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Acts 12

 

 1 Now (1) about that time, (a) Herod the King stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the Church,

 

(1) God giveth his Church a truce, but for a little time.
(a) This name Herod was common to all them that came of the stock of Herod Ascalonites, whose surname was Magnus; but he that is spoken of here, was nephew to Herod the great son to Aristobulus, and father to that Agrippa who is spoken of afterwards.

 

 2 And he (b) killed James the (*) brother of John with the sword.

 

(b) Violently, his cause being not once heard.

(*) There was another so named which was the son of Alphaeus.

 

  (2) And when he saw that it (*) pleased the Jews, he proceeded further, to take Peter also (then were the days of unleavened bread.)

 

(2) It is an old fashion of tyrants to procure the favor of the wicked, with the blood of the godly.

(*) It came then of no zeal nor religion, but only to flatter the people.

 

  (3) And when he had caught him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to (*) four quaternions of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people.

 

(3) The tyrants and wicked make a gallous for themselves even then when they do most according to their own will and fantasy.

(*) The number being sixteen was divided by fours, to keep divers wards.

 

  (4) So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer was made of the Church unto God for him.

 

(4) The prayers of the godly overturn the counsel of tyrants, obtain Angels of God, break the prison, unloose the chains, put Satan to flight, and preserve the Church.

 

 6 And when Herod would have brought him out unto the people, the same night slept Peter between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and the keepers before the door, kept the prison.

 

 7  (*) And behold, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and a light shined in the (c) house, and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

 

(*) Acts 5:19 .

(c) In the prison.

 

 8 And the Angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy (*) sandals. And so he did. Then he said unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

 

(*) Read Mark 6:9 .

 

 9 So Peter came out and followed him, and knew not that it was true, which was done by the Angel, but thought he had seen a vision.

 

 10 Now when they were past the first and the second watch, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them by its own accord, and they went out, and passed through one street, and by and by the Angel departed from him.

 

 11  ∂ And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know for a truth, that the Lord hath sent his Angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the (*) waiting for of the people of the Jews.

 

(*) For they thought that Herod would have put him to death, as he had purposed.

 

 12  (5) And as he considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together, and prayed.

 

(5) Holy meeting in the night as well of men as women (when they cannot be suffered in the day time) are allowable by the example of the Apostles.

 

 13  (6) And when Peter knocked at the entry door, a maid (d) came forth to hearken, named Rhoda,

 

(6) We obtain more of God, than we dare well hope for.
(d) Out of the place where they were assembled, but not out of the house.

 

 14 But when she knew Peterís voice, she opened not the entry door for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the entry.

 

 15 But they said unto her, Thou art mad. Yet she affirmed it constantly, that it was so. Then said they, It is his (*) Angel.

 

(*) For they did know by Gods word that Angels were appointed to defend the faithful, and also in those days they were accustomed to se such sights.

 

 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they had opened it, and saw him, they were astonied.

 

 17  (7) And he beckoned unto them with the hand, to hold their peace, and told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James and to the brethren. And he departed and went into (*) another place.

 

(7) We may sometimes give place to the rage of the wicked, but yet so that our diligence which ought to be used in Godís business, be not a whit slackened.

(*) Which was less suspect, by reason of the brethren.

 

 18  ∂ (8) Now as soon as it was day, there was no small trouble among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

 

(8) Evil counsel falleth out in the end to the hurt of the devisers of it.

 

 19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded them to be led to be punished. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and there abode.

 

 20  (9) Then Herod intended to make war against them of Tyre and Sidon, but they came all with one accord unto him, and (*) persuaded Blastus the Kingís Chamberlain, and they desired peace, because their country was nourished by the Kingís land.

 

(9) A miserable and shameful example of the end of the enemies of the Church.

(*) Both by flattering words, and also by bribery.

 

 21 And upon a day appointed, Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the judgment seat, and made an oration unto them.

 

 22  (10) And the people gave a shout, saying, The voice of God, and not of man.

 

(10) The flattery of the people, maketh fools fain.

 

 23  (11) But immediately the Angel of the Lord smote him, because he (e) (*) gave not glory unto God, so that he was eaten (♣) of worms, and gave up the ghost.

 

(11) God resisteth the proud.
(e) Josephus recordeth, that this king did not repress those flatterer's tongues, and therefore at his death he complained and cried out of their vanity.

(*) Which he should have done, if he had punished the flatterers, of whose vanity he complained, when he was a dying, as Josephus writeth.

(♣) The vileness of the punishment declareth how God detesteth pride, and tyranny; his grandfather also was eaten of life.

 

 24  (12) And the (s) word of God (*) grew and multiplied.

 

(12) Tyrants build up the Church by plucking it down.
(s) They that heard the word of God.

(*) The more that tyrants go about to suppress Godís word, the more doeth it increase.

 

 25 So Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their (*) office, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

 

(*) Which was to distribute the alms sent from Antioch, Acts 11:29 .

 

 

 

Steve
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