Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 12:1-17
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 12:1-17. These verses describe James’s death, Peter’s imprisonment and escape.

Acts 12

James dies, Peter is imprisoned and escapes.

Verses 1-3

¶ "Now about that time, King Herod laid hands on some of the church to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death by the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he also arrested Peter. This happened during the days of unleavened bread." (Acts 12:1-3).

Verses 4-6

¶ "When Herod had Peter arrested, he sent him to prison, with four squads of four soldiers each to guard him. He was intending to bring him before the people after the Passover. So Peter was kept in the prison, but the church prayed to God for Peter fervently. Now on the very night that Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison secure." (Acts 12:4-6).

Verses 7-10

¶ "And behold, an angel of the Lord stood beside Peter, and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter on the side, and woke him up. He said, “Quickly! Stand up!” and the chains fell from Peter’s hands. The angel said to him, “Get dressed and put your sandals on.” Peter did so. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your cloak, and follow me.” Peter followed him out, but he did not know that the angel’s actions were real. Peter thought he was seeing a vision. When they'd passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. The gate opened for them by itself. They went out, and down one street, and then the angel departed from Peter. (Acts 12:7-10).

Verses 11-15

¶ "When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I truly know that the Lord has sent forth his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting.” Having realised this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so excited with joy that she didn't open the gate. She ran inside, and told everyone that Peter was standing in front of the gate. They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It must be his angel.”" (Acts 12:11-15).

Verses 16-17

¶ "But Peter kept knocking. When they opened up, they saw him, and were amazed. But he made a sign with his hand to be silent. He told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, “Tell these things to James, and to the brethren.” Then he departed, and went to another place." (Acts 12:16-17).

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