29 The disciples, each according to his
ability, decided to provide help for the
brothers living in Judea.
30 This they did, sending their gift to
the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Herod's Violence to the Church
12 It was about this time that King
Herod arrested some who belonged to
the church, intending to persecute them.
2 He had James, the brother of John,
put to death with the sword.
3 When he saw that this pleased the
Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This
happened during the Feast of Unleavened
4 After arresting him, he put him in
prison, handing him over to be guarded by
four squads of four soldiers each. Herod
intended to bring him out for public trial
after the Passover.
Peter Freed from Prison
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the
church was earnestly praying to God for
6 The night before Herod was to bring
him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two
soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries
stood guard at the entrance.
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord
appeared and a light shone in the cell. He
struck Peter on the side and woke him up.
"Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell
off Peter's wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on
your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so.
"Wrap your cloak around you and follow
me," the angel told him.
9 Peter followed him out of the prison,
but he had no idea that what the angel was
doing was really happening; he thought he
was seeing a vision.
10 They passed the first and second
guards and came to the iron gate leading to
the city. It opened for them by itself, and
they went through it. When they had
walked the length of one street, suddenly
the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said,
"Now I know without a doubt that the Lord
sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's
clutches and from everything the Jewish
people were anticipating."
12 When this had dawned on him, he
went to the house of Mary the mother of
John, also called Mark, where many people
had gathered and were praying.
13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance,
and a servant girl named Rhoda came to
answer the door.
14 When she recognized Peter's voice,
she was so overjoyed she ran back without
opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the
15 "You're out of your mind," they told
her. When she kept insisting that it was so,
they said, "It must be his angel."
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and
when they opened the door and saw him,
they were astonished.
17 Peter motioned with his hand for
them to be quiet and described how the
Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell
James and the brothers about this," he said,
and then he left for another place.
18 In the morning, there was no small
commotion among the soldiers as to what
had become of Peter.
19 After Herod had a thorough search
made for him and did not find him, he
cross-examined the guards and ordered that
they be executed. Then Herod went from
Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while.
Herod's Violent Death
20 He had been quarreling with the
people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined
together and sought an audience with him.
Having secured the support of Blastus, a
trusted personal servant of the king, they
asked for peace, because they depended on
the king's country for their food supply.
21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing
his royal robes, sat on his throne and
delivered a public address to the people.
22 They shouted, "This is the voice of a
god, not of a man."
23 Immediately, because Herod did not
give praise to God, an angel of the Lord
struck him down, and he was eaten by
worms and died.
24 But the word of God continued to
increase and spread.
Barnabas and Saul Appointed
25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished
their mission, they returned from
Jerusalem, taking with them John, also
13 In the church at Antioch there were
prophets and teachers: Barnabas,
Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen (who had been brought up with
Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
2 While they were worshiping the Lord
and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart
for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to
which I have called them."
3 So after they had fasted and prayed,
they placed their hands on them and sent
4 The two of them, sent on their way by
the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and
sailed from there to Cyprus.
5 When they arrived at Salamis, they
proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish
synagogues. John was with them as their
6 They traveled through the whole
island until they came to Paphos. There
they met a Jewish sorcerer and false
prophet named Bar-jesus,
7 who was an attendant of the proconsul,
Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent
man, sent for Barnabas and Saul
because he wanted to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is
what his name means) opposed them and
tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.
Who could be banging on the door this late at night? Rhoda
shook with fear. Someone was probably coming to arrest all of
the believers in their house. Peter was already chained up in prison.
Now it was time to get the rest of them. She tiptoed to the door so she
could see who it was. Rhoda couldn't believer her eyes! It was Peter!
She ran through the house and burst into the prayer meeting. They
looked at her like she was crazy. But Rhoda kept insisting that
Peter was at the door. Finally they all heard it - BANG, BANG
BANG! She ran as fast as she could back to the door to let Peter in.
Everyone shouted with excitement. They had seen a miracle!