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Acts 12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Herod’s Violence to the Church

12 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four [a]squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Peter Freed from Prison

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but [b]constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were [c]keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

18 Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small [d]stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19 But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death.

And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.

Herod’s Violent Death

20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus [e]the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was [f]supplied with food by the king’s country.

21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and [g]died.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Barnabas and Saul Appointed

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned [h]from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:4 Gr. tetrads, squads of four
  2. Acts 12:5 NU constantly or earnestly
  3. Acts 12:6 guarding
  4. Acts 12:18 disturbance
  5. Acts 12:20 who was in charge of the king’s bedchamber
  6. Acts 12:20 Lit. nourished
  7. Acts 12:23 breathed his last
  8. Acts 12:25 NU, M to
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Peter’s Arrest and Deliverance

12 Now about that time [a]Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church, to do them harm. And he had James the brother of John executed with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter as well. (Now these were [b]the days of Unleavened Bread.) When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, turning him over to four [c]squads of soldiers to guard him, intending only after the Passover to bring him before the people. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made to God [d]intensely by the church.

On [e]the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near Peter, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Put on your belt and [f]strap on your sandals.” And he did so. And he *said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and continued to follow, and yet he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 Now when they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 When Peter came [g]to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all [h]that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gate, a slave woman named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.” 16 But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to [i]James and the brothers.” Then he left and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to [j]what could have become of Peter. 19 When Herod had searched for him and had not found him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there.

Death of Herod

20 Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one mind they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was supported with grain from the king’s country. 21 On an appointed day, after putting on his royal apparel, Herod took his seat on the [k]rostrum and began delivering an address to them. 22 The people repeatedly cried out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and [l]died.

24 But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned when they had fulfilled their [m]mission to Jerusalem, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:1 I.e., Herod Agrippa I
  2. Acts 12:3 I.e., Passover week
  3. Acts 12:4 Lit quaternions; a quaternion was composed of four soldiers
  4. Acts 12:5 Or constantly
  5. Acts 12:6 Lit that night
  6. Acts 12:8 Lit bind
  7. Acts 12:11 Lit in himself
  8. Acts 12:11 Lit the expectation of the people of the Jews
  9. Acts 12:17 Or Jacob
  10. Acts 12:18 Lit what therefore had become
  11. Acts 12:21 Or judgment seat
  12. Acts 12:23 Lit expired
  13. Acts 12:25 Lit ministry
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Acts 12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Peter’s Arrest and Escape

12 Now at that time [a]Herod [Agrippa I] the king [of the Jews] arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to harm them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to have Peter arrested as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread [the Passover week]. When he had seized Peter, he put him in prison, turning him over to four squads of soldiers of four each to guard him [in rotation throughout the night], planning after the Passover to bring him out before the people [for execution]. So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church.

The very night before Herod was to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries were in front of the door guarding the prison. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared [beside him] and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter’s side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands. The angel said to him, “Prepare yourself and strap on your sandals [to get ready for whatever may happen].” And he did so. Then the angel told him, “Put on your robe and follow me.” And Peter went out following the angel. He did not realize that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. Of its own accord it swung open for them; and they went out and went along one street, and at once the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to his senses, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and has rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting [to do to me].” 12 When he realized what had happened, he went to the house of [b]Mary the mother of John, who was also called [c]Mark, where many [believers] were gathered together and were praying continually [and had been praying all night]. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she failed to open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gateway. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But [meanwhile] Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were completely amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be quiet and listen, he described how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to [d]James and the brothers and sisters.” Then he left and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he interrogated the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea [Maritima] and spent some time there.

Death of Herod

20 Now Herod [Agrippa I] was [e]extremely angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and their delegates came to him in a united group, and after persuading Blastus, [f]the king’s chamberlain [to support their cause], they asked for peace, because their country was fed by [imports of grain and other goods from] the king’s country. 21 On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his [g]royal robes, sat on his throne (tribunal, rostrum) and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and [h]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].

24 But the word of the Lord [the good news about salvation through Christ] continued to grow and spread [increasing in effectiveness].

25 Barnabas and Saul came back [i]from Jerusalem when they had completed their mission, bringing with them John, who was also called Mark.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:1 I.e. Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great. Since he was of Hasmonean descent he was partly Jewish.
  2. Acts 12:12 According to Col 4:10 this Mary was the aunt of Barnabas, so her son John Mark and Barnabas were cousins.
  3. Acts 12:12 John Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark.
  4. Acts 12:17 James, the oldest of the Lord’s half brothers, was the leader of the Jerusalem church and wrote the Letter of James.
  5. Acts 12:20 Nothing is known about the reason for Herod’s hatred. It may have had something to do with competition between Caesarea Maritima and the two northern cities, since all three were major sea ports.
  6. Acts 12:20 I.e. a trusted, highly regarded chief officer.
  7. Acts 12:21 The Jewish historian Josephus describes this as a glittering silver garment.
  8. Acts 12:23 Herod’s painful death over a five day period in a.d. 44 is recorded by Josephus, the Jewish historian.
  9. Acts 12:25 Two early mss read to Jerusalem.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Acts 12 New International Version (NIV)

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 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.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel 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.

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. 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. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, 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 and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me 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, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed 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.”

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters 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.

Herod’s Death

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; 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.

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 of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from[a] Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:25 Some manuscripts to
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Acts 12 King James Version (KJV)

12 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.

20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.

21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

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