But 1the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back,
saying, "We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside."
Now when 2the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this.
But someone came and reported to them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"
Then 3the captain went along with 4the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for 5they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned ).
When they had brought them, they stood them before 6the Council. The high priest questioned them,
saying, "We gave you 7strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and 8intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the apostles answered, "9We must obey God rather than men.
"10The God of our fathers 11raised up Jesus, whom you had 12put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
"13He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a 14Prince and a 15Savior, to grant 16repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
"And we are 17witnesses of these things; and 18so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."
But when they heard this, they were 19cut to the quick and intended to kill them.
But a Pharisee named 20Gamaliel, a 21teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in 22the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.
And he said to them, "Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men.
"For some time ago Theudas rose up, 23claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
"After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of 24the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered.
"So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action 25is of men, it will be overthrown;
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found 26fighting against God."
They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they 27flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.
So they went on their way from the presence of the 28Council, 29rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame 30for His name.
31And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and 32preaching Jesus as the Christ.