Acts 12 – New International Version (NIV)
Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.
- When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
- “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
- But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
- 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.
- In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
- 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.
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
- 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.
- On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
- They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
- 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.
- But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
- When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from[a] Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
Acts 12 – King James Version (KJV)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
- 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.
- And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
- But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
- 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.
- Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- But the word of God grew and multiplied.
- And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.