1 ABOUT that time King Herod laid hands on some members of the church in order to maltreat them.
2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 Seeing that it was pleasing to the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
4 He seized him and put him in prison, committing him to four guards of four soldiers each for safe keeping, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.
5 So Peter was under guard in the prison. But prayer was continually made by the church to God for him.
6 On the very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers bound with two chains, and guards before the door were watching the prison.
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord was there. Light shone in the cell. Striking Peter's side he woke him, saying, "Rise up quickly." His chains fell off his hands.
8 The angel said to him, "Put on your belt and your sandals." Peter did so. The angel said to him, "Throw your cloak around you and follow me."
9 Peter came out and followed along, not knowing whether what the angel was doing was real. He thought he was seeing a vision.
10 After passing the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. This opened for them of its own accord and they went out and went along one street. Then suddenly the angel left him.
11 When Peter came to himself, he said, "Now I know truly that the Lord has sent his angel and has delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."
12 So understanding the situation, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John called Mark, where a number were assembled and were praying.
13 When Peter knocked at the door of the entry, a girl named Rhoda came to listen,
14 and when she recognized Peter's voice, without opening the door, she ran for joy and told them that Peter was standing at the door.
15 They said to her, "You are insane." But she was positive that it was so. They said, "It is his angel."
16 Peter continued knocking. When they opened the door and saw him they were amazed.
17 He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and explained to them how the Lord had delivered him out of the prison, and he said, "Tell this to James and the brethren." Then he left and went to a different place.
18 When day came there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
19 Herod searched for him, but not finding him he closely questioned the guards and ordered them to be led away to execution. Then he went down from Jerusalem to Caesarea and stayed there.
20 Herod had a bitter feud with the Tyrians and Sidonians. But they came to him with one mind, and having won over Blastus, the King's chamberlain, they begged for peace, because their country depended for its food supply on the King's country.
21 On an appointed day Herod in his royal robes sat on a platform and made an address to them.
22 The people shouted, "It is a god's voice, not a man's."
23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and expired.
24 But God's message grew and spread.
25 Barnabas and Saul after fulfilling their mission returned from Jerusalem, bringing along with them John, surnamed Mark.