12
Herod had James killed and Peter put in prison.
Acts 12:1-4
It was about this time that King Herod Agrippa sent soldiers [MTY] who seized and put in prison some of the leaders of the congregation in Jerusalem. He did that because he wanted to make the believers suffer. He commanded a soldier to cut off the head of the apostle James, the older brother of the apostle John. When Herod realized that he had pleased the leaders of the Jewish people by doing that, he commanded soldiers to arrest Peter in order to kill him, too. This happened during the festival when the Jewish people ate bread that did not have yeast. After they seized Peter, they put him in prison. They arranged for four groups of soldiers to guard Peter. Each group had four soldiers. Every three hours a different group began to guard him while the others rested. Herod wanted to bring Peter out of prison and judge him in front of the Jewish people after the Passover Festival was finished. He then planned to command soldiers to execute Peter.
An angel freed Peter from prison.
Acts 12:5-11
So for several days Peter was kept {they kept Peter} in prison. But the other believers in the congregation at Jerusalem were praying earnestly to God that he would help Peter. The night before Herod planned to bring Peter out from prison to have him executed publicly, Peter was sleeping in the prison between two soldiers, with two chains binding his arms to the arms of the soldiers. Two other soldiers were guarding the prison doors. Suddenly an angel from the Lord God stood beside Peter, and a bright light shone in his cell. The angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up and said, “Get up quickly!” While Peter was getting up, the chains fell off from his wrists. However, the soldiers were not aware of what was happening. Then the angel said to Peter, “Put on your clothes and sandals!” So Peter did. Then the angel said to him, “Fasten your belt/girdle around you(sg) and put on your sandals!” So Peter did that. Then the angel told him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me!” So, after Peter put on his cloak and sandals, he followed the angel out of the prison cell, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening. He thought that he was seeing a vision. 10 Peter and the angel walked by the soldiers who were guarding the two doors, but the soldiers did not see them. Then they came to the iron gate that led out into the city. The gate opened by itself, and Peter and the angel walked out of the prison. After they had walked a ways along one street, the angel suddenly disappeared. 11 Then Peter finally realized that what had happened to him was not a vision, but it had really happened. So he said to himself, “Now I really know that the Lord God sent an angel to help me. He rescued me from what Herod planned to do [MTY] to me, and also from all the things that the Jewish leaders [SYN] expected that Herod would do to me.”
Peter reported to the other believers.
Acts 12:12-17
12 When Peter realized that God had rescued him, he went to Mary's house. She was the mother of John whose other name was Mark. Many believers had assembled there, and they were praying that God would help Peter somehow. 13 When Peter knocked at the outer entrance, a servant girl named Rhoda came to find out who was outside the door. 14  When Peter answered her, she recognized his voice, but she was so happy and excited that she did not open the door! Instead, she ran back into the house. She excitedly announced to the other believers that Peter was standing outside the door. 15 But one of them said to her, “You (sg) are crazy!” But she continued saying that it was really true. Then they repeatedly said, “ No, it cannot be Peter. It is probably the angel who was guarding him who has come (OR, It is the angel who has guarded/protected him, and he has come to tell us that Peter has died.)” 16 But Peter continued knocking on the door. So when someone finally opened the door, they saw that it was Peter, and they were completely amazed! 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet. Then he told them exactly how the Lord God had led him out of the prison. He also said, “Tell James, the leader of our congregation, and our other fellow believers what has happened.” Then Peter left and went away to another town.
Herod commanded soldiers to execute the guards.
Acts 12:18-19
18 The next morning the soldiers who had been guarding Peter became terribly distressed, because they did not know what had happened to him. 19 Then Herod heard about it. So he commanded soldiers to search for Peter, but they did not find him. Then he questioned the soldiers who had been guarding Peter, and asked them, “ How did Peter get away when you were there guarding him?But they could not explain it. So he commanded them to be led away to be executed { other soldiers to lead them away to execute them}. Afterwards, Herod went from Judea province down to Caesarea, where he stayed for some time.
An angel caused Herod to die.
Acts 12:20-23
20 King Herod had been furiously angry with the people who lived in Tyre and Sidon cities. Then one day some men who represented them came unitedly to Caesarea in order to meet with Herod. They persuaded Blastus, who was one of Herod's important officials, to tell Herod that the people in their cities wanted to make peace with him. They wanted to be able to trade with the people that Herod ruled, because they needed to buy food from those regions. Herod had commanded the people in the areas he ruled to stop selling food to the people in those cities. 21 On the day that Herod had planned to meet with them, he put on ◄very expensive clothes that showed that he was king/his royal robes►. Then he sat on his ◄throne/chair from which he ruled people►, and formally addressed all the people who had gathered there. 22 Those who were listening to him shouted repeatedly, “ This man who is speaking is a god, not a man!” 23 So, because Herod let the people praise him instead of praising God, immediately an angel from the Lord God caused Herod to become seriously ill. Many worms ate his intestines, and soon he died very painfully.
Many people heard God's message and became believers. Barnabas and Saul returned to Antioch from Jerusalem.
Acts 12:24-25
24  The believers continued telling God's message to people in many places, and ◄ the number of people who believed in Jesus was continually increasing/there were continually more and more people who were believing in Jesus►.
25 When Barnabas and Saul finished delivering the money to help the Jewish believers in Judea, they left Jerusalem and returned to Antioch, in Syria province. They took John, whose other name was Mark, with them.