It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
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.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door.
When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"
"You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel."
But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
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.
In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
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.
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.
On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man."
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.
But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
The allotment for the tribe of Judah, clan by clan, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south.
Their southern boundary started from the bay at the southern end of the Salt Sea,
crossed south of Scorpion Pass, continued on to Zin and went over to the south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it ran past Hezron up to Addar and curved around to Karka.
It then passed along to Azmon and joined the Wadi of Egypt, ending at the sea. This is their southern boundary.
The eastern boundary is the Salt Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan. The northern boundary started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan,
went up to Beth Hoglah and continued north of Beth Arabah to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben.
The boundary then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor and turned north to Gilgal, which faces the Pass of Adummim south of the gorge. It continued along to the waters of En Shemesh and came out at En Rogel.
Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim.
From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim).
Then it curved westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), continued down to Beth Shemesh and crossed to Timnah.
It went to the northern slope of Ekron, turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah and reached Jabneel. The boundary ended at the sea.
The western boundary is the coastline of the Great Sea. These are the boundaries around the people of Judah by their clans.
In accordance with the LORD's command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah--Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.)
From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites--Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai--descendants of Anak.
From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher).
And Caleb said, "I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher."
Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage.
One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What can I do for you?"
She replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water." So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, clan by clan:
The southernmost towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the boundary of Edom were: Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur,
Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah,
Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan,
Ziph, Telem, Bealoth,
Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor),
Amam, Shema, Moladah,
Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet,
Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah,
Baalah, Iim, Ezem,
Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah,
Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah,
Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon--a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.
In the western foothills: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam,
Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah,
Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim)--fourteen towns and their villages.
Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad,
Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel,
Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon,
Cabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish,
Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah and Makkedah--sixteen towns and their villages.
Libnah, Ether, Ashan,
Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib,
Keilah, Aczib and Mareshah--nine towns and their villages.
Ekron, with its surrounding settlements and villages;
west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod, together with their villages;
Ashdod, its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Great Sea.
In the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh,
Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir),
Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim,
Goshen, Holon and Giloh--eleven towns and their villages.
Arab, Dumah, Eshan,
Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah,
Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) and Zior--nine towns and their villages.
Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah,
Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah,
Kain, Gibeah and Timnah--ten towns and their villages.
Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor,
Maarath, Beth Anoth and Eltekon--six towns and their villages.
Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah--two towns and their villages.
In the desert: Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah,
Nibshan, the City of Salt and En Gedi--six towns and their villages.
Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.
The allotment for Joseph began at the Jordan of Jericho, east of the waters of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel.
It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz), crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth,
descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the sea.
So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.
This was the territory of Ephraim, clan by clan: The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon
and continued to the sea. From Micmethath on the north it curved eastward to Taanath Shiloh, passing by it to Janoah on the east.
Then it went down from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan.
From Tappuah the border went west to the Kanah Ravine and ended at the sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites, clan by clan.
It also included all the towns and their villages that were set aside for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites.
They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.
This was the allotment for the tribe of Manasseh as Joseph's firstborn, that is, for Makir, Manasseh's firstborn. Makir was the ancestor of the Gileadites, who had received Gilead and Bashan because the Makirites were great soldiers.
So this allotment was for the rest of the people of Manasseh--the clans of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher and Shemida. These are the other male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph by their clans.
Now Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons but only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.
They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, "The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers." So Joshua gave them an inheritance along with the brothers of their father, according to the LORD's command.
Manasseh's share consisted of ten tracts of land besides Gilead and Bashan east of the Jordan,
because the daughters of the tribe of Manasseh received an inheritance among the sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the descendants of Manasseh.
The territory of Manasseh extended from Asher to Micmethath east of Shechem. The boundary ran southward from there to include the people living at En Tappuah.
(Manasseh had the land of Tappuah, but Tappuah itself, on the boundary of Manasseh, belonged to the Ephraimites.)
Then the boundary continued south to the Kanah Ravine. There were towns belonging to Ephraim lying among the towns of Manasseh, but the boundary of Manasseh was the northern side of the ravine and ended at the sea.
On the south the land belonged to Ephraim, on the north to Manasseh. The territory of Manasseh reached the sea and bordered Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
Within Issachar and Asher, Manasseh also had Beth Shan, Ibleam and the people of Dor, Endor, Taanach and Megiddo, together with their surrounding settlements (the third in the list is Naphoth ).
Yet the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region.
However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor but did not drive them out completely.
The people of Joseph said to Joshua, "Why have you given us only one allotment and one portion for an inheritance? We are a numerous people and the LORD has blessed us abundantly."
"If you are so numerous," Joshua answered, "and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites."
The people of Joseph replied, "The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have iron chariots, both those in Beth Shan and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel."
But Joshua said to the house of Joseph--to Ephraim and Manasseh--"You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment
but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out."
"There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore.
Man puts an end to the darkness; he searches the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.
Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft, in places forgotten by the foot of man; far from men he dangles and sways.
The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire;
sapphires come from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon's eye has seen it.
Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there.
Man's hand assaults the flinty rock and lays bare the roots of the mountains.
He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures.
He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.
"But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?
Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.
The deep says, 'It is not in me'; the sea says, 'It is not with me.'
It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver.
It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphires.
Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.
"Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air.
Destruction and Death say, 'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.'
God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells,
for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters,
when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm,
then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.
And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' "