1About this time, King Herod arrested some people who belonged to the church. He planned to make them suffer greatly.2He had James killed with a sword. James was John’s brother.3Herod saw that the death of James pleased some Jews. So he arrested Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.4After Herod arrested Peter, he put him in prison. Peter was placed under guard. He was watched by four groups of four soldiers each. Herod planned to put Peter on public trial. It would take place after the Passover Feast.5So Peter was kept in prison. But the church prayed hard to God for him.6It was the night before Herod was going to bring him to trial. Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. Two chains held him there. Lookouts stood guard at the entrance.7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared. A light shone in the prison cell. The angel struck Peter on his side. Peter woke up. ‘Quick!’ the angel said. ‘Get up!’ The chains fell off Peter’s wrists.8Then the angel said to him, ‘Put on your clothes and sandals.’ Peter did so. ‘Put on your coat,’ the angel told him. ‘Follow me.’9Peter 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.10They passed the first and second guards. Then they came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself. They went through it. They walked the length of one street. Suddenly the angel left Peter.11Then Peter realised what had happened. He said, ‘Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent his angel. He set me free from Herod’s power. He saved me from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.’12When Peter understood what had happened, he went to Mary’s house. Mary was the mother of John Mark. Many people had gathered in her home. They were praying there.13Peter knocked at the outer entrance. A servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.14She recognised Peter’s voice. She was so excited that she ran back without opening the door. ‘Peter is at the door!’ she exclaimed.15‘You’re out of your mind,’ they said to her. But she kept telling them it was true. So they said, ‘It must be his angel.’16Peter kept on knocking. When they opened the door and saw him, they were amazed.17Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet. He explained how the Lord had brought him out of prison. ‘Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,’ he said. Then he went to another place.18In the morning the soldiers were bewildered. They couldn’t figure out what had happened to Peter.
19So Herod had them look everywhere for Peter. But they didn’t find him. Then Herod questioned the guards closely. He ordered that they be put to death. Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.20He had been quarrelling with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they got together and asked for a meeting with him. This was because they depended on the king’s country to supply them with food. They gained the support of Blastus and then asked for peace. Blastus was a trusted personal servant of the king.21The appointed day came. Herod was seated on his throne. He was wearing his royal robes. He made a speech to the people.22Then they shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god. It’s not the voice of a man.’23Right away an angel of the Lord struck Herod down. Herod had not given praise to God. So he was eaten by worms and died.24But God’s word continued to spread and many people believed the message.
Barnabas and Saul are sent off
25Barnabas and Saul finished their task. Then they returned from Jerusalem. They took John Mark with them.
English Standard Version
James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
1About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.2He killed James the brother of John with the sword, (Mt 4:21; Mt 20:23; Heb 11:37)3and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. (Ex 12:14; Ex 23:15; Ac 20:6; Ac 24:27; Ac 25:9)4And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. (Lu 21:12; Joh 19:23)5So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. (2Co 1:11; Eph 6:18)
Peter Is Rescued
6Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. (Ac 21:33)7And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. (1Ki 19:7; Lu 2:9; Lu 24:4; Ac 8:26; Ac 16:26)8And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” (Mr 6:9)9And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. (Ps 126:1)10When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. (Ac 5:19; Ac 16:26)11When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” (Ps 33:18; Ps 34:7; Ps 91:11; Da 3:28; Da 6:22; Lu 15:17; 2Co 1:10)12When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. (Ac 12:5; Ac 12:25; Ac 13:5; Ac 13:13; Ac 15:37; Ac 15:39; Col 4:10; 2Ti 4:11; Phm 1:24; 1Pe 5:13)13And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. (Joh 18:16)14Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. (Ge 45:26; Lu 24:41)15They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” (Mt 18:10; Heb 1:14)16But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.17But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. (Joh 21:23; Ac 13:16; Ac 15:13; Ac 19:33; Ac 21:18; Ac 21:40; Ga 1:19; Ga 2:9; Ga 2:12)18Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.19And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there. (Ac 16:27; Ac 27:42)
The Death of Herod
20Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. (1Ki 5:9; Ezr 3:7; Eze 27:17; Mt 28:14)21On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.22And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!”23Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. (2Sa 24:16; 2Ki 19:35; Ps 115:1; Ac 8:26)24But the word of God increased and multiplied. (Ac 6:7)25And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark. (Ac 11:29; Ac 12:12)