12:1In that time King Herod used his power to mistreat some of the Congregation.12:2He had James, the brother of John, put to death by the sword.12:3And when he saw that this pleased the Judeans, he proceeded to arrest Peter as well (this was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread).12:4Upon his arrest he was put in jail under the guard of four groups of four soldiers each. Herod’s intention was to make an example of him after the Passover.
12:5But while Peter was kept in jail, the Congregation was in intense prayer to God about him.12:6On the night before Herod was ready to lead him to be punished, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound by two chains, and there were also guards at the door of the jail.12:7Suddenly a Messenger of the Master was standing there, lighting up the room! He struck Peter on the side to wake him up and said, “Quick, get up!” And the chains fell from his wrists.
12:8Then the Messenger said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals,” so he did. And the Messenger added, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”12:9They came out and he followed, but he was not sure whether he was actually seeing the Messenger or having a vision.
12:10So they passed through the first post and then the second, then came to the iron gate that leads to the city— which opened all by itself. They went out and then up one street, when the Messenger suddenly left him.12:11Then Peter came to his senses and said, “Now I know for sure that the Master sent his Messenger to rescue me from Herod’s clutches and all the schemes of the Judeans!”12:12As this dawned on him, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John who is also called Mark, where a sufficient number of people had come for a prayer meeting.
12:13Now as Peter knocked on the door, a servant named Rhoda came to answer it.12:14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she forgot to open it and ran in to report that he was standing at the door.12:15But though they told her she was crazy, she kept insisting that it was true. So they decided maybe it was his Messenger.12:16Meanwhile, Peter kept on knocking, and they finally opened it and were shocked to see him.12:17But he motioned for them to be quiet, then told them how the Master led him out of the jail. And he added, “Report all of this to James and the rest of the believers.” Then he went someplace else.
12:18At daybreak there was no small disturbance among the soldiers over what could have become of Peter.12:19When Herod could not find him after a search, he interrogated the guards and then had them executed. Then he went down from Judea into Caesarea and stayed there.
12:20It happened that he was in a fierce fight with the people of Tyre and Sidon. But they joined together and persuaded Blastus, the king’s personal attendant, to ask for peace, because their country depended upon the king’s for food.12:21And on a set day, Herod, dressed in his royal attire, sat on his throne and made a speech to them.12:22But the people all shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not a human!”12:23So immediately a Messenger of the Master struck him, because he did not give honor to God. His insides were eaten by worms, and then he died.
12:24But the Word of God grew and multiplied.12:25Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem after they had completed their service, and they brought along John who is also called Mark.