About that time King Herod cruelly attacked some who belonged to the church,
and he killed James, John's brother, with the sword.
When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter too, during the days of Unleavened Bread.
After the arrest, he put him in prison and assigned four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.
So Peter was kept in prison, but prayer was being made earnestly to God for him by the church.
On the night before Herod was to bring him out [for execution], Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while the sentries in front of the door guarded the prison.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him up and said, "Quick, get up!" Then the chains fell off his wrists.
"Get dressed," the angel told him, "and put on your sandals." And he did so. "Wrap your cloak around you," he told him, "and follow me."
So he went out and followed, and he did not know that what took place through the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
After they passed the first and second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went outside and passed one street, and immediately the angel left him.
Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from Herod's grasp and from all that the Jewish people expected."
When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many had assembled and were praying.
He knocked at the door in the gateway, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer.
She recognized Peter's voice, and because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gateway.
"You're crazy!" they told her. But she kept insisting that it was true. Then they said, "It's his angel!"