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1 Now about that time, Herode the King stretched foorth his hands, to vexe certaine of the Church.

2 And he killed Iames the brother of Iohn with the sword.

3 And because he saw it pleased the Iewes, hee proceeded further, to take Peter also. (Then were the dayes of vnleauened bread.)

4 And when hee had apprehended him, hee put him in prison, and deliuered him to foure quaternions of souldiers to keepe him, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

5 Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing of the Church vnto God for him.

6 And when Herode would haue brought him foorth, the same night Peter was sleeping betweene two Souldiers, bound with two chaines, and the Keepers before the doore kept the prison.

7 And beholde, the Angel of the Lord came vpon him, and a light shined in the prison: and hee smote Peter on the side, and raised him vp, saying, Arise vp quickely. And his chaines fell off from his hands.

8 And the Angel said vnto him, Girde thy selfe, and binde on thy sandales: And so he did. And he sayth vnto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

9 And hee 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 vnto the yron gate that leadeth vnto the citie, which opened to them of his owne accord: and they went out and passed on thorow one streete, and foorthwith the Angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter was come to himselfe, hee said, Now I know of a suretie, that the Lord hath sent his Angel, and hath deliuered mee out of the hand of Herode, and from all the expectation of the people of the Iewes.

12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of Iohn whose sirname was Marke, where many were gathered together praying.

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

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

15 And they said vnto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was euen so. Then said they, It it his Angel.

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

17 But he beckening vnto them with the hand, to hold their peace, declared vnto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison: And he said, Goe shew these things vnto Iames, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

18 Now assoone as it was day, there was no smal stirre among the souldiers, what was become of Peter.

19 And when Herode had sought for him, and found him not, hee examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And hee went downe from Iudea to Cesarea, & there abode.

20 And Herode was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and hauing made Blastus the kings chamberlaine their friend, desired peace, because their countrey was nourished by the kings countrey.

21 And vpon a set day Herod arayed in royall apparell, sate vpon his throne, and made an Oration vnto them.

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

23 And immediatly the Angel of the Lord smote him, because hee gaue not God the glory, and hee was eaten of wormes, and gaue vp the ghost.

24 But the word of God grewe, and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Hierusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministerie, and tooke with them Iohn, whose syrname was Marke.

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Commentary for Acts 12

The martyrdom of James, and the imprisonment of Peter. (1-5) He is delivered from prison by an angel. (6-11) Peter departs, Herod's rage. (12-19) The death of Herod. (20-25)1-5 James was one of the sons of Zebedee, whom Christ told that they should drink of the cup that he was to drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that he was to be baptized with, #Mt 20:23|. Now the words of Christ were made good in him; and if we suffer with Christ, we shall reign with him. Herod imprisoned Peter: the way of persecution, as of other sins, is downhill; when men are in it, they cannot easily stop. Those make themselves an easy prey to Satan, who make it their business to please men. Thus James finished his course. But Peter, being designed for further services, was safe; though he seemed now marked out for a speedy sacrifice. We that live in a cold, prayerless generation, can hardly form an idea of the earnestness of these holy men of old. But if the Lord should bring on the church an awful persecution like this of Herod, the faithful in Christ would learn what soul-felt prayer is.

6-11 A peaceful conscience, a lively hope, and the consolations of the Holy Spirit, can keep men calm in the full prospect of death; even those very persons who have been most distracted with terrors on that account. God's time to help, is when things are brought to the last extremity. Peter was assured that the Lord would cause this trial to end in the way that should be most for his glory. Those who are delivered out of spiritual imprisonment must follow their Deliverer, like the Israelites when they went out of the house of bondage. They knew not whither they went, but knew whom they followed. When God will work salvation for his people, all difficulties in their way will be overcome, even gates of iron are made to open of their own accord. This deliverance of Peter represents our redemption by Christ, which not only proclaims liberty to the captives, but brings them out of the prison-house. Peter, when he recollected himself, perceived what great things God had done for him. Thus souls delivered out of spiritual bondage, are not at first aware what God has wrought in them; many have the truth of grace, that want evidence of it. But when the Comforter comes, whom the Father will send, sooner or later, he will let them know what a blessed change is wrought.

12-19 God's providence leaves room for the use of our prudence, though he has undertaken to perform and perfect what he has begun. These Christians continued in prayer for Peter, for they were truly in earnest. Thus men ought always to pray, and not to faint. As long as we are kept waiting for a mercy, we must continue praying for it. But sometimes that which we most earnestly wish for, we are most backward to believe. The Christian law of self-denial and of suffering for Christ, has not done away the natural law of caring for our own safety by lawful means. In times of public danger, all believers have God for their hiding-place; which is so secret, that the world cannot find them. Also, the instruments of persecution are themselves exposed to danger; the wrath of God hangs over all that engage in this hateful work. And the range of persecutors often vents itself on all in its way.

20-25 Many heathen princes claimed and received Divine honours, but it was far more horrible impiety in Herod, who knew the word and worship of the living God, to accept such idolatrous honours without rebuking the blasphemy. And such men as Herod, when puffed with pride and vanity, are ripening fast for signal vengeance. God is very jealous for his own honour, and will be glorified upon those whom he is not glorified by. See what vile bodies we carry about with us; they have in them the seeds of their own dissolution, by which they will soon be destroyed, whenever God does but speak the word. We may learn wisdom from the people of Tyre and Sidon, for we have offended the Lord with our sins. We depend on him for life, and breath, and all things; it surely then behoves us to humble ourselves before him, that through the appointed Mediator, who is ever ready to befriend us, we may be reconciled to him, lest wrath come upon us to the utmost.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 12

  • Mary goss
    Brenda ragsdale's and Angela Barnes': Acts 12:4 Easter verse 3 1 King Herod seized Peter also, he saw the people were pleased when he arrested some who belonged to the church. James the brother of John was put to death. 2 Notice Peter was arrested during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the week following Passover. Passover was for one day only. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a week long festival directly following Passover.. 3 Passover had passed, Passover was over. 4 Herod intended after "EASTER" to bring him, Peter, forth to the people. Jeremiah 7:18 speaks of the Queen of Heaven, Ishtar, also know as Estar,she is a goddess, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and fertility 44:17 . This pagan celebration was held the same time of year as the Feast of Unleaved Bread. There is much info out there giving Bible verses you can check for yourself. Easter was a Roman pagan celebration. There were many disgusting things that happen and after reading all I can find on "Easter" and it being a pagan holiday I myself will not have anything to do with it.
  • Cynthia Turner
    Believe and all things are possible
  • David Tetteh
    This means that those who keep their self in the Lord and obey his word no matter how God will bless them and fight for them in all things
  • Audrey Jones for verse 4
    Throughout Holy Scripture Creator God clearly warns against mixing pagan gods into our worship for the Christian community to perpetrate use of this term in reference to Christ's Resurrection and to muddy the Jewish Holy Days is reprehensible
  • Apostle Dickson Aibuedefe for verse 24
    The words of God became outstandingly life which can not be broken. Because everyone encounter it 's in their circumstances received brake through with immediate effects. No controversy the words is God in action forever.
  • Varghese Thomas for verse 10
    The gates shut for many but for a child of God it will open for its own.

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