1 Now, at about that time, Herod the king put forth his hands to ill-treat certain members of the church; 2 and beheaded James, the brother of John, with the sword. 3 And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. (This was during the days of unleavened bread.) 4 He had him arrested and thrown in prison, and put under guard of sixteen soldiers. He intended, after the Passover, to bring him forth to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer to God was made by the church for him.
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him forth, on that very night, while Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison, 7 suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him saying, "Rise up quickly." At once the chains dropped from his hands. 8 "Gird yourself," said the angel, "and put on your sandals." He did so. Then he said unto him, "Throw your cloak about you, and follow me." 9 So Peter went out, following him, but did not realize that what the angel was doing was real, but supposed that he was seeing a vision. 10 And when they had passed the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that led to the city. This opened to them of its own accord; and they went out passed on through one street; and suddenly the angel left him.
11 Peter, coming to himself, said, "Now I know for a certainty that the Lord has sent his angel and released me from the hand of Herod, and from all that the Jewish people were anticipating." 12 So, after he had thought things over, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, surnamed Mark, where a large number of people were assembled, praying. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gate, a maid servant named Rhoda came to answer. 14 And when she recognized Peter's voice, for very joy she did not open the door, but ran in and told them that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 "You are mad," they said. But she confidently insisted that it was so. "It is his angel," they said. 16 Meanwhile Peter continued to knock, until at last they opened the door, and were amazed to see that it was really he.
17 He motioned to them to keep quiet, and told them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell all this to James," he said, "and to the brothers," and away he went to another place.
18 When morning came there was no small stir among the soldiers as to what could possibly have become of Peter. 19 Then Herod had search made for him, and could not find him. After sharply questioning the guards, he ordered them off to execution. He then went down from Judea to Caesarea, where he stayed for some time.
20 Now Herod was violently displeased with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they came to him, with one accord, and after conciliating Blastus, the royal chamberlain, they begged for peace because their country depended upon the king's country for its food supply. 21 So on the appointed day, Herod put on his royal robes, and after taking his seat upon the throne, began to harangue them. 22 "The voice of a god, and not of a man," the people kept shouting. 23 Instantly an angel of the Lord smote him, because he had not given God the glory, and being eaten up by worms, he died. 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied; 25 and after discharging their mission, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, bringing with them John, surnamed Mark.