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Acts 12 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 That's when King Herod got it into his head to go after some of the church members. 1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
2 He murdered James, John's brother. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
3 When he saw how much it raised his popularity ratings with the Jews, he arrested Peter - all this during Passover Week, mind you - 3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
4 and had him thrown in jail, putting four squads of four soldiers each to guard him. He was planning a public lynching after Passover. 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.
5 All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 Then the time came for Herod to bring him out for the kill. That night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, Peter slept like a baby. And there were guards at the door keeping their eyes on the place. Herod was taking no chances! 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 there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: "Hurry!" The handcuffs fell off his wrists. 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 The angel said, "Get dressed. Put on your shoes." Peter did it. Then, "Grab your coat and let's get out of here." 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, but didn't believe it was really an angel - he thought he was dreaming. 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 Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze. At the first intersection the angel left him, going his own way. 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 That's when Peter realized it was no dream. "I can't believe it - this really happened! The Master sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's vicious little production and the spectacle the Jewish mob was looking forward to." 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 Still shaking his head, amazed, he went to Mary's house, the Mary who was John Mark's mother. The house was packed with praying friends. 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 When he knocked on the door to the courtyard, a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door.
14 But when she recognized his voice - Peter's voice! - she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street. 14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"
15 But they wouldn't believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. "You're crazy," they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn't believe her and said, "It must be his angel." 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 All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away. 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
17 Peter put his hands up and calmed them down. He described how the Master had gotten him out of jail, then said, "Tell James and the brothers what's happened." He left them and went off to another place. 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 At daybreak the jail was in an uproar. "Where is Peter? What's happened to Peter?" 18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
19 When Herod sent for him and they could neither produce him nor explain why not, he ordered their execution: "Off with their heads!" Fed up with Judea and Jews, he went for a vacation to Caesarea. 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.
20 But things went from bad to worse for Herod. Now people from Tyre and Sidon put him on the warpath. But they got Blastus, King Herod's right-hand man, to put in a good word for them and got a delegation together to iron things out. Because they were dependent on Judea for food supplies, they couldn't afford to let this go on too long. 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 day set for their meeting, Herod, robed in pomposity, took his place on the throne and regaled them with a lot of hot air. 21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
22 The people played their part to the hilt and shouted flatteries: "The voice of God! The voice of God!" 22 They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man."
23 That was the last straw. God had had enough of Herod's arrogance and sent an angel to strike him down. Herod had given God no credit for anything. Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died. 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 Meanwhile, the ministry of God's Word grew by leaps and bounds. 24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
25 Barnabas and Saul, once they had delivered the relief offering to the church in Jerusalem, went back to Antioch. This time they took John with them, the one they called Mark. 25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.