1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to persecute them. 2 He had James the brother of John put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
6 The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me." 9 So he went out and followed him; and he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.
11 When Peter came to himself, he said, "Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting." 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 They said to her, "You are out of your mind!" But she kept insisting that it was so. They said, "It is his angel." 16 But Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.
17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Tell this to James and to the brethren." Then he left and went to another place.
18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while.
20 Now he was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and they came to him in a body, and having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and made an address to them. 22 And the people shouted, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God continued to grow and to be multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.