1 It was about that time that king Herod laid hands of violence on some members of the church. 2 James the brother of John he slew with the sword, 3 and when he saw this pleased the Jews, he went on to seize Peter. (This was during the days of unleavened bread.) 4 After arresting him he put him in prison, handing him over to a guard of sixteen soldiers, with the intention of producing him to the People after the passover. 5 So Peter was closely guarded in prison, while earnest prayer for him was offered to God by the church.
6 The very night before Herod meant to have him produced, Peter lay asleep between two soldiers; he was fastened by two chains, and sentries in front of the door guarded the prison. 7 But an angel of the Lord flashed on him, and a light shone in the cell; striking Peter on the side he woke him, saying, "Quick, get up!" The fetters dropped from his hands, 8 and the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and put on your sandals." He did so. Then said the angel, "Put on your coat and follow me." 9 And he followed him out, not realizing that what the angel did was real, but imagining that he saw a vision. 10 When they had passed the first guard and the second they came to the iron gate leading into the city, which opened to them of its own accord; they passed out, and after they had gone through one street, the angel immediately left him.
11 Then Peter came to his senses and said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were anticipating." 12 When he grasped the situation, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was surnamed Mark, where a number had met for prayer. 13 When he knocked at the door of the porch, a maidservant called Rhoda came to answer it; 14 but as soon as she recognized Peter's voice, instead of opening the door she ran inside from sheer joy and announced that Peter was standing in front of the porch.
15 "You are mad," they said. But she insisted it was true. "It is his angel," they said. 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door they were amazed to see him.
17 He beckoned to them to keep quiet and then described to them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Report this to James," he said, "and to the brothers." And off he went to another place.
18 Now when day broke there was a great commotion among the soldiers over what could have become of Peter. 19 Herod made inquiries for him but could not find him; so, after cross-examining the guards, he ordered them off to death. He then went down from Judaea to Caesarea, where he spent some time.
20 As there was a bitter feud between him and the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, they waited on him unanimously, and after conciliating the royal chamberlain Blastus they made overtures for peace, as their country depended for its food-supply upon the royal territory. 21 On a stated day Herod arrayed himself in royal robes, took his seat on the dais, and proceeded to harangue them. 22 The populace shouted, "It is a god's voice, not a man's!" 23 and in a moment an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given due glory to God; he was eaten up by worms and so expired. 24 The word of God spread and multiplied. 25 After fulfilling their commission, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, bringing with them John who is surnamed Mark.