.” Logically it makes better sense to translate this as a temporal clause, although technically it is a coordinate clause in Greek.

15tn Or “were guarding.”

16tn Grk “And behold.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here. The interjection ἰδού (idou), often difficult to translate into English, expresses the suddenness of the angel’s appearance.

17tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 5:19.

18tn Grk “striking the side of Peter, he awoke him saying.” The term refers to a push or a light tap (BDAG 786 s.v. πατάσσω 1.a). The participle πατάξας (pataxa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

19tn Grk “his”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20tn Grk “the hands,” but the wrist was considered a part of the hand.

21tn While ζώννυμι (zwnnumi) sometimes means “to dress,” referring to the fastening of the belt or sash as the final act of getting dressed, in this context it probably does mean “put on your belt” since in the conditions of a prison Peter had probably not changed into a different set of clothes to sleep. More likely he had merely removed his belt or sash, which the angel now told him to replace. The translation “put on your belt” is given by L&N 49.14 for this verse. The archaic English “girdle” for the sash or belt has an entirely different meaning today.

22tn Grk “He”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24tn Or “outer garment.”

25tn Grk “And going out he followed.”

26tn Grk “Peter going out followed him.” The participle ἐξελθών (exelqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

27tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

28tn Grk “what was done through the angel was a reality” (see BDAG 43 s.v. ἀληθής 3).

29tn Or perhaps, “guard posts.”

30sn The iron gate shows how important security was here. This door was more secure than one made of wood (which would be usual).

31tn Grk “which.” The relative pronoun (“which”) was replaced by the pronoun “it,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

32tn The Greek term here, αὐτομάτη (automath), indicates something that happens without visible cause (BDAG 152 s.v. αὐτόματος).

33tn Or “lane,” “alley” (BDAG 907 s.v. ῥύμη).

34tn Grk “And when.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

35tn Or “delivered.”

36sn Here the hand of Herod is a metaphor for Herod’s power or control.

37sn King Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great).

38sn Luke characterizes the opposition here as the Jewish people, including their leadership (see 12:3).

39tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

40tn Grk “John who was also called Mark.”

sn John Mark becomes a key figure in Acts 12:25; 13:5, 13; 15:37-39.

41tn Or “responded.”

42tn Or “informed.”

43tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

44sn “You’ve lost your mind!” Such a response to the miraculous is not unusual in Luke-Acts. See Luke 24:11; Acts 26:25. The term μαίνομαι (mainomai) can have the idea of being “raving mad” or “totally irrational” (BDAG 610 s.v.). It is a strong expression.

45tn Grk “she kept insisting that the situation was thus” (cf. BDAG 422 s.v. ἔχω 10.a). Most translations supply a less awkward English phrase like “it was so”; the force of her insistence, however, is that “it was Peter,” which was the point under dispute.

46tn The two imperfect tense verbs, διϊσχυρίζετο (diiscurizeto) and ἔλεγον (elegon), are both taken iteratively. The picture is thus virtually a shouting match between Rhoda and the rest of the believers.

47sn The assumption made by those inside, “It is his angel,” seems to allude to the idea of an attending angel (cf. Gen 48:16 LXX; Matt 18:10; Test. Jacob 1:10).

48tn The words “the door” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (see Acts 12:13).

49sn 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).

50tn Or “He gave them a signal.” Grk “Giving them a signal…he related to them.” The participle κατασείσας (kataseisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

51tc ‡ Most mss, including some of the most important ones (B D E Ψ ¤ sy), read αὐτοῖς (autoi", “to them”) here, while some excellent and early witnesses (45vid,74vid א A 33 81 945 1739 pc) 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. NA27 puts the pronoun in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

52tn Or “led.”

53sn He…went to another place. This is Peter’s last appearance in Acts with the exception of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15.

54tn BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a has “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (Jhmera ginetai) in this verse.

55tn Grk “no little consternation.” The translation given for τάραχος (taraco") 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.

56sn King Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great).

57tn Or “had instigated a search” (Herod would have ordered the search rather than conducting it himself).

58tn “Questioned” is used to translate ἀνακρίνας (anakrina") here because a possible translation offered by BDAG 66 s.v. ἀνακρίνω for this verse is “examined,” which could be understood to mean Herod inspected the guards rather than questioned them. The translation used by the NIV, “cross-examined,” also avoids this possible misunderstanding.

59tn The meaning “led away to execution” for ἀπαχθῆναι (apacqhnai) in this verse is given by BDAG 95 s.v. ἀπάγω 2.c. Although an explicit reference to execution is lacking here, it is what would usually occur in such a case (Acts 16:27; 27:42; Code of Justinian 9.4.4). “Led away to torture” is a less likely option (Pliny the Younger, Letters 10, 96, 8).

60tn Grk “and,” but the sequence of events is better expressed in English by “then.” A new sentence is begun in the translation because of the length of the sentence in Greek, which exceeds normal English sentence length.

61tn Grk “he”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Since Herod has been the subject of the preceding material, and the circumstances of his death are the subject of the following verses (20-23), it is best to understand Herod as the subject here. This is especially true since according to Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 [19.343-352], Herod Agrippa I died at Caesarea in a.d. 44, and vv. 20-23 here describe his death. Thus the end of v. 19 provides Luke’s transition to explain how Herod got from Jerusalem to Caesarea where he died. In spite of all this evidence, the NRSV translates this phrase “Then Peter went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there,” understanding the referent to be Peter rather than Herod Agrippa I.

sn King Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great), who died at Caesarea in a.d. 44 according to Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 [19.343-352].

62sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.

map For location see Map2-C1; Map4-B3; Map5-F2; Map7-A1; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

63tn Grk “he”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great).

64tn Or “was extremely angry.” L&N 33.453 gives the meaning “be angry and quarrel, quarrel angrily” here. However, in L&N 88.180 the alternative “to be violently angry, to be furious” is given. The term is used only once in the NT (BDAG 461 s.v. θυμομαχέω).

65sn Tyre was a city and seaport on the coast of Phoenicia.

map For location see Map1-A2; Map2-G2; Map4-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

66sn Sidon was an ancient Phoenician royal city on the coast between Berytus (Beirut) and Tyre (BDAG 923 s.v. Σιδών).

map For location see Map1-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

67tn Or “with one accord.”

68tn Or “persuading.”

69tn On the term translated “personal assistant” BDAG 554 s.v. κοιτῶν states, “used as part of a title: ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ κοιτῶνος the one in charge of the bed-chamber, the chamberlain.” This individual was not just a domestic servant or butler, but a highly respected person who had considerable responsibility for the king’s living quarters and personal affairs. The English word “chamberlain” corresponds very closely to this meaning but is not in common use today. The term “personal assistant,” while it might convey more business associations than management of personal affairs, nevertheless communicates the concept well in contemporary English.

70tn The words “to help them” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

71tn Or “for a reconciliation.” There were grave political risks in having Herod angry at them. The detail shows the ruler’s power.

72tn Grk “he”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great).

73tn Or “apparel.” On Herod’s robes see Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 (19.344), summarized in the note at the end of v. 23.

74tn Although BDAG 175 s.v. βῆμα 3 gives the meaning “speakers platform” for this verse, and a number of modern translations use similar terms (“rostrum,” NASB; “platform,” NRSV), since the bema was a standard feature in Greco-Roman cities of the time, there is no need for an alternative translation here.

sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a familiar item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city.

75tn Or “delivered a public address.”

76tn The translation “crowd” is given by BDAG 223 s.v. δῆμος; the word often means a gathering of citizens to conduct public business. Here it is simply the group of people gathered to hear the king’s speech.

77tn The imperfect verb ἐπεφώνει (epefwnei) is taken ingressively in the sequence of events. Presumably the king had started his speech when the crowd began shouting.

78sn The voice of a god. Contrast the response of Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14:13-15.

79tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 5:19.

80sn On being struck…down by an angel, see Acts 23:3; 1 Sam 25:28; 2 Sam 12:15; 2 Kgs 19:35; 2 Chr 13:20; 2 Macc 9:5.

81tn Grk “him”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

82sn He was eaten by worms and died. Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 (19.343-352), states that Herod Agrippa I died at Caesarea in a.d. 44. The account by Josephus, while not identical to Luke’s account, is similar in many respects: On the second day of a festival, Herod Agrippa appeared in the theater with a robe made of silver. When it sparkled in the sun, the people cried out flatteries and declared him to be a god. The king, carried away by the flattery, saw an owl (an omen of death) sitting on a nearby rope, and immediately was struck with severe stomach pains. He was carried off to his house and died five days later. The two accounts can be reconciled without difficulty, since while Luke states that Herod was immediately struck down by an angel, his death could have come several days later. The mention of worms with death adds a humiliating note to the scene. The formerly powerful ruler had been thoroughly reduced to nothing (cf. Jdt 16:17; 2 Macc 9:9; cf. also Josephus, Ant. 17.6.5 [17.168-170], which details the sickness which led to Herod the Great’s death).

83sn A metonymy for the number of adherents to God’s word.

84tn Or “spreading.”

85tc There are a number of variants at this point in the text: εἰς (eis, “to”) in א B ¤ sams syhmg; ἀπό (apo, “from”) in D E Ψ 36 323 453 614 1175 al; ἐξ (ex, “from”) in 74 A 33 945 1739 al; ἐξ ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν (ex Ierousalhm ei" Antioceian, “from Jerusalem to Antioch”) in {a few later manuscripts and part of the Itala}. A decision on this problem is very difficult, but for several reasons εἰς can be preferred. It is the most difficult reading by far in light of the context, since Paul and Barnabas were going to Jerusalem in 11:30. It is found in better witnesses, א and B being very strong evidence. The other readings, ἐξ and ἀπό, are different from εἰς yet bear essentially the same meaning as each other; this seems to suggest that scribes had problems with εἰς and tried to choose an acceptable revision. If εἰς is the earliest reading, ἀπό may be a clarification of ἐξ, and ἐξ could have arisen through confusion of letters. Or ἐξ and ἀπό could both have independently arisen from εἰς as a more acceptable preposition. Despite such arguments, however, the case for εἰς is not airtight: either ἐξ or ἀπό could be preferred on other lines of reasoning. The reading ἐξ enjoys the earliest support, and εἰς could have arisen through the same confusion of letters mentioned above. The immediate and wider context seems to mitigate against εἰς as the original reading: The aorist participle πληρώσαντες (plhrwsante", “when they had completed”) seems to signal the end of the mission to Jerusalem with the famine relief, so it would make sense in the context for the team to be coming from Jerusalem (to Antioch) rather than to Jerusalem, and 13:1 certainly presents the scene at Antioch. The later addition εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν after ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ in some mss seems to be a clarification in light of 13:1 (notice that some of the mss that read ἐξ add εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν [945 1739], and some that read ἀπό also add εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν [E 323 1175]). Thus, the idea of spatial separation from Jerusalem is strongly implied by the context. This problem is so difficult that some scholars resort to conjectural emendation to determine the original reading. All in all, the reading εἰς should be preferred as original, recognizing that there is a good measure of uncertainty with this solution. For additional discussion, see TCGNT 350-52.

86sn That is, from Jerusalem to Antioch (see Acts 11:29-30).

map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

87tn Grk “fulfilled.”

88tn Grk “ministry” or “service.”

89tn Grk “John who was also called Mark.”