And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him
Suddenly and at once, and stood by him; this was one of the ministering spirits sent forth by Christ, to minister to a servant of his:
and a light shined in the prison;
the Syriac version renders it, "in the whole house"; and the word that is used does signify an habitation, or a dwelling house properly, but is used also by the Greek writers F6 for a prison: this was an uncommon light produced by the angel, partly as an emblem of the presence, majesty, and power of God, who was present, to work a great deliverance; and partly for the use of Peter, that when being awaked he might see to rise and walk by:
and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up;
he touched him on that side which lay uppermost, or punched him on it, in order to awake him, and raise him out of his sleep:
saying arise up quickly;
without delay, make haste:
and his chains fell off from his hands;
from both his hands, and were left with the soldiers, between whom he slept; which must be ascribed to an almighty power, which caused them to drop off.
F6 Vid Harpocratian Lex. p. 212.